Filed: Saturday, 18th August 2012
By: Staff Writer
West Ham United's development squad kicked off the new season in perfect fashion by beating Reading 3-1 at Rush Green last night.
Ian Hendon's young team made short work of their Berkshire rivals to open their Barclays Under-21 Premier League campaign with a win in their first competitive match at their new home, which is being shared this season with homeless Grays Athletic.
Paul McCallum put West Ham in front three minutes before the break, scoring from close range, before doubling his tally after 55 minutes by converting a Robert Hall cross.
The Royals reduced the deficit 18 minutes from time but victory was secured for Hendon's with just four minutes of normal time remaining when an unnamed triallist - believed to be Rennes winger Razak Boukari* - made it 3-1.
A happy Hendon, speaking to whufc.com after the game said: I'm delighted with the result because it gives us an excellent platform going into the season. Reading are a big team who tried to knock the ball long up to the front three and I felt we dealt with that.
"It was a little disappointing conceding from a corner, but that may have more to do with a little lapse in concentration due to being 2-0 up. It's early days and that is something we can focus on ironing out on the training ground, but I'm delighted with the result and to have got off to a winning start."
Next up for Hendon's side is the trip to Everton, who they face at Finch Farm on Sunday, 26th August (1pm kick-off).
* As was the case in the Olympic Games, each team in this season's Barclays Under-21 Premier League may feature a maximum of three over-aged players in their match day squad.
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