Filed: Saturday, 22nd September 2012
By: Willis Jamieson
It was a great result on a wet night at Rush Green Stadium for Ian Hendon's West Ham under 21 side as they managed a 4-1 win against Arsenal.
And it was a win that took the young Hammers to the top of the Premier League Group 1 with 10 points.
The game opened up with an early goal from the visiting team as Elton Monteiro headed from a cross past Raphael Spiegel in the West Ham goal after just five minutes.
But with West Ham passing the ball around well it wasnít long before they equalised. Rob Hall ran at the Arsenal defence having received a neat ball played through before slotting the ball home beyond James Shea.
The home side then took the lead thanks to Blair Turgott who, after some good work down the right-hand side, put a great cross in. Although Paul McCallum narrowly missed a spectacular overhead kick, the ball fell perfectly for Matthias Fanimo who placed it in the back of the net.
West Ham just about deserved to go in to half time with the lead, although the teams were very close. Therefore it was encouraging to see Hendon's team come out and control the second half.
The third goal resulted from a corner that Arsenal failed to clear; in the ensuing scramble the ball fell to Dan Potts who swivelled his feet so that he could prod it over the line.
There were a number of other chances before the fourth goal arrived, with the home side controlling possession. The best of these came from a superb run by Leo Chambers who, after cutting inside, played in Blair Turgott. Turgott's shot was heading for the top corner but Shea made a superb save.
Just a few minutes later Turgott - who will go on from here to meet up with the England U19 squad for the Euro qualifiers - got the goal his performance deserved.
A great through ball from Paul McCallum - who had caused the Arsenal defence problems all evening - sliced the Arsenal defence and left Turgott one on one with goalkeeper; he skilfully slotted it into the back of the net.
Although the game had been won with a great team performance, the biggest cheer from the 704 in attendance came with five minutes to go for the appearance of Dylan Tombides, who played his first minutes of competitive football since he was diagnosed with cancer.
It was a great end to an entertaining game.
West Ham Utd player ratings
Raphael Spiegel (7) He wasnít really troubled by the Arsenal attack but made a couple of good saves.
Callum Driver (7) Did well at right back but struggled to get forward.
Dan Potts (7) Solid and strong at centre back and did well for the third goal.
Jordan Spence (7) The back four all played well. Arsenal didnít have many chances.
Leo Chambers (8) Played at left back which is not his best position but did very well. Very good on the ball as usual and considering he was one of the youngest players on the pitch he was excellent.
Sebastian Lletget (7) Protected the back four really well. Worked very hard.
George Moncur (7) The central midfield partner for Lletget, he worked hard and always looked at getting the ball forward.
Matthias Fanimo (7) Played on the left for most of the game, always looked dangerous going forward and took his goal well.
Blair Turgott (9) Excelled in everything he did. He worked hard winning the ball back and was tricky and skilful going forward. Scored one and got one assist.
Rob Hall (7) Like all the forwards and all the team he worked hard and was always causing Arsenal problems. A cool finish for his goal.
Paul McCallum (9) An excellent game. He won most things in the air and brought others into the game. A great assist for the last goal and he did everything except score.
Pelly Ruddock (7) Brought on to keep us solid in defence.
Dylan Tombides (10) He hardly got a touch of the ball but Iíll still give him a 10 for getting through his illness and getting back to playing.
Subs not used: Larkins, Piquionne, Wearen.
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