West Ham’s U18 side sealed second place in the U18 Premier League South Divison after a 4-1 win away against Crystal Palace on Tuesday.

West Ham forward Josh Ajala scored a fantastic hat trick, the first of which he curled straight into the top corner from the edge of the eighteen yard box, before firing home his second of the game from close range. He sealed his hat trick late in the match thanks to excellent work from Emeka Adiele.

Finley Marjoram was on the score sheet for Crystal Palace and Dan Rigge was the other goalscorer for West Ham. The Hammers win away to Palace confirmed a second place league finish regardless of what happens in the season’s finale at home against Spurs this Saturday.

Speaking to the club’s website after the game, U18’s assistant coach Lauris Coggin was full of praise for the young Hammers performance, labelling the 4-1 win as a ‘really professional’ performance. Discussing the number of excellent displays, Coggin picked out the performances of Jethro Medine and Emeka Adiele from both an attacking and defensive perspective in their roles as wing backs, as well as of course the hat trick hero Josh Ajala.

“I thought it was a mature performance with and without the ball” said Coggin. Going on to add: “We got the goals in the first half and then got our bodies behind the line in the second half to get the win.” Discussing Josh Ajala’s outstanding display, scoring his second hat trick of the season, Coggin said: “Josh showed his quality again today and he puts so much effort into training. He is a player that is delighted to score goals and we’re all happy to see him do so.”

West Ham’s U18’s finish their 23/24 campaign at home against Spurs this weekend. Kick off at Little Heath Training Ground will be at 11am on Saturday.