Dyer pleased with youngsters

West Ham United reserve team manager Alex Dyer was pleased with the performance of five second-year professionals in a specially-arranged friendly at Ipswich Town.

The youngsters - including Anthony Edgar, Daniel Kearns, George Grasser and Matt Fry - were all given a 45-minute run-out during the Hammers narrow 1-0 defeat at the Tractor Boys' training ground on Wednesday.

Dyer named a youthful but strong side, with Ryan O'Neill, Ashley Miller, Bondz 'Gala and Holmar Eyjolfsson lining up in front of goalkeeper Peter Loveday. A midfield quartet of Tony Stokes, Tom Harvey, Oliver Lee and Junior Stanislas supported strikers Jack Jeffery and Zavon Hines.

It was Jeffery and Stanislas who came closest to finding the net for the Hammers, with the former twice working the Town goalkeeper, while the England Under-19 winger Stanislas was denied by the Ipswich crossbar. However, the game was settled by a 70th-minute free-kick by Dan Harding - who, like Stanislas, has spent time on loan at League One side Southend United this season.

Afterwards, Dyer was pleased with the commitment shown by his players, saying: "I was very pleased with the younger players. I gave five of the second-year boys a game and they did well. It was important for all the lads to get another game under their belts, though. We've got a big Barclays Premier Reserve League South game coming up next week at Stoke City so this was all good preparation for us."

West Ham United reserves are third in the table going into next Tuesday's match at the Britannia Stadium against fourth-placed Stoke, who currently sit a point behind the Hammers.