Impressive West Ham too strong for Thurrock

The Hammers development team battled to a 2-0 victory in their friendly clash with Thurrock on Tuesday night.

Thurrock 0 West Ham 2

Freddie Sears and Sebastien Lletget scored the goals, but it was the young West Ham defence that impressed the most at Ship Lane on Tuesday night as the Hammers ran out comfortable winners.

Ian Hendon’s development team boasted the likes of Freddie Piquionne, Sam Baldock and Sears in the starting line-up, but he had special praise for the back four of Academy boys Callum Driver, Danny Potts, Kenzer Lee and Frazer Lee.

“There were a lot of young lads out there, especially by the end,” said Hendon after the game. “I was more pleased with the clean sheet than the goals almost because we had a very young back four.

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“Callum Driver was probably the oldest at the tender age of 18. We got the goals we deserved, but could have had one or two more, but that might have flattered us.”

Sears put West Ham in front after just eight minutes with a stunning goal. The striker ran 40 yards upfield before firing an unstoppable shot past David Hughes in the Thurrock goal.

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The Hammers started much as the first team do in a 4-3-3 formation with Baldock playing through the middle, Piquionne on the right and youngster Brian Montenegro on the left hand side and it was a formation that looked solid.

Thurrock certainly had their moments in the first half with Glen Poole, Danny Hockton and the impressive Dee Okojie, but the West Ham defence coped well with Peter Kurucz looking comfortable in goal.

Baldock and Sears were replaced at half time and the Hammers went to a 4-4-2 formation with Piquionne and Montenegro but the changes seemed to effect the flow of the game.

West Ham had to wait until the 74th minute for a second and clinching goal.

George Moncur found substitute Elliott Lee and the youngster beat two defenders before squaring it for American midfielder Lletget to drill the ball home.

“It was a very competitive game as normal,” said Hendon who will take the team to MK Dons on Friday night. “It was good to come and play on a magnificent surface. It made for a good game of football.”

Thurrock: Hughes, Gemili, Wren, Smith, Robinson, Bowditch, Okojie, Poole, Hockton, Osborn, Hazelwood. Subs: Hewitt, Wright, Terry, Cracknell, Morgan.

West Ham: Kurucz, Driver, K Lee, Potts, Shaw, Sears, Moncur, Lletget, Montenegro, Piquionne, Baldock. Subs: Cowler, Siafa, Hurley, Young, Turgott, E Lee, Sadlier.

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