Potts disappointed by defeat

West Ham United U18s manager Steve Potts said he was disappointed at losing 2-1 to Southampton in the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup at St Mary's Stadium on Tuesday evening.

The Hammers took an early lead through Josh Pask as he flicked Djair Parfitt-Williams' inswinging corner past Harry Isted.

The Saints responded through Dan Demkiv's composed finish as he ran on to Josh Sims' defence splitting ball.

The Hammers started the second half on the front foot, however the game's momentum changed when Manny Onariase was sent off for bringing down the striker as he was clean through on goal.

The Saints took the lead through 15-year-old Callum Slattery, who scored from a wonderfully struck 25-yard strike which gave Howes no chance of saving.

Speaking after the game, Potts said: "Obviously the initial reaction is disappointment. The first 20 minutes I thought we were so comfortable. We went in front after about ten minutes and we had chances to extend our lead.

"It came down to that old saying that if you don't get the second goal then you open yourself up to be punished. They got into the game and then shortly afterwards there was the sending off which made it very difficult for us.

"I thought we did well enough with ten men, I don't think Sam Howes has had a save to make. It was one of those nights really where if we had put the ball away when we had our chances in the first half, we would have been comfortable winners."

The defeat sees the U18s knocked out of the FA Youth Cup in the third round for the second consecutive year. Potts continued to say: "I don't have any complaints with the red card. As soon as it happened you feared red. As soon as the ref had given the free kick he had to go really.

"Southampton are a good team but I think we're the better side and we had the chances to win, it was just shame that we didn't. We kept them limited to very few chances considering we were a man down.

"It was a great experience for them. We just wanted more for them, to get through would've been great because you have another game like this with a crowd and a stadium. It just wasn't to be."