U18s finish with win

West Ham United Under-18s ended their FA Premier Academy League season on a high with a 3-0 win over Charlton Athletic at Little Heath on Friday.

Matthias Fanimo (pictured) put the Hammers a goal up at the break before Jack Werndly and substitute Dylan Tombides made the game safe in the second half.

Victory for Tony Carr's side ensured they will end the season fifth in the Group A standing, with ten wins, eight draws and ten defeats from their 28 matches.


Fanimo's well-constructed opener arrived on 28 minutes. Captain Jordan Brown's throw-in was flicked on by Werndly to Cristian Montano, who outpaced his marker before crossing low for the England U16 winger to convert from close-range.

Three minutes later, England U17 striker Robert Hall, who had already curled one effort narrowly wide, came within inches of doubling West Ham's advantage, only to see his 20-yard shot bounce back off the inside of the far post.

Into the second half and George Moncur, who is on standby to join Hall in England's squad for the upcoming UEFA European U17 Championship finals in Liechtenstein, drove a low shot straight at the Charlton goalkeeper before Montano was denied by the same player.

Home stopper Sam Cowler was rarely troubled, but did produce a number of telling catches and punches to clear the ball from danger. When Charlton did get beyond centre-backs Callum McNaughton and Paco Craig, the No1 was also there to mop up.

Moncur curled another shot narrowly wide before West Ham finally made their pressure count on 64 minutes with a superb second goal.

Right-back Jake Young and Fanimo combined before Hall's cross was dummied cleverly by Moncur, allowing Werndly the time and space to sweep the ball home from ten yards. It was the striker's fourth goal in his last three matches.

Eoin Wearen, who put in a series of crunching tackles in the midfield, was next to threaten, only to see his deflected 25-yarder spin just past the post. From the resulting Moncur corner, the Republic of Ireland U17 midfielder saw his downward header cleared off the line.

The scoring was completed 12 minutes from time by Australian-born Tombides, who played the ball wide to Hall before dashing into the box to flash a header in with great aplomb at the near post.

Lamar Hurley and Declan Hunt were introduced late on by Carr, taking the total number of schoolboys to feature to six - all of whom have agreed two-year scholarships with the club.

While Hall and, possibly, Moncur are off to Liechtenstein, Fanimo and Blair Turgott will be on England U16 duty at the Nordic Tournament in Norway in July.

Before then, the likes of Cowler, McNaughton, Montano, Ahmed Abdulla and professionals Olly Lee and Jordan Spence are off to the Far East for the HKFC IP Global International Soccer Sevens tournament in Hong Kong next week.

West Ham United U18: Cowler, Young, Craig, McNaughton, Brown, Fanimo (Tombides 72), Wearen (Hurley 78), Moncur (Hunt 80), Montano, Werndly, Hall
Subs not used: Larkin, Subuola