City bow out of the Under-21 Premier League CupLine-Ups
Exeter City Under-21: Hamon, Egan, Riley-Lowe, McCready (Pope 19’), Storey, Jay, Byrne, Nichols, Watkins, Tillson (Read 84’), Reid (Rosenwald 84’).
Subs: Keadell, Harkness.
West Ham United Under-21: Howes, Knoyle, Page, Dobson, Chambers, Oxford (Onariase 70), Diangana (Brown 83’), Cullen, Gordon, Browne (Makasi 76’) , Parfitt-Williams.
Subs: Brown, Pike.
Goals: Gordon 1’, 11’, Parfitt-Williams 81’, Makasi 87’.
Referee: Samuel Allison
TWO GOALS in each half for West Ham United Under-21s knocked the Grecians out of the Under-21 Premier League Cup at the Round of 32 stage.
City got off to the worst possible start as Jaanai Gordon fired the Hammers into a two-goal lead within eleven minutes. As the game opened up in the latter stages, goals from Djair Parfitt-Williams and Moses Makasi sealed West Ham’s place in the next round.
The Grecians named a strong team for the game, including a start for striker Jamie Reid, who was fresh off the back of scoring an equaliser for the first-team against Bristol Rovers last weekend.
West Ham came out of the traps quickly as they took the lead just ten seconds after kick-off. Jaanai Gordon, who scored five goals in ten games for non-league Chelmsford City last-season, received the ball inside the City area before blasting a fierce effort beyond keeper James Hamon from the right hand-side of Exeter’s six-yard box.
Gordon scored his, and West Ham’s second, ten minutes later. Midfielder Marcus Brown found Gordon with a cross from the right-hand side, who proceeded to double the Hammers’ lead with a close-range finish.
Exeter should have halved the deficit on the half-hour mark. Alex Byrne’s in-swinging free kick was headed back across goal by Jordan Storey, but Ollie Watkins could only find the side-netting of West Ham keeper Sam Howes' goal.
City began to find their way into the match towards the end of the second-half as Jamie Reid and Ollie Watkins both had efforts blocked, but some resolute defending from the away side meant that City trailed at the break by two goals to nil.
HALF-TIME: EXETER CITY UNDER-21 0–2 WEST HAM UNITED UNDER-21
In contrast to the first-half, the opening stages of the second-half produced relatively few chances as West Ham looked to consolidate their lead.
The first major chance of the half fell to City in the sixty-ninth minute. Some good work from Tom Nichols down the left-hand side was followed up by a Jamie Reid strike, but the City striker’s effort from a tight-angle never really threatened the West Ham goal.
West Ham United U-21 manager Terry Westley brought on defensive-midfielder Moses Makasi with fifteen minutes to go in order to protect the Hammers’ lead, but it would be West Ham that added the third goal of the game five minutes later. Following a spell of Hammers pressure, striker Djair Parfitt-Williams shot past James Hamon to put the outcome of the match beyond all doubt.
West Ham added a fourth shortly after, as substitute Moses Makasi cut in from the right-hand side before curling a shot beyond Hamon.
Three minutes of stoppage-time were added at the end of the game, but it wasn’t enough time for the Grecians to salvage a consolation goal. The defeat marks the end of Exeter’s Under-21 Premier League Cup run against a West Ham side captained by Reece Oxford, who undoubtedly have the potential to go all the way to the final of the competition.
FULL-TIME: EXETER CITY UNDER-21 0–4 WEST HAM UNITED UNDER-21
Man of the Match: Tom Nichols