West Ham U18s continue fine league form with Villa victory
West Ham United U18s continued their impressive winning run in the U18 Premier League South by beating Aston Villa U18s 3-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Two late goals from Kamarai Swyer proved to be the difference at Little Heath after Villa had earlier cancelled out Sebastian Nebyla’s first-half opener.
The win keeps the young Hammers in fourth position in the league but moves them to just two points behind Brighton in third.
U18s Lead Coach Kevin Keen was pleased with the resilience showed by his side to claim all three points after Aston Villa had equalised midway through the second period.
It was a great result and a fantastic game that was very competitive, credit to Aston Villa they came down and played some really nice football and made it a really physical battle for us.
“We were really happy to find that little bit of quality after Aston Villa had got back into the game,” he said. “We’ve drawn a couple of games this season, but today we were able to go on and win the game through some really good play from Dan Chesters and the impact of the substitutes Kai Corbett and Kamarai Swyer.”
“It was a great result and a fantastic game that was very competitive. Credit to Aston Villa; they came down and played some really nice football and made it a really physical battle for us.”
Forward Sebastien Nebyla put West Ham in front with a calm finish in the 28th minute after Daniel Jinadu had made a number of important saves to keep the visitors at bay.
The 17-year-old stopper has been fine form following his return from the U17 World Cup in Brazil, and saved a first-half penalty to ensure the Hammers went into the break in the lead.
In the 68th minute, however, Villa drew level, as Brad Burton played in Aaron Ramsey - and the attacking midfielder made no mistake to put the visitors back on terms.
The introduction of substitutes Kai Corbett and Kamarai Swyer for West Ham proved to be pivotal as the Academy side were able to put their opponents under immense pressure in the latter stages of the game.
That intent finally told in the 83rd minute. It was Swyer who put the Hammers back into a deserved lead as he notched his second goal of the season.
Just five minutes later and Swyer had put West Ham further in front. A terrific piece of play from Dan Chesters afforded Swyer a simple finish from close-range to put the game beyond any doubt.
Lead coach Keen heralded the maturity of the U18s performance in a physical encounter.
“Since last week’s game against Stoke, we’ve had a really good week's training and we were able to get a few of the lads back from the U23s. That really helped us have more of a physical edge this afternoon and we got a very mature performance from all of the boys today.”
“It was a fantastic game of football. I was really happy that the boys came through it and won. We need to make sure that we keep doing that in the two games that we have before Christmas.”
Next up for the U18s is an away trip to Southampton, before hosting Charlton Athletic in the FA Youth Cup on Friday 13 December at the Chigwell Construction Stadium in Dagenham.
West Ham United U18s: Jinadu, Caiger, Greenidge, Baptiste, Ashby (Nsumbu 51), Chesters, Parkes, Giddings, Diallo (Corbett 76), Nebyla, Odubeko (Swyer 70)
Goals: Nebyla 28; Swyer 83, 88
Booked: Caiger, Chesters