Dyer delighted with youngsters

Alex Dyer was delighted with his young side after they dominated their goalless Barclays Premier Reserve League South draw at Stoke City on Tuesday.

Dyer's West Ham United side contained four Academy scholars and five first-year professionals, but more than matched their hosts - who included five Barclays Premier League regulars - at Nantwich Town's Weaver Stadium.

Olly Lee twice went close to scoring the only goal of the game, while goalkeeper Marek Stech, wing-backs Callum Driver and Davide Ferrari, centre-backs Sergio Sanchez, Jordan Spence and Callum McNaughton and midfielders Josh Payne and Anthony Edgar all impressed.

Dyer, who employed the 3-5-2 formation that worked so well in last month's 2-0 win at Arsenal, was pleased with the performance of every single player in a West Ham shirt.

With two fixtures remaining - at Wolverhampton Wanderers next Tuesday and home to Fulham on 27 April - the manager is looking for a strong finish to the campaign.

"I am really pleased with the level of consistency that we've found in recent games. It is something that we try to stress to all of them throughout the club. It is important that they give 100 per cent for the football club, 100 per cent for themselves and 100 per cent for each other in every game they play.

"We've tried to get a nice unit together that trains together and is around each other all the time. It shows that we spend a lot of time together and we'd like to keep them together for the rest of the season.

"Hopefully, next season, they can continue to improve and we'll see some of them graduate to the first team."

For a variety of reasons, Dyer was proud of both the attitude and performance of his young team against a Potters side including England striker James Beattie, Senegal midfielder Amdy Faye, Bosnia goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, Danny Pugh and Andrew Davies.

"There were some really good performances from the young lads. Callum Driver was excellent all night - he delivered some good crosses and got up and down really well all night. His overall performance was very good.

"Sergio Sanchez was very good, as well. He reads the game well and looks like he has played a lot of games in the reserves, when this was his second full game. Big Callum McNaughton played his first game at Stoke and his performance was excellent.

"Jordan Spence again put in another good performance for the reserves and deserves to travel with the first team because he conducts himself so well, while Davide Ferrari was brilliant. It was Davide's last game for the club because he is going back to Italy, but he worked forward well and got back in when he needed to. It was a good performance from the lad.

"We played three in midfield and I want to stress that Josh was excellent again. In the last four-or-five games, he has upped his game and looked like the player we knew he could be. As long as he finishes the season off well, it will hold him in good stead for the future.

"Alongside Josh, it was good to see Olly back to his old self, getting on the end of things, working up and down and getting himself into the opposition box. Anthony Edgar got better as the game went on and he has got quality. He needs to work on some things, including his temperament, but he played well."

West Ham United reserves: Stech, Driver, Sanchez, Spence, McNaughton, Ferrari, Lee, Payne, Edgar, Montano (Subuola 84), Dixon (Abdulla 76)
Subs: Cowler, Barrett, Wearen