Moncur winner beats West Ham
The U’s continued their winning run in pre-season, with a young West Ham side beaten 1-0 in front of a bumper Weston Homes Community Stadium crowd.
Over 6,600 fans came along, and saw George Moncur score the winner against his former club.
The goal came in the twelfth minute, with Moncur hitting a free kick into the top corner.
While the score gave the impression that it was a close game, the U’s dominated possession against what was effectively an U21s side.
Tony Humes had three players back after missing the weekend trip to Bishop’s Stortford, with Chris Porter and Matt Briggs starting and Sammie Szmodics on the bench.
Porter was straight into the action, almost getting in on the end of a George Moncur pass but the U’s striker was deemed to be a yard offside.
That came within a minute of the start and it was the U’s who were having the better of the early stages.
Gavin Massey had a dangerous cross cleared and then curled a shot wide after cutting in from the right.
The U’s could and maybe should have gone ahead on nine minutes, with Alex Gilbey mistiming his header from eight yards out after Briggs had done well on the left.
They only had to wait three minutes more though, as George Moncur hit a free kick into the top corner to open the scoring.
Drey Wright had made inroads into the West Ham defence and eventually Porter was fouled, leaving the former West Ham midfielder to do the honours from the resultant set piece.
A wider free kick gave the U’s another opportunity to test the Hammers’ keeper, but Alex Gilbey’s effort flew well wide of the target.
The U’s were controlling possession but Alex Wynter had to be alert to head clear a header back into the box from a corner.
Gilbey had a chance to double the U’s lead on the half hour, but got his volley all wrong and the chance was gone.
The final chance of the half fell to Gavin Massey, but his effort from the edge was straight at the keeper and the U’s went in for half time 1-0 up.
The second half started with Elliott Parish making his first save of the game, tipping a low shot past the post after Mavila won a battle with Kane Vincent-Young.
That turned out to be the only meaningful action the U’s triallist had, and it was Humes’ side who maintained control.
Joe Edwards broke forward well but shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.
On the hour, Gavin Massey and Alex Gilbey combined to free Matt Briggs, but the full back’s shot flew wide from twenty yards.
Macauley Bonne replaced Porter on sixty two minutes and he helped release Gilbey one on one with the keeper.
Unfortunately, the U’s new vice captain had one touch too many and his close range effort was smothered by the advancing Spiegel.
Moncur and Wright made way for Sammie Szmodics and Dion Sembie-Ferris but the changes didn’t upset the U’s rhythm too much.
Massey regained possession high up but could only find the keeper and then he was denied again after cutting inside onto his right foot.
Szmodics almost added a second for the U’s a few minutes from time but his header hit the outside of the post and went away to safety.
The Hammers did have the final chance of the game, a shot over the bar, but it was the U’s who would have been the happier with the general control of the game.
A 1-0 victory didn’t really reflect their dominance and a more physical challenge will be ahead of the U’s on Saturday. With Orient visiting north Essex.