West Ham under 18s crashed to a penalty shoot out defeat in last night’s third round FA Youth Cup third-round to Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Hammers took the lead through schoolboy Amadou Diallo’s inside six minutes and dominated but failed to kill things off with a second goal at the Chigwell Construction Stadium.
Brighton levelled through Danny Cashman’s fine strike in the second half before Irons goalkeeper Serine Sanneh – another schoolboy – saved Harry Jenks’ extra-time penalty to take the tie to a shootout.
Both teams missed a kick each before Sean Adarkwa saw West Ham’s seventh penalty saved and it was the Seagulls who went through to round four.
Coach Jack Collison said: “It’s a tough one to take. The boys are disappointed and everyone is quite emotional right now. We just went in there and spoke them and said ‘These things happen, but you’ve just got to learn from it because in the first half we were outstanding, played really well and created lots of chances and obviously got just the one goal but could have been out of sight.
“To be fair to Brighton they were very good and probably felt a little unfortunate not to have won the game in normal time themselves but in terms of digging in, effort and commitment to the game we can’t ask for any more.
“It’s just important that when we dissect the game, the pick some bits up, learn from it and we look for areas to improve.