U23 match report: Connelly double can't prevent defeat in London

West Ham United U23 4-2 Sunderland U23 

A Lee Connelly double was not enough to prevent Sunderland under-23s from slipping to defeat as they lost 4-2 at table-topping West Ham United in the Premier League 2. 

First-half goals from Anthony Scully and a double from Nathan Holland put the hosts ahead before Connelly pulled one back just before half-time. 

The lads raced out of the traps in the second period as Connelly grabbed his brace, but the game was put beyond any doubt when Scully scored his second with one minute of the 90 remaining.   

The game was Sunderland’s first trip to the capital this season and it was played in blustery conditions at Victoria Road, the home of Vanarama National League side Dagenham & Redbridge. 

West Ham made it 1-0 in the third minute with their first attack of the game, Holland drove down the left and crossed for Scully who tapped into an empty net. 

The Hammers doubled their lead 15 minutes later when Scully this time turned provider for Holland, who slotted home from inside the penalty area. 

Connelly almost halved the deficit moments later in Sunderland’s first venture forward, but his attempted lob dropped inches wide of the post.

And Sunderland were made to pay not long after when Holland grabbed his second of the game, the ball found its way to the winger inside the area and he dispatched clinically past Anthony Patterson.

Sunderland pulled one back in the 28th minute when Connelly somehow managed to weave his way into the box and slot the ball into the bottom right corner. 

The lads were growing into the game and Connelly almost had another one back, but his strike from 18-yards with the outside of his boot dropped just the wrong side of the post. 

Elliot Dickman introduced Owen Gamble and Dan Neil at the interval, and it proved to good effect with the lads getting another one back ten minutes into the second half.

Connelly grabbed his second of the game after he reacted quickest when Connor Slack’s header came back off the post, the striker composed himself, before firing low past Joseph Anang.

The lads came agonisingly close to an equaliser just 15 minutes from time when Jake Hackett Whipped in a free kick towards Jack Bainbridge, but Anang produced a magnificent save to tip the ball over the bar. 

But they were dealt a sucker punch one minute from time when Scully bagged his second, Powell’s through ball found its way to Dan Kemp who unselfishly squared to Scully who couldn’t miss. 

The result leaves Sunderland bottom of the Premier League 2 after seven games, with a visit to Huddersfield Town in the Premier League Cup up next.

West Ham United U23s: Joseph Anang, Bernardo Rosa, Emmanuel Longelo, Conor Coventry ©, Goncalo Cardoso, Jamal Baptiste, Dan Kemp, Alfie Lewis, Anthony Scully, Joe Powell, Nathan Holland

Subs: Harrison Ashby, Krisztian Hegyi, Veron Parkes, Reece Hannam, Keenan Forson

Sunderland U23s: Anthony Patterson, Bali Mumba, Williams Kokolo, Jack Connolly, Brandon Taylor, Jack Bainbridge ©, Lee Connelly, Ruben Sammut, Connor Slack, Jake Hackett, Nathan Greenwood 

Subs: Dan Neil, Ahmed Abdelkader, Kane Evans, Michael Collins, Owen Gamble

Back to top