Filed: Tuesday, 22nd April 2008
By: Staff Writer
West Ham United reserves ended their season with a 2-0 defeat against Arsenal at Barnet last night.
A win for Kevin Keen's side, coupled with an Arsenal victory over Aston Villa next week could have seen the Hammers lift the Southern title having pushed both sides all the way this season.
But the Hammers were all but beaten by half time thanks to goals from Arsenal youngsters Fonte and Wilshere who struck in the 24th and 34th minute respectively to extend the Gunners' unbeaten run to six games.
Jack Jeffery, who only recently returned from his loan spell with Cambridge United was in the Hammers line-up but failed to repeat his weekend goalscoring exploits - as was Jack Collison, who was left out of the first team squad at the weekend having made his full debut at Bolton the week before.
Arsenal - who featured first team squad players Abou Diaby and Armand Traore in their line-up (but not Johan Djourou who pulled out ahead of kick off) - opened the scoring through Rui Fonte after the former Sporting Lisbon youngster converted a fine through ball from Jack Wilshere.
Ten minutes later it was Wilshere himself who ended another fine move. Nacer Barazite's pass found the young English striker (repeat, English) out wide and the highly-rated forward curled an unstoppable effort into the corner of Marek Stech's net.
The defeat leaves the Hammers in second place in the table but should Reading win at Portsmouth tonight United will drop to third. However an Arsenal win against Champions elect Aston Villa next week would see the Hammers finish the season fourth in the table, albeit just three points behind the winners.
West Ham United: Stech, Spence, Payne (Ashman 88), N'Gala, Miller, Stanislas (Lee 76), Harvey (Edgar 66), Collison, Kearns, Jeffery, Stokes.
Subs not used: Street, O'Neill.
Arsenal: Mannone, Rodgers, Nordtveit, Ogogo, G Hoyte, Wilshere (Murphy 84), Thomas, Diaby (Sunu 42), Traore, Barazite, Fonte (Steer 73).
Subs not used: Szczesny, Murphy.
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