Nathan Trott and his West Ham United teammates tasted defeat in the Checkatrade Trophy for the first time this season when their hosts – League Two side Wycombe Wanderers – were 2-0 winners at Adams Park.
Wycombe, took the three points in the final group match thanks to goals from Will De Havilland and Sido Jombati, though it mattered little for Terry Westley's Hammers who were already through to the next round before the clash.
The east Londoners, having finished second in their group, will travel to Luton Town in their first ever knockout match in the competition.
Westley remained extremely proud of his side’s achievements as, despite defeat to Wycombe.
“We have to be positive to start with – we have gone through” he insisted.
“Setting the stall out at the start of the season you ask ‘can you go a step further than last year and qualify through the groups?’, so it’s a really good achievement, we must not forget that.
“To be one of three [U21] teams to go through to the last-32 is a big achievement for the players at the club.
Goals either side of the break proved the difference at Adams Park, with Will De Havilland and Sido Jombati the scorers as Wycombe’s added physicality showed its worth.
“Of course there is the disappointment at having not topped the group, we were a goal away from doing that” Westley explained.
“I was disappointed with the manner of the two goals, it was tough to get the ball down and play because the game was so physical but they are the demands that the young players have to cope with if you are going to go on loan at this level.”