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

West Ham United U21s v Everton
Premier League 2, Rush Green Stadium, Friday 1 September, 7pm BST

West Ham United U21s continue their Premier League 2 campaign when Everton travel to east London on Friday evening.

The Irons seek to stretch a winning run to four matches following recent triumphs over SunderlandValencia, and Leeds United.

With eight goals across their last three matches, Steve Potts’ men will be confident ahead of their fourth PL2 outing of the season.

Read on for our preview below:


Potts: It’s important we kick on now!

It is important to continue the winning momentum into the U21s’ last fixture before the September international break, according to lead coach Steve Potts.

The Hammers will host Everton on Friday evening, before a two-week break ahead of their next fixture due to the September internationals.

The Toffees is the challenge for the U21s, then; the task is to record a fourth win on the bounce.

Steve Potts

Positives can of course be taken from recent victories over Sunderland, Valencia, and Leeds United, although Potts believes there is more to come from his side despite a 5-2 win at Elland Road last time out.

He stated: “They have shown how they can play but I think they can play better. I have seen glimpses or patches in games where I have thought: ‘Yeah, that’s good.’ But I am yet to see them do that for 90 minutes.

“That has to be the aim to produce that quality for longer periods of the games and it is just putting it together now.

"I think that will come as the season progresses but, for us, it’s about controlling the match in-possession more and passing the ball with the purpose of hurting the opposition [throughout the game].”


Chesters' form key to attacking output

Speaking after training this week, Dan Chesters agrees with the lead coach and is heading into Friday’s fixture against Everton full of confidence.

The young wing-back has started each of the Irons’ last three victories across all competitions, playing his part in both an attacking and defensive sense.

Seeking a third straight clean sheet on home soil, Chesters stated: “We had a good week’s training and are heading into the game against Everton with a lot of confidence.

“All the lads have come back buzzing after a few days off and are ready to give it everything on Friday.

“I think we have a couple more levels we can get too. We had so many chances against Leeds and should have scored more.”


On a personal level, there is no doubt Chesters has been impressive at U21 level this season.

The 21-year-old featured in the summer tour to Australia, and now has his sights set on more action at the senior level this term. The new wing-back position one he is looking to make his own long-term.

He added: “I don’t mind wing-back because you have that time and space to take players on.

“You have a lot of influence on the game as you see a lot of the ball, more of the ball than when you are on the wing. I just want to keep showing what I can do in that position.”


Last Time Out

A third win on the bounce came the way of West Ham United U21s who ran riot at Elland Road on Friday evening.

Steve Potts’ men swept past Sunderland and Valencia in recent victories and quickly had Leeds United in their sights in their third PL2 outing of the campaign.

Goals from Kaelan Casey and Ollie Scarles, alongside a hat-trick from Callum Marshall, saw the Hammers impressive win at Elland Road.


It has been a difficult start to the Premier League 2 season for Everton U21s.

Coached by Paul Tait, the young Toffees have lost two of their opening three fixtures, picking up a sole point in a 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough.

Heavy defeats to both Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion mean Everton will seek a response in east London. The Hammers will hope to deny them just that.



Tickets are available to buy from the turnstiles on Friday evening. U18s are priced at £1, while Adults tickets cost £5.


How to Follow

We will have a live blog on the Club website, with report, reaction, and highlights to follow shortly after the full-time whistle.


Divin Mubama

West Ham United U21s 3-1 Everton
Premier League 2, Rush Green Stadium, Friday 1 September, 7pm BST

Four wins on the bounce now as West Ham United U21s came from behind to beat Everton at Rush Green Stadium on Friday evening.

After an early strike from Everton’s Katia Kouyate, who found the bottom corner from close range, the Irons responded impeccably after the break to secure the victory.

Shaking off a sluggish first half, the U21s pulled level through a curling strike from Lewis Orford, who left goalkeeper Billy Crellin stranded as he found the bottom corner.

Ollie Scarles continued to threaten down the left to see Callum Marshall fouled inside the area, with Toffees’ skipper Ryan Astley receiving his second booking of the night – and sent off – for a clumsy challenge.

Marshall then struck his fifth goal in his last three Premier League games from the spot to give his side a deserved advantage.

And chances continued to fall to those in east London, before Gideon Kodua headed home a game-settling third from close range.

At times it wasn’t pretty from the U21s, but finding a way to win is a pleasing trait, and one they have shown in abundance over the past fews weeks.

Plenty of momentum then, as the young Irons head into the September international break, sitting fifth in the Premier League 2 table, as it stands.

West Ham United U21s: Knightbridge, Chesters, Laing (Tarima 90+3), Casey © , Luizão, Scarles, Kelly (Appiah-Forson 88), Orford, Kodua, Marshall (Moore 81), Earthy (Robinson 88)
Subs not used: Terry (GK)

Goals: Orford 48 Marshall pen 67 Kodua 84


Orford's first PL2 goal of the season leads the comeback

A moment of magic was needed with the young Irons trailing at the break.

And let’s face it, if you want the ball to drop to any on the edge of the area, then Lewis Orford is well and truly up there.

A free-kick maestro, Orford, as he has repeatedly shown in training, has a fair shot on him too.

Tonight, was no different. The bottom corner was found. A sweet strike to set the comeback in motion.

Orford explained: “It’s my first goal for the U21s this year, so hopefully I can get a few more. As soon as I got it out of my feet I knew where it was going.

“It was big moment to get our first goal. Gerard Prenderville [U21s assistant coach] and me practice that a lot in training and he always talks about getting that shot right.”

From that moment on, it was all West Ham. Callum Marshall converted a penalty, before Gideon Kodua wrapped up a fourth win with a header late on.

Confidence is high then, the U21s are a happy camp.

“It’s a great feeling winning four on the bounce,” Orford added, “but we have to keep that mentality going now. We showed character to bounce back and win the game, so it is good to get the win.

“Steve said: ‘We needed a reaction in the second half,’ and I think we showed that. We communicated a lot better after the break and we gelled more and got the three goals to show for it. We won the game and that is the main thing.”


Potts: Second half showing was a really pleasing response

A strong second-half showing that saw three goals for the U21s was the highlight of the evening, according to lead coach Steve Potts.

The former Hammer was disappointed by his side’s performance in the first half but was proud of the way the U21s reflected at the break – and then bounced back.

Potts said: “We were a bit reactive rather than being on the front foot in the first half, but in the second half it was the opposite.

“We were more together and we didn’t give them anything in the second half. It was then about if we could create in-possession and the early goal helped that…as we got the equaliser and then we dominated a lot of play.”

Four wins on the bounce – and three wins from four in the PL2 - is great feeling for the lead coach too.

But Potts has challenged his side to keep pushing to a higher and higher level.

There is a two-week break for the September internationals, but the lead coach wants his side to maintain those levels against Celtic on Friday 15 September.

“They are a really honest bunch,” he added. “When you give them some information, they are really receptive to it.

“When you have a slow start, you need one or two to get the team going. The message after the game was that games will slip away from you if you start like that as you go higher up the levels.”


Up next

Following a break for September internationals, it is a little while before the U21s are back in action.

The U21s will play Celtic in the Premier League International Cup. The fixture will be played at Chigwell Construction Stadium on Friday 15 September. Kick-off is set for 7pm.

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