West Ham United’s Divin Mubama and Maxwel Cornet were challenged to keep producing the goods after netting in a 2-2 friendly draw at Dagenham & Redbridge.
Ivory Coast international Cornet opened the scoring against the National League club at a sold-out Chigwell Construction Stadium, then set up 18-year-old Mubama for his third goal of pre-season.
And first-team coach Billy McKinlay was pleased to see the strike duo on the scoresheet as they chase more playing opportunities during the 2023-24 Premier League campaign.
“Maxwell had a frustrating time last season and looked sharp today and got a good goal and good assist,” McKinlay told whufc.com.
“We’re looking forward to him building up his fitness and seeing how he progresses over the next few weeks.
“It’s a big season for him, because he’ll have been disappointed with the injuries he suffered last season, but there was not a lot he could do about it, so he’ll be looking to make an impression, as will everybody.”
Youth-team graduate Mubama has certainly caught the eye of boss David Moyes, netting in wins against Perth Glory and Tottenham during the club’s tour of Australia.
And he showed good instincts in front of goal once again in the absence of Michail Antonio, who has been away on international duty with Jamaica.
“I think Divin has given us something to think about,” added McKinlay.
“The gaffer said in Australia that he was really pleased with his contribution in the two games, so he’s had good exposure.
“What we always say is: ‘You’ve got your opportunity and it’s really important that you take it because you don’t get too many’.
“He’s been really impressive for the first couple of weeks of pre-season, so it’s really important that he keeps it going.
“It’s a simple equation that if you play well then you’re looking to get to the top of the pecking order and you’ll be in. Whether you’re 18 or 28, it doesn’t really matter.
“Divin has got to continue his good performances that he’s had over the last two or three games, and Michail Antonio will be back in a few days after his break and ready to go and we’ll take it from there.”
Moyes fielded the likes of Vladimir Coufal, Tomas Soucek, Nayef Aguerd and Thilo Kehrer for the first time in pre-season, with academy youngsters also getting more minutes under their belt.
Cornet swept home Said Benrahma’s pass on 10 minutes, but Inih Effiong fired past Alphonse Areola to level.
Sam Ling tested Areola before the break, with the hosts also hitting the crossbar from a free-kick.
Mubama was introduced for the second half and restored West Ham’s lead within seven minutes, after Cornet had forced a mistake from Elliott Johnson and teed up the chance.
Benrahma rattled the woodwork with a free-kick, before Sydney Ibie converted from the penalty spot after being fouled by Luizao.
West Ham head to France to take on Rennes for their next friendly on Saturday, before ending their preparations at Bayer Leverkusen on August 5.
Dagenham & Redbridge: Justham, Hare, Longe-King, Eastman (Phipps 63), Johnson, Ling (Trialist C 68), Hessenthaler (Trialist B 63), Rees (Blair 75), Vincent, Trialist A (Weston 75), Effiong (Ibie 63).
West Ham United: Areola, Coufal (Casey 46), Aguerd (Luizão 63), Kehrer (Laing 56), Scarles (Clayton 46), Swyer (Earthy 71), Souček (Forson 63), Orford (Potts 46), Benrahma (Kodua 63), Cornet (Chesters 63), Marshall (Mubama 46). Unsued sub: Anang.