Sonny Perkins and Armstrong Okoflex linked up brilliantly to break the deadlock during the under-23 clash between West Ham and Chelsea last night.

Unfortunately for us though, Chelsea hit back not long after to earn a 1-1 draw and subsequently dealt the Hammers under-23s a huge blow in the race for the Premier League 2 title.

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The West Ham youngsters were sitting in third spot in the table before last night’s game, one point behind second placed Arsenal and eight adrift of league leaders Manchester City.

The draw against Chelsea lifted us above Arsenal on goal difference and we still have a game in hand over them.

However, we are a full seven adrift of City, although we have played one game less.

Leyton Orient v West Ham United - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

A win against our London rivals last night would have been a huge result for the under-23s but instead it feels like somewhat of a missed opportunity.

Perkins and Okoflex produce the goods but West Ham under-23s held by Chelsea

The 18-year-old and the 20-year-old have forged a brilliant partnership for the U-23s this season.

Mark Robson will be delighted with both attacking players’ performances, as will David Moyes. The future at the London Stadium is very bright indeed.

However, last night’s clash with Chelsea was an incredibly frustrating one.

The Hammers youngsters took the lead on 62 minutes after Okoflex burst through midfield leaving a trail of Chelsea players in his wake.

The Dublin-born starlet teed up Perkins who finished smartly, curling his shot around Chelsea stopper Teddy Sharman-Lowe.

West Ham United youngster Sonny Perkins scored against Chelsea for the under-23s last night
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Things took a turn for the worse, however, just 13 minutes later when Thierno Ballo equalised for Chelsea to make it 1-1. And that’s how the scores remained.

To add insult to injury Jamal Baptiste was given his marching orders in injury time after a reckless challenge on Sharman-Lowe.

The result will be a dagger to the hearts of the West Ham youngsters regarding our chances of winning the Premier League 2 title this season.

The West Ham youngster are all incredibly talented. It seems as though they have real issues with closing games out though, certainly over the past month or so.

They’ve drawn two and lost three of their last five games and need to respond asap in order to keep their title hopes alive.

With the likes of Perkins and Okoflex firing on all cylinders that is still possible of course. Last night’s draw with Chelsea was a hammer blow though.

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