Academy News

Sharp Antonio looks good as U23s grab point


michail-antonio-west-ham-stoke_3387473Irons under 23s 0 Everton under 23s 0

Michail Antonio put in a great shift as the Hammers under 23s held last years Premier League 2 Division 1 champions to a 0-0 draw at Dagenham and Redbridge.

The Hammer of the Year saw a header and left foot drive fly wide and hammered the ball straight at the keeper before leaving the action looking justifiably tired at the end of a testing 70 minutes.

The Hammers were without skipper Declan Rice and Nathan Holland who are both expected to travel with the first team to Old Trafford whilst the expected appearance by new boy Sead Haksabanovic failed to materialise raising speculation that he may too be involved in Manchester.

The young Hammers dominated the first half creating several chances but despite Antonio’s presence couldn’t provide the killer edge to several good chances, particularly from some dangerous set pieces.

Pike thrashed a shot wide near the end and Martin Samuelsen was effective throughout but the one blot on the copybook came when Conor Coventry blocked a free kick and received a second yellow card.

But the seriously good news was that Antonio – after a serious hamstring injury – threw himself into the action and looked really sharp.

And with two major players out of the team in  Rice and Holland, the young Hammers will feel confident of the season ahead having come through their first League One examination looking in very good shape.

A fuller match report will from our man at the match Jack Lebeau later.

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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