Young Hammers edged out in Hong Kong semis
West Ham United reached the semi-finals of the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens in Hong Kong before being edged out by Rangers.
A young Hammers squad featuring the likes of Nathan Holland, Conor Coventry, Joe Powell, Ben Johnson and Dan Kemp had topped their group on Saturday, finishing unbeaten and conceding just one goal in three matches, to set up a quarter-final tie with Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Irons brushed aside the Seagulls 2-0, with goals from winger Kemp and attacking midfielder Louie Watson, to reach the last four at the 20th edition of the annual post-season competition.
However, after a goalless 14 minutes of normal time, during which the Hammers were roared on by a large and vociferous Claret and Blue Army in the stands, Rangers snatched victory with a golden goal to dash West Ham’s chances of reaching the Cup final for the third time in five years.
The Scottish club would go on to lose 4-3 to Newcastle United, who were crowned overall champions of the popular 16-team tournament in Happy Valley.
While they were ultimately unable to bring the trophy home, the Hammers could be proud of their overall performance, with Holland scoring four goals and registering two assists in five matches, captain Coventry leading by example and defender Johnson showing further signs of the talent which earned him a first-team debut at Manchester City in February.
Elsewhere, guest player and Academy coach Carlton Cole was part of the Singapore Cricket Club team which reached the Main Plate semi-final of the Masters competition before being beaten 1-0 by Kerry Yau Yee League Select.
*Image courtesy of Ken Haggarty