Hall hits two

Robert Hall scored two goals as West Ham United Under-18s beat Chelsea 3-1 on Saturday to make it six games without loss.

Hall struck once in either half for Tony Carr's side before the visitors pulled one back. Conor Okus made the game safe with a third for the hosts in the 80th minute.

In strong winds at Little Heath, West Ham took the lead when Hall collected a superb defence-splitting pass from Ahmed Abdulla and beat the goalkeeper with a low drive. The 16-year-old doubled the advantage a minute after the interval when he dispossessed Chelsea's central defender and whipped a delicious shot past the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net.

The second goal seemed to awaken the visitors and they started to press forward with more purpose with a goal from a left-wing cross.

However, Conor Okus was to have the final say of the match with West Ham's third ten minutes from time. The midfielder, who had missed a good opportunity moments earlier, finished off a fine move by collecting Cristian Montano's pass and firing home.

"We played very well in the conditions and thought we adapted to them much better than Chelsea did, especially in the first half," Carr said. "They never really came out and had a go at us until they were 2-0 down but we finished strongly and could have won by two or three more.

"Chelsea were second in the league so it is no mean feat to have beaten them as comprehensively as we did.

"The pitch was very heavy, very boggy and the strong winds didn't help. When the rain did come down in the game it made it very difficult. It was touch and go but in the end it was just about playable."

In addition to the fine result, the performance of Hall also understandably pleased the Academy director.

"His goal was an opportunist's goal - he doesn't need many chances and he normally takes them when they come his way. He's thrown a marker down to the other strikers in the squad.

"He had two chances and took them and it was a fantastic performance from him when you consider he is a schoolboy of course."

After not enjoying the greatest consistency in their opening run of fixtures, Carr's side have put together a good run of late and have conceded just two goals in their last four games.

"We've settled down a bit and we're not conceding the goals we were conceding before. We were shooting ourselves in the foot when we were in good positions. The players are starting to mature and take on board all of the work we are doing on the training ground."

The Under-18s return to league action next Saturday with another London derby, this time away at Charlton Athletic.

West Ham United: Loveday, Modelski, Craig, Sanchez, Brown, Moncur, Wearen (Barrett 75), Okus, Abdulla, Hall (Werndly 85), Montano