European Conference League champions West Ham United were on top form as they won 6-2 against Perth Glory.
The likes of Jarrod Bowen, Gianluca Scamacca and Emerson Palmieri were on the scoresheet for the Hammers, whilst 17-year-old Daniel Bennie was on target for Glory.
Interim Glory head coach Kenny Lowe used 25 different players during the 90 minutes, providing valuable minutes for his squad and of course the experience of playing against Premier League opposition.
Both teams fielded relatively experienced starting lineups, with respective captains Lukasz Fabianski and Adam Taggart exchanging club pennants ahead of kick off.
The Hammers opened the scoring from their first attack, just a minute into the match. Daniel Chesters muscled his way past Stefan Colakovksi before sliding the ball across the six-yard-box. Darryl Lachman got himself in a tangle and the ball ricocheted off his legs and into the net.
Industrious work from Johnny Koutroumbis saw him into the penalty, before slipping a ball into Taggart. His right-footed effort was relatively comfortable for Lukasz Fabianski to hold onto, low to his right, but the signs were encouraging for the Glory.
However Koutroumbis found himself at fault for the Hammers’ second goal of the evening, hauling down Pablo Fornals inside the penalty area. Referee Alireza Ferghani pointed to the spot, and Scamacca dispatched the penalty emphatically.
Taggart was then guilty of missing a glorious chance having been played through on goal, eight yards from goal. His low shot back across goal dribbled agonizingly wide of Fabianski’s post.
The combination of Jordan Elsey and Oliver Sail prevented West Ham from grabbing a third before the half hour mark. Scamacca latched onto a loose ball inside the penalty area and his shot required Elsey to throw himself in front of the shot before a strong left hand from Sail stopped Ings from converting the rebound.
Sail then gave Scamacca a great opportunity to nab that third goal, skewing his pass into the feet of the Italian striker. However, former Sassuolo man returned the favour by placing his shot well wide of the largely unguarded Glory goal.
Taggart was then denied twice more by Fabianski in quick succession. The forward was unmarked as he leapt to meet Trent Ostler’s cross, but the Polish ‘keeper acrobatically kept the ball out. Less than a minute later and Taggart turned Kurt Zouma inside-out before releasing another low shot across goal, but again Fabianski got done quickly to hold onto the effort.
The Glory did find a goal on the stroke of half time. Colakovski was looking for the run of Taggart on the edge of the six-yard-box, but Hammers centre-half Luizao’s outstretched leg deflected the ball into his own net.
After both sides made major changes at half time, the Glory had the first strong chance of the half. Australian under-17 international Bennie was able to find Joel Anasmo at the back post, but Fabianski did well to parry the ball behind for a corner.
West Ham were able to counter from the resulting set piece, and Fornals was played through on goal with 40 yards of space to run into. Substitute ‘keeper Cameron Cook ran out to the edge of his penalty area, narrowing the angle and smothering Fornals’ shot.
The Hammers did restore their two goal lead nine minutes into the second half, as Bowen nipped in ahead of Mark Beevers to flick Emerson’s low cross into the roof of the net.
Bowen then created the fourth goal with a lovely dinked cross to the far post, and Emerson was on hand to head the ball past Cook from close range, in what would be his last act before being substituted.
The Glory weren’t done just yet however, and after Anasmo was bodychecked by Angelo Ogbonna, the loose ball ran kindly for Bennie who coolly slotted past Hammers substitute ‘keeper Joseph Anang.
Fornals had an effort from the top of the penalty area strike the base of Cameron Cook’s post.
Chester was once more involved in the Hammers’ fifth goal, skipping past Anasmo before finding the head of Divin Mubama, who couldn’t miss from inside the six-yard-box.
Mubama would have had a second had Cook not spectacularly palmed his 20-yard effort onto the post, part of an impressive display from the Alice Springs native despite the score line.
Moments later however, Cook couldn’t do anything to prevent Bowen prodding home another from close range to make it six for the Hammers. This time it was Aaron Cresswell with an overlapping run before picking out Bowen with his pass, leaving the England international with a simple task to finish off the move.