U18s put Royals to the sword

West Ham United U18s ended their Barclays U18 Premier League regular season with a convincing 4-0 victory over Reading at Rush Green on Saturday.

The Hammers raced into a three-goal lead with half an hour, as Djair Parfitt-Williams and Joe Powell slotted home from close range, before the latter turned provider for Josh Pask. 

Mark Phillips' men added a fourth after the break when Parfitt-Williams was afforded too much space in the box to head home his second of the contest. 

U18s coach Phillips had earlier made two changes to the side that started last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat by Norwich City. Neither Alex Pike nor Jordan Brown were available for selection, allowing England youth defenders Reece Burke and Vashon Neufville to return to the side. 

Powell and Parfitt-Williams both threatened from the wings in the opening quarter of an hour, 
while Reece Oxford, in a new holding midfield position, add strength to the Hammers back line.

On 17 minutes, West Ham hit the front when Powell picked up the ball on the right-hand touchline and aimed a direct through ball towards Parfitt-Williams. It looked as if either Tom McIntyre or Axel Andresson would deal with it, although they only succeeded in heading it into the path of Parfitt-Williams who finished calmly from close range.

Just a minute later, the hosts spurned a chance to double their lead when Jahmal Hector-Ingram fired over from close range.

The Hammers did, however, get their second goal within five minutes of their first, with Powell being given far too much space inside the penalty box to slide a shot into the corner of Lewis Ward’s net.

And the goals continued to come as the hosts added a third on 26 minutes when Powell again supplied the assist for Pask to head home from point-blank range. 

Powell continued to threaten after the interval and might have added to his own tally, firstly volleying wide before Ward acrobatically tipped his low shot around the post.

The Hammers rounded off their thumping win by adding a fourth in second-half stoppage time. Once Ward had conceded a corner after parrying a shot from Parfitt-Williams, the Bermudan-born winger was perfectly placed to head home his second.

Phillips’ side end the regular season with 32 points from 22 games and will now have for their fellow Southern-based sides to conclude their seasons before finding out which play-off group they will enter.

U18: Howes, Knoyle (c), Pask, Burke, Neufville (Borg), Carter, Oxford, Powell (Sylvestre), Diangana, Parfitt-Williams, Hector-Ingram.
Subs not used: Rice, Boness.