West Ham United's Development Squad succumbed to a slender 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion's training ground, rounding off their Barclays Under-21 Premier League campaign.

The game's only goal arrived deep into first-half stoppage time, as Adil Nabi's free-kick took a wicked deflection on its way past the stranded Jake Larkins.

Thereafter Shane Lewis pulled of a stunning stop to foil Elliot Lee, while the crossbar then denied him once more to preserve the hosts' narrow advantage.

It was rough justice on Nick Haycock's men who were, in the end, good value for a point at the very least and will count themselves mightily unlucky to end the Elite Group stage down in sixth.

The Hammers might not have begun the afternoon in particularly fluent fashion, but it was they who created an early chance, as Lee's angled drive forced Lewis to parry into the six-yard box, though Paul McCallum was unable to bundle home.

Centre-forward McCallum then went close again after 17 minutes, spinning on the edge of box, before watching his drive whistle past the far post.

With both sides trading blows, the game ground to an unfortunate halt just before the half-hour mark, as the returning Matthias Fanimo fell to earth after a collision with Tom Smart. The West Ham winger would subsequently depart the scene on a stretcher, to be replaced by Sean Maguire.

Meanwhile, Adil Nabi began to influence proceedings, thudding a long-range drive against the bar. And it was he who would break the deadlock, albeit in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time.

Nathan Mavila saw his attempted cross charged down, prompting a swift break down the Hammers' left. The Baggies tore forward and were rewarded with a free-kick on the edge of the box. Nabi took charge and was soon celebrating as his set piece ricocheted off Spence before nestling in the back of the visitors' net.

In reply, West Ham were inches away from levelling matters five minutes after the resumption, when McCallum was desperately close to applying a telling touch to Kieran Bywater's centre.

Elsewhere, George Moncur teed up Robert Hall with a quick free-kick, but his shot flashed across the face of the goal, after Pelly Ruddock's curled effort had also drifted beyond the far stick.

Step forward Elliot Lee, who on another day might well have won the game for his side, let alone drawn it. He firstly drew a brilliant finger-tip stop from Lewis with a thumping drive from distance, before his expertly struck free-kick cannoned back of the crossbar.

After a late penalty shout for handball had come and gone, the Baggies were able to cling onto the three points, a win to avenge a 2-0 reverse at Rush Green earlier in the Elite Group.

Recent disappointments aside, West Ham's second string can now reflect on a job well done, having topped Group One prior to Christmas, as well as playing a full part in a wholly competitive Elite Group with the youngest team on show.  

West Ham United: Larkins, Driver, Mavila, Bywater, Ruddock, Spence, Hall, Moncur, McCallum (Miles 71), Lee, Fanimo (Maguire 30).
Subs: Nemrava, Miles, Sadlier, Burke.

West Bromwich Albion: Lewis, Atkinson, Smart, O'Neil, Daniels, Gayle, Birch, Brown (N'Kumu 71), Sawyers, A Nabi, S Nabi.
Subs: Pace, Rose, Jones, Molyneux

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