Fulham Under-21s' three-game unbeaten run came to an end as they were narrowly beaten 2-1 by West Ham United at Rush Green on Friday evening.
The Club as a whole was handed a boost by the inclusion of Fernando Amorebieta and Tim Hoogland in the starting XI as the defensive pair were given a first run-out since recovering from their respective injuries.
All three goals arrived in the space of six first half minutes, with the home side going in front early on when Josh Cullen converted at the far post from Joe Powell’s cross.
The Whites were level just two minutes later, though, as Australia international Adam Taggart grabbed his third goal in as many games when he collected a long pass and fired a composed finish beyond Hammers goalkeeper Raphael Spiegel.
But the frenetic pace continued as the hosts restored their advantage moments later when Powell delivered another inviting cross which was this time attacked by Jordan Brown who found the net with his header.
Taggart went close to a second equaliser of the game but just missed the target midway through the first half when he got on the end of Buomesca Tue Na Bangna’s centre. And West Ham survived another scare shortly before the interval when Alex Pike made a hash of his clearance and saw the ball hit his own crossbar, and then the post before the danger was averted.
Djair Parfitt-Williams thought he’d made it 3-1 shortly after the restart when he tapped in Brown’s cross, but the flag was up to deny him.
Brown then went close to putting the finishing touch to a fine Hammers move, while up the other end young Luca De La Torre was denied by a superb Manny Onariase tackle as the youngster went to shoot.
Despite their exertions, Fulham were unable to find a way back into the match as they found themselves on the wrong end of an entertaining 2-1 encounter.
Competition: Barclays U21 Premier League
Date: Friday 6 February 2015
Venue: Rush Green, London
Team line-up is not available.
Line-up: Norman; Voser, Buatu, Amorebieta, Evans; Della Verde, Hoogland; Mesca, Plumain, Richards; Taggart
Unused substitutes: Barnes, Williams, De La Torre, Baba