- West Ham United PL2 were beaten 2-0 away at Aston Villa in Premier League 2 Division 2 on Monday night
- The Hammers welcomed back loan stars Reece Burke and Kyle Knoyle
- Terry Westley said his players need to learn from the defeat
West Ham United PL2 need to understand that teams will not just roll over against them, according to manager Terry Westley.
The Hammers were beaten 2-0 by Aston Villa on Monday night, in a performance that didn’t quite match the high standards they set in the Premier League Cup victory over Leicester City two weeks ago.
A plus for Westley’s men was a return to action for defenders Kyle Knoyle and Reece Burke who both continued their rehabilitation from injuries suffered on loan at Wigan Athletic. There was also starts for Ashley Fletcher, Domingos Quina and Raphael Spiegel.
“It was a poor performance all round, we never quite got going and didn’t play with the intensity we have been. But that’s what happens when you work with young players,” said Westley.
“We played very well at Leicester and you think it’s just going to happen again. We have to understand you have to earn the right to get on the ball and make things happen – teams aren’t just going to roll over. We never quite got to that level at any stage of the game.”
After a tight opening twenty minutes, it was the home side who took the lead with virtually their first effort on goal. Callum O’Hare’s deep cross found Corey Blackett-Taylor at the back post and he nodded the ball past Raphael Spiegel.
The Hammers struggled to make use of their limited openings and Villa doubled their lead in controversial circumstances just before the interval.
Knoyle was adjudged to have tugged back striker Keinan Davis in the penalty area and Davis rolled the spot kick home to make it 2-0.
Westley’s players stuck to their gameplan in the second half and should have pulled a goal back when keeper Matija Starkic somehow kept out a powerful drive from Ashley Fletcher.
Fletcher hit the side netting with minutes to play but Villa held on for the three points and succumbed the Hammers to just their second league defeat of the season.
“I think we maintained our passing style in the first half and, strangely enough, I wasn’t too disappointed at half-time, apart from conceding two goals,” Westley added.
“We didn’t play with that same purpose in the second half and we didn’t pass the ball well enough. They scored the two goals and just sat back and made it difficult for us.
“Overall, it’s one of the first games this season where I’ve been disappointed with the players.”