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Newport County v West Ham United U21 – leasing.com Trophy – Rodney Parade
Newport County 4-5 West Ham United U21
WEST HAM UNITED’S under 21 team staged a remarkable fightback to get their leasing.com Trophy campaign off to a winning start at Sky bet League Two highflyers, Newport County.
Following swiftly after the east Londoners first team had dispatched host’s, County, from the Carabao Cup, the Hammers hopefuls were handed an opportunity of their own to shine at the Welsh clubs Rodney Parade ground, and they didn’t disappoint.
Nevertheless, at the halfway point, things looked bleak for West Ham. Anthony Scully had given them the lead inside the opening minute. However, goals from Tristan Abrahams, Corey Whitely, Lewis Collins and Ryan Hillier handed the Exiles a seemingly unassailable 4-1 advantage at the break.
A collectively honest half-time pep talk saw an altogether more determined Hammers side come out for the second period.
“We were really disappointed at half-time in ourselves. We didn’t do ourselves justice, but we still felt that if we got to the level we were capable of, we could get something out of the game, and we managed to do that,” Lead Coach Dmitri Halajko, told www.whufc.com
“Lots of things were said at half-time. We all looked at ourselves, and we all took responsibility.
“The first thing we spoke about was the acceptance that we weren’t good enough, and the next was the realisation that we’re so much better than that – and then we spoke about what we were going to do in the second half to show it.”
Joe Powell, Veron Parkes, Kai Corbett and a second from Scully saw West Ham stage a miraculous recovery to win 5-4 in a match which will live in the memories of the league, but enthusiastic, gathering numbering just shy of 600.
“The mood in the dressing room at full-time is a lot better than it was at half-time,” Halajko added.
“The lads are extremely happy – and they should be, they deserved it. There aren’t many nights in anyone’s football career where you’re 4-1 down at half-time and you end up winning 5-4 – that’s Roy of the Rovers type stuff.
“I’m proud of their bravery in the second half; the bravery to come out at 4-1 down after playing so badly in the first half, to then come out and be brave to get on the ball, be brave to take the game to them, and to have the spirit to believe.”
Newport County: Nick Townsend, Daniel Leadbitter (Capt), Kyle Howkins, Marvel Ekpiteta, Elis Watts, Lewis Collins (Ryan Inniss 59’), Taylor Maloney, Matty Dolan (Ioan Evans 45’), Dom Jefferies, Corey Whitely, Tristan Abrahams (Ryan Hillier 20’) Subs not used: King, Labadie, Sheehan, Inniss
West Ham United U21s: Joseph Anang, Will Greenidge (Sam Caiger 45’), Ben Johnson (Capt), Josh Okotcha (Keenan Forson 45’), Reece Hannam, Bernardo Rosa, Alfie Lewis, Dan Kemp, Joe Powell, Veron Parkes (Kai Corbett 71’), Anthony Scully Subs not used: Krisztian Hegyi, Kamarai Swyer, Jake Giddings, Sebastian Nebyla
Referee: John Busby
Attendance: 581 (25 from West Ham)