Ademipo Odubeko 25, 48
Harrison Ashby 42
Olatunji Akinola 55
Emmanuel Longelo 87
West Ham United U23 v Queens Park Rangers U23
West Ham United U23s 5-0 Queen's Park Rangers U23s
West Ham United Under-23s made it three wins out of three in pre-season with a comprehensive 5-0 win over a youthful Queens Park Rangers U23s side.
With both teams’ Academies now well and truly ramping up for the 2020/21 season, it was excellent wing play from the Hammers which led to all four goals, with Ademipo Odubeko putting the Irons ahead after 25 minutes and Harrison Ashby adding to it just before half-time.
A blistering start to the second half saw the West Ham development squad extend their advantage through further close-range finishes from Odubeko and Olatunji Akinola and a low arrowing shot from Emmanuel Longelo.
The Hammers started brightly with Bernardo Rosa creating two presentable opportunities in the first five minutes.
Firstly, the Brazilian showed good persistence to win the ball on the touchline and lay off to our trialist, whose fierce first-time strike inside the area was parried away by the QPR ‘keeper.
Moments later, Rosa’s technical ability came to the fore with an inch-perfect through-ball which Sean Adarkwa attempted to flick towards the far post, but couldn’t get solid contact on.
It was the same combination which put the latter through on goal – albeit with an ever-narrowing angle. Adarkwa elected for a low near-post strike which clipped the post before going out of play.
The No9’s clever movement was proving a thorn in QPR’s side, and he enjoyed the next shooting opportunity with a quarter of the game gone, cutting inside his marker before curling over the bar from just outside the box.
It was his strike partner who gave the Hammers the lead moments later. After a storming run from Will Greenidge down the left, the wing-back’s low cross was coolly passed into the bottom corner by Mipo Odubeko.
Chances were beginning to flow again, and when a neat combination with Adarkwa put Odubeko in on goal two minutes later, only a fine stop from the QPR keeper’s legs prevented the Irishman from doubling the Irons' advantage.
That second goal did arrive moments before half-time when Harrison Ashby, sensing an opportunity from right wing-back, won the ball back high up the pitch. Clean in on goal, the Scotland youth international slid a composed finish into the net.
After introducing some fresh legs at half-time, Halajko’s Hammers started the second half in the same blistering manner they did the first.
Great credit goes to substitute Emmanuel Longelo for their third, with the left wing-back winning the ball in his own half, exchanging passes with Adarkwa and driving forwards. QPR were always back-pedalling, but it required an inch-perfect cross to reach Odubeko – and Longelo provided it for the striker, who tapped home from close range.
Seconds later and Adarkwa thought he might have had West Ham’s fourth, but having rounded the keeper, the No9 was pulled back for offside.
A fine team goal from West Ham then put further distance between the two sides. Ossama Ashley played a splendid pass on the half-volley to Odubeko, who exchanged passes with Louie Watson before playing it across goal for Olatunji Akinola to tap in unmarked.
Greenidge had a good chance to add a fifth soon after, nipping in front of his man when Watson played a square ball along the box, but the full-back slid his shot just wide of the far post.
As both teams continued to shuffle their packs, chances began to slow up, but the Irons were still grateful for Gonçalo Cardoso’s fine last-ditch challenge just when the visitors looked certain to score from close range.
While QPR pressed higher up the pitch, West Ham always looked dangerous on the counter, and Mesaque Dju almost grabbed his third goal of pre-season, only to see his low prod at the near post beaten away from goal.
A beautiful measured pass from Ossama then put Odubeko in on goal for his hat-trick, but checking back onto his right foot inside the area, his curling effort was well palmed past the far post.
Longelo concluded matters by putting the gloss on a fine individual and collective performance with yet another surging run into the box, smashing an arrowing left-footed finish across the goalkeeper with aplomb.
West Ham United U23s: Jinadu (Roach 78); Ashby (Longelo 45), Baptiste, Akinola (Okotcha 64), Cardoso, Greenidge, Rosa (Forson 61), Lewis (Ossama 45), Trialist (Watson 38), Adarkwa (Dju 64), Odubeko
Goals: Odubeko 25, 48, Ashby 42, Akinola 55, Longelo 87