Monday 26 October 2015, 7:00pm at Boleyn Ground, London
West Ham United
West Ham United U21s
Fulham FC
Fulham U21s
Evans 34'; O'Halloran 52'

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Alex Pike
Off:Joey O'Brien

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Amos Nasha
Off:Djair Parfitt-Williams

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Moses Makasi
Off:Grady Diangana

34' Goal

Jordan Evans

52' Goal

Dean O'Halloran

62' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Stephen Humphrys
Off:Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson

67' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Dennis Adeniran
Off:Mattias Kait

80' Substitution

Player was substituted for tactical reasons
On:Aaron Redford
Off:George Williams

Fulham got back to winning ways on Monday night with a 2-0 win away at West Ham United.

Fulham got back to winning ways in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League Division 2 on Monday night with a 2-0 win away at West Ham United.

A stunning free-kick from Jordan Evans and a calm finish from Dean O’Halloran either side of half-time gave our U21s their first win in a month.

Matches involving West Ham always provide entertainment, with an average of over four goals per game in which the Hammers’ Under-21s have been involved in this season. This fixture last year also produced goals, with Fulham notching a 3-2 victory.

Although this game did not quite match up to that scoreline, it was an enthralling contest nonetheless. Fulham were happy for the hosts to dominate possession, with an organised defence soaking up the pressure and allowing the fiery frontline to counter attack with aplomb.

The hosts came close in the 11th minute when Marcus Browne won the ball 25 yards out. The number 10 found space and produced a powerful effort but it flew narrowly over Marek Rodák’s crossbar. A string of West Ham corners followed but were dealt with without trouble by the Fulham defence.

O’Halloran, often playing in a more central role up front alongside George Williams, almost forced an opening for the Whites on the 25 minute mark. He was quick to close down Hammers defender Olatuniji Akinola as he got the ball caught under his feet in West Ham’s penalty box. O’Halloran won the ball but couldn’t manage to keep it in play as it rolled behind for a goal kick.

Fulham’s striking pair were under instruction to press high up the pitch and a similar situation occurred just moments later. This time, both Williams and O’Halloran pressured Raphael Spiegel in the West Ham goal as he chased a back-pass that had been left short. O’Halloran won the ball once more but again it didn’t bounce for him and the danger was averted.

Fulham grew into the contest as the first-half progressed and were ahead in the 34th minute. Some neat midfield play won the Whites a free-kick 30 yards from goal in a position that looked inviting for a right-footed strike. Jordan Evans had other ideas. The left-footer stepped up to curl a stunning free-kick goalward, dipping at the last moment to leave the West Ham goalkeeper helpless.

The hosts almost responded immediately after Josh Cullen and Lewis Page combined well. Page found Browne but the striker could not convert a tricky chance.

But the score should have been level three minutes later as Page again found space on the left and teed up Grady Diangana perfectly. The winger, a late replacement in the starting XI for Jaanai Gordon, failed to make a clean contact from just five yards out and Fulham cleared.

The Whites had to fend off a claret and blue salvo as half-time approached but the organised defence stood firm to maintain Fulham’s lead entering the break.

That resilience was rewarded, as seven minutes into the second half Peter Grant’s side doubled their lead. After the Whites broke away in a speedy counter attack, O’Halloran managed to beat the offside trap and was left in acres of space in the West Ham penalty box. The Irishman still had a lot of work to do though and did excellently to calmly tuck the ball into the bottom right-hand corner from a narrowing angle.

The hosts made a triple substitution just after the hour but it was top scorer Martin Samuelson that continued to provide the main threat. The towering Norwegian number nine’s quick feet proved a handful for Shaun Hutchinson and Shane Elworthy, and they did well to stifle him of any clear cut chances.

Fulham went close to a third in the 72nd minute. Ryheem Sheckleford intercepted a cross-field pass and surged forward from right-back before finding Williams in space on the left. Approaching the box, the Welshman searched for the same corner his strike partner had found earlier, but pulled his shot wide.

The Hammers had their best chance of the night in the 86th minute as frontman Samuelson split the Fulham defence to work a one-on-one. His shot, though, was rushed and sailed comfortable wide of the post.

Substitute Stephen Humphrys had a similar chance for Fulham as added time approached, but could also only send his effort sailing over.

That miss proved to only be trivial though as the Whites closed out the game to record a pleasing win on a brisk night in East London.

Photo courtesy of West Ham United.

Match Information

Competition: Barclays U21 Premier League Division 2

Date: Monday 26 October 2015
Kick-off: 7:00pm

Venue: Boleyn Ground, London

West Ham United U21s

Line-up: Spiegel; O'Brien (Pike 62'), Knoyle, Akinola, Page; Parfitt-Williams (Nasha 62'), Dobson, Cullen, Samuelson; Browne; Diangana (Makasi 62')

Unused substitutes: Hendrie, Howes

Fulham U21s

Line-up: Rodàk; Sheckleford, Hutchinson, Elworthy, Evans; Hyndman, Smile; O'Halloran, Kait (Adeniran 67'), Thorsteinsson (Humphrys 62'); Williams (Redford 80')

Unused substitutes: Dawber, Pino Soler

West Ham United U21s (4-4-1-1)
  • 1Raphael Spiegel
  • 2Joey O'Brien
  • 5Kyle Knoyle
  • 6Olatunji Akinola
  • 3Lewis Page
  • 7Djair Parfitt-Williams
  • 4George Dobson
  • 8Josh Cullen
  • 11Martin Samuelson
  • 10Marcus Browne
  • 9Grady Diangana
  • 12Stephen Hendrie
  • 13Sam Howes
  • 14Amos Nasha
  • 15Alex Pike
  • 16Moses Makasi
Fulham U21s (4-2-3-1)
  • 1Marek Rodàk
  • 2Ryheem Sheckleford
  • 5Shaun Hutchinson
  • 6Shane Elworthy
  • 3Jordan Evans
  • 8Emerson Hyndman
  • 4Josh Smile
  • 7Dean O'Halloran
  • 10Mattias Kait
  • 9Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson
  • 11George Williams
  • 12Andrew Dawber
  • 14Ian Pino Soler
  • 15Dennis Adeniran
  • 16Aaron Redford
  • 17Stephen Humphrys