U18s end calendar year with victory

  • West Ham United's U18s won for the first time in five matches with victory over Leicester City
  • Joe Powell and Korrey Henry (pen) scored the goals
  • Assistant boss Mark Phillips praised his team's first half display

Mark Phillips praised his side’s excellent first half display, which set up a comfortable 2-0 victory over Leicester City in the U18 Premier League South.

The Hammers dominated the first 45 and were two up by half-time after Joe Powell’s free-kick and Korrey Henry’s penalty.

Leicester saw more of the ball in the second half but the Hammers defence was rarely breached as they picked up their first win in five matches.

“I thought we were excellent in the first half. Second half was slightly disappointing but that’s being negative. We played some terrific football throughout,” said Phillips.

“On the whole it was a good performance and there were some excellent individual performances out there today. Everyone played very well throughout.”

Manager Steve Potts made three changes from the side which drew with Fulham last weekend with Bernardo Rosa, Reece Hannam and Ben Johnson coming in for Malyk Hamilton, the suspended Conor Coventry and Jeremy Ngakia. Anthony Scully was still missing through injury.

The Hammers were in control from the off and almost went in front with barely ten minutes on the clock. Alfie Lewis’s free-kick was sidefooted just over the cross by Jake Eggleton.

The breakthrough came on 14 minutes after a period of patient build-up play. Rosaire Longelo was fouled just on the edge of the penalty area, and up stepped Joe Powell to notch his first of the season with a wonderful free-kick.

Powell could have added a second five minutes later after a long-range effort went just over, but the Hammers soon added to their lead as the game edged towards half-time.

Top scorer Jahmal Hector-Ingram weaved his way through a number of challenges and was eventually tumbled over in the area. Korrey Henry coolly placed the ball into the bottom corner from the spot to put the away side in cruise control.

The Hammers seemed content to settle on their lead in the second half and restricted the Leicester to virtually nothing in the way of chances on goal.

Rihards Matrevics was forced into action with five minutes to play, making a great save from point blank range, but the Hammers were still a threat on the counter attack.

Substitute Jeremy Ngakia hit the side netting before Hector-Ingram almost added another to his collection, smashing the post when through one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

But the final scoreline of 2-0 was probably a little less comfortable than the performance suggested for Potts and his players, as they picked up a much needed victory in the last match before the Christmas break.

Hammers XI: Matrevics; Johnson, Eggleton (Ngakia, 73), Akinola, Hannam; Henry, Lewis; Powell, Rosa (Hamilton, 73), Longelo, Hector-Ingram.

Subs: Forde, Hudson, Constantinou.

Goals: Powell 14, Henry (pen) 31.