Academy aces steal show

West Ham United were well represented as England Under-16s won 2-0 against Northern Ireland on Thursday night at the Deva Stadium in Chester.

Blair Turgott, on his international debut, scored the opening goal of the game in the 50th minute thanks to an assist from club-mate Matthias Fanimo, who then wrapped up the win with a clinical strike in the closing seconds. Fititngly the duo were watched by the FA's Director of Football Development, Sir Trevor Brooking.

It was the Young Lions' second triumph of this season's Victory Shield that also features Scotland and leaves them on track for a successful defence of a competition they have won in every one of the last eight years. Each of the home nations plays each other once.

The young Hammers pair, who both regularly feature in the Academy Under-16 side at Little Heath, were a constant menace to the Northern Irish defence.The decisive moment came when Fanimo picked the ball up on the right flank and spun the ball into the penalty area for Turgott to loop the ball beyond the visiting goalkeeper. The goalscorer understandably left the field to good acclaim when he was substituted in the 62nd minute. Fanimo then raced through late on before smashing the ball into the corner of the net.

The comprehensive victory was no more than Kenny Swain's men deserved and followed their 1-0 success against Wales on 15 October, when Fanimo was named man of the match. The Young Lions will complete their Victory Shield campaign with a winner-takes-all decider away to Scotland on 26 November. The Scots have also won their first two fixtures.

Fanimo and Turgott's involvement means West Ham have already been represented at every England level this season. The others have been U17 (Robert Hall), U19 (Frank Nouble), U21 (James Tomkins, Junior Stanislas, Zavon Hines and Freddie Sears) and at full senior level (Robert Green, Matthew Upson and Carlton Cole).