Fanimo double boosts U18s

West Ham United Under-18s 3-0 Crystal Palace Under-18s

A Matthias Fanimo double either side of another Elliot Lee goal ensured a return to winning ways for the young Hammers on Saturday.

The U18s had lost their four previous fixtures but were always in control at Little Heath.The team were lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with Fanimo fresh from England U18 duty.

Fanimo broke the deadlock with a superb solo effort on 25 minutes. He drove at the Palace defence before unleashing an unstoppable 25-yard shot into the corner of the goal.

It was to stay that way until the 55th minute when Fanimo again got free. He played in the overlapping Frazer Shaw, who did well to pick out Lee in the middle of the goal for a neat second.

Fanimo then wrapped up the win in the 80th minute by bursting into the penalty area and shooting underneath the body of the Palace keeper.

U18s coach Nick Haycock was understandably delighted to see his young side pick up the points, especially with Danny Potts again on first-team duty and Rob Hall going out on loan against Oxford United.

Speaking to, Haycock said: "It was a good all-round performance. We got the lead and at half-time we said to the lads it was about concentration and digging in to keep on top of the game. They had a good work ethic and the chances came.

"Once we got the second we went to two banks of four and asked Crystal Palace to break us down. We stood firm and were looking to hit them on the break which we did with the third goal to make sure of a good victory."

Haycock said he had challenged the team in the build-up to the game to put another good run together to match the one that had lit up the first part of the season.

"Starting with this one, we have games against top sides in the next five matches with the FA Youth Cup against Wolves in the middle. We want them to approach it in a positive way and let's see if one or two of them can catch the eye.

"We want them to raise their game individually so that it can benefit the team as a whole."

The U18s are next in action on Saturday 3 December when they go to Arsenal, just before the big date with Wolves at Molineux on Wednesday 7 December.

West Ham United U18s: Larkins, Young, Chambers, K Lee, Turgott, Shaw, Powell, Miles (Nasha 70), Fanimo, T Tombides (Sadlier 70), E Lee