U18s rally to Brentford victory

West Ham United U18s closed their pre-season schedule with a 3-1 win over Brentford at Little Heath on Saturday morning.

The Hammers went behind early when Jeremiah Kamanzi fired in from the edge of the box, before a double from Jordan Brown turned the game on its head. Substitute Fatia Adebayo then scored with his first touch to seal the victory.

There was one negative from the game, however, as midfielder Matt Carter was stretchered off during the first half after suffering a suspected broken arm in a collision with a visiting player.

With a number of the regulars featuring for the Hammers first team or Development Squad and manager Steve Potts away completing a coaching qualification, assistant manager Mark Phillips named an extremely young team, including a number of U16 players.

Phillips named a back four of Joe Linley, Declan Rice, Tunji Akinola and Vashon Neufville, along with Carter, Grady Diangana and Decarrey Sheriff further forward.

The home side were always likely to be in for a tough test playing against a near full-strength U18s side in Brentford, but their task was made harder early on when Kamanzi received the ball on the edge of the penalty area and fired past Tim Brown. Brentford took inspiration from their goal and immediately pushed forward again, but the home side held strong to deny the Bees a second goal.

Before long, West Ham came back into the game and launched several attacking moves of their own, although the end result was never enough to beat the Brentford goalkeeper.

The unfortunate Carter then suffered his injury. After chasing the ball out to the touchline and leaning back using his arms to support himself, one of the visiting players accidently clipped his arm when walking past.

While the home players were naturally rocked by Carter's injury, the Hammers grew with confidence as they began picking up more possession and taking more shots on goal. Brown, Djair Parfitt-Williams and a trialist all had chances to equalise early in the second half, but passed up their opportunities.

It did not take much longer for the Hammers to finally break down their Professional Development League 2 South Division opposition, as Brown retrieved the ball from Alex Pike's thrown in, held off and turned his marker and firied a shot with power into the back of the net.

With that goal bringing the teams level, West Ham pushed themselves in front shortly after when Brown struck again. This time, he ran onto a lobbed pass from Parfitt-Williams to smash an unstoppable half volley past the helpless goalkeeper.

The result was sealed minutes later when substitute Adebayo got onto the end of a Parfitt-Williams cross into the box to flick home the Hammers' third.

With their pre-season preparations now complete, the Hammers open their Barclays U18 Premier League campaign away at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday 16 August at midday.

U18s: T Brown, Linley (Pike), Neufville, Carter (Sylvestri), Akinola, Rice (Browne), Amoo (Adebayo), Diangana, J Brown, Parfitt-Williams, Sheriff (Trialist)
Subs not used: Boness, Martins