West Ham United Under-18s opened their pre-season schedule with a 4-1 victory over Leyton Orient in Chigwell on Saturday.
The home side took a surprising lead against the run of play after just eleven minutes, before Jerry Amoo, Reece Burke and a double from a trialist helped the Hammers to earn a deserved win at the O's Old Chigwellians training ground.
The game was the start of Steve Potts' first full season in control of the U18 side and he chose to name a completely different line-up in each half.
It was West Ham who started the game with a chance on goal, when Taylor Tombides was released down the left touchline and he delivered a perfect cross to new boy Jordan Brown, who narrowly missed to top left-hand corner with a volley from six yards. Former England U16 striker Brown recently joined up with the Hammers on a scholarship after leaving Arsenal.
With West Ham firmly in control of the game, it was Leyton Orient who surprisingly broke the deadlock when the Orient left-back got forward and fizzed a shot across the face of the goal, which was cut back on the far touchline for an well taken finish by the hosts' No11. The home side almost doubled their lead just minutes later, but Hammers goalkeeper Vit Nemrava did excellently to push an effort round the post.
It didn't take long until West Ham were back in the game and they grabbed the equaliser a short time later. Amoo was sent through the defence and the young man held off his marker before striking a low effort into the corner of the net.
After half-time, a completely fresh Hammers team retained control and almost went ahead through Marcio Martins, but the young Portuguese star's effort just drifted past the far post.
With a little-changed Orient side wilting in the hot conditions, West Ham went into the lead on the hour-mark. The trialist forward found himself free in the 18-yard box and finished comfortably past the goalkeeper.
The game was all but over on 77 minutes when the trialist grabbed his second of the game, slotting into the net after Martins had won the ball back following an Orient defensive mix-up.
In the final minute Reece Burke powerfully headed Kieran Bailey's right-wing corner into the top left-hand corner of the goal to complete an encouraging start for Potts' youngsters - many of whom were playing their first game since becoming full-time scholars within the Academy.
The U18s' next pre-season fixture is at Colchester United on Saturday 20 July.
West Ham United U18 First-half XI: Nemrava, Knoyle, Girdlestone, Onaraise, Mavila, Amoo, Bywater, Marlow, Parfitt-Williams, T.Tombides, Brown
West Ham United U18 Second-half XI: Brown, Pike, Burke, Harney, Page, Cullen, Bailey, Makasi, Gogo, Martins, Trialist