Chelsea Under-18s’ hopes of lifting this season’s Under-18 Premier League title have suffered a blow with Ed Brand’s side falling to a surprise 2-1 defeat at West Ham United this morning.

The Blues got off to the perfect start at Rush Green with George Nunn firing them into an early lead but the hosts soon got a firm grip on the proceedings.

Chelsea started brightly in East London and Nunn struck the opener after just eight minutes with a superb individual goal.

The Blues were enjoying plenty of the ball but it was West Ham United who levelled matters just after the half-hour mark when Vernon Parkes played in Keenan Appiah-Farson to score, beating Blues keeper Jake Askew with a sublime finish from the edge of the box.

The disappointment of conceding that equalising goal soon turned to despair for the South West Londoners when the home side netted their second goal of the game. Lennon Peake’s pass was met by Parkes who helped himself to a goal to add to the assist which he collected just a couple of minutes earlier.

Chelsea searched for a way back into the match in the second half but their response was tame. Levi Colwill had an effort correctly ruled out for offside while substitute Joe Haigh twice went close late on but The Blues ultimately fell to a deserved 2-1 defeat.

Brand’s side are back in action on Wednesday evening when they take on Bradford City in the FA Youth Cup fourth round at The EBB Stadium in Aldershot.