Southend United 1-3 West Ham United U21 – Reaction
It was another case of learning the hard way for Mark Molesley’s Southend United side as they slipped to an EFL Trophy defeat at the hands of West Ham United’s impressive under 21 side at Roots Hall Stadium.
Ademipo Odubeko fire the Hammers into a second-minute lead. However, want-away striker, Stephen Humphrys thundered home from thirty-yards to bring the Sky Bet League Two side level.
Humphrys saw his penalty saved by Hammers stopper, Joseph Anang shortly before the break and that eventually proved costly as Odubeko thumped restored West Ham’s advantage late on before Conor Coventry secured the East Londoners success with a stylish third in stoppage-time.
“There were some harsh lessons for us to learn again and some brutal moments for us, but that’s what we need at the moment,” the Blues boss explained.
We’re continuing to learn and we’ve had to manage the group in this game being so early on in pre-season and having played Saturday, so it gave us a good chance to look at all of the squad and to use the depth of the squad to its maximum.
“We’ve had a good look at everyone, we’ve learnt a lot of lessons and for that youthful side that we put out there today. That’s what they need on their journey, they need to be learning. There are certainly some positive parts and there are some bits that we need to improve on.
“We’re still in build-phase, it’s still early days. There’s plenty of positives – Nathan Ralph completing 45 minutes after a long time out – and we got to build on the fitness of the lads that didn’t play on Saturday. We’re looking to improve all the time and we’re learning every day, and as long as the lads keep showing the right attitude and application we’ll keep continuing to learn and grow as a group.”
Meanwhile, Hammers Coach, Dmitri Halajko, offered an honest assessment of his sides performance, adding: “I thought the first half we were pretty poor. A really close, tight game, but I don’t think we were at our best, and obviously, a great penalty save got us to half-time level.
“In the second half, I thought we upped our game, were the more dominant team and probably deserved the win overall.
“They barely had a shot on our goal and we had some chances that maybe we could’ve converted, and then we scored a couple of wondergoals late on. I think we were good for the win based on our second-half performance.”