Our under-23s suffered a disappointing defeat in their penultimate game of the Premier League 2 season on Saturday as they were beaten 2-1 by West Ham United.
Nikolaj Moller returned to the scoresheet for the first time since March and looked set to secure us a share of the spoils, but a third penalty of the afternoon handed a late winner to the Hammers.
We made a sloppy start at Meadow Park and it didn’t take long for the visitors to punish us. Tom Smith denied Ademipo Odubeko from close range with an outstanding save early on, before the Hammers’ striker won a penalty on the half-hour mark. Conor Coventry stepped up and sent Smith the wrong way to convert.
We responded well, though, and within 60 seconds had a penalty of our own. It was a well-worked move straight from kick-off and Tolaji Bola was fouled after making a storming run inside the penalty area. Moller took responsibility from 12 yards and duly found the back of the net via the inside of the post.
We should have kicked on following the restart, but it was the Hammers who took control as they created a number of promising opportunities. Kai Corbett converted from close range, only to see his strike ruled out for a foul on Smith, before we were eventually caught out on a blistering counter-attack.
Nathan Holland lead the charge and forced a goalmouth scramble as we defended with our bodies on the line, but despite eventually winning the ball back with a strong challenge, the referee believed that Bola had fouled Corbett and he pointed to the spot.
With less than five minutes remaining, Odubeko kept his cool and secured all three points for the visitors.
WHAT IT MEANS
We will face the Hammers again in our final outing of the 2020/21 season.
The game will take place at Rush Green Stadium on Friday, May 7 with kick-off at 7pm (UK time).
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