PL Cup report: West Ham United 5-1 Leeds United

Whites exit the cup.

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Premier League Cup - Round of 16

West Ham United 5 (Okoflex 21’, 62’ pen, Chesters 37’, Perkins 82’ pen, Longelo 84’)

Leeds United 1 (Joseph 16’)

West Ham: Hegyi (GK), Ashby, Longelo, Appiah-Forson, Greenidge, Alese (C), Nevers (Potts 71’), Swyer (Mubama 84’), Perkins, Chesters (Clayton 80’), Okoflex. Subs not used: Kinnear, Clayton, Laing.

Leeds: Van Den Heuvel (GK), Sutcliffe, McCarron, Mullen, Hjelde (Moore 45’), Jenkins (C), Dean (Snowdon 68’), Bate, Joseph, McGurk (Allen 80’), Miller. Subs not used: Ombang (GK), McKinstry.

Venue: Rush Green Stadium

Attendance: Behind-closed-doors

Referee: Lloyd Wood

Booked: Swyer, Chesters (West Ham) Moore (Leeds)

A young Leeds United Under-23s side exited the Premier League Cup at the Round of 16 stage, away at West Ham United. Despite the Whites going ahead in the match, the experienced hosts progressed to face Fulham at the Quarter-Final stage of the competition with a comfortable victory.

The home side started the stronger in this cup clash and forced a couple of early chances. Inside two minutes, the returning Leo Hjelde was on hand to make a superb diving block to deny a clear chance on goal.

Moments later, Ajibola Alese flicked a header wide from a corner with the hosts pressing for an opener, then Dani Van Den Heuvel was alert to make an excellent fingertip save to deny Armstrong Okoflex’s curling shot at goal.

After withstanding the early pressure, Andy Taylor’s side hit West Ham on the counter attack and opened the scoring. A quick break forward involving Lewis Bate, Sean McGurk and Amari Miller allowed Mateo Joseph to race through on goal and calmly slot into the back of the net!

The lead would be short lived though, as the Hammers were level inside five minutes of going behind. The lively Okoflex - who is the top-scorer for his side - found space in the box to fire home the equaliser via a slight deflection.

Looking to respond to conceding, both Miller and Max Dean had shots on goal but neither troubled Krisztian Hegyi between the posts on those occasions.

Just under 10 minutes until the half-time whistle, West Ham took the lead in the game. A scramble in the box saw shots blocked and attempted clearances, but the ball eventually fell to Dan Chesters who curled home into the back of the net.

An entertaining first half was brought to a close with three goals having been seen, but it was the home side who had the advantage at the interval.

HALF TIME: West Ham United 2-1 Leeds United

Following his return to action after an injury lay-off, Hjelde was substituted at half-time and replaced by Kris Moore at the heart of the defence for Leeds.

The start of the second half had brought very few chances, unlike in the first. The only real effort on goal of note was from McGurk, who curled a free-kick from 30-yards or so, over the bar.

It would be a a deadball situation that brought the next goal in the match. Harrison Ashby went down in the box under a Moore challenge and a penalty was awarded. Okoflex stepped up to take the spot-kick and fired low into the bottom corner, to make it three for West Ham.

Both teams made changes as the match entered the final 20 minutes. Joe Snowdon came on in place of Dean for Leeds, whilst Freddie Potts entered the action with Thierry Nevers coming off for West Ham.

Continuing to try and find a way back into the game, good work from McGurk and Miller created a chance for Joseph, who had his first shot blocked, then his second strike saved as the Whites pushed forward.

The Hammers made the game safe inside the final 10 minutes, with their second penalty of the game. This time it was Perkins who would take the spot-kick, firing home into the far corner.

Just after making it four, the home side then went even further ahead. A free-flowing move down the left-wing saw the ball pulled back for Emmanuel Longelo to finish well and make it five for his side.

That would be the end of the scoring and the end of the Premier League Cup campaign for Leeds United’s Under-23s this season, with the home side progressing into the Quarter-Final stages.

FULL TIME: West Ham United 5-1 Leeds United

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