West Ham U23s stretched their unbeaten run to 14 games under Dmitri Halajko. The young Hammers beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 at Dagenham & Redbridge’s ground on Monday night while the senior side drew 0-0 with Aston Villa.
Halajko welcomed back a number of more experienced U23 players after the international break. But West Brom also fielded a strong side with first-teamers like Rekeem Harper and Chris Willock playing.
West Ham’s academy triumphed, though, in an end-to-end encounter. It was mission accomplished with two goals and a clean sheet. Here are three players who would have caught the eye in this game.
West Ham are blessed with some talented goalkeepers in the academy. But while Nathan Trott thrives on loan at AFC Wimbledon, Anang has the chance to prove his class in the U23 team.
The Irons needed the 19-year-old at his best last night and he made a string of fine saves to keep things tight. It was another clean sheet for the Ghana-born goalkeeper, who has represented England at youth level.
When Oladapo Afolayan headed out on loan, Anthony Scully was moved into a striker role. Sean Adarkwa is out injured and Xande Silva is still out so Scully is now the academy’s premier centre-forward. Naturally an attacking midfielder, the 20-year-old has transitioned into the striker role with aplomb.
Scully showed good movement last night and scored both of West Ham’s goals, taking his total tally to five in five games. The Republic of Ireland U19 starlet would have been kicking himself, though, as he missed a late chance to seal his hat-trick.
Halajko rested Joe Powell for this clash but brought him on at half-time with the Hammers struggling. The 20-year-old’s introduction had the desired effect as he grabbed two assists with a match-changing cameo.
The left-footed midfielder oozed class with a sublime through ball for Scully’s first and a perfectly-weighted low cross for his second. West Ham will be watching Powell closely because he is a naturally talented player.