FA Youth Cup 4th Round
Team: Middleton, Harriman, Waters, Ehmer, Bailey, Olley, Bewick, Sutherland, Cox, German, Molloy.
Subs: Miles, Parmenter, Doughty, Nanetti, Graham.
I met up with Mark near Upton Park Station and also had a quick word with Alan Barnes about the behind-closed doors friendly against Luton earlier in the day. We paid a very reasonable £3.00 at the turnstile and received a team sheet. There was a good turnout of travelling R’s fans in the crowd of 972. The only change to the team sheet was Jack Middleton in goal as Jon Miles had apparently suffered a back strain. With Niki-Lee Bulmer injured, Middleton had previously made his debut for the U18’s against Barnet at the age of 15 in October.
You could say that the first twenty minutes were scrappy, but in fact Rangers were competing for every ball and making it very difficult for the home side to get going. The R’s were clearly frustrating West Ham and nearly took the lead when Sam Bewick went on a great run from midfield, evaded a couple of tackles, nearly lost the ball but it ricocheted off a West Ham defender, then continued and his shot was well saved by Peter Loveday. A few minutes later West Ham took the lead when the ball was knocked wide of Michael Harriman and Montano coolly slotted the ball into the net from close range. This goal opened the game up and I think it was Daniel Bailey who received the first yellow card in what was to be a busy night for the referee, when he appeared to pull one of the opposing players over.
A few minutes later, Frankie Sutherland was booked and the resulting free kick into the box was screwed wide thankfully. Antonio German was in possession in a good wide-right position but play had to be halted because Sam Bewick was lying injured, presumably for an off the ball incident ? He then left the field to receive some treatment. The home side had a good opportunity when Michael Harriman attempted to clear the ball but headed it down towards a West Ham player who then belted it over the bar. A few minutes before half time, Aaron Waters conceded a free kick just outside the box and close to the bye-line. Robert Hall stepped up and his curling free kick took a deflection on its way into the top corner. After two added minutes the referee blew his whistle to signal half-time.
West Ham had the best of the opening stages and Steve Gallen decided to bring on Christian Nanetti for Javonne Molloy. A long ball was played in to Antonio German and although he didn’t fully connect with it, he still forced a corner. With the R’s still trying to find a way back into the game, a second change was made with the introduction of Michael Doughty at the expense of Frankie Sutherland. But it was the home side who scored next and was effectively their match winner. With around 15 minutes of normal time remaining, a long cross was flicked in from close range by Montano.
Max Ehmer and I think Antonio German were handed yellow cards and ‘Bags’ Graham came on for Elliott Cox. Christian Nanetti burst through the middle and his powerful shot unfortunately bounced off Loveday’s chest. As the temperature continued to drop below freezing, Daniel Bailey received a second yellow from referee H.Lennard and therefore his marching orders. Jack Middleton made an outstanding save to deny the Hammers a fourth goal. There were four added minutes before the final whistle.