Chelsea inflict first defeat of West Ham U18s’ season
West Ham United U18s came out on the wrong side of a see-saw London derby with Chelsea U18s on Saturday, falling to their first competitive defeat of the season.
In an exciting end-to-end game at Chelsea’s Cobham Training Centre, the home side took advantage of uncertainty at the back through Myles Peart-Harris, who pounced to give them the lead in the 23rd minute.
West Ham U18s, however, came roaring back to lead 2-1 with two goals in two minutes just before half-time – the first a near-post header from Veron Parkes, the second a poacher’s effort from Sebastian Nebyla.
The second half saw Chelsea take charge of the game, levelling through an Armando Broja penalty before taking the lead when Dynel Simeu pounced on a defensive error.
After Broja took advantage of more defensive errors to hand Chelsea U18s a 4-2 lead, Samuel Caiger would reignite hope for U18s Lead Coach Kevin Keen’s men in the 81st minute with a solo goal, but it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat.
Speaking after the game, Hammers coach Mark Phillips was full of praise for the side, saying: "On the whole, we did very well. I was more pleased with today's performance than last weekend's, when we won 2-1 against Swansea U18.
"This Chelsea side have won the league for seven of the last eight seasons, so we tried to negate them through the middle, force them out wide, and overall it was a great all-round performance from everyone in the team. We could've even snatched a fourth late on."
Following last weekend’s opening day victory over Swansea U18, West Ham's Academy side sit sixth in the U18 Premier League South table.
They’ll be looking to bounce back from this result when they take on another London rival, Arsenal U18, at Little Heath Sports Ground next Saturday 24 August.