Dev Squad downed by Bolton

The Development Squad fell to their first Barclays Under-21 Premier League defeat, losing 2-0 to Bolton Wanderers at the Boleyn Ground on Monday night.

Despite two consecutive wins and the likes of James Tomkins, Gary O'Neil and Alou Diarra in the side they failed to take advantage of their dominant possession and were hit on the counter twice in the second half with James Kelly and David Ngog the scorers.

Speaking post-match West Ham United Development Squad manager Ian Hendon felt his side should have taken advantage of their dominance and were unlucky to get nothing from the game.

"We huffed and puffed but we didn't really threaten enough in the second half and unluckily for us the ball has fallen kindly for them and we have lost 2-0.

"Last weekend everything happened for us and what we wanted to do was come here in front of our own fans and do it again so it is disappointing for us.

Rob Hall and Paul McCallum both threatened the Bolton goal in the first half and had Blair Turgott and Danny Potts been available [both away with the England Under-19s] it may have been a very different story.

"The first goal is a mistake from the goalkeeper but credit to him he has come in and held his hands up, but we conceded two very soft goals.

"These things happen and I thought we were very solid in the first half, we created some good opportunities and just didn't get the rub of the green in the box. On another day we could be talking about a win."

Hendon also hailed the benefits of having first-team regulars in the side, stating that their influence on the younger players in his squad should not be underestimated.

"They will have a massive impact on the younger players in the squad, they will talk to them and give them a lot of information on the pitch which is something they need to learn.

"There are some older players already in the group. Seb Lletget and George Moncur have both been with me for over a year so they understand what I want out of them, Callum Driver is another who helps guide the group and it provides great experience for the younger lads."

Former Liverpool midfielder Alou Diarra almost levelled midway through the second half but his header crashed off the crossbar and it was another former Liverpool man who settled the tie as Ngog added Bolton's second. Hendon has now challenged his side to bounce back against Braintree Town next Monday.

"It is all about consistency. They set the standard last week scoring five but a few of them fell well short of that. They are young lads and they are still learning and I thought Leo Chambers was exceptional tonight alongside James Tomkins.

"I think one or two players who feature didn't will be disappointed because we made four changes as senior players came in. They will get their chance next week as will the players who haven't featured in the league yet."

"It is now up to them to make an impression and push for a regular starting spot."

West Ham United: Henderson, Driver (Wearen 75), Tomkins, Chambers, Fanimo, O'Neil, Lletget (Vose 75), Moncur Diarra, Hall, McCallum.
Subs not used: Larkins, Hunt, Powell.