Manny Longelo was thrilled with how West Ham United U23s were able to focus on their own performance and come back to claim a deserved 4-3 win away to Everton.
Longelo was one of the Hammers’ goalscorers in a sensational victory for Mark Robson’s side, who had found themselves two goals behind after just 23 minutes at Finch Farm.
Sonny Perkins’ well-taken double had levelled the match for the away side, only for Everton to tap in a third moments later, before Longelo scored a sensational solo finish on 70 minutes.
Armstrong Okoflex wrapped up a superb win on the road with a thumping strike, earning the Irons a second-placed finish in Premier League 2 Division 1.
“We are just buzzing,” Longelo said. “We knew we had to bounce back from the defeat against Fulham, so this game was a big one for us. We played really well and we stood strong. We came back against them and deserved the win.
“Of course, we conceded the first and second goal, but I thought we were the better team at that point actually. We kept doing what we needed to do and played our game, and got the win.
“Robbo got into us and told us at half-time we needed to believe in ourselves. I feel like we showed great character. Our heads did not go down. We kept playing our football and looking to get in behind.
“We’re thrilled with this. It’s been a long, tough season for us and, unfortunately we’ve not won the league. But we’ve claimed second place and we deserved that at least. We can be happy with that.”
Longelo’s fine finish was his first in Premier League 2 this season and the full-back was delighted with the technique he displayed in finding the net.
He added: “Thierry just played me down the line and I felt like the defender would fall for the feint, so I just tried to chop inside.
“I kept my eye on the goalkeeper’s legs but tried to make it look like I was going to cross into Sonny. I was able to disguise it and slam it as hard as I could through the ‘keeper’s legs. I was glad to get the goal.”