West Ham United U18s were held to a 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion U18s at Little Heath on Saturday morning.
Sebastian Nebyla’s calm finish late in the first half had put West Ham in front, before Stefan Vukoje equalised for the visitors early in the second period.
The draw means Kevin Keen’s side continue their positive start to the season; the young Hammers sit fourth in the U18 Premier League South, with 12 points from seven games.
We played some really good stuff and created some excellent chances.
The Academy side had chances to snatch the points late on but were unable to retake the lead against the currently-unbeaten Seagulls.
West Ham U18s Assistant coach Mark Phillips was pleased with the battling performance at Little Heath.
“It was a good display," he said. "We wanted to be a bit sharper in the penalty box, but we played some really good stuff and created some excellent chances. Even when Brighton were able to equalise, we had three or four good chances to win it.”
West Ham were back in league action for the first time since a disappointing 5-1 defeat to Fulham, Phillips was glad that the U18s were able to put that game behind them.
“The most pleasing aspect of today was bouncing back from the defeat against Fulham. We spoke to boys about that a lot and we did get a good response from them.”
The U18s took the lead through Nebyla, after an excellent passing move at the end of the first half.
“We were pleased to score a good team goal,” continued Phillips. “It was a great cross into Veron Parkes, he chested it through to Sebastian (Nebyla), and he was able to finish well.”
Next up for the West Ham U18s is a trip Tyneside to take on Newcastle U18s in the U18 Premier League Cup.
A win in the North East would ensure that West Ham qualify for the knockout stages, having won their first group game 2-1 against Tottenham Hotspur back in September.