Dev Squad edged out

A youthful Development Squad battled hard but still lost out 1-0 to Blackburn Rovers in their final home Barclays U21 Premier League Group 1 match at Rush Green on Friday.

The Hammers had already been crowed champions after West Bromwich Albion beat Arsenal last weekend and, despite the result, the youngsters did well.

Elliot Lee and Frazer Shaw were particularly impressive but Hendon's side were undone by a spectacular free-kick from Diogo Rosado after 77 minutes.

The first real chance of the half fell to Lee but, after getting in behind the Rovers back line, he took too long and Nuno Enrique was able to block his goal-bound effort.

The visitors were next to threaten when Raheem Hanley charged through the Hammers' midfield and played a neat one-two with Rosado, but the defender had strayed inches offside.

After a fairly drab spell in which neither side wanted to commit, Rovers almost took the lead when Tim Payne's shot grazed the post.

In a half of few chances the onus was on one individual to provide a bit of magic and ten minutes before half-time Jack Powell almost provided it.  The midfielder showed sublime technique to take the ball down before finding Shaw out wide. Shaw crossed back to the midfielder but his flying volley was straight at goalkeeper Greg Sandomierski.

Osayamen Osawe had a golden chance on 40 minutes but his header failed to test Sam Baxter who watched it drift high and wide. Just one minute later the visitors were on the back foot, Shaw found Lee, who drove past three defenders before shooting low, but Sandomierski was able to gather at the second attempt.

The first chance of the second half fell to the visitors and it was Osawe again who threatened, but he was again unable to hit the target, dragging his shot wide from 20 yards.

With 52 minutes gone Hendon's side should have taken the lead. Declan Hunt sent a superb cross into the box but Kenzer Lee's free header was straight at Sandomierski.

Shaw and Elliot Lee continued to strike up a good partnership within the game and it almost provided a goal but after good work from Lee, he was again denied by Sandomierski.

As the game continued to ebb and flow, Rovers had a fantastic chance of their own but Dan Potts somehow managed to block Osawe's shot off the line.

Three minutes later the visitors took the lead in spectacular fashion as Rosado lashed a free-kick past Sam Baxter 30-yards out level with box.

The young Hammers came back strong and should arguably have had a penalty awarded for a foul in added time, but the referee waved play on.

Next up for Hendon's side is their final Barclays U21 Premier League Group1 fixture at Norwich City, which has been rearranged for 17 December.

Development Squad: Baxter, Driver, Potts, Hunt, Lee, Ruddock, Sadlier, Marlow (Homans 85), Lee, Shaw, Powell.
Subs not used: Girdlestone, Guzman, Gogo