'Everything conspired against us'

Injuries and a dogged defensive performance saw Ipswich Town sneak a 1-0 FA Premier Academy League victory over West Ham United.

Academy Director Tony Carr watched his side dominate the match at Ipswich's Playford Road training centre, only for an early goal to leave the Hammers with nothing to show for their efforts.

Carr chose to blood a number of first-year scholars and schoolboy Elliot Lee, and the young starters responded with a spirited display in Suffolk on Saturday.

To add injury to the insult of defeat, West Ham also lost two centre-backs, with Kenzer Lee being hurt in the pre-match warm-up and Declan Hunt suffering a blow to the head during the opening half.

"We conceded the only goal really early on in the game. We conceded a corner needlessly and from that corner one of their boys got free in the box and headed the ball into the net.

"To be honest, I thought we deserved something from the game because we dominated for long periods, especially in the second half. We created a good number of chances, but we justĀ couldn't score.

"Everything conspired against us on the day. We lost Kenzer Lee in the warm-up and then Declan Hunt suffered a head injury, meaning Paul McCallum ended up playing at centre-back.

"Before he moved into the defence, Paul had one shot pushed away by the goalkeeper. Robert Hall also had a couple of good chances and their goalkeeper made a few decent saves. Dylan Tombides came on as a substitute with a few minutes remaining and he had two half-chances but he just couldn't take them.

"We had lots of possession but just couldn't turn it into goals. We certainly didn't play badly but it was just one of those games where the opposition defended for their lives and the ball just wouldn't go in for us."

West Ham have won nine, drawn one and lost ten of their 20 league matches so far. With eight games remaining, the Hammers sit sixth in the ten-team Group A table, eight points behind leaders Southampton.

The youth team return to action on Saturday, when Cardiff City visit Little Heath for an inter-group fixture. Kick-off is at 11am, with both admission and parking free of charge.

West Ham United U18: Wootton, Young, Potts, Hunt (Lletget), Sanchez, Hurley, Hall, Moncur, E.Lee (Tombides), McCallum, Purdy (Turgott)