Fulham’s Under-18s were beaten 3-1 by London rivals West Ham United at Little Heath on Saturday.
On a sunny and crisp morning in East London, the game started at a lively pace. Patrick Roberts caused the West Ham defence problems early on, before Marek Rodak made a good stop.
George Williams then forced the Hammers goalkeeper into two relatively easy saves, but the same Fulham youngster then had to clear off the line at the other end after a West Ham corner caused confusion in the away side’s area.
Liam Donnelly went close with a header for Fulham after meeting a corner and Williams then saw a free-kick agonisingly hit the inside of the post before being cleared to safety.
The Hammers went in front just moments after the restart when Kieran Bywater drove down the right wing and crossed for Jordan Brown to tap home at the far post.
And it was 2-0 to the Hammers on 54 minutes, Bywater meeting a Lewis Page cross from the left to score.
Substitute Aaron Redford fired wide for Fulham on the hour mark before the Whites got themselves back in the game 60 seconds later when Williams coolly scored from the spot after being fouled in the box by Jamie Harney.
But just four minutes later, the Hammers were handed a spot-kick of their own and it was highly controversial, Burgess being penalised for handball after a West Ham shot had struck the Fulham player. Bywater stepped up to slot home the penalty.
Fulham’s day was summed up when Redford hit the post for the Whites after collecting Roberts’ intricate reverse pass as Steve Wigley’s side slipped to a rare defeat.
Fulham: Rodak, Baba, Burgess, Donnelly, Edun (Redford 58), Sambou, Smile (Sheckleford 46), Williams, Evans, Roberts, O'Halloran.