Youths Lose Out In Fulham Thriller

HAMMERS Under-18s have lost 3-2 to Fulham at Little Heath, having clawed back a two goal half-time deficit.

Perhaps still hung over from their midweek FA Youth Cup exit, Tony Carr's team started the game slowly and fell behind with just two minutes gone when Ishmael Ehui raced onto a through ball and fired an angled drive past Matt Reed.

West Ham thought they had drawn level when Kyel Reid's free-kick from the right flew into the Fulham net, but the goal was ruled out for offside against Tony Stokes and Moses Ashikodi.

The pacy Saheem Sankoh shot wide for the Cottagers, before Moses Ashikodi tested Mark Davidson in the Fulham goal with a thumping effort that the 'keeper did well to gather at the second attempt.

Reid, Ollie Allen and trialist Joe Martin all went close, before Matt Reed produced a wonderful save from a long-range free-kick and was relieved to see the rebound go wide.

Hammers were enjoying plenty of attacking possession, but it was Fulham's forward line that proved more clinical, and on 40 minutes they added a second when Callum Legate finished coolly from close range to send the Hammers in 2-0 down at the break.

West Ham came out for the second-half in determined mood, and they were back in it on 51 minutes. Kyel Reid received the ball from Tony Stokes and fired a shot across the area, which Moses Ashikodi diverted wide of Davidson to make it 2-1.

With 71 minutes gone Stokes latched on to Ishmael Welsh's through ball and fired in a shot, which Davidson did well to save at his near post.

But momentum was with the Hammers, and three minutes later the home side equalised. James Tomkin swung in a high cross from the right and Ishmael Welsh met it with venom, heading powerfully past Davidson to make it 2-2.

Hammers forced a succession of corners as they pushed for a winner, but it was the Cottagers that grabbed the decisive third goal with less than a minute remaining, Ehei scoring after the visitors broke away from a Hammers corner.

WHU: Reed; Henry, Andrews, Tomkins, Blewitt, Cowley (Georgiou 72), Allen (Welsh 59), Martin, Ashikodi (Ephraim 72), Stokes, Reid.Mark