West Ham United U18s continued their charge toward the summit of the Barclays U18 Premier League with a 2-0 win over Chelsea at Little Heath on Saturday.

Captain Kieran Bywater added yet another to his season's goal tally early in the piece, before Jordan Brown doubled the Hammers' lead with only 24 minutes gone.

Victory sees West Ham stay second in the South Group, two points behind leaders Fulham who came from behind to win 2-1 at Reading.      

Steve Potts' men were again without defenders Reece Burke and Jamie Harney, so schoolboy Josh Pask partnered Emmanuel Onariase at centre-half, just as he did in last weekend's 1-0 success at Norwich City.

It was the Hammers who made the early running and were rewarded with the opening goal after just five minutes. As the ball was worked into the Chelsea penalty area, Brown held it up before playing in Bywater, who finished into the bottom right-hand corner.

Skipper Bywater's 15th league goal of the campaign saw the hosts firmly on the front foot and Josh Cullen might have added a second, but fired well wide having been teed up Amos Nasha.

Chelsea, however, then had three chances in a matter of minutes, all from Charly Musonda free-kicks.

While the first failed to trouble 'keeper Sam Howes, the second was narrowly headed over the top by Tammy Abraham, before Howes tipped a third over the crossbar.

But having escaped unscathed at one end, West Ham were soon celebrating a second at the other. Brown profited from a mix-up in the Chelsea ranks to get a low shot away, one that proved too strong for Bradley Collins to keep out.

The Hammers continued to control proceedings after the break, with both Pask and Onariase spurning headed chances from corner kicks.

Chelsea, for their part, went close to halving the deficit when Chike Kandi collected a long through ball, clattering past Howes, before hurriedly hitting the bar with the goal at his mercy.

The high-flying U18s return to action next Saturday, when they entertain West Bromwich Albion in a midday kick-off at Little Heath.

West Ham United U18s: Howes, Pike, Pask, Onariase, Page, Cullen, Makasi, Nasha, Mavila, Brown, Bywater (Parfitt-Williams)
Subs not used: Guzman, Martins, Amoo, Oxford