West Ham punish wasteful Bermuda
Roy Jones, the Bermuda Under-19 coach, said his side “paid the price” for poor finishing after losing 4-1 to West Ham United’s Under-17 side at the National Stadium yesterday.
Jones’s team made a sluggish start to the final match of the Bermuda Invitational Football Festival but improved after the break and created sufficient chances to make the scoreline more respectable.
“They finished their chances,” Jones said. “If we had scored just half of our chances it would have been a different outcome.
“The game’s about scoring goals and they scored theirs and we didn’t. That was the difference.
“They had periods when they bossed possession and in the second half we brought on fresh legs and started to boss it. At this level if you don’t take your chances you pay the price.”
West Ham took the lead in the sixteenth minute through forward Kai Corbett, who beat the offside trap before racing through on goal and placing his effort beyond stranded goalkeeper Quinaceo Hunt.
Bermuda missed the first of a slew of scoring chances moments later when winger Jahkari Furbert headed over from close range after excellent work down the right flank by Rahzir Smith-Jones.
On the half-hour mark Bermuda were awarded a penalty after substitute Kane Crichlow, who replaced Knory Scott, was tripped as he attempted to round West Ham goalkeeper Joseph Anang.
Smith-Jones assumed the penalty-taking responsibilities but his telegraphed effort was easily saved by Anang diving low to his left. The visiting side were gifted a second goal two minutes into the second half, with full back Jayden Fevrier charging forward, cutting inside before hitting a tame left-footed shot that somehow sneaked through Hunt’s hands.
Another chance went begging for Bermuda when Mical Hardtman was picked out by Crichlow with a left-wing cross but failed to get anything on it. Bermuda were beginning to dominate their younger counterparts, who had Anang to thank for preserving their two-goal cushion after pulling off a double save from striker D’Andre Wainwright and Furbert.
Those missed chances came back to haunt Bermuda as West Ham striker Emmanuel Longelo showed them how it was done, sweeping the ball home from close range to make it 3-0 in the 62nd minute.
Bermuda finally got their just rewards in the 79th minute when Crichlow pounced on a loose ball after West Ham failed to clear their lines from a corner.
Hunt them redeemed his first-half error with a superb save to palm his team-mate Edry Moore’s deflection from a Julian Hassell cross from the right.
Hassell, a Bermuda Under-19 player, had entered the fray for West Ham moments earlier as they were short of numbers because of injuries picked up in previous matches.
There was still time for West Ham to find a fourth, though, with Corbett scoring his second in added time after latching onto a long ball and placing it beyond the outrushing Hunt.
“Missing the penalty was critical as it would have lifted the team,” said Jones, whose team included 12 overseas-based players.
“We were one down and being outplayed, brought on a player and he gave us energy, and it should have been 1-1 at the half.
“In the second half to concede so early really took the sting out of the team for a bit.”
Clyde Best, the former West Ham striker, was among those in attendance at the National Stadium and said he was impressed with the East London side’s crop of teenagers.
“They were a younger team and that should tell us of where we need to go,” Best said. “The youngest kid for West Ham [Jamal Baptiste] was 14 and the oldest was 17.
“Bermuda have some good young players, too, but we need to do some revamping to make sure we’re on par with [West Ham] when they come here. We definitely need more games like this.”