Match Reports

MU21s narrowly beaten by West Ham

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Duffus and O'Mahony on target in 3-2 defeat.

By Charlie Hanson • 27 February 2023

By WHUFC/Arfa Griffiths
Jamie Mullins went close in at the beginning of the second half.

Our men’s under-21s were narrowly beaten 3-2 by West Ham in Premier League 2 on Monday night despite goals from Josh Duffus and Mark O’Mahony.

In a goalless first half, West Ham's Keenan Appiah-Forson blazed over from 12 yards after half an hour before going close with a lovely low effort towards the bottom left corner, only for the ball to hit the post.

Jamie Mullins fired over from 12 yards before Luca Barrington ran at the Irons’ defence, cut it onto his left and looked to curl it past Krisztián Hegyi, but Kaelan Casey read the danger and blocked the effort.

The visitors started the second half off with a spring in their step with Mullins firing over before Hegyi pulled off a wonderful save to tip Jack Hinchy’s strike from the edge of the box away from goal.

West Ham responded with the opening goal of the game. Albion only half-cleared Freddie Potts’s free-kick into the box and Kamarai Simon-Swyer volleyed in smartly six minutes after the restart for his sixth of the Premier League 2 campaign.

They doubled their advantage just after the hour when Divin Mubama calmly slotted past Fynn Talley, but Shannon Ruth’s team were soon back in it thanks to substitute Duffus.

By WHUFC/Arfa Griffiths
The under-21s went into the game off the back of a 4-2 win over Blackburn.

Having started the move with Talley, Albion quickly switched it into their front men as O’Mahony flicked the ball through for Duffus to run onto and slot past Hegyi.

Mubama looked as if he had his second of the evening and West Ham’s third when he squeezed an effort under Talley with ten minutes to play, but the goalkeeper managed to pounce on the loose ball just before it crossed the line.

The sliding doors moment of the evening came just after. Sam Packham saw his low striker cleared off the line by Appiah-Forson, before West Ham countered and the Albion defender was adjudged to have brought down Mubama. The contact was minimal, but it made no difference as Mubama got up and slotted the penalty home to restore West Ham’s two-goal cushion.

Having fired in his first goal in Premier League 2 earlier, Duffus then provided his first assist in the third minute of added time as he powered to the by-line before pulling it back for O’Mahony to slot home – the Irishman’s first goal in the competition.

Albion were unable to utilise their momentum in the final two minutes of stoppage time, and they remain in ninth place.

Albion: Talley, Nilsson (Packham 74), Samuels, Kavanagh, Jackson, Hinchy © (Duffus 69), Baker-Boaitey (Wilson 74), Everitt, O’Mahony, Barrington, Mullins.

Unused subs: Cahill, Shann.