Academy slip to Royals defeat

The young Hammers slipped to a 3-0 away defeat at Reading
West Ham United’s U18s opened the New Year with a 3-0 defeat away at to Reading on Saturday morning.
After picking up an impressive 1-0 Barclays U18 Premier League South victory over the Berkshire-based side back at the beginning of October, the visitors were hoping for a similar result.
However, the young Hammers found Reading in fine form. With just under half an hour played, the Royals went ahead when Sam Smith fired home past Rihards Matrevics, before midfielder Tyler Frost doubled the host’s lead just before the break.
As the rain poured down in the second half, the Hammers attempted comeback was thwarted by Axel Andresson who powered home a penalty to seal the win.
The Hammers made four changes from the start that started in the FA Youth Cup Third Round against Derby County prior to Christmas.
Towering Latvian U17 goalkeeper Rihards Matrevics made his U18 debut while Development Squad regulars George Dobson, Marcus Browne and Grady Diangana were replaced in the squad by Anthony Scully, Danny Kemp and Jake Eggleton.
The Hammers first real chance on goal came through captain Matty Carter, although his free-kick was saved by Luke Southwood, Jahmal Hector-Ingram pounced on the rebound, but the England youth international striker blazed his shot well.
It was shortly after that when Reading dealt their first blow of the game. After a number of passes went astray by the visitors, one of them fell to Smith, who took the ball on a half-volley and buried into the corner past Matrevics.
Reading’s second goal came from through Frost who ran unchallenged to the near post and flicked a whipped cross into the back of the net.
The more attacking approach in the second half appeared to lift the trailing visitors, Carter again the player to get a shot off at goal, forcing another save from Southwood.
On the hour mark though, Reading extended their lead even further to put the game out of sight for the Hammers when defender Andresson smashed home a penalty after Diallo was deemed to have fouled Smith.
As the game continued, West Ham did improve though and worked up a number of opportunities to grab themselves a consolation goal, but Oscar Borg fired over from 18 yards and Hector-Ingram’s header was cleared off the line.
With that result, the Hammers stay seventh in the Premier League South, with 25 points from 18 games this season.
The Academy will hope to return to winning ways when they host Aston Villa U18 at Little Heath on Saturday 16 January at 12:30pm.
U18: Metrevics, Eggleton (Diallo), Akinola, Pask, Rice, (Kanu), Neufville, Carter (c), Scully, Borg, Kemp, Hector-Ingram
Subs not used: Longelo, Leonard.