Michael Flynn admits West Ham United U21s ‘thoroughly deserved’ their Leasing.Com Trophy victory at Rodney Parade as they scored four unanswered second half goals to beat Newport County AFC 5-4 in the group stage.
After Anthony Scully’s opener inside 57 seconds, the Exiles regrouped to control the rest of first half proceedings – Tristan Abrahams particularly impressing – and he scored then set-up Corey Whitely before 12 minutes had elapsed, while Lewis Collins and Ryan Hillier also found the net to give County a comfortable half time lead.
But the Young Hammers responded in the second half to overturn the three-goal deficit and seal an unlikely victory, something their manager Dmitri Halajko described as ‘Roy of the Rovers’ action.
Joe Powell’s penalty, Veron Parkes’ header and substitute Kai Corbett’s neat finish had them level by 83 minutes, before Scully found the target again with a minute to go to complete the comeback.
Flynn affirmed: “Second half, I thought West Ham’s young team was exceptional, they passed us off the pitch, and they thoroughly deserved their win.
“It’s great to see some young players with good attitudes and I mean that in the right way because they showed it on the pitch.
“I was missing 15 before the game and now a few more have got injured, plus a suspension to go on top of it.
“Tristan set the tone; he was excellent. But his hamstring stiffened up, so I’ve had to take him off. I can’t afford to miss him. Then Matty Dolan, Lewis Collins struggling with his ankle.
“I’m hoping a couple of them who missed the game will be okay. Danny McNamara is away and there will be a lot of players missing [on Saturday]. It’s frustrating.
“Jamille is a possibility but he won’t be fit to start, that’s for sure. There’s a few I’m hoping will be back.”
LEAGUE TWO | The Exiles return to League Two action next Saturday when they play host to Port Vale at Rodney Parade. Tickets are available online here.
ON THE ROAD | County have a deserved break next midweek before heading on the road to Northampton Town on September 14th. Buy tickets here.