Terry Westley’s U23s were downed by a sublime Villarreal B Side in Group F of The Premier League International Cup last night, to leave the starlets with little chance of progressing.
The visitors, who defeated Benfica B on Matchday One, got off to a flying start and never really gave our young Hammers time to recover as promising striker Adrian Dalmau netted three times.
From the start, Terry Westley had made four changes to the Side that defeated Sunderland in The North East last week as Rihards Matrevics replaced Nathan Trott in goal, Ben Wells came in for Alex Pike, Vashon Neufville replaced Martin Samuelsen and Conor Coventry came in for Dan Kemp.
In the absence of those aforementioned young stars, who were mostly away on International duty, we would struggle against the might of The Yellow Boys.
The Villarreal Xl, headed by a team of Assistants after the departure of Manager Javier Calleja to the Senior Squad, included the likes of danger man Dalmau, and bright charges Simon Moreno, Quintilla and keeper Diego Fuoli.
The Yellow Submarine made themselves known right from the off at The Chigwell Construction Stadium and led after just seconds, as Coventry was dispossessed in midfield allowing an attack from the visitors.
The ball eventually fell to Adrian Dalmau who provided the finishing touch to the move with a superb finish past Matrevics to give the 2015/2016 PLI Cup Champions a very early lead.
Matrevics would soon be called on again by Dalmau but this time he would be able to pull off a smart save to deny him.
At the other end, Nathan Holland’s fantastic run just didn’t quite have the right delivery to find Antonio Martinez. The Spaniard was playing against his former Club.
Minutes later, the away Team would double their advantage and it would be that man Dalmau as he would beat Matrevics in a one-on-one situation yet again, against the run of play.
Despite being unlucky to be two goals down at the Break and the best efforts of Nathan Holland to play us back into the game in the early second period, Dalmau would soon claim a converted hat-trick.
The forward was on hand to convert the rebound of a shot on 69 minutes and virtually dump our starlets out of the Competition very early on as they have now made it PL International Cup successive victories to top Group F.
Next up for The Yellow Boys will be a home Segunda Division Group Three tie with Hercules as they look to continue their sparkling form.
Meanwhile, next time out, the Hammer starlets will welcome Manchester United to The London Stadium in The Premier League Two Division One on Sunday 15 October.
However, will morale be too low heading into the tie despite sitting fifth in The League? Or, will Westley’s Boys come roaring back after last night’s disappointment?