U18s snatch late draw

West Ham United continued their unbeaten form in the Barclays U18 Premier League Tier One season with a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion at Little Heath on Saturday.

A late finish from substitute Nana Boakye-Yiadom grabbed a point for the Hammers after Danny Burrows had earlier put the travelling Baggies ahead.

The game started with the Hammers midfield trio of Ben Marlow, Josh Cullen and Taylor Miles taking control of possession in the midfield areas, supplying Kieran Sadlier down the left wing, who was giving the West Brom defence all kinds of problems in the opening stages.

West Brom attempted to intervene and gain some kind of control in the game, yet the Hammers' impressive start limited the time on the ball given to the visiting players.

The Hammers' first half dominance almost led to numerous opportunities on goal, including several for Sadlier, who found himself through on goal, before losing possession when cutting inside for a shot.

Taylor Tombides also had a chance when he recieved the ball 18 yards out, but unfortunately powered his shot high and wide of the goal.

A key player in the first half was left-back Lewis Page, who put in several dangerous efforts into the box, including a 30-yard shot on goal from a free-kick that was pushed over the bar by the Baggies goalkeeper.

The away side also had their fair chances to open the scoring, twice hitting the right-hand post through Rees Weederburn and Danny Burrows.

Firstly, Wedderburn was given time and space in the Hammers box to poke an effort against the post. Then, just a minute later, Burrows ran in behind the defence, collecting a high ball, before smashing a shot at Hammers goalkeeper Sam Howes, who turned the ball excellently onto the upright.

As the teams came out for the second half, both sides were battling to win possession and create chances in the final third.

It was West Brom who took the lead midway through the second period when Joel Ward slipped the ball through to Burrows, who held his run well to beat the offside trap and slide the ball low past Howes into the bottom left-hand corner of the goal.

The goal shook the Hammers and West Brom began to look more threatening when picking up more possession in the midfield, yet Jamie Harney and Rob Girdlestone stood strong at the back.

As the Hammers searched for an equaliser, Boakye-Yiadom was introduced from the bench and began causing the opposition problems.

West Ham's equaliser almost came when Boakye-Yiadom chased down a long ball from Harney, putting West Brom centre-half Reiss Greeniage under pressure, He tried to lob a pass back to his goalkeeper Alex Palmer without realising that the stopper had started coming towards the ball. Palmer had to dive to head the ball clear.

The home side continued to press to ensure they took something out of this game, with Moses Makasi going closest in the closing minutes. Boakye-Yiadom linked up well with Sadlier before squaring for Makasi, who saw his low effort cleared from the line.

Steve Potts' Hammers got their reward with two minutes left, when Boakye-Yiadom picked up the ball behind the West Brom defence and coolly slotted past Palmer to level the scores.

The draw keeps the U18s unbeaten in the league since Potts' took over in December, with the Hammers travelling to Wolverhampton Wanderers for their next Premier League Tier One match on Saturday 9 February.

West Ham United U18s: Howes, Alexander, Harney, Girdlestone, Page, Marlow, Miles (Makasi), Cullen, Gogo (Mavila), Sadlier, Tombides (Boakye-Yiadom)
Subs not used: Brown, Burke