U18s seal dramatic comeback victory

West Ham United scored three goals in three amazing minutes to overcome West Bromwich Albion 4-2 in the Barclays U18 Premier League on Saturday.

The Baggies went ahead early on at Little Heath when George Cater punished the Hammers for not clearing the ball inside their own penalty area, before Bermudian-born attacker Djair Parfitt-Williams drew the hosts level.

As the Hammers looked to push ahead, Tyler Roberts looked to have stolen the points for the visitors. However, three goals in as many minutes from Emmanual Onariase, Kieran Bailey and Decarrey Sheriff secured a dramatic victory for West Ham.

U18s manager Steve Potts made four changes to the starting XI that lost 4-3 away at Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday. Clarke Bogard was replaced by Sam Howes in goal, Alex Pike made way for Onariase, while Marcus Browne and Bailey were dropped to the bench. Josh Pask started in the middle of midfield alongside Academy regular Noha Sylvestre and Jordan Brown returned from injury to start up front.

After four defeats in their previous five fixtures ahead of the meeting with the Baggies, Potts' men soon found themselves behind when Carter took advantage of the home defence failing to clear their lines by stabbing the ball past Howes.

The home side came back into the game and they began to pressure the visitors. Pask smashed a shot off the crossbar as the Hammers chased the equalizer before half-time.

After the break, the hosts kept up the pressure and had a handful of chances on goal, but Oscar Borg, Parfitt-Williams and Jerry Amoo were finding it impossible to beat Albion goalkeeper Ethan Ross.

They did find the breakthrough, however, and it was Parfitt-Williams who finished into the corner of the net from 12 yards after receiving the ball inside the penalty area from Amoo.

Within ten minutes of pulling themselves level, however, West Ham were punished for a defensive mistake. As the ball was crossed into Roberts in the penalty area, the Hammers allowed the 16-year-old time and space to turn and bury his shot low into the corner of the net.

That goal set the stage for an amazing climax. West Ham equalised just two minutes later when Onariase ran unmarked meet Borg's right-wing corner and make it 2-2.

As the visitors investigated where they went wrong in conceding the equaliser, West Ham took advantage and pushed in front just a minute later. The ball was worked down the left wing at speed by the Hammers, with a low cross being met and finished by Bailey at the near post.

If that goal was not enough to shock the Midlands side, West Ham scored a fourth goal a minute later, when Sheriff finished well from inside the penalty area.

Saturday's result takes the Hammers back into the top four in the Barclays U18 Premier League Southern Division, with 22 points from 14 games.

Potts' side travel to Southampton U18 in the FA Youth Cup third round on Tuesday 9 December for their final fixture of 2014. Kick off at St.Mary's is at 7pm.

U18s: Howes, Akinola, Burke (Sheriff), Onariase, Neufville, Sylvestre, Pask (M.Browne), Amoo, Borg, J.Brown (Bailey), Parfitt-Williams
Subs not used: Ware, Elsom