Westley proud of Dev Squad dedication

Terry Westley praised his players and staff for winning two games in three days
Terry Westley spoke of his pride for his players and backroom staff after the Development Squad secured their second win in three days with a 4-0 win over Exeter City U21s at St James Park.

The resounding victory, which sees the young Hammers progress to the Round of 16 in the U21 Premier League Cup, followed their 1-0 triumph over Swansea City U21 on Monday.

Reflecting on a highly productive 72 hours, Westley said: “We’ve had a really good Monday through to Wednesday. I’m really proud of the way the players, the staff, everyone has handled themselves throughout the trip, on and off the pitch. The kitman, physios, everyone,  has worked very diligently, I can’t praise them highly enough.

“The result of that hard work is that we’ve won a hard league game away at Swansea, in difficult conditions and have progressed to the next round of the cup with a 4-0 win over Exeter City. They’re really a Division Two team as a lot of their team has played league football. The centre-forward that played tonight is the leading goalscorer.

“So both games were two very difficult challenges, we’ve come through and managed to field a number of young players. At times, we played really well, we got through them because of good play, good football and a plenty of other times when we got round the back of them.”

The Hammers raced to an opening goal in just under eight seconds as Jaanai Gordon finished emphatically after Marcus Browne and Josh Cullen attacked from the kick-off.

Just ten minutes later, Gordon doubled his personal tally with a header from Djair Parfitt-Williams’ cross.  

Westley continued: “People might laugh, but at 2-0, it was a close game, they had a lot of the ball and were creating chances and if not for the back four and the keeper, it could have been a lot worse.
“Oxford did very well, particularly in the first half; he recovered extremely well when he lost it while Chambers put in some very important blocks.”

The Grecians had a number of chances to get themselves back into the game, however the Hammers stood firm and secured the win with late strikes by Parfitt-Williams and substitute Moses Makasi.

Westley’s side will now face either Fulham or Colchester United in the next round. The two sides play each other on Tuesday 8 December, with the round of 16 tie due to be scheduled in late December.

Westley finished off by saying: “We’ve now got a home game in the next round against either Fulham or Colchester United; we have a good opportunity to get to the quarter finals. Whoever we play will be a good game. Just like today we showed great determination, desire.

“I’ve said it before when we played well against West Brom, Stoke and Blackburn but didn’t get the results we deserved, now we’re getting what our performances merit and that is very pleasing.”