Nathan Trott, Djair Parfitt-Williams and their West Ham United Premier League 2 teammates recorded a 2-0 victory over Leicester City in the opening round of fixtures of the 2016/17 Premier League Cup which was their best performance in a long, long time according to assistant manager Liam Manning.
Trott Kept a Clean Sheet
West Ham were in scintillating form in the Group E match held at Loughborough University, outfoxing Leicester City from minute one.
Marcus Browne gave them the lead just before the hour mark with a delicate flick from a Vashon Neufville cross before Domingos Quina produced a moment of pure magic from 50 yards to seal the win.
‘We were terrific start to finish. Their [Leicester’s] coaches were very complimentary to our players and that speaks volumes for how we played today,’ said Manning.
‘It’s the best I’ve seen a West Ham group since I’ve been at the club that’s for sure.
‘I think if you look in previous games we’ve created lots of chances but at times not got it in the box quick enough or been clinical with the finish.
‘Every day we work on these things and today it showed the extra work we’ve been doing has paid off.’
West Ham won this competition in dramatic style last season after a thrilling penalty shootout victory over Hull City and they picked up where they left off in some style.
Terry Westley welcomed back Reece Oxford at the heart of the defence, partnering Declan Rice, and Jaanai Gordon came in for the injured Toni Martinez. Dan Kemp also made West Ham’s starting eleven after impressing from the substitutes bench over recent weeks.
The opening 20 minutes followed a similar pattern from West Ham’s previous fixture – the 0-0 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion in Premier League 2 – lots of possession and ball retention but little in the way of goalmouth action.
Alex Pike almost netted on half an hour after wonderful build-up play by Browne and Kemp and this proved the catalyst for Westley’s men to completely dominate the rest of proceedings.
Gordon and Parfitt-Williams both went close before half-time and West Ham carried on into the second half with added cutting edge.
They took the lead just before the hour mark – Browne sprayed the ball wide to Neufville who returned the ball with a delightful cross. The West Ham No10 managed to flick the ball past Leicester City’s keeper Daniel Iversen to cause rapturous celebrations amongst the visiting players.
Then a moment that would deserve to win any football match – Domingos Quina spotted Iversen off his line and from 50 yards produced a stunning lob which dropped just underneath the crossbar and into the top corner.
It gave West Ham a two goal cushion and they could have easily made the result more comfortable with a host of chances in the final twenty minutes.
Terry Westley’s players were well worth the three points and they open their Premier League Cup account with three points thanks to Browne and Quina’s stunning piece of skill.
‘The fact that he’s seen it with his vision and awareness is amazing. He’s still only 16 and he’s still got lots to work on but today he produced a moment of magic to get people out of their seat,’ added Manning.