A battling West Ham United U23s side were able to stop Derby County from claiming a 2-0 win in Saturday’s Premier League 2 fixture.
Derby took the lead on 16 minutes through a stroke of luck, as Josh Mitchell-Lawson’s cross was inadvertently turned by Reece Oxford into his own net.
In truth, the Irons found opportunities limited as Derby strongly managed the game, but Sean Adarwka went close on the hour, only for his effort to be stopped on the line.
County secured the win and the three points 17 minutes from the end as Louie Sibley powered a strike into the bottom corner of the West Ham net.
The Hammers found chances difficult to come by in the open 45 minutes as both teams battled to gain the upper hand at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
Adarkwa looked to carve a chance for himself after skipping past two Derby defenders, only for a third to clear as the striker stepped into the penalty area.
The home side went behind in unfortunate circumstances on 16 minutes. Josh Mitchell-Lawson swung a ball into the penalty area, where Oxford could only head into the back of his own net.
Captain Moses Makasi made the move to attempt the spectacular, with an over-head strike, only for the effort to be ruled out before it really begun as the referee stopped play for a high boot. Joe Powell struck wide as the first half came to an end.
On the hour mark West Ham’s Jahmal Hector-Ingram saw a low header well saved by Josh Barnes, before Joseph Anang made an even better save for the Irons, denying Mitchell-Lawson from close range.
Adarkwa seemed to have levelled for the Hammers just moments later, squeezing a low shot under Barnes, only for the goalkeeper to stop the whole of the ball from crossing the line.
Despite West Ham’s pressure for an equaliser, and the introduction of the lively Emmanuel Longelo, Derby grabbed a second on 73 minutes as Sibley swept the ball home from 12 yards.
The second finish for Derby was enough for the Rams to secure a fourth straight league win in Premier League 2, with West Ham unable to find a response.
West Ham United U23s: Anang; Johnson (Barrett 81), Pask, Oxford, Akinola; Lewis, Makasi, Powell, Kemp (Chesters 86); Adarkwa (Longelo 68), Hector-Ingram
Subs not used: Jinadu, Belic
Derby County U23s: Barnes; Karic, MacDonald, Thorne, Pearce, Hunt, Mitchell-Lawson, Butterfield, Cresswell (Shonibare 76), Sibley (Knight 76), Whittaker (Eyoma 65)
Subs not used: Halwax, Rashid
Goalscorers: Oxford (OG) 16, Sibley 73