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Match Reports
West Ham Under 19s v Spurs Under 19s , 15.11.03

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List

  Premier U-19 Academy League South
   Little Heath sports ground, Essex
  Saturday 15th November 2003, ko 11am.

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

        (0) 1           (0) 0

      Matthew Reed 1 Nicky Eyre      
   Trent McLenahan 2 Phil Ifil
      Brent Tattam 3 Liam Francis
        Mark Noble 4 Lee Barnett
        Tommy Laws 5 Danny Foster(C)
   Liam Parrington 6 Ricky Dobson
        Sam Wright 7 Kieran McKenna
      Phil Lumsden 8 Andy Barcham
      Greg Pearson 9 Jamie Slabber
      Danny Bunce 10 Jamie O'Hara
 Marce Collington 11 Nicky Wettner

   Hogem Ephrahim 12 David Hicks
    (9)              (7) 78 Mins
    George Sealey 13
          San Lee 14 Gareth Jenkins
   Darren Blewitt 15 Marcel McKie
    (7)              (4) 62 Mins.
   Graeme Carrick
   (8) 61 Mins.

Scorer - Ephrahim(pen) 79 Mins.

I just missed the kick off as it was the first time I had been to this place. It was a lovely sunny morning as I joined Bruce and Elaine Lewis for this local derby game. Spurs had lined up with Foster and Dobson at the back with Ifil at right back and the returning Francis at left back. Barnett partnered O'Hara in the centre of midfield with McKenna on the right and Wettner on the left in support of Barcham and Slabber up front.

Spurs had kicked off attacking the left-hand goal but were soon on the defensive as the home side started brightly. The Hammers are a big team with Laws and Pearson the tallest on the pitch and they used that height advantage as a lot of the ball was in the air. The home side dominated the game throughout but due to a combination of luck and poor finishing, Spurs looked to be weathering the storm. Eyre was having to pull out some outstanding saves to keep us in it, having to dive full length to pushing an effort from Parrington around the post in the 25th minute and five minutes later, following a scramble in the box, show quick reactions to save from Laws at close range.

Reed at the other end did not have a shot to save as Barnett, Barcham and O'Hara could not hit the target. With McKenna in midfield Pat Holland was obviously being more defensively minded, which left Wettner as the only outlet, but he could not do much against a strong defence despite help from Barnett and the ever willing O'Hara. Laws and Parrington were too strong for Slabber and Barcham stopping them from playing. The midfield was being muscled off the ball too easily and when we did pass it all to often the final ball was missing.

Unfortunately the Hammers got better in the second half with Collington hitting the inside of the near post in the opening minute and Bunce missed the ball as it came back out. Barcham was beginning to drift wide looking for space and was the better of the strikers today as he got between the centre backs to test the keeper with a 20yd effort that Reed pushed around the post. Apart from an Ifil effort and a few dead-ball situations that was the last action he had to do as it was all the home side from then on until the whistle. The massive Pearson was taken off only to be replaced by the bigger Ephrahim who was more of a handful to Foster and Dobson.

McKie came on for Barnett in an attempt to stiffen the denfence pushing Francis into midfield with Wettner moving inside. Francis managed to make some headway down the flank and forced some corners but failed to slow down the Irons attacks. Holland then swapped Hicks for McKenna just before they scored. Collington beat Ifil and his shot again hit the post and with players attacking the rebound the referee spotted a hand ball awarding a penalty. Ephraihim hit it firmly past Eyre's left hand for what was the winning goal.

We were well beaten on the day and lucky to have only conceded the one goal. I'm sure even the official site will accept that and get on with looking forward to next weeks game at home to Charlton Athlete(Ed: I think this game is on December 6th) while the U-17s go to Crystal Palace. The Reserves will be playing Charlton on Monday at Stevenage so it is probable that some of the players will meet twice in a week.


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