Brown double downs Clarets

Jordan Brown's second-half brace helped the Development Squad to a 4-0 pre-season victory at Chelmsford City on Friday evening
West Ham United’s Development Squad kicked-off their preparations for the 2015/16 Barclays U21 Premier League season with a comprehensive 4-0 victory at Chelmsford City.

On a sunny evening in Essex, Nathan Mavila’s well-struck first-half effort set Terry Westley’s young Hammers on their way at Melbourne Stadium, before Jordan Brown’s quickfire second-half double and Jaanai Gordon’s late goal put a gloss on proceedings.

Despite the Club having UEFA Europa League and first-team pre-season commitments to fulfil, Westley named a fairly experienced side for the trip to National League South side Chelmsford, with two trialists sprinkled in among Development Squad regulars Amos Nasha, Brown and former City loanee Gordon.

Also on show were Reece Oxford and Josh Cullen, fresh from making their senior debuts for the Hammers in the recent Europa League first qualifying round win over Andorran outfit FC Lusitans.

The first half was a cagey affair, with the home side arguably creating the better of the chances without finding a way to goal.

The Clarets’ best chance fell to floppy-haired forward Hugo Skepelhorn, but West Ham’s on-trial goalkeeper was out in a flash to deny the striker with his body.

At the other end, left-back Sam Westley almost became an unlikely first scorer on the night, but his snap-shot from Mavila’s lay-off was acrobatically tipped over by home stopper Ashley Timms.

Shots flew over the crossbar at both ends, while the corner count rose regularly, but true goalmouth action was largely at a premium until Mavila struck in spectacular style seven minutes before the break.

The left-sided midfielder collected a short corner, exchanged passes with Cullen before weighing up his options and lashing inside the far post from 18 yards with his weaker right foot.

The second half was a slow burner, with only a long-range effort from Bricknell to show for the opening 15 minutes.

Westley opted to make five substitutions on the hour-mark and one of the replacements, Marcus Browne, turned provider a short time later when he laid on a pass for Brown, who slotted neatly under the onrushing goalkeeper.

Two minutes later it was 3-0 to the visitors as Brown collected a loose ball 25 yards out, beat his marker using pace and power and slammed a shot through Timms and into the net to complete a very satisfactory night’s work.

There was still time for Gordon to head substitute Jahmal Hector-Ingram’s cross against the post before converting the same player’s low centre with six minutes remaining.

Development Squad: Trialist, Knoyle (Page 60), Oxford (Onariase 46), Pask (Akinola 60), Westley, Trialist (Browne 60), Cullen (Makasi 46), Nasha (Dobson 46), Mavila (Neufville 60), Brown (Hector-Ingram 73), Gordon

*You can catch highlights from the Development Squad’s pre-season match at Chelmsford City on West Ham TV this weekend! To watch for free, sign-up or log in now!