Arsenal reserves 0-1 West Ham United reserves
Alex Dyer's youthful side earned a tremendous victory away at Arsenal on Monday night courtesy of Ashley Miller's solitary strike in the 72nd minute - but the win owed much to Marek Stech.
The 19-year-old right-back Miller converted from close range after bright play involving Georg Grasser and substitute Christian Montano, seconds after he entered the game. Grasser picked out Montano superbly and he forced Arsenal keeper James Shea to parry his chipped effort into the path of Miller who was able to hook the ball into the net. The outstanding Stech then proved an unbeatable barrier and West Ham United hung on to claim the win.
With captain Bondz 'Gala leading by example in front of him, the 18-year-old Stech was in imperious form at the Underhill home of Barnet, repelling the lively Arsenal attackers who had begun the brighter in a lively Barclays Premier Reserve League South contest. That said, the closest either side came to scoring in the first half was when Daniel Kearns crashed an effort on to the bar for the visitors just before half-time.
Dyer had named a youthful selection with six of the starting eleven having played when the two clubs met for an Under-18 fixture last month - namely Matthew Fry, Oliver Lee, Daniel Kearns, Anthony Edgar, Balint Bajner and Ahmed Abdulla. Arsenal boasted the likes of 17-year-old midfield prodigy Jack Wilshere in their ranks and he always looked the most likely - however, he could not find the finishing touch.
The game sparked into life on 70 minutes when Fry, filling in at full-back, surged down the left past three men before crossing deep to the back post. Kearns squared the ball for former Arsenal forward Abdulla but he could not keep the effort on target. It was Abdulla's last contribution as he made way for Montano. Moments later, the replacement forced that opportunity for Miller and Dyer's men were in front.
It could have been two on 73 minutes when the outstanding Kearns tried his luck with a chipped effort that Shea just about clawed to safety. Wilshere and Emmanuel Frimpong had their moments before, on 82 minutes, Stech did well to save a lofted effort by Rhys Murphy. The three points lift the Hammers to third in the standings and mean a memorable double over the Gunners after a 1-0 home win in October.
Arsenal: James Shea, Craig Eastmond (Rhys Murphy 66, Sanchez Watts 84), Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Francis Coquelin, Kyle Bartley, Luke Ayling, Mark Randall (captain), Emmanuel Frimpong, Gilles Sunu, Amaury Bischoff, Jack Wilshere
Sub not used: Cedric Evina
West Ham United: Marek Stech, Ashley Miller, Matthew Fry, Oliver Lee, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Bondz 'Gala (captain), Daniel Kearns, Georg Grasser, Balint Bajner (Conor Okus 83), Ahmed Abdulla (Christian Montano 70), Anthony Edgar
Subs not used: Peter Loveday, Sergio Sanchez, Callum McNaughton