U18s’ assistant boss Mark Phillips was delighted how his players dealt with the demands of an early start and long journey in their 3-1 win at Swansea City.
The Hammers made the eight-hour round trip to south Wales and goals from Alfie Lewis and Korrey Henry (2) saw the away side pick up a valuable three points.
Phillips was also pleased with how his side performed in a new system, as they played with an unfamiliar 3-4-2-1 formation.
“It is a long journey, especially for the young boys to get off the coach and within an hour they’re playing a competitive game of football. That has to come into play when you think about it,” he said.
“I’ve seen us play better but the result was the important thing today I think.
“I thought the system was okay. I’d like to see us play with that system again under better circumstances, without the journey. It allows the two playing in behind the striker to pick up little pockets of space. All of our goals came from that.”
The Hammers travelled to Swansea without top scorer Jahmal Hector-Ingram who was missing through an injury picked up in training.
They looked to adapt in their striker’s absence and made a bright start when Joe Powell shot over the bar from long range.
Powell was involved as West Ham took the lead on 25 minutes. His cross was on a plate for the returning Lewis to tap home.
However, Swansea, who won only their second game of the season last weekend, equalised five minutes later. Liam Edwards was brought down in the penalty area and Liam Cullen slotted home the spot kick.
The Hammers emerged in the second half much brighter and regained the lead within five minutes of the interval. Lewis turned provider to slide in Henry who neatly finished from close range.
Henry added his second and West Ham’s third from the spot with 20 minutes to play and although Swansea threatened on a couple of occasions in the last quarter, the Hammers deservedly held on to further consolidate that top four place.
“Both Korrey’s goals were well taken and he could have had a another goal in the first half. If you’re a centre forward and you score two goals every game, you’re not doing too bad.
“The two games they’ve played against us have been quite close. They’ve got a very good striker and they’re not a bad side.”
West Ham: Matrevics (gk); Eggleton, Akinola (c), Wells; Ngakia (Rosa, 87), Coventry, Johnson, Hannam; Lewis, Powell; Henry.
Subs not used: Alese, Forde (gk), Mingi, Spyrides.
Goals: Lewis 25, Henry 50, 68 (pen).