West Ham United CST are off and running in the Football Conference Youth Alliance and will bid to make it two wins out of two when they play host to Canvey Island on Wednesday 9 October.

Following an eventful summer of trials, the SCL Learning Academy turned out for their first competitive fixture a fortnight ago, edging past Dagenham and Redbridge 3-2 in the Beds, Essex & Herts Division.

Jointly managed by the experienced duo of Bryan Glover and Simon Copley, the Hammers owed much to an Albert Akinremi double, followed by a third courtesy of substitute Reece Collins.

Though the Daggers subsequently clawed their way back to within a goal, the hosts hung on to register an opening-day win.

While encouraged by a positive start, Copley acknowledged that it remains very early days for his side.

He told whufc.com: "We're pleased with the boys' first performance, although there is still obvious rawness and work to be done.

"We have set the foundations of discipline and hard work, a philosophy that the lads have bought into straight away. There is a feel-good factor within the squad which will help us accelerate our development and progress.

"We felt in control against the Daggers throughout, but couldn't capitalise quite enough and made unforced errors in the final third. When we did trust our shape and each other though, the signs were promising."

The two-year programme will see the Academy players study a broad range of nationally recognised qualifications, within the domain of sport, coaching and fitness.

As for the football, UEFA licenced coaches are on hand each day to, hopefully, propel the youngsters toward a long-term career in the game.

Senior football development officer Bryan Glover said: "All in all, after a competitive fixture, I was pleased with our players' character to come through and win it.

"It was a tight game and encouraging to see both sides playing the game the right way. We now need to make sure we continue to improve as the season progresses."

Next up for the Hammers is the visit of Canvey Island to Beckton on Wednesday, fresh from an emphatic 6-1 win at Welling United Blues. For full details of forthcoming fixtures, results and tables, visit the FA's website here.