Youths fall short at Leicester

Leicester City Under-18s 2-0 West Ham United Under-18s

West Ham United lost control of pole position in Group A when they were beaten 2-0 at Leicester City in their penultimate Premier Academy League fixture on Saturday.

The hosts, who play in Group B, won it through first-half goals from Ryan Beswick and Ricky Sappleton although Tony Carr's side can feel harshly done by in a competitive encounter that saw both teams show attacking intent. With Arsenal winning 3-0 at Milton Keynes Dons, the north London rivals moved one point clear at the top of the table and still have three games to play. In contrast, Carr's side conclude their season at home to Birmingham City next Saturday.

Sappleton and Lee Cox both had their moments for Leicester in the early stages while Tom Harvey saw his firm header just cleared off the line and Oliver Lee also came close to breaking the deadlock. It was the Foxes though who went in front on 15 minutes, with Craig King seemingly in an offside position when he received the ball before squaring to Beswick, who was able to score beyond Street. Carr's team kept going though in the half and saw Junior Stanislas twice fire in efforts that just went wide.

The next goal was always going to prove decisive - especially with Leicester making the most of their physical superiority and playing a more direct game than the team from east London. Leicester doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time when Street's miscued clearance went straight to Robbie Burns. He in turn found Sappelton and he made no mistake. The second half saw United try their best to get back into the contest - with Lee spurning a header when picked out superbly by Stanislas - but the home side were able to see out the contest.

West Ham United: Street, O'Neill (Brookes 60), 'Gala, Spence, Widdowson, Harvey, Lee (Okus 60), Kearns (Montano 75), Edgar, Stanislas, Abdulla