Dan Potts felt the Development Squad mastered the conditions better than their opponents during their 1-0 win against Southampton at a blustery Rush Green on Friday night.

The centre-back captained the Under-21s to a first win of 2014 which came via a fantastic strike from midfielder Danny Whitehead after 52 minutes.

Both sides struggled to get to grips with the driving rain and swirling wind in the first half before the Hammers produced a dominant second half performance, despite playing into a fierce wind.

Potts told West Ham TV that his side had handled the elements better than their visitors from the south coast.

He said: "The conditions had a major effect on the game, it wasn't nice out there. As I said, it's one of those games that if you lose you'll be kicking yourselves afterwards.

"I thought the boys played to the conditions better than Southampton did. We got it up to the front, got hold of it and played our football from there. I think we thoroughly deserved the win.

"We came in at half-time and we discussed the fact that the ball was going to hold up. We knew that we could over-hit the passes in behind and let our front players run onto it and play from there.

"They wanted to keep a high line and we took advantage of that and played our football in their half which has worked for us."

The Hammers defence built the foundations for the win, limiting the away side to two chances of any real note, allowing a piece of genius from Whitehead to secure the points.

The midfielder picked the ball up halfway inside Saints' half of the pitch and let fly with an unstoppable shot which found the top corner of the net.

Potts was full of praise for the strike but felt his team could have won by more had they been more clinical in front of goal.

"It was a good win. The sort of game that you come off the pitch and you want to win, you don't want to be on the losing team.

"Credit to Danny, we said coming in at half-time that we needed to get more shots on-target and on goal and it's worked in the end with him putting one in the corner.

"I definitely think we had the majority of the chances. They had one or two, one where they caught us on the counter-attack but our keeper did what he's paid for and stopped the ball going in the back of the net. Other than that we could have had a few more goals but we're glad we didn't rue that at the end."

Either side of the 19-year-old in defence were regular Under-18 full-backs Lewis Page and Kyle Knoyle who also played against Manchester United at Old Trafford four days earlier.

It's a position that Potts knows well and the defender believes the pair equipped themselves well during their tastes of U21 football.

"I think they've both come in and done well in both games. Both games were different games and I think they've come in and played their own games.

"They don't look out of place at all so credit to them for that. Josh Cullen had a very good game as well today, another young lad coming in. it's good to see the younger lads coming in and putting a good performance in."