U18s defeat Chelsea

Academy Director Tony Carr has praised the spirit of his Under-18s after they ended a five-match losing streak with a stirring 3-2 victory over Chelsea.

The Hammers had plummeted to eighth in the ten-team FA Premier Academy League Group A table after being beaten by Crystal Palace, Southampton, Ipswich Town, Fulham and Charlton Athletic.

Indeed, having been defeated 4-0 by both the Cottagers and Addicks in their previous two fixtures, the last thing the West Ham youngsters needed was to concede the first goal to Chelsea at Little Heath. That nightmare scenario is exactly what played out, however, as Todd Kane gave the visitors an early lead.

Undeterred by the setback, though, the Hammers took control of the game and played some of their best football of the season. By half-time, goals from Dylan Tombides and Dominic Vose had put Carr's side in front.

The second half followed a similar pattern, only for Chelsea to equalise through Ismail Seremba. Again, West Ham refused to lie down and substitute Sebastian Lletget (pictured) secured a thoroughly-deserved success with just 12 minutes remaining.

Carr said the victory would not only boost the Hammers' league position, but also give his players a shot of much-needed confidence.

"It was a good performance, especially in the first half. We went in deservedly 2-1 up at the break through good, well-worked team goals from Dylan and Dominic.

"The first goal was a good passing movement started by Callum Driver, who made a run from right-back, played the ball infield and took a return pass from Robert Hall. He then squared the ball for Dylan, who finished first-time.

"The second goal was another good passing movement through the midfield. Dominic made a run beyond the forwards and was picked out by Blair Turgott before shooting low into the corner.

"What made me even happier was that both of these goals came after we had gone 1-0 down. To be fair to the lads, we played very well in the first half. In the second, we started in the same vein but they managed to equalise.

"They broke out from the back and a long ball down the middle caught out Callum McNaughton and their boy has squeezed it in to make the score 2-2 and it was all to play for.

"We sent on some substitutes and one of them, Sebastian, came on and scored the winner with a shot from the edge of the area.

"We were very pleased because you always expect Chelsea to put out a strong side and that proved to be the case again on Saturday. I wasn't concerned who we were playing against but only about our own performance and winning the game.

"We did that and it has given us a confidence boost. Confidence is everything and this result will give us a lift. Hopefully we can go on a run and get some results and even more confidence over the coming weeks.

"We have the FA Youth Cup to look forward to in December and we want to be winning games when that competition comes around.

"After being 1-0 down, it was very pleasing for everyone on Saturday. It will give the boys belief and confidence and they will take that on to the next few games."

West Ham United U18: Cowler, Driver, McNaughton, Sanchez, Fanimo, Wearen, Powell (Hurley 75), Vose, Turgott, Hall (Lletget 70), Tombides