Valuable lesson for youngsters

Alex Dyer has said this week's reserve meeting with Fulham will have given his young side valuable experience for the season ahead.

In the midweek meeting at Motspur Park, hosts Fulham had a vastly more experienced lineup including five internationals and ran out 4-1 winners. Yet Dyer found plenty of positives in the way his team coped with the challenge.  "Overall there were some good things. I thought Bondz ['Gala] and Holmar Orn [Eyjolfsson] were very good at the back even though we conceded four goals.

"I thought those two were good and it looks like they are growing up and learning the game now. Ryan O'Neill did well at right-back and there were some positives out there and you can't be too hard on them. "We knew it was going to be difficult as they were all kids and some of them were playing in the youth team on Saturday and they've stepped up to another level. Fulham had four or five senior pros in their side like we did last week and it made a difference."

West Ham United's youngsters more than matched their hosts in the opening exchanges and had several chances on goal before an Erik Nevland strike just before half-time gave Fulham the lead. Two more goals followed shortly after half-time which put the game out of reach of the visitors.

Dyer said: "In the first 35 minutes we were doing all right, we had a few efforts at goal and then the last ten minutes of the first half they got into the game a lot more and they scored in a period where they were probably on top. Then straight after the break they scored two goals in a matter of minutes which killed us off."

Eyjolfsson briefly gave his side hope with a great header but a long-range strike from Wayne Brown ensured Fulham got the win. Dyer is sure his side will use the experience to a positive effect. "It's hard for them. Now they will go back and train with the youth team and they know what they will have to achieve to get to that level of playing.

"Between now and the end of the season they are going to get a chance to play in the reserves again and hopefully they will have learnt from the game and will do better next time."