U18s chalk up City success

Nick Haycock has hailed West Ham United Under-18s after they recorded a superb 2-1 victory at Manchester City in their final pre-season fixture.

Having travelled to Manchester on the morning of the game, the Hammers shook off any weariness to produce an outstanding display capped by goals from Elliot Lee and summer arrival Nathan Mavila.

U18s coach Haycock was naturally delighted with the contributions made by every on of his players.

"It was a very good day for us," he confirmed. "We played well. They started better than us, but maybe that was down to the long coach journey we had been on, but we quickly got into our stride.

"Elliot put us in front on 15 minutes after we had pinched the ball in the midfield and he latched on to a pass inside from Kieran Bywater and finished well. We then moved the ball around really well only to concede from a set piece when we didn't react quickly enough to the second ball inside our penalty area.

"To our credit, we didn't let the equaliser affect us and we created some great chances and went back in front just before half-time. Nathan scored it with an outstanding free-kick that he has bent into the top corner.

"In the second half we contained them very well and missed a few chances ourselves. On another day, Kieran Sadlier could have had a couple of goals. All in all, though, all the players on the pitch did their jobs well and we're now set up for the season after a good pre-season.

"We were well organised and passed the ball well. It was a fine team performance. To cap a good day, our Under-16s also beat Arsenal, so we're in good shape."

The youth team kick-off their FA Under-18 Premier League campaign at Reading on Saturday morning at 11am.