West Ham United reserves 1-2 Aston Villa reserves
A 25-yard scorcher from Kyel Reid was almost enough to secure a point for West Ham United on the first day of the new Premier Reserve League season until Aston Villa snatched a late winner.
The reserves kicked off on 29 August playing at the Woodside ground, home of Bishop's Stortford FC, under Kevin Keen and nearly took a share of the spoils.
A young team, aided by first teamers Jimmy Walker in goal and John Pantsil in defence, started brightly and created several chances in the first 20 minutes.
Jack Collison and Freddie Sears were both lively in and around the box and Pantsil saw an effort blocked as he tried a low shot.
Aston Villa then pushed forward, Mikaelsson tried his luck with a rebound strike after Walker had saved, but the ball went wide.
Reid then linked up well with Jack Collison, but the final ball was just too long for him to latch on to.
It remained 0-0 at half time and Keen made a change as the second half began, Ashley Miller coming on for Lorcan Fitzgerald.
Walker was alert to two Villa chances early on in the half, before another change was made to the Hammers side, with Junior Stanislas replacing Freddie Sears.
Half chances fell to both sides and Walker made a double save before Villa made the breakthrough. Hogg jumped up high enough to see the ball hit the underside of the crossbar and then into the back of the net.
But the Hammers responded well and were soon on level terms. Reid picked up the ball and sent a blistering shot from 25-yards past the Villa keeper.
Two goals in four minutes had opened the game up and West Ham nearly took the lead, as Reid sent in a pinpoint cross only for Junior Stanislas' effort to bounce off the post with inches to spare.
With the game looking like a stale-mate, Villa pounced to take all three points as Lowry hit the winner in the 89th minute.
For goalscorer Reid, there was disappointment the Hammers could not get something from the game.
Speaking afterwards, the young midfielder said: "I was pleased with the goal. They took the lead but we got back soon after and that was good.
"It was a shame we couldn't get the point, but it's only the first game and I think we showed there is a lot to come from us."
West Ham United: Walker, Pantsil, Fitzgerald (Miller), Blackwell, 'Gala, Stokes, Hales, Collison, Jeffery, Sears (Stanislas), Reid
Subs not used: Blackmore, O'Neill, Hunt, Harvey