West Ham United’s U18s made it two wins from two on Saturday as they were 3-2 winners over Southampton at Little Heath.
Following last weekend’s 4-1 thrashing of Norwich City, the Hammers ensured their record remained at 100 per cent thanks to goals from Emmanuel Longelo, Veron Parkes and Sebastian Nebyla.
Top of the Premier League U18 Southern Division heading into the first home match of the campaign, the Hammers had plenty of confidence but fell behind on 17 minutes when the Saints’ Christian Norton put them in front.
The hosts were looking dangerous going forward, though, and had Bernardo Rosa, Nebyla, Parkes and Odysseas Spyrides backing up the most advanced Longelo.
And with nine minutes left of the first half, the Hammers equalised. A driving run from Ajibola Alese pushed Southampton back before the defender’s pass found the run of Longelo, whose first effort was blocked before the youngster bagged at the second attempt to make it 1-1.
Just before the half time whistle, Jack Collison and Mark Phillips’ side went in front. A long throw-in from Will Greenidge was flicked into the path of Parkes, who, drifting inside the pitch from the left, fired a wicked shot back across the keeper inside the near post from 20 yards.
Southampton came back out in the second half raring to go and it was all square again just before the hour mark when Kayne Ramsey found the net.
But with just the Hammers pushing, a slice of luck came with just five minutes left on the clock and with it, the winner. Parkes, dangerous throughout, once again drifted inside and unleashed a stinging drive which struck Nebyla on the back and deflected in.
With two wins from two, and behind only Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference in the league table, the Hammers next travel to south Wales for a tough test at Swansea City.
West Ham United: Anang, Ngakia, Baptiste, Alese, Greenidge (McGeachy 78), Belic, Nebyla (Okotcha 90+1), Parkes, Rosa, Spyrides, Longelo (Forson 67)
Subs not used: Jinadu
Goals: Longelo 36, Parkes 44, Nebyla 85