The West Ham U23’s suffered a 2-0 away defeat to Manchester City on Sunday at the City Football Academy ground.
West Ham played with a man down for 57 minutes due to Jamal Baptiste getting sent off.
Despite the defeat, the Hammers are still in the title race as they are seven points below Man City who have 42 points with a game in hand.
Seven minutes into the match, Hammers captain Ajibola Alese challenged Man City forward Liam Delap in the box, which was given as a penalty even though the West Ham players felt that it was a harsh decision.
James McAtee scored the penalty giving the hosts an early 1-0 lead as he chipped the ball down the middle while the Hungarian international dived the wrong way.
In the 35th minute, Jamal Baptiste got his second yellow card and was sent off after a tackle on City midfielder Darko Gyabi as the Hammers went down to ten. Baptiste seemingly got the ball and it was not even a foul – there was a feeling of shock disbelief that the man who started in West Ham’s last Europa League game was given his marching orders.
The first half finished 1-0 to Man City as the game was even until the red card with West Ham having two shots on goal while City had three on target.
Four minutes into the second half, the East London side were close to levelling the match as Alese’s shot went just over the bar.
Ten minutes later the hosts double the lead, this time Portuguese forward Carlos Borges got on the scoresheet as the ball was flicked on by Delap for Borges to smash into the net from close range.
In the 73rd minute Juan Larios had a crack, however Hegyi made a brilliant save and was one of West Ham’s best players on Sunday. Man City began to take control of the match as they had an attempt to tripe the lead in the 80th minute Hegyi made another big save, this time from McAtee who was close to getting his second goal of the day.
Even though it was always going to be a tough task being a man down for most of the match, one positive was Hegyi as he saved seven shots.
Irons manager Mark Robson wasn’t happy with the penalty and red card decisions as he felt that those calls were “game changers” and that his side couldn’t get the three points because of it.
Robson added, “We tried to stay in the game for as long as we could. We knew it would be hard with ten men, and we held on for as long as we could. We kept it down to two goals and I’m just frustrated for the lads because they’ve been denied an opportunity”.
The Hammers next match is away to 12th place Blackburn Rovers next Monday which will be a huge opportunity for West Ham to grab their first win since the 10th of January. Robson couldn’t stress enough how his team now have no room for error in their last seven fixtures as he added, “I’ve said to the lads that there are seven games left and we just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing, keep playing our way, and our objective is to win all seven games. That’s what we need to do to be in with a shout of winning the league, and that’s all we can do”.