WEST Ham United Under-18s suffered a 2-1 defeat to London rivals Fulham at Little Heath.
The set-back came just three days after Tony Carr's team had beaten Luton in the FA Youth Cup Third Round.
Within 90 seconds Hogan Ephraim made a majestic run and laid the ball back into the path of Tony Stokes, but his forceful effort was blocked.
Tony Stokes, in his usual midfield berth then found David Cowley around the edge of the Fulham penalty area on 18 minutes, and the pint sized midfielder with the goal clearly in his sights, fired in with the ball deflecting for a corner.
At the other end of the field, Fulham's Yinka Casal tested David Blackmore, with the Hammers keeper at full stretch parrying the ball away.
On 38 minutes, Bradley Hudson-Odoi got past Liam White but David Blackmore came sliding out from the Hammers goal to rescue the cause with a brave save.
There was no breakthrough for either side as the first-half drew
to a close .
In the second-half the Hammers came at the Cottagers and the Fulham defence led by ex West Ham United trialist Tom Moncur almost came unstuck in the early exchanges.
Hogan Ephraim conjured up an opening involving Tony Stokes who flicked the ball into Jack Jeffery.
JJ shot from six yards out only to see the ball deflect off a late Fulham boot to take it past a post.
While Liam White was off of the field receiving treatment, the Hammers conceded a free-kick outside their penalty area. As Liam returned to the field for the set-play there was confusion in the Hammers wall.
Fulham substitute Andrew Ottley took the direct free-kick from around 20 yards or so and swerved the ball around the Hammers defence to give the visitors the lead on 65 minutes.
Fulham continued to press and not for the first time, Bradley Hudson-Odoi broke away and David Blackmore came out quickly to save, with James Tomkins tidying up.
Another Fulham foray saw Bradley Hudson-Odoi getting just the better of Liam White as both got tangled up inside the Hammers penalty area and Liam sent the Fulham man to the ground.
The referee Mr Weston did not hesitate to point at the penalty sport and Andrew Ottley stepped up to side foot the ball into the net sending David Blackmore the wrong way, making it 2-0
Tony Stokes led a late West Ham United rally as he saw a curling effort saved one handed by the Fulham goalkeeper.
David Cowley then had a shot go just wide as the Hammers fought to try and salvage something from this game.
In stoppage time the Fulham goal-mouth resembled the Alamo and in the 92 minute James Tomkins gave the Hammers some late hope as he headed home from a Kyel Reid cross following a corner.
The Hammers continued to surge and almost rescued a point when a
Kyel Reid effort was cleared off of the line but ultimately the
boys simply ran out of time as they went down 2-1.
WHU: Blackmore; Andrews (Widdowson 80), Henry, White, Tomkins, Davidson (Welsh 45), Cowley, Ephraim, Reid, Stokes, Jeffery (Collison 70). Subs unused: Reed (GK), Hines.