Werndly at the double

West Ham United U18s 3-3 Southampton U18s

Two Jack Werndly goals were not enough to help West Ham United to a first win in six matches on Saturday as Southampton battled from a two-goal deficit to draw at the death.

Werndly was making his first start of the season and showed good composure to score in each half - his first U18 goals - before Danny Subuola also got off the mark at this level with the third on a windy morning at Little Heath. That put the Hammers 3-1 up but Carr's young charges allowed the visitors to force their way back into the contest and only a last-ditch Jack Lampe clearance late on ensured the point.


West Ham had been full value for their lead with Ahmed Abdulla pulling the strings. The Saudi Arabian-born forward made all three goals and turned in an impressive display in a dynamic front-three formation fielded by Carr. The Hammers were without Danny Purdy, who scored while on international duty last week with the Republic of Ireland U17 side.

Werndly broke the deadlock by lifting the ball neatly over the Saints keeper after Abdulla had beaten the defence with a chipped pass. However, the visitors were able to equalise before half-time and more goals always seemed likely after the interval.

In the second half, the Hammers were on top and few were surprised when Abdulla pushed the ball through to Werndly to score with a left-footed drive across the keeper that took a wicked bounce on its way into the net. Abdulla then supplied a through-ball for Subuola to smash in a strong right-footed third. Subuola was substituted soon afterwards, allowing promising U16 forward Dylan Tombides to make his first U18 appearance.

Southampton's first goal back came on a quick counterattack after a West Ham free-kick in Southampton territory before an uncharacteristic error by Denis Mehmet in the closing stages allowed the equaliser. The Turkey U17 international, who is still only 16 and trained with the first team last week, came to make a routine catch but allowed the ball to squeeze out of his grasp and a Southampton player was on hand to convert.

West Ham United: Mehmet, Smith, Brown, Lampe, Sanchez, Barrett, Moncur (Okus 75), Wearen (Driver 90), Werndly, Subuola (Tombides 60), Abdulla