U18s Lose to West Ham
Sunday, 26th Feb 2012 09:05
A fine freekick from Jonny Leddy wasn’t enough to prevent Town’s U18s falling to a 4-1 home defeat against West Ham on Saturday morning.
After a quiet opening period, the visitors took the lead on 18 minutes when Dominic Vose cut the ball back to Elliot Lee who steered his shot into the bottom corner from just inside the area.
The Hammers doubled their advantage just five minutes later when Vose’s flick allowed Blair Turgott to burst past Lewis Acott and round Conor O’Donnell before rolling the ball into an empty net.
A shell-shocked Town slowly started to work their way back into the game and Gunnar Thorsteinsson’s ball over the top allowed Jack Marriott to hold off his man and get through on goal, but keeper Sam Baxter blocked the striker’s effort.
Town started the second half with renewed belief and scored inside two minutes of the restart. Marriott was fouled about 30 yards out and Leddy stepped up to fire an unstoppable freekick past the motionless Baxter.
Moments later, Mark Timlin’s corner was met by an unmarked Thorsteinsson, who saw his header tipped over by Baxter.
Byron Lawrence pulled his shot just wide of the post before Russell Osman’s youngsters were the creators of their own downfall on 52 minutes when, despite applying all of the second-half pressure, Acott brought the dangerous Turgott down in Town’s area. Elliot Lee sent O’Donnell the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Town’s impetus seemed to disappear and the visitors gained the upper hand throughout the rest of the half, with their fourth goal coming via a fine solo effort from Elliot Lee to seal his hat-trick on 64 minutes.
With the game slipping away from them, Town gave an U18s debut to youngster George Fowler, who came on at centre-half and impressed during his time on the field. Debenham-based Fowler has already agreed a two-year scholarship at Playford Road.
The closest the Blues came to pulling a goal back was when Leddy beat Baxter to Thorsteinsson’s cross from the right, but the Republic of Ireland U17 midfielder toe-poked his effort into the side-netting.
Late on O’Donnell was forced into a fine reaction save to push Kenzer Lee’s header over but overall, Town were outclassed by a strong West Ham side. Marriott worked well up front but apart from the opening period of the second half, the visitors dominated throughout.
Meanwhile, we understand central defender Jide Maduako has spent time training with Stoke and Leicester this week, Town having told him he will not be offered a professional contract at the end of the season.
U18s: O’Donnell, Jones, October, Acott (Fowler 71), Schroder (Hammond 71), Thorsteinsson, Winter, Leddy, Marriott, Lawrence, Timlin. Unused: Marsden, Scotcher, Thompson.
Report: James Ager
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