Potts reflects on Toon draw

Steve Potts felt his side deserved more than a point after West Ham United's 1-1 Barclays U18 Premier League stalemate with Newcastle United at Little Heath on Saturday.

A tightly contested and entertaining first half saw Potts' young Hammers take the lead in the 18th minute when Amos Nasha expertly headed Kieran Bywater's left-wing free-kick into the top corner

However, the hosts were unable to maintain their advantage as Toon striker Jonathyn Quinn bundled the ball over the line to equalise before half-time following some individual skill from Rolando Aarons.

In the closing stages of the first half, Newcastle midfielder Oliver Kemen was shown a straight red card for reacting badly to Ben Marlow's sliding tackle, which Hammers boss Potts believes was the turning point in the game.

Read a full match report from the 1-1 draw with Newcastle United

"I think that something different was asked of the boys in that game. Up until the sending off, I think it was a really tight, decent game," said Potts. "It was a good test physically for us because Newcastle turned up wanting to pressure us. It was a good game of football up till that point.

"Then, the sending-off happened and sometimes that can go either for you or against you. Newcastle organised themselves well and made it difficult for us. It was a case of 'Can we open them up?'

"Looking at the game, we probably didn't do enough to open them up. I know we had chances to win it but when you're in that position, you want to be continually knocking on the door and feeling like a goal is coming and perhaps we didn't quite create the right tempo.

"Newcastle really slowed the game down and there were several fouls in the first half that were going against us, but from the point of the sending off, I would like to have seen us playing more dominant football and continually pushing and asking the question about a winning goal."

Potts admitted that when Nasha headed his side ahead, he would have expected them to push on looking for a second goal, although it wasn't to be for his Academy side.

"Of course when you go ahead early with a good headed goal like Amos' then it's natural to start thinking that we could have pushed on from there," he added. "It didn't quite happen and they got a good goal through a bit of brilliant individual play.

"We will look back at their goal and see how we could have maybe stopped the long run down the line but that's something for the boys to watch back and learn from. It's like us going forward, we need to learn how to take our chances."

The Hammers have rarely had to experience playing against ten men since Potts took the U18s reins. The former U16 boss knows that they have to learn from the Newcastle match because it will happen again in the future.

"I think we were the better team on the day. You're entitled to being the better team when you have an extra man on the pitch. Newcastle came down here to give us a challenge and after the sending-off, they sat in and stopped us from playing.

"Scenarios like that will happen again and we have to learn how to make little openings and work through a solid defence when they sit in and try to stop us playing."

Saturday's result takes the Hammers' run to six games unbeaten, but Potts is still slightly frustrated that his side drew their last two.

"In the last two games, I've been standing there disappointed for the boys because they always put the effort in. I'm not disappointed in them, just for them because they are not getting the results that their performances deserve.

"All they have to do is keep putting in the same performances and working hard and the results will come."