Hammers five goal crushing of Villa


West Ham United U18s 5-2 Aston Villa U18s
U18 Premier League South Division, Saturday 16 September 2023, 12pm BST


On Saturday afternoon, Joshua Ajala’s brace saw West Ham United U18s secure a stunning 5-2 win over Aston Villa.

The 16-year-old was in imperious form at Little Heath training ground turning in the Club’s second and third in an incredible afternoon that moved Kevin Keen’s men to unbeaten in three matches in all competitions.

The Irons’ second victory of the season was set in motion by striker Jemiah Umolu, who got the ball rolling when he found the bottom right corner with a neat swish of his left foot on 18 minutes.

His effort was followed by Ajala’s brace. His fourth goal in his last three matches saw the young Hammers into a 3-0 lead in 40 minutes.

Aston Villa did pull a goal back on the stroke of half-time through Luka Lynch but any jeopardy around the result was quickly forgotten when Dan Rigge found Favour Fawunmi, who netted the Irons fourth 23 minutes after the restart.

Rigge later found the net himself as his penalty would round off the win after Villa scored a second through Abube Onuchukwu with three minutes to play.

And as a result, the Hammers, with six points from their first three league games, move third in the U18 Premier League South Division table, with both of the top two – Fulham and Crystal Palace – to have played one game more.

West Ham United U18s: Abraham, Battrum, Briggs, Mayers, Jones (Adeile 59), Fawunmi, Akpata (Nwosu 59), Caliste, Ajala (Medine), Rigge, Umolu (Sowanmi 76)
Subs: Awesu

Goals: Umolu 18, Ajala 32 41, Fawunmi 67, Rigge 90+1
Booked: Akpata

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon