West Ham United suffered a 3-0 Barclays U18 Premier League defeat at Arsenal on Saturday - but the result fails to tell the full story of the game.

Speaking post-match, U18s coach Nick Haycock pointed to the decision to award a penalty that allowed the Gunners to go two goals up as pivotal to the final outcome.

He did, however, draw on the positives and felt that despite losing the game he and his players could hold their heads high.

"Unfortunately we lost 3-0 but the scoreline doesn't tell the full story of the game," said Haycock. "It sounds like an emphatic win for Arsenal but that was certainly not the case.

"We conceded early on and perhaps should have done better from a defensive point of view. That said, we reacted well and controlled most of the first half.

"We had a lot of the ball in their half but we did not manage to create the chances that we needed to get back into the game."

After a 4-0 win against West Bromwich Albion last time out, the young Hammers were hoping to extend their lead at the top of Group 1, but were unable to do so.

"They were awarded a very soft penalty and, after watching the highlights, it is clear that the wrong decision was made. They were on the back foot and for them it was the perfect time to score their second goal.

"After that we rightfully went for broke and they added a third from a set-piece late on. On another day we could have won. I think a draw or a narrow win for Arsenal would have been a fair result in the end."

Kieran Sadlier, who had scored three goals in two matches prior to Saturday, once against caught the eye of Haycock with another solid showing in an advanced midfeild role.

"Another positive was the performance of Kieran, who was unable to continue his scoring run but did everything but."

No longer top of league, Haycock admitted the defeat was not cause for concern and, despite going out to win every league game, he believes the main focus is on the development of individual players for first-team football further down the line.

"Now we need to dust ourselves down and move onto the Norwich City game next week where we will hopefully get back to winning ways.

"The main focus of the youth team is to prepare the players for the Development Squad and the first team, we obviously want to win but it is not the be all and end all.

"We will go out to win the FA Youth Cup because of its naturally competitive nature and the fact you play in large stadia, but our job is to ensure they are ready to make the step up."

"That could be sooner rather than later, Dan Potts and Rob Hall both played for Ian Hendon's side on Friday night and they have been in the first team already this year. If they are promoted, one of the Under-18s will take their place. Me and Ian speak every day about which players can make an impact in what team."

West Ham United: Larkins, Siafa (Girdlestone 72), Shaw, Cullen, Nasha (Homans 86), Onnariase, Boakye-Yiadom (Miles 67), Bywater, Mavila, Sadlier, E.Lee

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