West Ham U23s held to stalemate by Barnet



West Ham United U23s continued their pre-season with a hard-fought 0-0 draw away to Barnet. 

The Bees put up a stern test for the Irons at The Hive, with the experience of the National League team proving a challenge for the Hammers. 

Nathan Holland enjoyed West Ham’s best chance from open play, seeing a powerful effort from close range excellently saved, while Anthony Scully also missed from the penalty spot. 

The result means West Ham are now unbeaten in four pre-season contests, and have another two to play before the season opener against Tottenham Hotspur in two weeks.

A tense opening 45 minutes began with the home side enjoying the best of the possession, with Barnet finding the back of the net on 12 minutes with a looping finish from Medy Elito. However, the midfielder had been ruled offside before the ball went into the goal. 

The scare seemed to spark West Ham into life and Jahmal Hector-Ingram saw an attempt from just inside the box go over, having crafted some space after a ball from Alfie Lewis. 

The striker would earn the Irons a great chance to take the lead on 34 minutes, winning the Hammers a penalty after some good footwork in the area. Scully stepped up to take the spot-kick, but the midfielder’s attempt to the right was smartly saved by Barnet’s Mark Cousins. 

Having missed the chance to go ahead, Liam Manning’s side could have ended the first half a goal down, if not for Josh Walker volleying over from close range, before Nathan Trott’s diving save denied Bryon Harrison a headed finish.

West Ham’s best chance of the game came just after the hour mark. Sam Byram found himself with plenty of space on the right, and played in a clever, low pass across the penalty area. The ball was met by Holland, who struck the effort cleanly from six yards, but it was met by an excellent save. 

Just moments later Trott also reminded supporters of his ability in between the sticks, also making a top save from close range, after Dave Tarpey found himself one-on-one with the young Hammer.

Trott would again keep the game level with a fingertip stop after Barnet came close with a corner routine. The 19-year-old was also called on with just ten minutes to go, palming away a sweeping effort. 

Substitute Will Greenidge replaced Hector-Ingram for the closing moments of the game, and the forward came close to securing a late win, but his curling effort was just wide of the near post. 

Barnet: Cousins (Trialist 79’); Alexander (Pascal 75’), Johnson, Robson (Tutonda 55’), Adam, Harrison (Coulthirst 46’), Sparkes (Tarpey 46’), Boucaud (Fonguck 27’), Elito (Kyei 75’), Walker (Mason-Clark 55’), Sweeney 

Subs not used: Barham

West Ham United: Trott; Byram, Akinola (Alese 75’), Oxford, Johnson (Barrett 55’); Lewis, Coventry (Giddings 79’), Belic, Scully (Spyrides 74’), Hector-Ingram (Greenidge 84’), Holland

Subs not used: Jinadu