Royals rule over U18s

West Ham United U18s went down to a 2-1 home defeat by Reading in their penultimate league fixture for 2014/15
West Ham United suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Reading in their penultimate Barclays U18 Premier League Tier Two fixture of the season on Wednesday.
A brace from Royals striker Connor Davis gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at the break, with Alex Pike’s second half goal not enough to drag the Hammers back into the game.
U18s coach Mark Phillips made several changes to the team that lost 2-1 away to Sunderland at the weekend. Sam Howes returned from injury to replace Tim Brown in goal, whilst Marcus Browne made his first appearance since last year after a long-term injury kept him on the sidelines.
Idris Kanu came into the starting line-up to lead the attack in place of Jordan Brown, who was training on Wednesday ahead of the Development Squad fixture at home to Everton on Friday.
It was the visitors who came flying out the traps and within seven minutes they were ahead. Central midfielder Andy Rhinomota laid on an inch-perfect through ball to winger Davis, who took two touches before confidently sliding the ball past Howes and into the corner of the net.
The Hammers came back quickly as they hunted for an immediate response, but Joe Powell and Kanu both failed to keep their efforts on target.
On the half-hour mark, Davis struck again in similar fashion to extend Reading’s lead. This time it was striker Noor Husin who played the pass straight through the Hammers back line and after a neat turn, Davis stroked the ball home once again.
Into the second half and the Hammers stepped up their performance as they again looked for a route back into the match.
Phillips introduced central midfielder Alfie Lewis and full-back Mason Barrett around the hour mark, marking U18 debuts for both 14-year-old schoolboys.
With 76 minutes played, Pike popped up in the penalty area to give the Hammers a lifeline. After Oscar Borg held the ball up well on the left and played in Vashon Neufville, who crossed low into the box for Pike to side foot home.
The hosts then introduced their third and final U15 substitute as Malyk Hamilton replaced Powell on the wing, but the young man’s efforts were not enough and the Hammers fell to their second 2-1 defeat in the space of five days.
West Ham close their league campaign with a home fixture against Leicester City on Saturday 9 May at 12noon. Admission is completely FREE!
U18s: Howes, Pike, Neufville, Onariase, Elsom, Sylvestre, Browne (Lewis), Diangana (Barrett), Borg, Kanu, Powell (Hamilton)
Sub not used: Boness