WOODLANDS School’s West Ham United Foundation team are celebrating after being crowned the National Trophy champions.

The up-and-coming youngsters, who won the National Football Youth League South Central Division title by an impressive 11 points last season, got their hands on silverware after recording a 1-0 win over Chelsea.

Kane Gilbert claimed what proved to be the only goal of the final and head coach Glenn Pennyfather felt his side were fully deserving of the victory at the Premier League giants’ Cobham training ground.

“We played really well and it was a great experience for the boys,” said former Southend United midfielder Pennyfather.

“Sometimes you wonder whether they will get overawed by the occasion, but they didn’t.

“It was a great end to the season and it is the end of an era because a lot of the boys are leaving us.

“The players have been fantastic for me and winning the game was a fantastic send-off.

“We played at Chelsea’s training ground and they have fantastic facilities there.

“Security was out in full force because their first team were training ahead of their Europa League final win over Arsenal.”

Gilbert, who is on the books of Isthmian North side Canvey Island and impressed boss Mark Bentley last term, hit the winner close to the half hour mark.

But the margin of victory could have been more convincing as the midfielder passed up two opportunities from the penalty spot.

Gilbert was penalised for pausing in his run-up for the first spot-kick, while a fine save kept out the teenager’s second attempt.

Although Pennyfather was pleased to see off Chelsea in the final, he had mixed feelings as the campaign came to an end.

“We enjoyed a fantastic end to the season, but our early form cost us,” added Pennyfather.

“I think we would have been fighting for the title if we hadn’t endured such a bad start to the season.

“We picked up 33 points from the last 18 games, but we lost five of our first six fixtures.

“I’m sure we would have been up there challenging for the title if we had been better in the first few games, but it was understandable after making the step up following promotion.

“The poor form at the start put us on the back foot but it’s been fantastic to see the players develop and improve over the course of the last year.”