Defeat - but the kids are alright!

West Ham Utd 1 Portsmouth 3 A YOUNG Hammers under-18 side suffered a battling FA Premier Academy League defeat by Portsmouth at Little Heath on Saturday. With the club s second-year Academy professionals being rested ahead of this week s reserve fixture a

West Ham Utd 1 Portsmouth 3

A YOUNG Hammers under-18 side suffered a battling FA Premier Academy League defeat by Portsmouth at Little Heath on Saturday.

With the club's second-year Academy professionals being rested ahead of this week's reserve fixture against Arsenal, Tony Carr's line-up contained a number of first-year professionals and schoolboys.

However, despite their inexperience, Ahmed Abdulla put West Ham in front on 16 minutes, slotting the ball past Pompey goalkeeper Liam O'Brien.

The Hammers held their lead until half time, but the visitors were back on level terms less than 90 seconds after the restart, when the highly-rated Tom Kilbey headed in from close range.

West Ham almost hit back immediately, but Danny Subuola could only fire his bouncing shot against the outside of the post.

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Subuola was made to rue his miss on 54 minutes when Portsmouth took the lead, Navas' cross flying over the head of Peter Loveday before bouncing into the net via the post and the unlucky goalkeeper.

West Ham continued to battle, however, and could easily have levelled the scores once again had O'Brien not done brilliantly to keep out two Callum McNaughton headers.

As the young home side tired in the closing stages, Portsmouth sealed the victory when Kilbey headed in with 10 minutes remaining.

West Ham United: Loveday, Smith (Craig 57), McNaughton, Sanchez, Driver, Werndly (Moncur 62), Barrett, Okus, Montano, Abdulla, Subuola. Subs not used: Mehmet, Hall.