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West Ham U-21s v Spurs U-21s, 23.08.13
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.


           Premier U-21 League 2013-4
              Upton Park, Green St.
          Friday 23rd August 2013, 7pm.

           WEST HAM   v       SPURS
        (Claret/Blue)      (White/Blue)
            4-5-1            4-2-3-1

             2(2)              3(0)

     Raphael Spiegel  1  Lawrence Vigouroux
        Leo Chambers  2  Alex McQueen
        Dan Potts(C)  3  Kevin Stewart
    Danny Whitebread  4  Milos Veljkovic(C)
    George McCartney  5  Dominic Ball
       Pelly Ruddock  6  Zekiel Fryers
       Blair Turgott  7  Shaquile Coulthirst
       George Moncur  8  Laste Dombaxe
          Elliot Lee  9  Cameron Lancaster
       Paul McCallum 10  Lewis Holtby
   Sebastian Lletget 11  Simon Dawkins

      Kieran Sadlier 12  Kenneth McEvoy
         (10)58Mins      (10)82Mins
           Sam Howes 13  Jonathan Miles
       Callum Driver 14   Ruben Lameiras
         (5)63Mins       (6)64Mins
      Dylan Tombides 15  Darren McQueen
         (7)88Mins       (9)64Mins
          Amos Nasha 16 

Scorers:- 
       Potts 23          Dawkins 56
       Lletget 45+2      Holtby 66
                         Coulthirst 86

Coaches:- 
       N. Haycock        C. Ramsey 

Referee: C. Finch
Assistants:- A. Wilson & A. Guy
Fourth Official: R. Wells

With the Europa League game in Georgia taking place only the day before, in which Harry Kane and Tom Carroll played along with Andros Townsend, it was only the three squad members who did not get on that turned out this evening. Fryers, Dombaxe and Coulthirst took the field after the long flight back. Spurs traveled to East London to play West Ham who had also started the season with two wins beating Villa 3-0 at home and Everton 2-1 away.

From my position high up in the stand it was easy to see that Spurs lined up in the 4-2-3-1 formation of the first team. Vigouroux was in goal behind Ball and Fryers with Alex McQueen at right back and Stewart on the left. Veljkovic and Dombaxe protected the defence with Holtby behind Lancaster up front with Coulthirst on the right and Dawkins on the left.

Spurs defended the North end in the first half which saw a cagey start by both sides as they looked for weaknesses. The Hammers looked the more settled side, knowing where they should be in relation to each other. Potts fired wide from an early corner while McQueen got down the right and put in a good low cross that was defended well. McCallum was presented with a chance but he mis-kicked. McCallum was then played through and chipped the ball over the advancing keeper but defenders got back to clear off the line.

The home side took the lead when a short corner was played into the box where Potts reacted quickest to stab the ball home. Veljkovic fired over from distance before Potts crossed for McCallum to head wide. The Hammers' keeper Spiegel made his first save of the evening after 38 minutes when Coulthirst hit a shot on the turn.

Spurs were caught out by a long punt upfield by Spiegel that was controlled by Lee as he got behind the defence only to fire wide of the far post. Holtby had a shot from outside the area that was saved before McCallum drew a save from Vigouroux that went for a corner. When the corner came in it was headed goalwards by Ruddock at the far post and turned in by Lletget from about a yard. That was the last action of the half.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw Spurs seeking to get back into the game. Holtby played in Coulthirst for a chance that flew over and then laid the ball off for Dombaxe to drive wide. Holtby then had a go himself, firing over, followed by McQueen coming inside to drive wide. All this came inside the first ten minutes, as Spurs' pressure kept the home side penned in their own half.

Dawkins managed to slip through the defensive line and score with a shot that was deflected past the keeper. The Hammers made a change as they had not got within 20 yards of the Spurs goal in the second half, but they could not relieve the pressure as Holtby drew a save from Spiegel.

McCartney, who had done a great job in the first half, had to go off and Spurs also made changes with Darren McQueen coming on for Lancaster, and Lameiras replacing Fryers. It looked like Spurs changed to 4-4-2 with Veljkovic dropping into the back four, and Coulthirst and Darren McQueen moving more centrally up front.

Dawkins set up Holtby for a strike from just outside the area that Spiegel saved diving to his left, but when the Hammers failed to clear the ball, Holtby was presented with another opportunity from a little further out that he curled into the top left corner to draw the two sides level.

The momentum was with Spurs and Veljkovic fired over. Dombaxe did the same, before West Ham broke out, thanks to good work by Ruddock which saw Lee force a save from Vigouroux. This inspired the home side and they got through again for Turgott to have a chance from inside the area, but he drove straight at Vigouroux. Turgott had the Hammers' last chance which he fired over.

A corner by Lameiras was headed over by Ball before Spurs made their last change replacing Holtby with McEvoy. McEvoy took a position wide on the left to start with before moving to the right with Dawkins dropping into the middle.

They remember McEvoy here as his first touch of the ball was greeted by a foul on him by Driver. Coulthirst got a shot in from the edge of the area where the Hammers' defence was lined up. It was saved but they could not keep out the visitors for long. McEvoy started it with a ball played back from the left wing to Dombaxe sitting deep. He played it up to Lameiras on the edge of the area and the little Portugese playmaker chipped the ball over his shoulder and over the Irons' defensive line. Coulthirst won the race with Darren McQueen to reach the ball and steer it past Spiegel to put Spurs in front completing the turnaround. The visitors saw out the rest of the game with McEvoy driving wide from the right to secure the three points.

This was a tough game as the home side had the better of the first half taking a deserved lead but Spurs came out and took control of the second half scoring three goals and restricting the opposition to just a couple of chances. The home side defended the eighteen yard line so well in the first half that Spurs hardly troubled the keeper, but they worked out ways to beat it. First Dawkins used his strength to force his way through and then came that bit of skill by Lameiras to dink the ball over it for the third.

The next U-21 match will be a home game against Norwich City on Monday 2nd September which will be played at White Hart Lane. Norwich beat Stoke at home before losing to Villa away. There will be two U-18 games before then, both away. Tomorrow they are at Southampton and the following Saturday at Blackburn.

Ray

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