West Ham United: Holland strike saves Hammers

By Brian Jeeves in Football

West Ham United Under 23’s 2-2 Leicester City Under 23’s

Brian Jeeves reporting from Victoria Road

A GOAL from Nathan Holland four minutes from time earned West Ham United’s under 23’s a share of the spoils from an entertaining Premier League Cup Group E clash with their Leicester City counterparts at Dagenham & Redbridge’s Victoria Road ground.

In a competitive encounter, Admiral Muskwe fired the Foxes ahead with a crisp finish after six minutes. However, Declan Rice quickly restored parity with a neat flick following a flag-kick from the left.

The impressive Muskwe restored the visitors lead in first half stoppage time after seizing on some hesitant defending before racing clear and dispatching low beyond West Ham goalkeeper, Raphael Spiegel.

Joe Powell’s effort was ruled out by an assistant’s flag as the Hammers started the second period strongly. However, it took until five minutes from time before the home side drew level again. Holland’s speculative strike, fizzed up over the fully extended Leicester keeper, Daniel Everson, before nestling in the corner of the visitors net.

Hammers academy boss, Terry Westley, was delighted with his side’s performance, saying: “Again, we played some really good stuff and we dominated the game from start to finish. We created a lot of opportunities but we weren’t clinical enough.

“In the defending third we gave away too much and two goals was too many for me.

“It’s a good point because Leicester don’t get any closer to us in the little league format of this group and now we turn our attentions to Monday when we take on Nottingham Forest in this competition.

Westley added: “A win would have probably guaranteed us a place in the last 16, and if you score two at home, you probably expect to win so we’re disappointed with the two we let in.”

“I felt as long as we kept playing our football and didn’t resort to going long or get desperate, (we would equalise). “We were saying that from the sideline.

“If you keep doing the right things and keep probing, eventually you get your rewards and it was a good goal from Nathan Holland. He just used the defender to bend it and it was a good finish and a good goal by Declan earlier in the game.

“Nathan’s settled well and we have a good group who have welcomed him and think he’s talented. He’s shown his quality in training and again tonight he has shown flashes.”

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