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Tuesday 31st October 2023
KO - 19:45
At Away
Rodney Parade
Newport County

Manchester City U21s 2-2 West Ham United U21s
Premier League 2, Joie Stadium, Saturday 30 September, 1pm BST

A resolute showing from West Ham United U21s at Manchester City saw goals from Callum Marshall and Gideon Kodua secure a point.

The Hammers move seventh in the Premier League 2 table, four points behind leaders Tottenham Hotspur, with an impressive performance in the defending champions' backyard.

A battle followed in the North West as the hosts started well. Indeed, West Ham needed Marshall to cancel out Kane Taylor’s early opener with his 12th goal of the season inside ten minutes. 

In the Hammers’ ninth competitive outing of the campaign, City would lead at the break as Josh Adam curled the hosts’ second past Jacob Knightbridge, although West Ham responded well in the second.

George Earthy and Lewis Orford both went close until the U21s’ second of an impressive performance in the North West salvaged a point.

Earthy won the ball brilliantly and allowed Orford to find Callum Marshall. The Northern Irish forward then left Kodua with a tap-in at the back post.

Late chances for Orford and Marshall meant the Hammers could have seen more than a point from their travels, although a draw was perhaps a fair result. Knightbridge, Laing, Luizão, and Kaelan Casey all played their part to stop City from finding a third late on.

Still, the Hammers extended their unbeaten run to eight matches (W6, D2) following consecutive draws in Premier League 2.

West Ham United U21s: Knightbridge, Chesters, Laing, Casey ©, Luizao, Scarles (Clayton 88), Kelly, Orford, Kodua (Moore 88), Marshall, Earthy
Subs not used: Terry, Forbes, Robinson

Goals: Marshall 8 Kodua 62
Booked: Marshall


Kodua: Inspired second-half showing deserved three points! 

Making their way out for the second 45 minutes, the Hammers looked up for it, determined to overturn the 2-1 deficit.

Part of an energised front three, Gideon Kodua led the press alongside George Earthy and Callum Marshall and saw their efforts lead to the Irons’ second of the afternoon.

Earthy won the ball with a brave tackle. Lewis Orford then found Marshall to leave Kodua with a tap-in. 

Kodua explained: “As a front three, sometimes we know when and when not to press. I think in the first half we got it a bit wrong but at the break, we spoke about it and got back to basics about who was going to press which player.

“They kept giving us the ball and it led to the second goal. It’s one of my favourite goals because it is such an easy chance.

“It was a good movement to create the chance. A good cross from Cal and a great tackle from George. It’s another good combination for the goal.

Gideon Kodua

“We can take a lot of positives from the game; especially how calm we were playing out from the back. And now it is about trusting each other to keep doing that.”

That will be the task for the Hammers next time out, although there is a bit of a wait until their next competitive outing at the end of October.

Leaving City with a point is a positive but Kodua was adamant the Hammers did enough to win against the defending champions.

“We left with something,” he added, “but the lads knew in the changing room we could have got more.

“Everyone was a bit frustrated and a bit down because we were really good in the second half, and we had enough chances to win the game.”


Potts wants lessons to be learned from Manchester City

Twice West Ham fell behind in the North West but twice they found an equaliser.

And while Steve Potts was pleased with the character his side showed to salvage a point, the lead coach was disappointed not to have taken the win.

"They've come up here and got a good result against a very good team," Potts added. "We've had to play a good game to get something, especially away from home.

Steve Potts

"I thought we passed the ball around nicely but Manchester City had a period in the first half where it become uncomfortable for us, controlled possession....and scored two goals, which we maybe could have done better with.

"We spoke at half-time and wanted to up that intensity and go toe-to-toe with them. We got the equaliser and maybe could have won it. We had some great moments in the second half."

Despite a positive result in Manchester, Potts has challenged his side to learn the lessons from the two goals conceded in the first half. 

The lead coach wants his team to take the positives as well as the negatives from the showing into their next competitive outing. 

Potts added: "It will be clear for everyone to look back and see what we have done well and what we haven't done so well at today. 

"There was a lot of stuff that was good and that has been the case over the last few weeks too. But there is some parts of the game that we have to improve on [ahead of Middlesbrough]."


Up Next

The U21s will next be in competitive action after the October international break.

The Irons will face Middlesbrough at Rush Green Stadium on Friday 27 October, with kick-off set for 7pm.

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