- West Ham United's U18s were beaten 3-0 at home to Reading
- It was the Hammers second league defeat in succession
- Assistant manager Mark Phillips believes his team will learn and bounce back
West Ham United U18s endured a frustrating afternoon, going down 3-0 at home to Reading.
The Hammers were aiming to bounce back from their midweek FA Youth Cup exit at the hands of Stoke City, but were beaten for the first time at home this season.
Goals from Ben House, Joel Rollinson and Danny Loader helped the Royals on their way, with the Hammers losing their second league match in succession.
“I think Reading deserved to win today. They had the better chances than us. I wouldn’t say they’re a better footballing side than us but they definitely deserved to win on the day,” said assistant manager Mark Phillips.
“It was a similar game to Tuesday (vs Stoke). They (Reading) were a physical, robust side and we struggled to deal with them.
“This is our worst period of the season without a doubt, but we’ll work very hard on the training ground to put it right.”
Reading had the first real chance of an entertaining first half – Teddy Howe sent a rasping drive crashing against Rihards Matrevics’ right hand post.
We'll work very hard on the training ground to put it right
The Hammers responded though and a moment of magic from Alfie Lewis almost paid dividends and he turned in his own half, surged forward and forced the Reading goalkeeper into a smart save.
However, it was the away side who took the lead – House jinked his way through the West Ham defence and slotted neatly past Matrevics.
The Royals then doubled their lead around ten minutes later when a deep free-kick was tapped in at the back post by Rollinson.
The Hammers emerged from the interval with a change of shape, moving to three at the back and two up top, and it almost paid off as Jahmal Hector-Ingram fired wide from a tight angle.
However, the Royals added a third with 15 minutes to play and it was a spectacular strike from Loader – he sent a powerful drive from 25 yards into the top corner.
The Hammers responded valiantly in the final 10 minutes and could have got back into the game but both Ben Johnson and Hector-Ingram sent efforts just wide.
Hammers XI: Matrevics; Johnson, Eggleton, Akinola, Hannam (Longelo, 67); Coventry, Lewis (Hamilton, 82); Henry, Powell, Scully (Neufville, 46); Hector-Ingram.
Subs not used: Forde, Constantinou.