West Ham United Under-18s ended their hectic pre-season schedule with a deserved 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Little Heath on Saturday morning.
An outstanding first-half free-kick from Kieran Bywater set the Hammers on their way, before Lewis Page popped up with a rare goal in the closing minutes.
The Hammers have had a successful pre-season campaign to date, including finishing runners up to Danish side Nordsjaelland in the prestigious Yale Eurofoot Tournament in Belgium earlier this month.
With an important fixture against Manchester United to kick off the league season in mind, Steve Potts named a strong starting line-up for this pre-season clash, including Development Squad regular Kieran Bywater and Eurofoot player of the tournament Moses Makasi.
It was the visitors who burst into life in the opening minute, when Javen Palmer found space on the edge of the Hammers penalty area to fire a volley at goal, bringing a brilliant low save out of 'keeper Gines Guzman Rosique.
But West Ham soon got a foothold in the game, dictating play with some brilliant one touch football in the middle of the pitch.
And they could have been ahead just 15 minutes in, when Jordan Brown got on the end of Nathan Mavila's left wing cross, but missed the target from less than six yards.
The home side upped the pressure and were rewarded with the opener on the half-hour mark. After Brown was fouled 22 yards from goal by Palace centre-back Jahmal Howlett-Mundle, Bywater stepped up to curl a perfect free-kick into the top left hand corner of the goal.
As Palace looked for an equaliser before the break, Mandela Egbo crossed for the unmarked Will Hoare at the back post, who sliced his effort straight into Guzman's hands.
It was much the same after the interval, as West Ham continued to do most of the pressing. This time, Emmanual Onariase smashed one goalwards, forcing Palace's Tom King to tip the ball over the crossbar.
From the resulting corner, Mavila's deep centre was turned back across the face of the goal by Onariase, but Jerry Amoo, under pressure, fired high over the bar from close range.
It was West Ham who looked the most likely to get the next goal and it very nearly came from another set piece. After Djair Parfitt-Williams had been fouled, Nathan Mavila stepped up to cross it towards the back post, but it was just too quick for both Jamie Harney and Onariase who slid in vain to try and apply a telling touch.
No matter, as In the closing minutes, West Ham did double their lead. Though Parfitt-Williams had been tripped, the Hammers played on and Page, arriving from the left-back position, fired across the goalkeeper into the far right hand corner.
The U18s' next outing is against Manchester United at Little Heath on Saturday 17 August, as they open their Barclays U18 Premier League campaign.
West Ham United U18: Guzman, Knoyle, Burke (Harney), Onariase, Page, Bywater (Pike), Makasi (Parfitt-Williams), Cullen (Nasha), Amoo (Gonzalez-Cabrera), Brown (Martins), Mavila (Gogo).