West Ham United’s scholars made it three wins in a row with a deserved 3-0 U18 Premier League South victory at Norwich City on Saturday.
Odysseas Spyrides (pictured) scored twice in the first half to put the Hammers in control at Colney Training Centre, before Louie Watson added a third after the break.
Victory took West Ham up to a season-high of ninth in the table, pleasing co-manager Mark Phillips.
“If I am being honest, I thought we were well worth the three-goal win and the winning margin could have been wider,” said Phillips. “It was a really good, confident and solid performance.
“We scored two in the first half, both from Ody with similar left-foot finishes, and then Louie added a third in the second half.
“That was certainly one of the coldest football matches I’ve ever been involved in, but our win certainly warmed everyone on our side up!”
I thought we were well worth the three-goal win and the winning margin could have been wider
Phillips believes West Ham’s recent upturn in form – victories over Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion preceded Saturday’s success in Norfolk – has been based on defensive solidity, giving the attacking players a platform on which to go forward and win matches.
“What has made a difference is that we have welcomed Mason Barrett back from injury and Aji Alese back from England duty and they have slotted in really well alongside captain Ben Wells at centre-half.
“Playing with three at the back has made us really solid and given us a base to build from. We also had U16s in goal and at right-back in Daniel Jinadu and Harrison Ashby and they both did well.
“Ody has also come back recently after being ruled out with a pelvic injury and his goals have obviously helped.”
Weather permitting, next up for the young Hammers is a home derby with Tottenham Hotspur at Little Heath on Saturday morning.
Phillips and his co-manager Steve Potts are looking forward to seeing how their in-form team shapes up against a Spurs side coached by none other than three-time Hammer of the Year Scott Parker.
“The forecast looks a bit dodgy but, if the game does go ahead, it will be great to see Scotty again. Steve, of course, knows him very well from his time here and he’s a top lad and now well on his way to being a top coach.
“A lot of the players from both teams have also come up through the age-groups together and know each other well, so it should be a really interesting game.
“We are in confident mood and we want to keep winning and keep climbing the table.”