Under-18s down Canaries

West Ham United Under-18s made it four wins in four in the Barclays U18 Premier League, as they downed Norwich City 2-0 at Little Heath on Saturday.

A tight game for the most-part remained goalless until the 70th minute, when Portuguese striker Marcio Martins popped up to fire the Hammers in front.

Then, in the final minute, Jerry Amoo's long run, from his own half into the penalty area, earned the hosts a spot-kick as he was felled. Skipper Kieran Bywater stepped up, confidently dispatching the penalty to notch his tenth goal of the season.   

Manager Steve Potts made several changes to the side that defeated Tottenham Hotspur last weekend with Amoo, Sam Baxter, Jordan Brown, Emmanuel Onariase and Djair Parfitt-Williams the men to drop out, while returning England U18 internationals Reece Burke and Kyle Knoyle, along with Martins, Nathan Mavila and 'keeper Sam Howes earned a recall. 

The game started slowly and the closest either side came to a goal in the first quarter of an hour were two overhead kicks from Martins, neither of which posed a great threat to Lloyd Thomas in the Norwich goal.

Shortly afterwards, West Ham were appealing for a penalty, when Bywater was upended, only for the referee to award a free-kick right on the edge of the box. Uncharacteristically for Bywater, the resulting free-kick was fired straight into the wall. 

West Ham continued to press and  might have broken the deadlock when Moses Makasi's effort from 18 yards was parried by Thomas, before Mavila curled his low strike round the far post.

The best chance of the first half, however, fell to Norwich's Jake Simpson, who found himself one-on-one with Howes, but snatched at the chance and sliced over the crossbar.

After the break, Lewis Page almost scooped a clearance from a Norwich corner straight into the top corner of his own net, but 'keeper Howes did brilliantly to claw the ball away from the top corner.

The Hammers, meanwhile, were much improved and  had three strikes on goal, but neither Martins, Knoyle or Mavila could make the most of promising situations.

The deadlock was eventually broken with 70 minutes on the clock, with Martins confidently slotting into the bottom left corner of the net, having been played in by Bywater.

Then, as Norwich looked to grab an equaliser from a late corner, the ball was cleared into Amoo, who collected inside his own half and looked to be headed for the corner flag.

Having run in excess of 50 yards, Amoo surged toward goal, prompting Canaries defender Ben Burgess to concede a last-gasp penalty. It was Bywater who stepped up to take it and did so confidently, taking his tally for the season to an astonishing ten goals in ten games.

Steve Potts' Academy outfit  will look to stretch their winning streak to five, when they head north to take on Middlesbrough U18s on Saturday 26 October at 11am.

West Ham United Under-18s: Howes, Knoyle, Girdlestone, Burke, Page, Cullen, Marlow (Amoo), Makasi, Mavila, Bywater, Martins.
Subs not used: Nemrava, Bailey, Onariase, Brown.