West Ham United U18s' recent winning streak came to a bitterly disappointing end after they lost 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur U18 on Saturday morning.
The only goal of the game came with just ten minutes left on the clock, as Spurs midfielder Anton Walkes turned his defender to fire past West Ham goalkeeper Sam Howes.
Hammers boss Steve Potts was without several regulars due to Development Squad duty or injury, so midfielder Grady Diangana, Josh Pask and Kieran Bailey were given rare starts. West Ham also named a very young and inexperienced bench, with goalkeeper Nathan Parsons being joined by U16 teammates Tunji Akinola and Oscar Borg.
In the early stages, an equally youthful Spurs team appeared to be much more comfortable on the ball, attacking with pace. Most of the visitors' chances came from attacking pair Daniel Akindayini and Shayon Harrison, with midfielders Joe Pritchard and Cy Goddard causing the Hammers all kinds of problems.
Spurs failed to convert any of their chances and the Hammers came back strongly. West Ham boss Potts decided to move Jerry Amoo from the middle to the wing and before long, he had visiting defender Anthony Georgiou backtracking and on two occasions in the space of five minutes, his crosses were narrowly stabbed wide by Djair Parfitt-Williams.
The second half started similarly to the first, with both young teams battling hard to try and steal a goal to keep on track for the title this season.
It was Akindayini and Harrison who again pressured the Hammers backline, but neither could convert their chances.
West Ham began to step up their game in the closing stages. Substitute striker Marcio Martins narrowly volleyed over from ten yards after meeting a Kieran Bywater cross with less than 15 minutes to play.
Spurs struck on 80 minutes however when Walkes picked up the ball and fired a low shot at goal, with a slight deflection off Nathan Mavila taking the ball past Howes and into the net.
After that, West Ham kept playing their football and working hard as they looked for an equaliser, but neither Pask nor Amoo could rescue the home side.
West Ham remain at the top of the Barclays Under 18 Premier League South with just six league games left to play before the play-offs, with Spurs now just three points behind the Hammers.
The Academy's next fixture is on Saturday 29 March 2014 away at Everton U18, with an 11am kick off.
Academy: Howes, Pike, Mavila, Diangana (Borg), Onariase, Pask, Makasi, Amoo, Bailey (Martins), Bywater, Parfitt-Williams.
Subs not used: Parsons, Akinola