Narrow loss for U18s

West Ham United Under-18s fell to a narrow pre-season defeat by the odd goal in five at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

A fast-paced, entertaining encounter saw Assistant Academy Director Paul Hilton give a number of first-year scholars and schoolboys an extended outing, with the two clubs agreeing to allow rolling substitutions at Spurs Lodge.

Goalkeeper Jake Larkins, midfielder Blair Turgot and forward Daniel Purdy all impressed for HIlton's youthful-looking side.

The Hammers, without many of the second-year scholars who were involved in the reserve team friendly at Thurrock on Friday evening, took an early lead through Purdy, only for Spurs to hit back with three goals of their own either side of half-time.

Turgot's penalty reduced the arrears just after the hour-mark, but Hilton's team - cheered on by watching second-years Cristian Montano, Nick Barrett and Ahmed Abdulla - were unable to muster an equaliser in the closing stages.

West Ham started the better of the two sides and it was no surprise when Republic of Ireland youth international Purdy latched on to Turgot's pass before slotting the ball into the bottom left-hand corner after just four minutes.

Ten minutes later and Purdy came within a lick of paint of doubling the visitors' lead, only to see his acrobatic volley thud back off the crossbar.

Having survived that let-off, Tottenham hit back strongly and levelled matters on 23 minutes. Further goals followed on 49 and 60 minutes - the second a penalty - as the home side took control of proceedings.

West Ham could easily have equalised in between Spurs' second and third goals, only for Mathias Fanimo to see his rasping 25-yarder fumbled on to the crossbar by the home goalkeeper. Turgot headed in the rebound, only to be denied by the assistant referee's flag for offside.

However, the midfielder did not have to wait much longer to get his name on the scoresheet, confidently slotting home his spot-kick after Daniel Subuola had been bundled over inside the penalty area.

Both sides continued to press for more goals and Purdy twice shot straight at the goalkeeper when well-placed. At the other end, West Ham stopper Larkins produced a superb reaction save to deny the Tottenham left-back in the dying seconds.

West Ham United U18: Larkins, Smith, Sanchez, Lampe, Driver, Turgot, Moncur, Fanimo, Vose, Purdy, Subuola
Used subs: Brown, Wearen, Werndly, Craig
Unused subs: Mehmet, McNaughton