West Ham United secured their fourth Barclays U18 Premier League victory in a row by beating Aston Villa 2-1 at Bodymoor Heath on Saturday.
In their past three games, the Hammers have pulled off impressive victories over Chelsea, Southampton and Reading and made it four when an own-goal was followed by West Ham substitute Jahmal Hector-Ingram’s first goal of the season to secure the points.
West Ham made three changes to the team that beat Reading at Little Heath a week earlier. Tim Brown replaced England U19 call-up Sam Howes in goal, while Jake Eggleton and Grady Diangana moved into the starting XI off the bench in place of Marcus Browne and Matty Carter.
Over the course of the season to date, the Academy players have impressed with their ability to keep their shape and frustrate opponents, although they have not always picked up the result to match their efforts.
It was that shape and formation that were causing Villa all sorts of problems from the start, forcing Tony McAndrew’s side to spend plenty of time with the ball but unable to break down the Hammers back line.
They did find a way through though and took the lead, however. Undeterred, the in-form West Ham were soon back on level turns when a home player again found the back of the net, albeit at the wrong end from a Villa perspective.
The match was turned on its head completely in the second half when England youth international striker Hector-Ingram returned from a number of weeks out on the sidelines with a well-taken finish to give the Academy the lead.
The result takes the Hammers into sixth place in the Barclays U18 Premier League South with 14 points from their nine games.
West Ham will be hoping to continue their fine run of form this week when they host Brighton & Hove Albion at Little Heath on Thursday 15 October 2015 at midday.
U18s: Brown, Eggleton, Akinola, Rice, Pask, Borg, Dobson, Sylvestre, Powell, Diangana, Kanu (Hector-Ingram). Subs not used: Longelo, Barrett, Lewis.