Westley happy players stepped up

Terry Westly
  • West Ham United PL2 drew 1-1 with Northampton Town in the Checkatrade Trophy
  • The Hammers won an extra bonus point thanks to a 3-2 victory on penalties after 90 minutes
  • Terry Westley was very pleased with his team's display

Terry Westley praised his players for stepping up to the challenge as the PL2 Hammers drew with League One Northampton Town in the Checkatrade Trophy.

The Hammers knew they could not qualify from the group stage but travelled to Sixfields aware of the importance of a good performance, and they delivered against experienced opposition.

They went a goal behind when Harry Beautyman drilled in from the edge of area, but responded just before half-time when Djair Parfitt-Williams finished after a lovely team move.

The Hammers then went on to win the bonus point after the draw in 90 minutes, winning 3-2 on penalties, meaning Westley's men finished third in Southern Group D of the newly-formatted competition.

"For us to play Monday against West Brom in the league and then to play Nottingham Forest on our travels in the Premier League Cup and play again today against league opposition. It's where these players need to be," said Westley.

"Tonight was the biggest challenge of the three. We asked the players to dominate the game but we didn't want to get in a physical battle with them."

"We ended up with seven youth team players on the pitch and we kept trying to play, kept moving the ball around and it was a pleasing performance. Some players stood up for themselves against a good team."

The Hammers always looked the more threatening of the two sides but went behind after 23 minutes after conceding from a set-piece - their achilles heel in this year's competition. 

After failing to clear a free-kick, the loose ball found Beautyman who gave Raphael Spiegel no chance in the West Ham goal.

The Hammers stuck to their slick passing style and equalised five minutes before the interval when Parfitt-Williams dinked the ball over the Cobblers' goalkeeper David Cornell.

The away side dominated possession in the second half and defended resolutely to restrict their opponents to very little. They could have easily stolen the three points when Dan Kemp fired over in stoppage time.

Kemp made amends in the following penalty shootout, scoring the spot kick to give West Ham the lead, before John-Joe O'Toole missed the decisive penalty, meaning the Hammers went home with the bonus point.