Dev Squad open with draw

West Ham United's Development Squad opened their pre-season schedule with a 2-2 draw against AFC Hornchurch at Little Heath on Saturday.

The Hammers - fielding a squad containing U21s and U18s - took the lead in the first half when striker Jordan Brown met a low cross from Sebastian Lletget to tap into the net, before Hornchurch levelled in similar fashion through Saltenis Martynas.

At half-time, both sides changed their complete starting XI. After the break, U18 winger Taylor Tombides composed himself perfectly to slot under the onrushing goalkeeper to put West Ham back in front.

The visitors were not going to be denied a draw against the young Hammers, though, as Toby Joseph won the ball and put George Purcell through on goal and he smashed a shot past Hammers goalkeeper Danny Boness and into the top corner.

With this being the side's first taste of match action since returning to training, U21 boss Nick Haycock and U18 manager Steve Potts combined their squads to ensure that as many players got 45 minutes of match action as possible.

The Hammers started strongly and began looking for an early goal. American midfielder Lletget went close on two occasions, with his second effort being deflected over the crossbar from close range.

It was West Ham who did grab the opening goal after 20 minutes when Lletget got away down the left-hand side of the penalty box to cross low for Brown to finish.

Irish midfielder Kieran Sadlier had a number of opportunities to double the home side's lead, although he failed to keep his shots on target.

AFC Hornchurch

Just nine minutes after going behind, Hornchurch were level whenMartynas ran unmarked into the middle of the six-yard box to bundle home Jamie Hursit's cross.

After half-time, the Hammers again pushed to get back in front and were rewarded when a crossfield ball found Tombides and, after lining up a volley which was blocked, the ball fell back to his feet and he finished coolly past the goalkeeper.

However, Hornchurch again came back with an equaliser just a minute after Tombides scored. Joseph played the ball forward into the path of Purcell, who shot quickly to blast The Urchins level.

In the closing stages of the friendly fixture, substitute West Ham striker Decarry Sheriff used his speed to beat several opponents and stab the ball under the onrushing goalkeeper towards the goal line, but it was cleared off the line.

The U21s' next friendly fixture on their pre-season schedule is a trip to face Havant and Waterlooville on Tuesday night, with a 7:45pm kick off.

Development Squad first-half XI: T.Brown, Westley, Oxford, Pask, Page, Sadlier, Nasha, Lletget, Turgott, J.Brown, Diangana

Development Squad second-half XI: Boness, Pike, Harney, Onariase, Borg, Makasi, Bywater, Bailey, Mavila, Amoo, T.Tombides (Sheriff)