Hammers defender Burke returns to action

Reece Burke returned to action for West Ham’s development side on Monday evening.

Burke played the first half of the match against Aston Villa at Walsall’s Bescot Stadium, where the Hammers lost 2-0.

The defender, 20, returned to West Ham for treatment last month after suffering a hamstring injury while playing for Wigan against Norwich – a fortnight after joining the Championship club on a season-long loan.

Kyle Knoyle, who also picked up an injury after a loan move to Wigan, played the entire 90 minutes – and gave away a penalty.

The hosts went ahead midway through the first half when an unmarked Corey Blackett-Taylor headed in after being set up by the impressive Callum O’Hare.

Keinan Davis doubled Villa’s lead from the penalty spot just before the interval after he was pulled back by Knoyle

West Ham would have pulled a goal back with nine minutes remaining had keeper Matija Sarkic not produced a superb save to deny Ashley Fletcher at point-blank range.

Sarkic also kept out a powerful strike from Domingos Quina, and Fletcher fired into the side netting in injury time.