Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]
Premier U-18 Southern League 2016-17
Little Heath, Chadwell Heath, Essex
Saturday 20th August 2016, 11am.
WEST HAM UNITED 1(1) - 0(0) SPURS
Spurs:- Austin; Eyoma, Mukena(Omolabi 81), Dinzeyi, Tsaroulla; Marsh(C), Oakley-Boothe; Shashoua, Duncan(Maghoma 73), Bennetts(Oteh 73); Griffiths
Unused Subs:- Freeman, Brown
Spurs first away game of the season was against London rivals West Ham who were also first last season. On that occasion it ended 1-1. Both sides won their opening games last week, Spurs had a 4-1 victory over Southampton while the hosts beat Reading 2-0. There was a heavy shower before the match but that cleared and we had warm sunshine, but a strong crosswind.
As there were no teamsheets. The "Hammers" side was unknown while I was able to get the Spurs side from one of the Spurs officials. Austin was in goal behind Mukena and Dinzeyi with Eyoma at right back and Tsaroulla on the left. Marsh anchored the midfield with Oakley-Boothe while Duncan flanked by Shashoua on the right and Bennetts on the left supported Griffiths up front. On the bench was Paris Maghoma, the younger brother of Christian and Jacques.
Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the West end but found the home side in a very combative mood closing down quickly and forcing turnovers and misplaced passes. Spurs came under pressure as West Ham moved the ball forward quickly when gaining possession with the right winger Kemp giving Tsaroulla a hard time. The winger got away and crossed for Lewis the captain to score after eleven minutes. Lewis came close to adding a second when his shot hit the far post from another Kemp cross.
Spurs were struggling to hold the "Irons" at this stage with Kemp firing wide but gradually we got more into the game. Griffiths drew a save with a back header from a Duncan cross. Mukena headed over a corner from Shashoua. Griffiths should have done better when a long ball ran loose to him after Shashoua challenged the keeper, but his weak shot was cleared off the line.
Griffiths headed Tsaroullas' cross wide and Mukena could not get enough on another Shashoua corner as the "Hammers" only had a weak shot easily saved by Austin during that period. With two minutes left in the half West Ham had the opportunity to increase their lead when Dinzeyi gave away a penalty in a challenge in Kemp. The winger took the kick himself but hit it too close to the left side of Austin. The rebound was headed wide of his right post so that Spurs remained in the game.
There were no changes for the start of the second half when the "Hammers" hit the inside of the right post in the first minute. It looked like it could have crossed the line before Austin collected it. Griffiths played in Oakley-Boothe for a shot that the keeper saved comfortably. The only booking of the game was picked up by one of the home defensive midfielders for a foul on Griffiths as Spurs pushed for a goal. Oakley-Boothe fired over before Griffiths had another effort cleared off the line.
Spurs made a double change with Maghoma coming on for Duncan and Bennetts replaced by Oteh. The"Hammers" also made two changes as the looked to close out the game. Spurs made one last change taking off Dinzeyi for Omolabi to go into the midfield with Marsh dropping into the back line. Spurs pushed but only had an effort by Oteh that flew wide in added time to show in the last minutes.
As in previous games between the two sides West Ham started strongly with Spurs finishing the strongest but on this occasion they failed to score. Thankfully the U-16 side on the adjacent pitch had a 4-1 win. The side included the younger brother of Sam Shashoua and the son of our first team manager.
Next Saturday the Academy have a home game against Aston Villa who drew 0-0 with Reading today. Unfortunately I will miss that game as there is an early kick off at WHL.
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