Christian returned to the side to partner Cameron Carter-Vickers at centre-half after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, while Zenon – a midfielder from our Under-16s side – stepped off the bench in the closing stages to help ensure we stayed in front following Anton Walkes’ 80th-minute goal.
“It was good to see Christian Maghoma and Cameron Carter-Vickers back together,” reflected John, our Academy Manager.
“Christian has worked really hard to come back from his spell on the sidelines and he’s just stepped straight back into it, so I was pleased with him.
“We’ll try and do what we did last year and give the boys who are coming in next year an experience of youth team football before they actually come in, so Zenon Stylianides came on for his debut at quite a tricky part of the game – just after we’d scored.
“He was trusted to come on at an important stage and we were pleased with him, he finished the game in credit.”
John added that he was delighted with the way the whole team adapted to a slight tactical change at the Hammers’ Little Heath academy facility.
“I was generally very pleased,” he added. “We had a slight change of formation this week which suited the personnel that we had, and I thought the players adapted to that really well.
“We had a young side and I thought at times as you’d expect we were a little bit naive, but it was a tight game and we probably just deserved to win it on chances. It was a pleasing day.”