Tom Robson

Youngsters complete Hammers double

by Neville Pilkington

Robson and Ledger on target for U18s.

West Ham U18 0 Sunderland U18 2

Leaders Sunderland continued their push for the play-offs by completing the double over West Ham with a super away win.

They still have to beat Tottenham and Liverpool in the remaining fixtures - both at home - and that's a tall order but on this form they must have a good chance.

The young Black Cats opened the game well and took the lead after 25 minutes when right full back Michael Ledger scored his first goal at this level.

The ball was played to striker James Stinson who flicked on to find Ledger who had made a great run forward, and the defender finished calmly under the keeper.

Ten minutes later, the Wearsiders doubled the lead when Tom Robson (pictured) finished a delightful five-man move of fast passing to fire across the keeper.

The rest of the half found the visitors largely on top, playing well in spells, and keeping their shape to still be in control at the break.

In the second period, West Ham had greater possession but couldn't break down a solid visiting defence which came under severe pressure in the final stages.

Only two magnificent blocks by Tom McNamee and Tom Beadling together with a great save by keeper Peter Burke kept a clean sheet.

But this whole final passage of play summed up in a nutshell the attitude and desire of this side to make certain they emerged as winners.

Coach Craig Liddle said: "Overall I was very pleased especially in the first half and we kept our discipline well in the second to take the points."

Sunderland: Burke, Ledger, McNamee, Beadling, Sukar (Blinco, 85), McCarthy (Greenwood, 80), Agnew, E Robson, T Robson, Holland (Honeyman, 45), Stinson.