Arsenal v West Ham United
West Ham United U23s fell to a 3-0 defeat against their Arsenal counterparts in a tricky contest on Friday evening.
Two first half goals from Vlad Dragomir put the Gunners in control at half-time, and if not for a penalty save by Nathan Trott that lead could have been greater.
Grady Diangana and Toni Martinez saw efforts saved for the Hammers in freezing conditions at Boreham Wood, but Arsenal secured the win with a late finish through Eddie Nketiah in the second half.
It was the Hammers that had the opening effort of the game as Diangana fired a shot over the bar in the first minute, after the away side got forward from the opening whistle.
Risky play in the back-line, particularly from goalkeeper Matt Macey, almost allowed Martinez in as well but it was Arsenal that took the lead after six minutes. Dragomir’s header looped over Trott and into the far corner.
The England youth international was the hero just minutes later however as Arsenal were given the chance to extend their lead from the penalty spot. Eddie Nketiah’s effort from 12 yards was excellently saved by Trott down to his right.
Ben Johnson and Sead Haksabanovic came close to getting West Ham level with headers from corners, while Martin Samuelsen was brought down in the area only for the referee to wave away the penalty appeals.
Martinez saw a shot saved by Macey as well before Arsenal doubled their advantage. Dragomir grabbed his second on 36 minutes after a well-found ball put him in, allowing the Arsenal player to score.
The second period began in the exact same vein as the first with Diangana again having the opening shot of the half. This time the midfielder’s curling effort forced a decent save from Macey.
The Hammers were a more composed unit following the break and captain Moses Makasi came very close to getting the Irons back in the game, but his follow-up shot was over the bar.
Arsenal’s Da Silva took an effort, which Trott held well, but chances in the second half were scarcer as both sides battled in midfield.
But the Gunners secured all three points with their third goal in the 82nd minute as Nketiah fired home from close range.
Arsenal: Macey, Osei-Tutu, Bola, Sheaf, Pleguezuelo, Medley, Dragomir, Dasilva, Nketiah, Willock, Smith Rowe.
Subs not used: Gilmour, Keto, Amaechi, Eyoma.
Goals: Draogmir 6, 36, Nketiah 82
West Ham United: Trott, Johnson, Akinola, Wells, Longelo, Makasi, Coventry, Samuelsen, Haksabanovic (Hector-Ingram 52), Diangana, Martinez.
Subs not used: Powell, Matrevics, Rosa.
Bookings: Johnson 69, Akinola 79