The reserve team's search for their first victory of the season continues after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Charlton Athletic on Monday evening.
In a lively encounter at the ground of non-league Gravesend & Northfleet, an early strike from Junior Stanislas gave Hammers a deserved lead, but the hosts hit back in the second half with a strike from Rurik Gislason.
On a positive note, Lee Bowyer came through the entire 90 minutes unscathed following his recovery from a dislocated shoulder, while Teddy Sheringham, Kepa Blanco, Jimmy Walker, John Pantsil and Shaun Newton all gained valuable match action.
Hammers made the brighter start and took the lead inside the opening 10 minutes with their first real attack of the game. A neat move between Sheringham and Kepa saw the ball pushed wide on the left to Stanislas, who skipped into the penalty area before firing in a left-foot shot that took a deflection and looped over goalkeeper Fernandes into the net.
Ten minutes later, the visitors might have doubled their lead, as Pantsil surged down the right and cut the ball back for Sheringham, who didn't catch his volley right and saw the effort drop into the arms of Fernandes.
As the half wore on, Charlton began to assert some authority on proceedings, and striker Kevin Lisbie wasted a good chance after being sent clear on the right. His partner in attack, James Walker, also had no luck up against his namesake in the Hammers goal.
The hosts made the brighter start to the second half and it was only the agility and class of Walker that ensured Hammers held on to their lead - the 33-year-old goalkeeper making three superb saves in the space of three minutes to deny the hosts an equaliser.
In between that action-packed spell, Bowyer was handed an excellent chance to double the advantage when slipped through by Pantsil, but the returning midfielder fired his effort just wide of the target.
Pantsil himself then went close with a clever chip that just cleared the crossbar, before Steve Brown made a double change in the 65th minute, sending on youngsters Jack Jeffery and Jordan Spence in place of Teddy Sheringham and James Tomkins - who continued his recovery from a shoulder injury.
Just five minutes later, though, the Addicks took advantage of the re-adjustments to grab their equaliser. A hashed clearance from Spence dropped straight to Gislason, who took one touch before firing in a low shot that took a deflection off Pantstil to deceive Walker.
Hammers had an opportunity to take all three points when Jeffery
played in Kepa just five minutes from time, but the Spanish striker
saw his effort blocked by a defender, and in the end a draw was a
Hammers: Walker; Pantsil, Tomkins (Spence 65), N'Gala, Widdowson; Newton, Hales, Bowyer, Stanislas (Sears 86); Sheringham (Jeffery 65), Kepa. Subs unused: Blackmore, Miller.