Kanu at the double

Two late goals from Idris Kanu gave West Ham United an impressive 3-2 Barclays U18 Premier League Tier Two victory over Liverpool at Little Heath on Saturday.
The match-winning display completed an eventful day for Kanu, 15, who had just scored in a 1-1 draw for the U15s against the same opposition. 
After a goalless first half, Liverpool striker Toni Gomes opened the scoring with a low shot into the corner, before Matt Carter’s bending corner was bundled over the line at the back post by one of the visiting defenders a few minutes later.
Just before the hour-mark, the Merseyside club found themselves back in front when Herbie Kane’s long-range strike found the corner of Clarke Bogard’s goal.
With just ten minutes left to play, Hammers coach Mark Phillips introduced 15-year-old Kanu to the game and it took him just three minutes to level the scores from inside the six-yard box, before the schoolboy clinched victory in dramatic fashion four minutes later to win the game for the Hammers.
The Hammers went into Saturday’s match looking to continue where they left off by winning away to Wolves the previous weekend and Phillips made just three changes to the starting XI that featured in the Black Country.
Goalkeeper Sam Howes and defender Emmanual Onariase both featured for Steve Potts’ Development Squad on Friday evening so were unavailable for selection in this game, allowing Bogard and Kyle Knoyle to come into the team. Jahmal Hector-Ingram started up front in place of Kanu.
The first half had little to offer in terms of chances created by the Hammers, but Kane, Gomes and Liverpool captain Trent Arnold all missed the target for the Reds.
It took until just after the half-time break for either team to break the deadlock. Gomes stole back possession in the middle of the midfield after sloppy play by the hosts and headed towards goal, before burying the ball past Bogard.
Within minutes of going behind, the Hammers hit back when Carter’s whipped corner hit the far post and was diverted over the line by one of the Liverpool defenders. The visitors were unhappy that a foul was not awarded against the Hammers on goalkeeper Owen Wheeler, but the officials awarded the goal.
After working hard to get back into the game, the hosts were disappointed when they let things slip again on 59 minutes when they again gave away possession to Liverpool, allowing Kane to volley home from 25 yards.
With time running out, Phillips decided to make his only substitution of the game by replacing Grady Diangana with Kanu.
The striker had just finished playing 90 minutes in the U16s’ 1-0 victory over Liverpool on a second pitch at Little Heath, where he had also scored the only game of the game!
Within three minutes of coming on, Kanu equalised for the Hammers when he was perfectly placed to head home from six yards after Hector-Ingram had nodded Joe Powell’s deep cross back across the face of the goal.
Then, with just three minutes left, Kanu popped up with a carbon copy of his earlier goal when he timed his run into the six-yard box perfectly to head into the bottom corner of the net.
The result gives the Hammers seven points from their four Tier Two fixtures, with their next fixture being a long trip to the North West to face Sunderland on 2 May.
U18s: Bogard, Knoyle, Pike, Pask, Neufville, Carter, Sylvestre, Powell, Diangana (Kanu), Borg, Hector-Ingram
Subs not used: Ware, Wells, Elsom, Henry