West Ham U23 0-0 Aston Villa U23 – Match Report
Author: Brian Knox. Published: 28 January 2017 at 10:41pm
Fixture: West Ham U23 v Aston Villa U23 Result: West Ham U23 0 – 0 Aston Villa U23
Venue: Chigwell Construction Stadium (Dagenham & Redbridge FC)
Competition: Premier League 2
Kick-off: 19:00, 27/01/2017
Attended and written by Craig Podevin
I visited the Chigwell Construction Stadium with my friend Alex after we’d both intended to watch our youngsters progress in the PL2 league and watch a few of our youngsters, mainly Toni Martinez and Marcus Browne (unfortunately they had both already joined Oxford and Wigan on loan) but some other players impressed and we were both pleasantly surprised with the football on show.
In the opening 10 minutes, the young hammers had created some good chances, the best of the spell being an excellent ball from Kyle Knoyle to Ashley Fletcher on the right wing, who got a corner from his low cross. From the corner, Reece Oxford headed just wide.
Aston Villa were the next to have an excellent opportunity, perhaps the best of the game when Villa’s striker Keinan Davis was through on goal after the defence left a gap in the middle, but Nathan Trott was alert enough to save and catch the ball in his gloves. This was really the only time he was tested in the game and we were glad he showed great composure to keep his nerve in that situation.
Our best chance from the game came from Ashley Fletcher holding up the ball with his back to goal in their box, playing it short to new signing from Everton Nathan Holland who had a shot that was well saved by the Swedish Villa goalkeeper Viktor Johansson. We found that he had good reactions and managed to save many shots from us throughout the game.
During the second half Villa dominated possession for the first 15 minutes, but were unable to make many chances thanks to a solid defensive effort and the midfield coming back to help. Declan Rice was somebody who really impressed, he won every aerial battle during the game and showed real quality to win many of his tackles and organise the defence.
The most threatening player was Jerrell Sellars for Villa, he was a silky dribbler and managed to find his way past a player sometimes but there was cover to prevent him from getting any further.
The players that really impressed me on the night for West Ham were:
Reece Oxford – a typically calm performance for arguably our brightest prospect in years. He always knew what he wanted to do when on the ball, was always leading the team and showed why he deserves to be in and around the first team squad. Played as a holding midfielder.
Declan Rice – A solid performance from the young central defender who was linked with Arsenal in December. Not much went past him, and when it did it was easily collected by his defensive partners or Trott in goal.
Vashon Neufville – Solid defensively and always looking to get forward. When he did get forward it looked promising.
Moses Makasi – Similar build to Kouyate, wearing the number 8 on the night you could have almost thought it was Kouyate playing. He was all over the pitch and wasn’t afraid of getting a tackle and running with the ball. Perhaps in the future he needs to give the ball to someone else rather than trying too much, but really impressive.
Dan Kemp – Personally Kemp was my man of the match, despite his small build he could hold the ball very well and use his body to shield. He loved running at players and put in some good crosses throughout the game. He always looked to get on the ball and was confident.
Domingos Quina – Although he wasn’t as exciting as I thought he would be, he regularly did the right thing with the ball and is a talented dribbler. Also our corner taker, he put in some great crosses that were begging for a header.
For Aston Villa, there has to be a mention for their goalkeeper who had brilliant reactions to save some of our chances. As a Sweden U19 international, it must be expected that he would be a good player and is a great prospect for Villa in the future. Also, Jerrell Sellars was a fantastic dribbler of the ball and his ball control was probably the best in the game.
It also has to be noted that for a Friday evening, the turnout for the game was excellent. It was my first U23 game and I’m very proud to say that there were plenty of fans in attendance. Also a mention to the Aston Villa fans I saw, to travel down from Birmingham for an U23 game is great commitment.
Lineup for West Ham: Nathan Trott; Kyle Knoyle, Declan Rice, Josh Pask, Vashon Neufville; Reece Oxford ©, Moses Makasi; Nathan Holland, Domingos Quina, Dan Kemp; Ashley Fletcher (4-2-3-1)
Subs: Tunji Akinola, Rihards Matrevics, Grady Diangana, Joe Powell, Noha Sylvestre
Lineup for Aston Villa: Viktor Johansson; Mitchell Clark, Kevin Toner, Riccardo Calder, Tom Leggett; Corey Blackett-Taylor, Callum O’Hare, Easah Suliman, Jordan Cox; Kienan Davis, Jerrell Sellars (4-4-2)
Subs: Joe Linley, Emmanuel Idem, Harvey Knibbs, Kelsey Mooney, Alex Prosser