West Ham United U18s returned to winning ways with an excellent 1-0 Barclays U18 Premier League win at Norwich City on Saturday.
Josh Cullen's goal five minutes after the interval earned Steve Potts' charges all three points, as they bounced back in style from last weekend's 2-1 reverse at Southampton.
Midfielder Cullen was the beneficiary of a ricochet in the box, turning smartly and dispatching a low drive beyond the 'keeper. Though the hosts saw a late free-kick cannon back off the crossbar, Academy Director Tony Carr MBE insists the Hammers were worthy winners at the Canaries' Colney Training Centre.
He told whufc.com: "I thought we dominated the game for the most part and were the better team. The only disappointment is that we're not taking the chances coming our way.
"We're missing good opportunities and allowing teams to stay in the game when, really, we should be out of sight. We could have been two, even 3-0 up at half-time."
Saturday's success was all the more pleasing in the context of defeat by the Saints last time out, a result that ended a ten-match unbeaten run. But the Hammers' response was an excellent one and owed much to a mature defensive display.
"The boys responded really well," he added. "It was a similar performance to last week, in the sense that we created chances and didn't take them, but got punished and lost 2-1. This week we were a bit more resolute, slightly more defensively minded and consequently we saw it through and got the result."
Carr reserved particular praise for schoolboy duo Reece Oxford and Josh Pask, who played their part at centre-half. In the absence of the more experienced Kyle Knoyle, Jamie Harney and Reece Burke, Oxford and Pask stood up to the challenge, helping the U18s secure a first clean sheet since October.
"The two schoolboys who came in at centre-back, Reece Oxford and Josh Pask, acquitted themselves really well and they can be very pleased with their performance."
Next up for Steve Potts' side is the visit of Chelsea to Little Heath on Saturday 25 January, with kick-off scheduled for 11am.
West Ham United U18s: Howes; Pike, Onariase (Oxford 45), Pask, Page; Nasha, Cullen, Makasi; Parfitt-Williams (Amoo), J Brown (Martins), Mavila