U's beat West Ham thanks to John-Joe brace
The U's have beaten a West Ham development squad 2-1.
A first half double from John-Joe O’Toole at the Weston Homes Community Stadium gave Richard Hall’s squad a two goal advantage at the break and it was enough to win the game.
Freddie Piquionne did get a goal back for the Hammers in ht second period but the U’s comfortably saw out the final half hour to run out winners.
And it was the home side who were on the offensive from the opening minute, with Drey Wright having a shot blocked before a couple of challenges prevented Merrick James-Lewis getting a shot away.
Both sides had half chances in the first twenty minutes but the best chance fell to the U’s on eighteen minutes.
Jordan Sanderson pounced on a mistake but was unable to beat Jake Larkins in the Hammers’ goal when through 1 v 1.
The U’s did beat Larkins on twenty six minutes, with O’Toole striking a lovely shot from the edge of the box after cutting in onto his right foot.
Returning from injury, O’Toole doubled the lead three minutes later, with an equally good strike.
A Sanderson free kick looped off the wall and O’Toole watched the ball drop carefully, before unleashing a left foot volley past Larkins.
The U’s continued to ask questions of the young Premier League side, but couldn’t convert their chances into goals.
Nwachuku, Gilbey and Sanderson all had efforts at goal in the final ten minutes of the half but the score remained at 2-0 thanks to O’Toole’s double.
The visitors came out for the second half in a much more determined mood, but the home side defended well and prevented any clear cut chances in the early stages.
Just before the hour mark, the Hammers did get a goal back but it was thanks to a gift from the U’s.
Alex Gilbey was given a pass from Carl Pentney under pressure and his attempt at a return ball to the U’s keeper was way short.
Piquionne touched the ball past Pentney and rolled it into the empty net to make the score 2-1, with just over thirty minutes remaining.
The rhythm of the game was broken up by a flurry of substitutions, including the enforced replacement of Matt Heath.
It looked like the centre half had damaged a hamstring as he fell to the ground and he limped off to be replaced by Billy Roast.
Roast was joined by fellow youth teamers, Macauley Bonne, Tom Lapslie, Michael O’Donoghue and Jack Simmons at different times in the second half.
Towards the end of the game, Bonne had a volley wide and other efforts from Sanderson and Olufemi ensured that the play was predominantly at the West Ham end.
The whistle blew on a very good exercise for Hall and the U’s, with the only negative being the injury to Heath.
U’s: Pentney, White(O’Donoghue), Heath(Roast), Hamilton(Lapspie), Olufemi, James-Lewis, O’Toole(Bonne), Sanderson, Gilbey, Wright, Nwachuku(Simmons).