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Hammers youngsters do themselves proud

By Dave Langton

A West Ham side filled to the brim with young talent did themselves proud against Dinamo Zagreb, despite the 1-0 defeat the London Stadium.

Hammers boss David Moyes handed full debuts to Sonny Perkins up front, and Emmanuel Longelo and Jamal Baptiste in defence.

Perkins had to feed off scraps for the majority of the game, unfortunately, but along with Longelo and Baptiste, the Hammers also had Harrison Ashby and Aji Alese in the back four.

That’s a Premier League 2 back four and they acquitted themselves well against a Dinamo side that needed a result to ensure their qualification for the knockout round.

It took a remarkable goal to win it too, as Mislav Orsic bent a brilliant goal into the top corner from the left flank, in a similar position to where Arthur Masuaku scored his winner from against Chelsea.

The best Irons chance came just before the 20 minute mark, as Ashby sent a brilliant cross into the box but Perkins could only head over the crossbar.

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Ashby played well throughout the game and almost scored with a cross, but it ended up floating just over the bar.

The second half was really a midfield battle, with Said Benrahma having two shots on target from range, as Dinamo managed to close ranks and keep things tight.

Still, there was still time for a couple of cameos from youngsters, as 18-year-old Freddie Potts and 20-year-old Keenan Forson came on as substitutes late on.

Defeat, ultimately, but this was a strong showing from a number of Hammers kids; the future is in good hands.

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.