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West Ham Reserves v Spurs Reserves, 15.10.02

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


      FA Premier Reserve League - South
    Dagenham & Redbridge FC, Victoria Rd.
     Tuesday 15th October 2002, k.o.7pm

            WEST HAM V SPURS
       (Claret/Blue)   (White/Blue)
               4-4-2   4-4-2

                1(1)   1(1)

Raimond Van Der Gouw 1 Robert Burch
         Shaun Byrne 2 Stephen Carr
     Vladimir Labant 3 Dean Marney
      Richard Garcia 4 Stephen Clemence
      Ezomo Iriekpen 5 Ronnie Henry(C)
        Elliott Ward 6 Stephen Kelly
      Don Hutchinson 7 Diego Bortolozzo
         Brent Rahim 8 Gus Poyet
     Youssef Sofiane 9 Les Ferdinand
       Billy Mehmet 10 Rohan Ricketts
   Laurent Courtois 11 Lee Barnard

       Leon Britton 12 Jamie Slabber
         (7) 46Mins.   (9) 46mins.
        David Forde 13 Paul Rutherford
      Daryl McMahon 14 Jonathan Black
     Anton Ferdinand15 George Snee
         (4) 83Mins.   (4) 62Mins.
         Terry Khan 16 Danny Foster

Officials - Referee - D.Deadman, Yellow flag - M.O'Keefe, Red E.Miller

Scorers - Iriekpen 25, Marney 34

Booked - Bortolozzo 85 (shove in the back), Ward 90 (late tackle)

Red card - Slabber 83 - possible verbal abuse of linesman

On a rainy wind-swept evening before an enthusiastic crowd which included listees Bruce and Elaine Lewis and Chris Sleet, I watched a very entertaining match from two attack-minded sides played in a fair (one exception) and open manner.

Spurs lined up with Henry and Kelly in front of Burch with Carr at right back and Marney in an unfamiliar left back position. Clemence (having his first outing back from injury) and Gus played in the middle with Bortolozzo on the right side and Ricketts on the left, both played fairly narrow. "Sir Les" was up front with Barnard who played either side of him taking up some very wide positions.

The first half was an evenly balanced contest with good end to end play with both sides passing their way up the field with the home side producing the first save of the game by Burch from Sofiane with barely five minutes gone. Barnard then had a drive turned away at the other end with Sofiane, Mehmet and Courtois for the "Hammers" and Les, Gus and Barnard all testing the keepers.

Irickpen headed onto the post from a corner in the 13th minute with Poyet's dipping shot hitting the bar five minutes later. Burch made a fantastic stop from Sofiane before Ricketts had two efforts in quick succession, first Van Der Gouw turned away his drive for a corner and then seconds later Ward headed his volley off the line.

West Ham took the lead after 25 minutes from a corner when Iriekpen's mis-hit shot (a la Redknapp) looped over Burch. Spurs were level less than ten minutes later when Carr, overlapping down the right, centred the ball to Barnard. His shot was blocked, but Marney was on hand to net the re-bound. While Burch was pulling off great saves at one end, "Sir Les" was rolling back the years with a great centre forward display, opening up the defence and linking the play making the the keeper work with a number of saves.

The only sour point came at the end of the half when Gus put the ball out so that Sofiane could receive treatment after Kelly had denied him a shot. Hutchinson's throw from the restart was to Courtois down the line, (shades of the Gooners against Sheffield United in the cup), which led to some angry protests from a number of Spurs players. Poyet had a go at the ref and Hutchinson left the pitch at the whistle explaining to the ref his side of the story.

The second half started without Hutchinson or Ferdinand both of whom had prompted a lot of the attacking moves for each side. Slabber put in a lot of work without reaching the standard set by Les in the first half with Barnard moving more to the centre. We surrendered a little of the initative to the home side, bringing more saves from Burch before Calderwood brought on Snee to pep up the attack by adding more width. Without Les's cutting edge up front we passed the ball more, stringing large numbers of passes together often playing long crossfield balls before playing a through ball or one over the top. A couple of times this interpassing resulted in five or six white shirts in the box waiting for that final ball.

Jamie Slabber was sent off following a free kick when he complained to the linesman about his shirt being pulled. He must have said something as the ref was called over by the linesman before issuing the red card. For the final ten minutes or so of the game the ten men kept possession by passing the ball around without taking too many chances. Carr had a chance to win the game in stoppage time from a freekick just outside the area after Ward had fouled Barnard, but drove the ball into the wall.

Overall, this was a fair result, and the game was a good run out for Clemence, Poyet and Carr. The next reserve game is on 28th October when we welcome Chelsea to Stevenage.

Ray

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