West Ham United started the Barclays U18 Premier League in outstanding fashion with a 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Little Heath.
Goals in either half from Lewis Page and Jerry Amoo saw the Hammers clinch a superb success on Saturday, with the Red Devils only finding the net through a James Wilson penalty late on.
Academy Director Tony Carr MBE, starting his 40th year of working with the Club's youngsters, spoke glowingly of the player's' efforts.
"I think Manchester United is a mouth-watering fixture for every player and as a season opener we didn't need to motivate them in any way, shape or form," he confirmed. "In the first half, we dominated the game and pressed really hard and took control of the midfield.
"We missed two or three good chances but then, three minutes before half-time, Lewis Page broke forward from the back, played a neat wall pass with Kieran Bywater on the edge of the box and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper with his right foot.
"Our opening goal was a fitting reward and it was deserved that we went in 1-0 up at half-time."
Carr and U18s manager Steve Potts warned their charges that Manchester United would not lie down and to expect a sterner test after half-time. That is exactly what transpired.
"We told the boys to keep doing what they were doing but to be aware that Manchester United might change their system and come out all guns blazing," Carr continued. "For 20 minutes, they dominated the game after the break, and it was like a keep-ball session at times, but we didn't let them get in behind us or create any goalscoring opportunities.
"We worked our way back into the game and from one of several counter-attacks we doubled our lead with about ten minutes to go. Our right-back Kyle Knoyle put over a great cross and Jerry Amoo converted with a fine volley."
Just when West Ham thought they had the game won, however, the visitors struck from the spot to set up a nervous final few minutes.
"We all thought that was it after Jerry's goal, but they got a penalty when a shot hit Amos Nasha on the arm as he turned and tried to block it. The penalty was converted, which set up a nervy finish, but we held out for a well-deserved win."
The U18s play their second Barclays U18 Premier League fixture of the season on Saturday 24 August, when they head to Chelsea for an 11am kick-off at Cobham.
West Ham United U18s: Nemrava, Knoyle, Page, Nasha, Burke, Onariase, Amoo, Cullen (Makasi 72), Brown (Martins 90), Bywater, Mavila
Subs not used: Baxter, Harney, Parfitt-Williams