Onariase delighted with a hat-trick of firsts

Manny Onariase's first goal helped the Dev Squad secure their first win and clean sheet of the season
West Ham United defender Manny Onariase spoke of his delight at his side’s 4-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers following a dominant performance at Rush Green.

The victory – the young Hammers’ first of the campaign – was particularly special for the towering defender who opened his account for the season, by bundling home Josh Cullen’s in-swinging corner. 

Speaking after the match, a clearly delighted Onariase beamed: “We’re all buzzing; it’s been a long time coming. We deserved it because we’ve been working really hard recently.

“We had a real togetherness and everyone worked hard for each other. We did everything collectively.”

 The south Londoner, who celebrates his 19th birthday on Wednesday, claimed an early present as it was not clear whether the last touch came off a Wolves’ defender.

Having seen a replay, Onariase wasted no time in taking full responsibility: “I’m definitely claiming that goal! I had three good chances before that so this one was bound to go in. I was pleased to see it go over the line.

“Myself and Reece (Oxford) are always the targets from corners and set pieces, the ball just seemed to end up with me all the time.

“This win is very important for confidence, after other games we’ve been getting down because we put the work in, the performances but not the results. That’s always hard to accept but its good we finally broke through that. That will give us the confidence we need in future games.”

On a night of positives for the Hammers, which saw Enner Valencia break the deadlock with a neat turn and finish on his return to full fitness, the Dev Squad also secured their first clean sheet of the campaign.

 “It was very important to get the first clean sheet of the season too. Terry (Westley) always says how important they are, if we don’t win matches then at least we won’t lose them. That’s something we’ve been missing all season. We’ve got to build on this now.

“I’d say today was up there with one of the best performances of the season but I actually think we’ve played and lost.”

Up next for the Hammers is another home game – against London rivals Fulham at the Boleyn Ground on Monday 26 September.

The Cottagers have started the season brightly and currently find themselves sixth in the Barclays U21 Premier League Division Two.

Looking ahead to the tough encounter, Onariase is confident his side will match their performance against Wolves: “It was a good performance and a much needed morale boost; we will build on from there.

“We’re all looking forward to the next game against Fulham next Monday.”