Ian Hendon was pleased with the performance of his youthful Development Squad, despite their 1-0 defeat at Blue Square Bet South side Welling United on Saturday.

The Hammers dominated large parts of the game but were undone in the 58th minute when Danny McGuire headed home from Jack Obersteller's corner.

Speaking post-match, Hendon felt that while the scoreline was not what he had hoped for, positives could be drawn with the players' fitness levels continuing to improve ahead of the Professional Development League campaign.

"Our main aim in pre-season is to get the players prepared, and that's what games today are all about," said Hendon. "We have had a good workout today, and a lot of the lads have got another 90 minutes under their belt."

Hendon was also without a number of his regular players, but praised the impact of the youngsters who took their places.

"We're missing a number of players, but the ones that came in can hold their heads high. They've had a go and, to be fair, we were playing without a recognised striker.

"Leo Chambers played very well, with Frazer Shaw and Kieren Sadlier also featuring upfront, so we essentially had 16 and 17-year-olds playing against men which was always going to be tough."

With players such as Rob Hall and Blair Turgott linking up with the first team, Hendon was also able to field a number of trialists and scholars, revealing he will make an imminent decision on where their futures lay.

"It will be good to get the squad gathered next week as five of them have been away with the first team.

"That's obviously where I want them to be, but if they're not I want to get my squad back together to prepare for our upcoming league campaign.

"We've got another good look at the trialists so decisions will be made on what I've seen today."

Hendon did however voice his displeasure at the way in which his side conceded, stating that despite their age, his players need to obtain a higher level of focus.

"We have to be disappointed with the goal we conceded because that's two games on the spin now we've conceded from a set play.

"We were in the ascendancy and then were suddenly hit by a sucker punch. That said, we could and perhaps should have prevented the corner, and from it we have to do better.

"The lads have to start sensing danger a little bit quicker, making sure they organise themselves and don't allow the free header like they did today."

The Development Squad round off their pre-season with three away games against npower League Two opposition in AFC Wimbledon, Northampton Town and Dagenham and Redbridge.

And Hendon admitted that his side will need to step it up when they face a higher caliber of opposition.

"We've got three very difficult games coming now.  I watched a lot of League Two games last year and we're going to be playing against teams that are very well organised and have experienced professionals within.

"Going into the latter stages of pre-season it becomes more about the performance than fitness, so we need to make sure we get ourselves together and up our game."

Development Squad: Spiegel (Larkins), Seidu, Shaw, Chambers, Tunnicliffe, Wearen, Morrison (Powell), Sadlier, Fanimo, Vose, Piquionne