Youthful Glory gallant in defeat to West Ham

Despite a strong showing from a youthful Perth Glory, English Premier League side West Ham ran out 6-2 winners in a thoroughly entertaining encounter played out in front of almost 25,000 fans at Optus Stadium on Saturday evening.

The recently-crowned Europa Conference League champions raced out of the gates and took the lead inside the opening two minutes as Daniel Chester’s cross deflected off defender Darryl Lachman and beat debutant Oli Sail in the Glory goal.

Undaunted by that early setback, the WA side wasted no time fighting their back into the game, with captain Adam Taggart forcing Lukas Fabianski into a smart low save following a powerful strike on target.

However, West Ham doubled their lead in the 19th minute from the penalty spot, Italian striker Gianluca Scamacca converting after John Koutroumbis was adjudged to have brought down a surging Pablo Fornals in the area.

The lively opening exchanges stages continued, with Taggart just inches away from halving the deficit in the 22nd minute having been picked out by Academy graduate Trent Ostler’s well-weighted through-ball.

Taggart again came close in the 40th minute, this time his header from Ostler’s whipped cross forcing Polish international Fabianski into a brilliant diving save.

Glory’s persistence eventually paid dividends on the stroke of half time as Stefan Colakovski’s fizzing ball into the area deflected off West Ham defender Luizao to halve the deficit.

The second half started in the same vein as the first, with both ‘keepers making crucial stops.

Glory’s Cameron Cook, one of 10 substitutes introduced by interim Head Coach Kenny Lowe at half time, timed his challenge on an on-rushing Fornals to perfection, while at the other end, Fabianski prevented Joel Anasmo from rounding off some beautiful link-up play featuring Daniel Bennie and James Overy.

The Hammers then restored their two-goal advantage in the 56th minute through Jarod Bowen, the England international’s deft first-touch finish from Emerson’s cross making it 3-1.

And Bowen duly returned the favour 15 minutes later, delivering a pinpoint cross for Emerson to head in the Hammers’ fourth.

To their credit, Glory refused to lie down and deservedly pulled one back almost immediately, Australia Under-17s representative Bennie coolly slotting home into the bottom corner from Anasmo’s pass to bring the home fans to their feet.

The goals continued to flow deep into the latter stages, West Ham finding the net twice more through Divin Mubama and Bowen to complete the 6-2 scoreline.

Unsurprisingly, Lowe was full of praise for the resilience and enthusiasm shown by his young group against the seasoned Premier League outfit.

“I thought we did really well, ” he said.

“Their keeper [Fabianski] had a super game, made some good saves.

“The pleasing thing for us is that we controlled the ball and tempo at times; it was really entertaining.

“They [West Ham] showed great respect in the second half as they pressed us and really came after us.

“The young boys enjoyed the experience.

“Everybody did well and there were plenty of positives all over the park.”

Next up for Glory is a trip to Darwin for Tuesday’s Australian Cup Playoff against Macarthur FC.

Match Details

West Ham United 6 (Lachman o.g. 2′. Scamacca (pen) 20′, Bowen 55′. 86′, Palmieri 69′. Mubama 82′) Perth Glory 2 (Luizao (o.g.) 45′, Bennie 72′)

Half-time: 2-1

Referee: Alireza Faghani

Optus Stadium

Attendance: 24,723

Perth Glory First-Half Line-Up: 1. Oli SAIL (gk), 2. John KOUTROUMBIS, 6. Aaron MCENEFF, 10. Salim KHELIFI (43. Adam ZIMARINO 29’), 15. Jordan ELSEY, 20. Giordano COLLI, 22. Adam TAGGART (c). 28. Trent OSTLER, 29. Darryl LACHMAN, 36. Joseph FORDE, 77. Stefan COLAKOVSKI

Perth Glory Second-Half Line-UP: 13. Cameron COOK (gk), 4. Luke BODNAR (35. Aiki TSUKAMOTO 90’), 5. Mark BEEVERS (c), 12. Luke IVANOVIC (18. David WILLIAMS 74’), 31. Daniel BENNIE, 32. Kaelan MAJEKODUNMI, 39. Andriano LEBIB, 41. James OVERY, 43. Adam ZIMARINO (38. Corey SUTHERLAND 64’), 44. Jaylan PEARMAN, 48. Joel ANASMO

Yellow Cards: Koutroumbis

Red Cards: None

West Ham Line-Up: 1. Lukasz FABIANSKI (gk) (c) (49. Joseph ANANG (gk) 71’), 4. Kurt ZOUMA (3. Aaron CRESSWELL 46’), 8. Pablo FORNALS, 11. Gianluca SCAMACCA (45. Divin MUBAMA 46’), 12. Flynn DOWNES (40. George EARTHY 71’), 18. Danny INGS (20. Jarrod BOWEN 46’), 33. EMERSON (58. Kamari SWYER 71’), 37. LUIZAO (21. Angelo OGBONNA 45’), 51. Daniel CHESTERS, 53. Levi LAING, 62. Freddie POTTS

Yellow Cards: Downes

Red cards: None

Substitutes not used: 55. Jacob KNIGHTBRIDGE (gk), 32. Conor COVENTRY