Town Juniors 0 - 1 West Ham Juniors (FA Youth Cup 3rd Round). WEST HAM may have edged this tie, but Town came away with many plaudits after a battling display which ended in heartbreak.
A Tony Stokes goal on 32 minutes proved enough for the Eastenders, who were supported by Hammers legend Trevor Brooking.
The FA's new director of football development watched from the stands as the Hammers booked a home tie with Chester-le- Street, surprise 2-1 winners over Derby.
But boy, did Town have a real go against the Under 18s of the more affluent First Division club, and they were applauded off the pitch at the end by an appreciative crowd of 513.
On seven minutes, Mark Sheridan sent a well-weighted through ball to Gavin Huxall, who put the Hammers defence under pressure.
That caused Darren Blewitt to head away from his goalkeeper, who had come to collect, but Town didn't have a player free on the overlap to shoot at goal.
Town's goalkeeper, 17-year-old Jacob Giles, from Mount, was given some early handling practice soon after when a teasing up and under from Blewitt was safely grasped from the air.
Town had West Ham on the rack during controlled spells of first half play.
Their passing was sleek and crisp and had one or two balls just sneaked past an outretched leg of a Hammers defender, Town would surely have drawn first blood.
They came agonisingly close on 23 minutes, when James Hand's deep free-kick was taken down the right side of the area by Aaron Hardy, who drove in a cross which Mark Sheridan volleyed low first time, forcing a tremendous save from Matty Reed, who tipped the ball around the post while at full stretch.
After Marcel Collington teed up Stokes for the game's only goal soon after, Town showed commendable maturity to compose themselves, roll their sleeves up and continue to takr the game to their visitors.
Giles had to make a vital save on the hour, when Sam Wright stole into the box and struck a teasing cross for Danny Bunce.
His drive was blocked by the keeper, who then denied Stokes from the rebound.
Town manager Peter Jackson said: "I was really pleased with the lads. They can be proud with what they have achieved in the Cup this year."
Town: Giles, Walls, Evans, Collins, Clarke, Hardy, Sheridan, Young, Huxall (Highley, 83mins), Shaw, Hand. Subs not used: Kerridge, Draper, Racchi, Wilson.
West Ham: Reed, Henry, Blewitt, Parrington, Laws, Bunce, Wright, Noble, Stokes (Yao, 64mins), Collington (Ephraim, 62mins), Reid. Subs not used: Behcet, Tucker, Lee.