Tony Carr has praised the spirit of his players after West Ham United U18s struck twice in the final five minutes to overcome Portsmouth.

The Hammers' five-match FA Premier Academy League winning run looked in jeopardy as the match entered its closing stages at Little Heath, only for goals from Robert Hall and Blair Turgott (pictured) to score the hosts a thrilling 3-2 victory.

The success came as a welcome boost to Carr and his squad following last Wednesday's cruel FA Youth Cup fourth-round defeat by Manchester United.

On Saturday, Portsmouth went in 2-1 up at half-time, with Jack Powell scoring West Ham's first equaliser from Turgott's pass.

Despite dominating the second half for long periods, it looked like the home side would be forced to settle for a defeat before Hall and Turgott struck in dramatic fashion.

"We came from behind the first time after they had opened the scoring from a free-kick," Carr told whufc.com

"We got our equaliser when their goalkeeper picked up a back pass and we capitalised when Blair touched the ball to Jack, who curled it around the wall and into the net.

"It was 1-1 for five or ten minutes and we were attacking and creating opportunities, only for them to score again just before half-time from a cross into the box that we didn't deal with.

"We started quite brightly in the second half but could not score and the game went a bit flat.

"Our confidence grew a little bit and Blair put in a cross and Robert, who had come on as a substitute, popped up and equalised in the 85th minute.

"Then, in the 88th minute Eliott Lee, who had come on as a substitute for Danny Subuola, went past a defender and had a shot. The goalkeeper saved it and Blair followed in to make it 3-2.

"Eliott is a schoolboy who plays up front and he did very well in the 15 or 20 minutes he was on the pitch."

Carr had made ten changes to the starting XI that began the FA Youth Cup defeat by Manchester United last Wednesday evening, with only Turgott keeping his place.

While the fringe players stepped up to produce a spirited performance, the only sour note from a sixth straight league success was a facial injury suffered by defender Danny Potts. The left-back was taken to hospital for a check-up after being caught in the eye area by a stray arm.

West Ham United: Larkins, Young, Potts (Chambers 25), Hunt, K.Lee, Hurley, Turgott, Powell (Hall 65), Subuola (E.Lee 75), Lletget, Fanimo