FA BARCLAYS PREMIERSHIP RESERVE LEAGUE (SOUTH)
WEDNESDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER, 2006
SPURS RESERVES 3 (3) WEST HAM RESERVES 1 (0)
West Ham scorer:-
Referee: - Mr. S. Creighton
Attendance: - Est.:- 1,000
Spurs (4-4-2):- Cerny; Ifil, Dervite, Lee (Capt.), Daniels; Maghoma, Lewis, McKenna, Ziegler; Barcham (sub Pekhart (60), Dawkins (sub Livermore, 80)
Subs not used: - Button; Hughton; Davis
Booked: - McKenna
West Ham (4-4-2):- Walker; Spector, NíGala, Widdowson, Fitzgerald; Ephraim (sub Hunt, 68), Collison, Stokes (Capt.), Reid; Jeffery, Sheringham (sub Hales, 78)
Subs not used: - Blackmore; Spence, Harvey, Sears
Booked: - Ephraim
Clive Allenís youngsters maintained their unbeaten start to their defence of the Southern section of the Barclays Premiership Reserve League with a fine win over West Ham. Spurs started in the same scintillating fashion that they had played last week against Arsenal. Perhaps it was understandable that they did not carry on with the same momentum in the second half, and West Ham got what turned out to be a consolation goal in the 59th minute.
Watched by a healthy and vocal crowd, including the teamís first team managers, Spurs started off at a high tempo, and never let up really until the half time whistle. West Ham had little in their locker really, despite the presence of former Spurs striker Teddy Sheringham, and recent signing (from Manchester United) Jonathan Spector, who played at right back for the visitors The Hammersí goalkeeper was veteran Jimmy Walker, who got injured in the 2005 Play-Off final, and only managed three Premiership appearances last term.
Clive Allen gave a debut to summer signing Dorian Dervite, who might have felt some pressure faced with the experience and expertise of Sheringham, but Spurs put the visitors under the cosh for so much of that first period, that their defenders were rarely threatened. Dervite capped his debut for the Reserves with a fine training ground header, and there were several other individual performances of note too. Skipper Charlie Lee had another great game, demonstrating the skills we have come to expect, with his reading of the game, interceptions, tackles, fine passes and also the icing of a personal goal to give Spurs the lead after 7 minutes. Reto Ziegler was given a start, and the most impressive part of his game was his powerfully delivered corners and free kicks, which caused the Hammersí defence some concern. Zieglerís work ethic was excellent throughout the game as well, but I do have concerns about his final pass or delivery on occasions, which does not fill me with great confidence for an effective Premiership game.
Stuart Lewis was so combative in the middle that he even wound up Teddy Sheringham, who felt obliged to wrap his arms around the lad more than half his age, getting a talking-to from the referee. Maghoma was sharp down the right wing, and Simon Dawkins gets better and better up front with excellent pace, close control and skill under pressure. In truth all those who wore the Lilywhite and blue could be proud of their game tonight.
Andy Barcham was the first to test Walker with a decent effort from a sharp angle after 7 minutes, winning a corner. Ziegler delivered from the left and Charlie Lee rose at the back post to head home convincingly above Walkerís outstretched arms Spurs went two up in the 18th minute with what must have been a training ground move. Spurs had won a free kick about thirty yards out on the right flank. Clive Allen called Dervite to head for the back of the pack, and when Ziegler delivered, Dervite ran in on the blind side and headed his debut goal! Soon after Dawkins had a fine run down the middle, but hit his shot wide. Mid-way through the half, Andy Barcham made a good run into space for Phil Ifil. Ifil obliged and put the ball where it was needed, leaving Barcham one on one with Walker. Barcham should have scored with ease, but managed to blast wide.
After 27 minutes, Dawkins enabled another good move when he chested down the ball, controlled well and fed Maghoma, whose shot was saved. The ball was parried to Barcham, who I felt was being held, before he too had a shot blocked. Finally Zieglerís follow-up shot was saved, and the Hammers were managing to keep the deficit down, despite being under constant siege.
Teddy Sheringham won generous applause from both sets of supporters, when he met a long ball from the left with a terrific volley that just whistled over Cernyís bar. Dawkins close control again led to Maghoma advancing on goal, but Walker was out to prevent the danger. Spurs deservedly went three up a minute before the break, when Dawkins controlled a long pass deep from the left, turned and shot. The effort was saved but ran out to Maghoma who made a great finish from 12 yards.
West Ham must have had a good half time pep talk, as they came straight out and nearly scored. Teddy went down, perhaps due to a foul, but Ephraim advanced and brought a save from Cerny. There were two follow-up efforts. One from Sheringham, tipped onto the bar, and a second which was well blocked in front of goal by Dervite. That panic was over, but West Ham had more confidence, and possession, meaning that Spursí breaks were fewer. Ziegler did have a chance after 54 minutes, when Daniels passed from the left flank. Reto made a quick turn in the middle and hit a right footed shot, which was held by Walker.
It was no surprise when The Hammers did score in the 59th minute. They had won a throw on the right near the corner flag, and the ball was worked over to the left side of the Spurs area. Jeffery got round the defence, and the advancing Cerny, before hitting a convincing shot into the back of the net.
Dervite might have scored a second header from yet another Ziegler corner, and after 65 minutes, Zieglerís cross was half cleared as far as Kieran McKenna lurking 25 yards out, in space. McKenna hit a great dipping shot on the half-volley, hitting the bar. In the usual round of substitutions, one was the removal of Sheringham for Lee Hales. Teddy received a generous ovation from all those present. Spurs had one more chance in injury time, when Ziegler threaded a pass to Spurs substitute Pekhart, whose right footed effort was saved. Once again Pekhart, when introduced did little to make an impression as yet, but there is of course plenty of time. He and Dervite have been given early introductions to Reserve football, and judging on tonightís performance, Dervite is the more impressive player.
Spurs are level on points with Arsenal after three games, with seven points, but Chelsea and Reading have 6 points from just two games. Spurs next match is at Reading on October 4th.
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