U18s move forward

Forwards Robert Hall and Cristian Montano were the stars of the show as West Ham United Under-18s moved into the FA Youth Cup fifth round with a 3-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers.

England U17 striker Hall scored a stupendous goal and made another for Montano, who scored twice, as Tony Carr's Hammers eased past their cross-London rivals at the Boleyn Ground.

Tuesday's win saw Tony Carr's side reach the last 16 for the first time since getting to the quarter-finals in 2004/05. Having fallen at the first hurdle in each of the last two seasons, West Ham will now host Newcastle United for a place in the last eight.

Montano's 20th-minute opener was football played the 'West Ham way' from start to finish. George Moncur, Nicky Barrett and Filip Modelski showed great composure to play the ball out from the back before working possession to Ahmed Abdulla. As Hall drew the R's defenders with a clever decoy run, the Saudi Arabian found Montano with a fine through ball and, after taking a neat first touch, the Colombia-born forward slotted the ball past goalkeeper Jon Miles.

The second was exclusively down to Hall, who curled an unstoppable free-kick into the top corner from the tightest of angles two minutes before the break. Like Montano's first, it was the 16-year-old's sixth goal of the season.

Hall was again the architect for Montano's seventh of the campaign. The Aylesbury-born frontman rolled a low cross for the 18-year-old, who faced Arsenal reserves and Sol Campbell at the same venue a week ago, to complete the scoring 14 minutes from time.

Before Montano's opener, however, the Football League Youth Alliance South East Conference title-chasers had been the better side, harrying their opponents and forcing the home defenders into a succession of rushed clearances.

Midfielder Sam Bewick should have given the R's the lead, racing past two challenges, only for Peter Loveday to make a fine save with his legs. Moments later, Montano would show him how it should be done. Having scored once, Montano could have doubled his tally almost immediately, only to lash a volley high into the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand from 12 yards when it looked easier to score.

With the hosts' confidence visibly rising with every minute that went past, Abdulla was next to go close, forcing Miles into a low diving stop following impressive build-up play down the left involving Eoin Wearen and Hall.

QPR were far from a spent force, however, and only a desperate block from Paco Craig prevented Javonne Molloy from capitalising on a mis-directed punch from Loveday.

It was West Ham who carried the greater threat though and, two minutes before the break, the pressure finally paid off. The bright yellow-booted Hall added to his already burgeoning reputation with an unstoppable second before celebrating with some nifty dance moves with his team-mates.

West Ham continued to play the better football after the break, but it was QPR who created the better chances. First, Loveday had to be alert to hold onto a snap-shot from Antonio German, then the same player could only prod straight at the goalkeeper when well-placed six yards out.

Hall was not to be outshone by the R's striker, however, stinging Miles's fingertips with another well-struck effort before Sergio Sanchez was denied what looked like a certain goal by a miraculous last-ditch block.

It would not be long before the Hammers added a third, though, and when it did arrive it was yet another impressive goal from start to finish. Montano and Hall combined yet again, with the Colombian playing the ball out to his partner before romping into the penalty area to slot in the youngster's inch-perfect centre.

The visitors threw players forward in a desperate attempt to salvage something from the tie, only to find Loveday in unbeatable form as he beat aside a powerful shot from substitute Christian Nanetti.

Hall produced one last moment of magic, skipping past two defenders before feeding substitute Danny Purdy. The Republic of Ireland U17 forward found fellow Irishman Wearen, only for Miles to make a smart one-handed save.

The R's night got even worse in added-time when defender Danny Bailey was shown a second yellow card and sent-off for a mis-timed tackle on rampaging captain Jordan Brown.

All in all, Carr's side dealt with what could have been a difficult test with relative ease. Having lost just two of their last 12 matches in league and cup, the Hammers will go into Saturday's FA Premier Academy League trip to Chelsea, and the fifth-round visit of Newcastle, brimming with confidence.

West Ham United: Loveday, Modelski (McNaughton 79), Craig, Sanchez, Brown, Barrett (Turgott 70), Moncur, Wearen, Abdulla, Montano (Purdy 76), Hall
Subs not used: Cowler, Driver

Queens Park Rangers: Miles, Harriman, Waters, Ehmer, Bailey, Olley, Bewick, Sutherland (Doherty 74), Cox (Graham 83), German, Molloy (Nanetti 62)
Subs not used: Middleton, Parmenter