By Connor Armstrong
Emile Smith-Rowe scored twice as our under-18s eased to a comfortable win against West Ham at London Colney on Saturday.
The winger opened the scoring with a calm finish after being slotted in by Yassin Fortune, with the French forward spotting his colleague in acres of space.
Joe Willock could also have got himself on the scoresheet, only to power an effort against the top of the post.
Robbie Burton doubled the lead with three minutes remaining with a snapshot from inside the area, before Smith-Rowe seized on a defensive lapse to add a third.
SETTING THE SCENE
Joao Virginia started in goal with Daniel Barden on the bench.
Jordi Osei-Tutu, Kostas Pileas, Daniel Ballard and Tolaji Bola lined up as the back four.
Marcus McGuane and captain Charlie Gilmour were paired in central midfield, with Smith-Rowe and Zech Medley on the flanks.
Fortune led the attack, with Willock playing behind him.
We started on the front foot and looked to make immediate headway as Willock and Medley exchanged passes on the edge of the area, with the former thumping against the post from a tight angle.
The deadlock was broken before the interval, with Smith-Rowe charging through on goal and stroking past Richard Matrevics.
Kwame Ampadu’s side pushed for a second before the break, but were thwarted by the Hammers.
A second goal did eventually come, but not until three minutes from time at the end of the second period.
Burton found himself at the centre of a classic case of right place, right time as he fired home.
Smith-Rowe found the net once more before the final whistle, intercepting a poor pass from a West Ham defender before converting calmly.
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