Hammers Through To Cup Final

Ole Saue reports as Stephen Hendrie’s extra-time winner sent Terry Westley’s Under-21’s side to the Under-21 Barclays Premier League cup final.

The young Hammers will face Hull in the final, as The Tigers beat Huddersfield Town 4-3 on penalties after 120 goalless minutes.

Liverpool were huge favourites before kick-off, with Michael Beale fielding a strong team including first-team players Martin Škrtel – who later saw red – and Jon Flanagan.

The game started as a nightmare for the hosts as Liverpool’s Pedro Chirivella found the corner from the edge of the box to make it 1-0.

West Ham took command after half time, and could have scored several times in a couple of minutes.

Martin Samuelsen, currently on loan at Peterborough, was back in action for Westley’s side and kept impressing the Rush Green audience.

Heaven

Eight minutes after the break, Doneil Henry equalised with a close range finish past Adam Bogdan.

The game needed 30 minutes of extra-time to separate the two teams. Just before the extra-time break, Marcus Browne sent the home fans to heaven as he made it 2-1 with a close range shot.

Only five minutes later, Liverpool’s highly rated Shyi Ojo equalised as he chased a long ball before slotting past Raphael Spiegel.

The Hammers regained the lead the minute later, as Hendrie fired the ball into the top right corner from 20 yards.

Samuelsen was particularly brilliant for the hosts, and was involved with Škrtel’s dismissal in the 105th minute. First, the Slovakian international tripped the youngster. Škrtel reacted, indicating he felt the West Ham player had gone to ground too easily. Škrtel then pushed Samuelsen in frustration only to receive his second yellow card.

Browne was also, correctly, sent off for a second yellow card in the 120th minute.

After 10 nervous extra-time minutes at the end of the match, the West Ham fans celebrated as they reached a youth cup final for the eighth time in the club’s history.