Southend United 1-3 West Ham United U21
Southend United provided West Ham United’s under 21 side with a tough test, but ultimately, it was the quality in depth on display for the Premier League outfit which shone through during the latter stages of this punchy EFL Trophy tie at Roots Hall Stadium.
The opening period was played at a decent tempo with a competitive edge and It was a lightning start from the Hammers youngsters. Ademipo Odubeko seized on some hesitant defending before ruthlessly rifling beyond Blues stopper, Harry Seaden, from fully twenty-five yards.
Seaden palmed out another Odubeko effort soon after as the East Londoners looked to put further daylight between the sides, but it was Southend who were next to strike – Stephen Humphrys switching onto his left foot, then thundering high past Joseph Anang with another strike from a sizable distance.
Sean Adarkwa tested Seaden at the foot of his near post, but Southend were more than holding their own. Harrison Ashby was clumsy on the marauding Terrell Egbri. However, Anang dived low to his right to rebuff Humphrys’ resulting spot-kick.
Matt Rush tested Anang as the home side were first to threaten after the restart. The Hammers now looking a little more tentative to the side which had made that explosive start.
But West Ham responded – Mesaque Dju should have done better, nodding the wrong side of an upright after arriving unchallenged. Meanwhile, Ashby found himself in the book following a bone-crunching challenge on Harry Kyprianou as the aggressive nature of the contest remained visible, although some of the early quality had taken a back seat.
Akinola’s header was too high as West Ham began to turn the screw. But with six minutes remaining Odubeko reacted swiftly before fizzing another stunning strike past Seaden to restore the visitors’ lead with his second of the evening.
West Ham finished strongly. In stoppage-time skipper, Conor Coventry, supplied a delightful lobbed finish after more naive defending from the League Two side had left keeper Seaden in no man’s land.
Southend United now turn their attention to the start of the Sky Bet League Two season, facing newly-promoted Harrogate Town at Roots Hall Stadium on Saturday, September 12 (3pm).
Southend United: Harry Seaden, Nathan Ralph (Elvis Bwomono 46’), Stephen Humphrys, Terrell Egbri (Charlie Kelman 73’), Lewis Gard, Harry Phillips, Eren Kinall, Matt Rush, Richard Taylor, Miles Mitchell-Nelson, John White (Capt) (Harry Kyprianou 46’) Subs not used: Callum Taylor (GK), Jordan Green, Brandon Goodship, Oliver Coker
Goals: Stephen Humphrys 13’
West Ham United U21: Joseph Anang, Mesaque Dju, Oladapo Afolayan (Bernardo Rosa 69’), Ademipo Odubeko, Olatunji Akinola, Harrison Ashby, Conor Coventry (Capt), Sean Adarkwa, Emmanuel Longelo, Ossama Ashley, Jamal Baptiste Subs not used: Joshua Roach (GK), Goncalo Cardoso, Alfie Lewis, William Greenidge, Louie Watson, Kai Corbett
Booked: Harrison Ashby (foul), Bernardo Rosa (foul)
Goals: Ademipo Odubeko 2’, 84’, Conor Coventry 90+1’
Assistants: M. Holmes and L.Crowhurst
Fourth Official: P.Lister
Reaction to follow….