Nathan Trott and his West Ham United’s Under 23 teammates shaded their opening fixture against Everton despite recording a goalless draw, according to assistant manager Liam Manning.
The Hammers had the better of the chances at the Chigwell Construction Stadium and went close to bagging their first of the season through Toni Martinez twice and once from defender Alex Pike.
But the visitors – last season’s Division 1 Champions – held out for a point they will be delighted with, having come under serious pressure throughout the first half and parts of the second.
Manning, though disappointed not to get the win to kick-off the season in style, was pleased with the performance.
He said: “We just shaded the game I thought. Physically we looked the stronger team at the end even with ten men at the end.
“In terms of the overall performance, you expect to not be delighted with everything from the first game, but the key areas we will work on and go again on Tuesday.
“It’s really good to be back. Everyone’s been really looking forward to it this week, and we obviously had a really good year last year winning promotion. It was a good game.
“When we won the play-offs, we knew it would be a big challenge this season. When you look at our fixtures for October, they’re very tough.