Beyond the first team: weekend round-up

  • by Staff Writer
  • Monday, 17th January 2022

West Ham United's Under 18s, Under 23s and Women's tam were all in action over the course of the weekend - with all three going unbeaten.

In contract to the first team, who were disappointingly beaten at home by Leeds United, the 23s and Women secured important draws while the 18s extended their run of wins to five in a row thanks to a comfortable victory against London rivals Arsenal.

Recent arrival Marshall was on target again

The youngest of our three teams rose to fourth in the U18 Premier League South Division courtesy of a 3-0 demolition of a much-changed Gunners side on Saturday morning. Regan Clayton, recent arrival Callum Marshall and Gideon Kodua all registered for Kevin Keen's side with all three goals coming in the second half.

Clayton opened the scoring shortly after the interval with a well-taken effort from the perimeter of the penalty box which he curled into the top corner. The lead was doubled 16 minutes from time when Irish forward Marshall scored his second since arriving in England last month.

And with just four minutes of normal time remaining, Kodua adding the icing on the cake finishing with conviction from close range.

“We’re delighted with that,” said assistant coach Mark Phillips. “I thought they [Arsenal] were the better team in the first half, but in the second half we made a few adjustments and it came to fruition, which was good.

And with regards to West Ham's latest recuit Marshall, Phillips added: "Callum has done really well. He works really hard. He’s not only a goal scorer, he’s really important for the team as well.

“He’s scored two goals in two games so that’s not a bad ratio for a striker, and he has a lot more than that to his game as well."

West Ham Utd: Knightbridge, Robinson, Tarima (Falase 83), Casey, Forbes, Clayton, Woods, Earthy, Mubama, Marshall (Kodua 80), Orford (Scarles 72)

Subs not used: Terry, Evans

Goals: Clayton (55), Marshall (75), Kodua (85)

Meanwhile Mark Robson's Under 23s, who went into the game top of Premier League 2 Division 1 were held to a 1-1 draw by the same opponents - who they'd beaten 6-1 earlier in the campaign - when they met at Meadow Park on Friday evening

With Conor Coventry back in the team following his early return from Peterborough United, where his season-long loan spell was cut short, plus the likes of Harrison Ashby, Sonny Perkins and Dan Chesters, all of whom have tasted first team football in recent weeks, the Hammers went into the game in good shape.

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Home again: Conor Coventry

And the Irons took advantage of their strength when Keenan Forson put West Ham ahead with just nine minutes on the clock after rounding Arsenal 'keeper Hein following a defensive error.

However Kevin Betsy's Gunners were to ultimately earn a share of the spoils when levelling five minutes ahead of the half-time interval as Hegyi's fumble allowed Edwards to convert from no more than a yard or two out.

And they've could've even snatched the win at the end, but for substitute Odubeko's header off the line from an Arsenal corner in the dying embers.

“We’re a little bit disappointed,” confessed manager Robson, speaking to the club's website. “We didn’t get going tonight. We were really sloppy on the ball and we gave possession back to Arsenal too often.

"I thought Arsenal were really good, and showed loads of energy, and we didn’t. We probably had a couple of really good chances to win the game but, on reflection, I’m happy with the point but I’m not happy with the overall performance.

“The boys have set the standard now and they need to maintain that. We need to be consistent, and we didn’t do that in this game which is disappointing. But we come away with a point."

West Ham Utd: Hegyi, Ashby, Longelo, Ekwah, Laing, Alese, Chesters (Swyer 90+2), Coventry, Perkins (Obubeko 65), Forson, Okoflex (Nevers 65)

Subs not used: Rosa, Terry

Goals: Forson (9)

Finally a last-gasp header from Kate Longhurst was good enough to secure a point for Ollie Harder's Women's team at Tottenham on Sunday evening.

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Longhurst celebrates her late equaliser

Rosella Ayane’s 54th-minute penalty gave the hosts a lead they rarely looked like losing against a Hammers side reduced to ten, following the dismissal of Hawa Cissoko for a second bookable offence. It was a bad day at the office for the French defender who also conceded the spot kick moments earlier.

However Longhurst was on hand to convert in the second minutes of added-on time at The Hive Stadium to secure an important point for the Hammers, who moved to within a point of 7th-placed Brighton with a game in hand.

“We didn’t come here for the draw, we came here to win, but we’ll take the point," said manager Harder, speaking after the game. "That’s four out of six against Spurs this season.

"It certainly wasn’t the most beautiful game of football and we knew we weren’t going to be at our best, so for us it was about resilience - and it obviously made it even more challenging going down to ten players.

" We had two regular midfield players away and we’ve really only been training for the last seven or eight days. It really showed today, so to come away with something was a big plus."

West Ham Utd: Leat, Fisk, Cissoko, Flaherty, Longhurst, Stringer (Wyne 46), Snearle (Parker 67), Brynjarsdottir, Svitkova, Evans, Walker (Filis 85)

Subs not used: Moore, Joel, Cairns, Garrad, Houssein

Goals: Longhurst (90+2)

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