Facing a 2-0 deficit at the break after goals from Paul McCallum and Elliott Lee, Steve Beaglehole’s side hit back brilliantly with excellent goals from Adam Dawson and James Pearson to level at 2-2.
The point was the least City deserved in an action packed game, which lifts them, at least temporarily into the top half of the table and extends their unbeaten run to five matches – three of those victories.
City’s young stars earned a glowing review from Development Squad boss Beaglehole at full-time. He said: “The lads were a credit to the Club with the way they performed, and the opposition were very complementary afterwards. They said we were the best team they’ve played all season, and they’ve played some real quality teams.
“We started sluggishly though and gave away a free kick then found ourselves 1-0 down after just three minutes, but after that we played really well. We were up against a very good West Ham side though, who were able to break and attack just as we did against Sheffield Wednesday last week.
“We managed to get on top and then right at the end of the first half we were dealt what felt like a killer blow, when the assistant flagged for a penalty.
“But after the break, gee whiz, we were terrific. It was incredible stuff from the lads. Adam Dawson pulled one back with a good finish and then James Pearson scored with a brilliant volley. He hit it perfectly, as sweet as a nut.
“It was pleasing for James because that’s just his second 90 minutes since returning from a long spell out, and he performed excellently against their left winger.
“It was a second half that we dominated. We hit the woodwork, had lots of chances, and at one stage we had seven consecutive corners, which tells you a bit about the pressure we were putting them under.”
With only one defeat to their name all season, the Hammers started well and found their feet as early as the third minute when McCallum bundled home a George Moncur free kick.
City were soon able to turn the tide but on the stroke of half time the referee pointed to the spot for a handball after a consultation with the assistant – Lee taking the chance to make it 2-0 from 12 yards.
In a second half that was for periods one-way traffic, City eventually made their breakthrough when the ball broke kindly for Dawson in a good position, who did well to control it and finish into the corner.
Pearson’s excellently struck right footed effort levelled at 2-2 to make certain City had something to show for their efforts, but despite an entertaining finish, they couldn’t quite manage a third and were made to settle for a point.
West Ham: Howes, Driver, Chambers, Harney, Shaw, Lletget, Moncur, Fanimo, Whitehead, McCallum, Lee
Subs: Maguire, Bater, Miles, Bywater, Burke
Goals: McCallum 3, Lee 45
City: A. Smith, Pearson, Elder, Watson, Sesay, Kennedy, Dawson, Cain, Panayiotou, Dodoo, Barrington
Subs: Frempah, J. Smith, Anton, Paratore
Goals: Dawson 61, Pearson 76