EFL Trophy
KO: 19:45
Memorial Stadium
Bristol Rovers FC
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West Ham United Under 21
Next Match
Tuesday 31st October 2023
KO - 19:45
At Away
Rodney Parade
Newport County

Bristol Rovers v West Ham United U21s
EFL Trophy, Memorial Stadium, Tuesday 19 September, 7.45pm BST

West Ham United U21s kickstart their EFL Trophy campaign for 2023/24 with a trip to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday evening.

The young Hammers have recorded five wins on the bounce in all competition but know a stern test awaits in Bristol.

Read on for our preview below:


Forbes: Bristol is a great opportunity to show what we can do!

One player hoping to feature against Bristol Rovers is Michael Forbes, who shook off a small knock to return to action in the Irons’ win over Celtic last time out.

And it was a pretty decent game to return for, with the Hammers running out 5-0 victors in East London.

“I am really happy to be back out there,” he stated. “I played in the first game of the season but then picked up a hamstring injury in training, which set me back a few weeks.

“It is a tough one to take but I have been away in the international break – and it is great to be back involved and winning. It was nice coming on when you’re 4-0 up!”

Forbes v Celtic

Of course, a fifth win on the bounce means there is plenty of momentum going into the U21s’ first EFL Trophy fixture of the campaign.

And Forbes is under no illusion to the task the Hammers face on Tuesday evening.

“It is going to be a tough game,” he added, “but the boys are up for it. We have got good momentum going there – but it will be a different test.

“It’s a men’s team and an EFL League One side as well so it will be a different type of opposition.

“I think all the boys are looking forward to it because it is one of those games you want to impress in.

“To prove you can play at that level so all the boys will be up for it and are really excited for it. It’s a great opportunity for everyone!”


Prenderville: A busy fixture list is important for U21s

U21s assistant coach Gerard Prenderville expects another ‘tough’ game as West Ham embark on their second game of a taxing week.

A 5-0 win over Celtic will be followed by a trip to Bristol Rovers on Tuesday, before the Hammers welcome Southampton to East London next Friday.

Three games in seven days is a challenge yes, but one that will only hold the U21s in good stead, according to Prenderville.

He stated: “We have got two really different games but two really tough games this week.

“But if we are going to get the boys through to the level, we believe they can play at they have got to get used to playing two or three games a week.

“It will be about making sure we are prepared on the training pitch and in the analysis room for Bristol Rovers so that the boys can go and deliver on Tuesday night.”

Gerard Prenderville


How did we do in the competition last year?

Since entering for the first time in 2016/17, when a 17-year-old Declan Rice started our inaugural tie at Coventry City, the furthest the U21s have gone in the competition was the Southern section round of 16, which the young Irons reached in 2017/18 and 2020/21.

Last season, West Ham United U21s finished on six points alongside the top two in Group C but, even after memorable wins over Cheltenham Town and Walsall, were eliminated from the 2022/23 edition on goal difference.


Who else will we play in the EFL trophy in 2023/24?

After Bristol Rovers, the U21s will then face League One outfit Newport County on Tuesday 31 October, before the group-stage finale at League One Cheltenham Town on Tuesday 7 November.

As per competition rules, West Ham will play all three group matches away from home, with the top two in each of the 16 groups going through to the knockout stages.

Tuesday 19 September - Bristol Rovers (A), 7.45pm

Tuesday 31 October - Newport County (A), 7.30pm

Tuesday 7 November - Cheltenham Town (A), 7.30pm

You can read more about the competition here.


Last Time Out

West Ham United U21s put on a comprehensive attacking display to comfortably beat Celtic B 5-0 in the Premier League International Cup. 

The comprehensive win means the development team have won two games out of two in the Premier League International Cup this campaign, having also beaten Valencia at Chigwell Construction Stadium last month by a 1-0 score-line.



Bristol Rovers currently sit 13th in EFL League One, with nine points from their first seven league outings of 2023/24.

Coached by former Premier League stalwart Joey Barton, Bristol Rovers won their first fixture of the EFL Trophy 4-1 against Cheltenham Town earlier this month.

They are unbeaten in their last three matches in all competitions.



Tickets can be brought at turnstiles or from Bristol Rovers' website. 

You can purchase tickets ahead of the day of the game here.


How to Follow:

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


Divin Mubama

Bristol Rovers 1-3 West Ham United U21s
EFL Trophy, Memorial Stadium, Tuesday 19 September, 7.45pm BST

West Ham United U21s produced a stunning comeback to beat EFL League One outfit Bristol Rovers 3-1 in the EFL Trophy and record a sixth straight win in all competitions on Tuesday evening.

With the rain pouring in Bristol, the hosts took the lead at Memorial Stadium, but it was all West Ham after Sam Finley found the bottom corner from inside the area with 24 minutes played.

The development side had chances to equalise through Patrick Kelly, Callum Marshall, and Gideon Kodua in the first half, but it was after the break that this talented group showed their class to stroll to a second win in five days.

The comeback was set in motion when Dan Chesters’ swashbuckling run won a penalty with 70 minutes played.

George Earthy then shaped to take the penalty, before handing the ball to Marshall, who found the bottom corner from 12 yards.

And a second quickly followed when Kodua found Earthy, who completed a quick counter-attack with a deft finish from inside the area.

But the Hammers weren’t done there and had chances to net a third too, despite Joe Anang preserving the lead with a string of superb stops.

By the time the game rolled into stoppage time, Marshall found the net from close range, poking the ball through the goalkeeper’s legs to secure a win that takes the U21s top of Group H in the EFL Trophy Southern Section.

West Ham United U21s: Anang, Chesters (Robinson 90+1), Laing, Casey ©, Luizao, Scarles, Orford, Kelly, Earthy (Moore 90+4), Marshall, Kodua (Clayton 90+4)
Subs not used: Knightbridge (GK), Forbes, Battrum, Nevers

Goals: Marshall pen 70, 90+3 Earthy 79
Booked: Robinson


Potts: We started to show our quality in the second half

Sam Finley’s goal left West Ham with work to do at the break but the U21s responded in impressive fashion.

Lead coach Steve Potts challenged his side to believe in their ability, play without fear, and attack the second half.

And, in truth, they did just that. Three goals – Callum Marshall (twice) and George Earthy on the scoresheet – and the comeback was complete.

“We weren’t performing like we have been in the first half,” Potts explained. “I felt the occasion had maybe got to us a bit.

“But in the second half, we got on the front foot, settled down, and started to move the ball like we have been.


“The equaliser was the key to the game. As soon as that went in, there was a massive uplift in belief from our team.

“They had chances after we went 2-1 up but we had chances as well. They are a good team, but I know we are a good team as well, I just wanted them to go and show that – and they did against a very good League One team.”

The quality needed to pull off that comeback should not be underestimated. The U21s held their own and took their chances clinically.

And best of all, the win moves the U21s to six wins on the bounce and top of their EFL trophy group, with fixtures against Newport County and Cheltenham Town to come, and Southampton next up in the Premier League 2 on Friday.

Potts added: “It’s a great competition for the U21s and a great experience for them to come up against League One teams.

“The beauty of this competition is that it gives us a three-game week. And if you are going to go on to play for our first team or go out on loan you need to get used to that and handle that.

“That is the other test. They have got to recover after tonight and a tough game on Friday and try and go again against Southampton.”


Divin Mubama