WHO Poll

Tanner 9:50 Tue May 16
PL2 playoff final
Currently winning 2-1, both cracking strikes by Martinez

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Sarge 9:42 Wed May 17
Re: PL2 playoff final
Great stuff

Shame they don't get a chance to do a lap in front of a crowd at the OS.

Athletico Easthamico 9:09 Wed May 17
Re: PL2 playoff final
Raphael Spiegel

Solid, could have maybe done better with the goal by clearing out the man rather than letting the header come back across. Other than the goal, he wasn't tested too much but showed great hands when needed. 7

Kyle Knoyle

Consistently bombed forward at every opportunity he could and his end product was always a threat. Was tested by the pacy Fernandez in the final half hour but held up very strongly. 7 (played even though he knew he had been released)

Declan Rice

Didn't make a single mistake all evening, the Young Hammer of the Year. One outstanding piece of defending against Heardman in the second half was elite standard. The boy will go far. 9

Olatunji Akinola

Started nervously but grew into the game really well alongside Rice. Did the dirty work well and was very composed. 7

Noha Sylvestre

Struggled to get forward as much as usual, took a whack midway through the half which affected him badly and was subbed off just a minute before the break. 6

Moses Makasi

Did exactly what he needed to, which was to shield Dobson when he went to win the ball. A very solid presence in the midfield and didn't look flustered once. 7

George Dobson

Fantastic display as he controlled the West Ham midfield. Brought so much composure to the central area, played the ball simply and effectively. Brilliant vision to set up Martinez for the equaliser. Very, very good. 8

Dan Kemp

Absolutely ran his socks off all night long down the right hand side, a real bundle of energy. Unlucky not to get on the scoresheet because he deserved a goal for sure. 8

Martin Samuelsen

Did too many tricks in the first half and didn't play it simple enough. Completely different player after the break though as he drove the Hammers forward more often than not. 7

Nathan Holland

A peripheral figure for the majority of the game. Tried his best by darting into midfield off his wing but it had little effect and he was subbed on 54 minutes. 6

Antonio Martinez

Didn't figure much in the game until he got his big chance two minutes before the break and he smashed it home. Clinical. Then, ten minutes into the second half, he pinged home another. What a star he is going to be. 9


Stephen Hendrie (for Sylvestre, 44')
Defensively excellent. Didn't pose much of a threat going forward but he wasn't really needed. 7

Grady Diangana (for Holland, 54')
Made a massive impact as he brought so much pace and energy down the West Ham left. A real threat for the time he was on the pitch. 7

Joe Powell (for Martinez, 85')
Gave the ball away a couple of times which invited unnecessary pressure but defended well. 6

Athletico Easthamico 8:59 Wed May 17
Re: PL2 playoff final
Tiny Dan Kemp stood tall for West Ham and Declan Rice will be a star - U23s talking points

A number of Hammers youngsters put in stunning displays

By Sam Inkersole

West Ham U23s were victorious and thoroughly deserved it

He might be small, but Dan Kemp is a big time player

The Hammers winger can't be much taller than 5ft 4in and you suspect when the opposition left back sees him, they will think they are in a field day.

But, they would be wrong. So very, very wrong.
Kemp has a heart and also an engine that belies his diminutive stature. He is so hard to shrug off the ball, he isn't brushed aside easily and his low centre of gravity makes it tricky for defenders.
He was brilliant against Newcastle and he was equally good at Wolves as well. In the two games, the little man has been the one who stood tall and was counted the most when West Ham's backs were against the wall.

Toni Martinez really is the real deal

The Spanish striker was playing his first game in ten weeks after injury and he certainly looked rusty in the opening exchanges at St James' Park. His touch was a bit off, he wasn't making runs and he had a shot which went 20 yards over the bar.

But, one pass made the difference and it was from midfielder George Dobson, who got Martinez in behind the defence for the first time, two minutes before he scored the opener.

Toni Martinez scored twice for the Hammers
That gave Martinez the confidence he needed and the next chance he had - bang - it was past the Newcastle stopper Nathan Harker before he knew it.

Then, Martinez had his second chance on 59 minutes and yet again, he was so, so clinical as he smashed home from the edge of the box. One touch - woof - it was in.

He scored 15 goals in 14 games for the PL2 side and when the likes of Jonathan Calleri and Ashley Fletcher are really struggling, it's a surprise we haven't seen Martinez in the first team.

Declan Rice is a natural born leader

If you watched the game at St James' Park, you won't recall Declan Rice making a single mistake all night. Not one.

He was imperious and showed exactly why he was Young Hammer of the Year this season. Terry Westley claimed the centre back was the best player in PL2 division two this season and it'd take something special to try and disprove that.

Rice has pace, strength, energy, leadership, commitment, passion - everything you want from a West Ham player. If anyone deserved to lift the shield on Tuesday night, it was him.

The step up now is incredible for the Hammers
Now that promotion is secured, the Hammers are in Division One of the PL2, they enter European competition and also, the Checkatrade Trophy next season.

On the horizon are Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham acadamies. West Ham were a big fish in division two but no more, they will be the small fish in the top flight.

It may need a change in ethos on the loan system and we could see the likes of Josh Cullen, Reece Burke and Reece Oxford not heading on loan next year but the U23s will be better for it.

Far Cough 12:41 Wed May 17
Re: PL2 playoff final
Martinez, 14 goals in 14 games, outstanding

Bilic, start him on Sunday

Baggins 8:31 Wed May 17
Re: PL2 playoff final
Terrific achievement from the kids, well done all involved.

The top division will be very difficult next season. Will be interesting to see how they get on.

normannomates 2:11 Wed May 17
Re: PL2 playoff final
Martinez is the real deal.

We poached Dobson from the Arsenal..high hopes for him also.

Personally hoping Declan Rice gets a crack..captain of the side

terry-h 11:33 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final
Stephen Hendrie played the second half of the match,after returning from his loan at relegated Blackburn Rovers.

Apparently he gave Martinez a double-kiss at the final whistle.

Iron2010 11:31 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final
These lads need to be given a chance. The attachment to expensive journeymen is a joke

Takashi Miike 11:07 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final
well done to the boys, hopefully Martinez will get a chance next season

Hammer28 10:56 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final
Unsure on the ruling for coming back from a loan and playing again. Be a shame if he can't as be good to travel with first team etc then be around pre season and see how he gets on.

Hammer28 10:54 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final
Quina was not in the side tonight. Dobson had good game but struggled in early part of the season on loan in league 2.

Another massive showing for Martinez especially first game back from injury.

Certainly deserves a place on the bench on Sunday.

Sir Alf 10:47 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final
Great win.

Eddie B 10:31 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final
George Dobson with another great game, and made another yet goal. He should be given a chance this kid.

Far Cough 10:31 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final

stoneman 10:27 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final

Tanner 10:27 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final
Winners 2-1

Mr Anon 10:16 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final
Martinez can't play for us, didn't return in the window

defence 10:15 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final
Agreed also Holland and one of the CBs.

Far Cough 10:14 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final
He should and Quina

defence 10:12 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final
Can Spanish Tony play for the first team on Sunday?

Iron Duke 9:54 Tue May 16
Re: PL2 playoff final
It would be great for them if they can win. 30 minutes to go.

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