Striker Rob Hall was absolved of criticism as he shone on his full West Ham debut in a disappointing 4-1 Capital One Cup defeat to Wigan.
The teen star, who lives in Aylesbury and used to go to The Grange School, escaped criticism as manager Sam Allardyce blasted his much-changed team for their sloppy defending.
National press reports after the game labelled the Hammers’ performance embarrassing but highlighted Hall as ‘the only bright spot’ for the London club.
The England youth international enjoyed a productive loan spell at Oxford United last season and also got some game time at MK Dons at the tail end of the campaign.
Speaking on Twitter after the defeat, Hall, who was a threat throughout with his probing runs and close control, said: “Was very happy that I started my first game for the first team tonight!
“But I’m upset about the result! We’ll learn as a team and onto the next one.”
The pacy youngster, who has been in and around the first team squad at West Ham this season, told the club’s official website he felt blessed to make his debut.
“Starting for the first team is something I have wanted to do my whole life, so, God blessed, I have now managed to do that. It was very nice to play at the Boleyn Ground.
“Obviously we are disappointed with the result but when you come out of the tunnel and the crowd go wild it really gets you going, it was an amazing feeling.
“I came pretty close to scoring by hitting the crossbar. I just need to keep shooting when the ball comes to me or look to play someone else in if they’re in a better position.
“I don’t feel I showed the full extent of what I can do against Wigan but hopefully I can improve upon that the next time I get an opportunity in the first-team.”
Hall will hope to add to his solitary Premier League appearance in a 3-0 win over Fulham when his side travel to play Queens Park Rangers on Monday night, a game which is being screened live on Sky Sports.
You can follow Hall on Twitter – @RobHall46