Under-18s lose at Chelsea

West Ham United's under-18 side suffered their first defeat of 2006 on Saturday morning, losing 1-0 to London rivals Chelsea.

A first-minute goal gave the hosts victory against Tony Carr's team, who were unlucky not to take something from the game after an impressive second-half performance.

Almost straight from kick-off, Chelsea forced a corner that was swung in from the left and missed by Hammers goalkeeper Eran Kemal, allowing an opponent to head in on the line.

Buoyed by their early fortune, the Blues dominated the rest of the first half against a Hammers side containing eight players who had appeared for the reserves against Coventry City on Tuesday.

However, the visitors responded well after the break and enjoyed the better exchanges throughout the second half.

Liam White, Jack Collison and Zavon Hines all went close but, for only the second time this season, Hammers couldn't find a way through the opposition, and Chelsea held on for the victory.

Tony Carr said afterwards: "It was a tight game that really could have gone either way, but we had a terrible start and just couldn't find the breakthrough after that.

"We were certainly the better side in the second half, and had a couple of chances to pull it level, but unfortunately the ball just wouldn't run for us.

"A lot of the boys were playing their third game in seven days, so we knew that would have an affect, but overall we put a lot of effort in and I thought we deserved to get a point at least."

Hammers: Kemal; Andrews, White, Tomkins, Fitzgerald; Davidson (Jeffrey 60), Hales (Collison 65), Cowley, Welsh (Hines 45); Ephraim, Reid. Subs unused: Widdowson.