Westley pleased despite defeat

  • West Ham United PL2 were beaten 3-0 away at Brighton and Hove Albion on Monday
  • The Hammers had the lion's share of possession and created more chances
  • Boss Terry Westley said his side "did lots of good things" despite being beaten

Terry Westley was pleased by his side’s performance in terms of possession and chances created, despite being beaten 3-0 away to Brighton and Hove Albion in Premier League 2.

The Hammers were aiming for three successive victories in the league, but came unstuck on the south coast, despite dominating possession and shots on goal.

A double from Aaron Connolly and an unfortunate Declan Rice own goal made it a frustrating evening for Westley’s men.

“It was a tough night and we haven’t had many this season,” Westley declared. “In many ways, we did good things. We dominated large parts of the game, first half was 60-40% possession to us and in the second half we had 70-30%. We had more shots, more corners, more crosses. But in both boxes we weren’t quite good enough.

“We got caught with a long ball down the pitch for the first goal and then it became a real challenge at half time. I said to the boys, if you’re as good as what we believe, as a team and individually, you’ll rev it up now and pull it back.

“Then there was an own goal and their player put a great cross in for the third goal, but we still had lots of chances to get back into the game. It was one of those frustrating, horrible nights where in both boxes we haven’t quite done well enough.

We dominated large parts of the game, first half was 60-40% possession to us and in the second half we had 70-30%. We had more shots, more corners, more crosses

Terry Westley

“We weren’t clinical enough on our crossing, not clinical enough on our finishing and we should have come away from the game 0-0 at best.”

The Hammers went behind inside ten minutes when Connolly latched onto a long ball and found the bottom corner of Nathan Trott’s goal.

The away side didn’t shy away from their slick passing style and created a number of chances to equalise – Moses Makasi couldn’t quite divert Dan Kemp’s cross into the net and Marcus Browne shot wide as the Hammers tried their utmost to get back into the contest before half-time.

However, Brighton doubled their lead shortly after the break when Rice headed into his own net and sealed the victory when Connolly finished well 15 minutes from time.

Despite the defeat, Westley maintained pleasure at his side’s possession stats after the match and urged his players to stick to their philosophy, which has seen them dismantle a number of teams this year.

“We can’t be too angry – when you’re the developer, you can’t go into the dressing room and steam into people because they’ve lost possession of the ball when you’re asking them to take the ball, make passes and be creative and expansive.

“We’ve played Brighton three times now and they’ve caused us problems. They’ve sat deep, put banks of four against us and on the counter attack caused us problems when we are stretched.”