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West Ham U-21s v Spurs U-21s, 08.04.13
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

           Premier U-21 League, Elite Group
          Upton Park, Green Street, East Ham
             Monday 8th April 2013, 7pm

             WEST HAM    v     SPURS 
          (Claret/Blue)     (White/Blue)
             4-4-1-1           4-3-3

               1(1)             1(1)

           Jake Larkins  1  Lawrence Vigouroux
        Jordan Spence(C) 2  Ryan Fredericks
            Fraser Shaw  3  Ezekiel Fryers 
             Amos Nasha  4  Younes Kaboul
              Dan Potts  5  Grant Hall(C)
          Pelly Ruddock  6  Milos Veljkovic
    Wellington Paulista  7  Kenneth McEvoy
          George Moncur  8  Nabil Bentaleb
           Modibo Maiga  9  Shaquile Coulthirst
      Sebastian Lletget 10  Thomas Carroll
          Blair Turgott 11  Cristian Ceballos

          Callum Driver 12  Jack Munns
             Sam Baxter 13  Liam Priestley
         Dylan Tombides 14  Jack Barthram
            (11)83Mins.     (4)60Mins.
           Sean McGuire 15  Giancarlo Gallifuoco
        Kierain Bywater 16  Laste Dombaxe
            (4)67Mins.      (10)46Mins.

        Paulista 15         McEvoy 37

        N. Haycock          T. Sherwood 

Reeree: C. Fitch
Assistants: N. Evans & E. Goodman
Fourth Official: J. Bloxham

It was a chilly evening in east London for Spurs' visit to West Ham United in the Elite group game of the Premier U-21 League. Spurs won the reverse fixture 3-2 at Hotspur Way in February. There was a good crowd supporting the home side cheering every hard tackle their side made, especially the illegal ones.

Spurs lined up with Kaboul playing (as a permitted over-age player) alongside Hall at the heart of the defence. This was of course Kaboul's first run-out since his injury at the start of the season. Fredericks was at right back and Fryers started on the left. Veljkovic anchored the midfield with Bentaleb and Carroll in support of the front three of Coulthirst with McEvoy and Ceballos either side of him.

Spurs defended the north end in the first half and began brightly with McEvoy getting down the right to put over a few crosses including one that Bentaleb met and fired wide. Fryers played in Ceballos for an effort that flew over. After this bright start Spurs found themselves behind when the home side went ahead following their first attack. After Fredericks conceded a free kick out on the right Kaboul headed Moncur's kick out for a corner. When the corner was taken Paulista headed in at the near post. This led to a period of West Ham pressure with Paulista having his shot cleared off the line and Vigouroux saving the follow-up.

Maiga fired wide from Ruddock's pass. Carroll played a beautiful pass inside Spence for McEvoy to run onto in the area. With only the keeper to beat the winger pulled the ball back and the chance was gone. Ceballos drew a save from Larkins while Moncur drove wide and Nasha also fired wide. Paulista was played in by Maiga but was denied by Vigouroux who pushed his drive onto the crossbar.

Bentaleb set up Carroll for a drive that was just wide. Carroll then played a repeat of his pass inside Spence for McEvoy. This time McEvoy drove the ball across Larkins into the net to draw Spurs level.

Coulthirst latched on to a through ball from Bentaleb but Larkins was out quickly to save at his feet. Kaboul got his head to a corner but the keeper collected. The last chance of the half fell to Lletget which drew a save from Vigouroux.

Spurs made one change for the start of the second half with Dombaxe replacing Carroll in the midfield. Turgott was wide from an early corner and also fired over later. Kaboul went off on the hour to be replaced by Barthram who went to left back with Fryers moving inside.

Nasha had a shot from the edge of the area which Vigouroux turned away for a corner. Ceballos whipped in a ball that went past the far post. Ceballos took a corner that Bentaleb met at the near post with his head, but Larkins saved flying to his right. From the resulting corner Bentaleb fired wide.

Having been on the receiving end of a few hard challenges McEvoy was replaced by Munns as Spurs continued to look for a winner. Ceballos fired over and Dombaxe did the same while Munns effort was wide. Larkins made a good save from a Ceballos thunderbolt that went for a corner. The Hammers were also looking to win it and Tombides saw his effort from a corner saved, not long after coming on. This turned out to be the last chance of the game.

The draw was probably a fair result between two sides that had won their respective groups in the first phase. Spurs looked the better team technically while West Ham were physically strong in imposing themselves on the visitors. Both sides had periods when they looked to go on and win the game but some good goal-keeping from Larkins and Vigouroux kept the score down.

Liverpool, the other group winner from the first phase, beat Arsenal to cut Spurs lead at the top to nine points moving ahead of Manchester United into second place. Spurs' next game is away to United on Monday 15th April. This game has been moved to Salford City Stadium and kicks off at 7pm.


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