Reserves win at Reds

Benni McCarthy scored the only goal and Freddie Sears shone as West Ham United reserves maintained their outstanding start to the new Barclays Premier Reserve League season.

The South Africa striker converted from the spot with ten minutes to go after a Reds' handball in the penalty area. It was McCarthy's second goal in as many games but even more encouraging was that it was his second successive 90 minutes in a week. He could figure again in next Monday's friendly at Dagenham and Redbridge in aid of Lee Goodwin.

McCarthy had been a threat all night, but his partner Sears was the most potent performer on view. The No10 was a non-stop runner at Prenton Park - whether through the middle or pulling out to either flank - and had the Reds rearguard worried all night.


Alex Dyer had headed north with a very young team, unlike the previous victories this season. Stronger sides had already won 1-0 at Everton and 2-0 at home to Wigan Athletic, meaning the reserves have yet to concede a goal in 270 minutes of play. It was not for the want of trying from Liverpool tonight, though, with Ryan Babel leading the line.

The Dutch international forward was well marshalled by Jordan Spence and Sergio Sanchez, while Dyer's midfield of Olly Lee, Eoin Wearen, George Moncur and Ahmed Abdulla were tireless in the centre of the park. Liverpool also had players who stood out - notably Nathan Eccleston and Spanish starlet Dani Pacheco in attack.

It was Pacheco who went closest for the home side at the home of Tranmere Rovers, lashing in a volley midway through the second half that clipped Ruud Boffin's crossbar. The Hammers' best moments from open play all came through Sears although in truth Brad Jones, the Australian international, like Boffin had a relatively quiet night.