Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.
Premier U-18 League Southern Group 2015-16
Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
Saturday 7th November 2015, 11am
SPURS v WEST HAM UTD
Alfie Whiteman 1 Sam Howes
Christopher Paul 2 Jake Eggleton
Jaden Brown 3 Vashon Neufville
Charlie Owens 4 Matt Carter
Christian Maghoma(C) 5 Tunji Akinola
Jonathan Dinzeyi 6 Declan Rice
Keanan Bennetts 7 Joseph Powell
Zenon Stylianides 8 Noha Sylvestre(C)
Kazaiah Sterling 9 Idris Kanu
Dylan Duncan 10 Grady Diangana
Samuel Shashoua 11 Oscar Borg
Nicholas Tsaroulla 12 Mason Barrett
Brandon Austin 13 Rihard Metravic
Jack Roles 14 Rosaire Longelo
Ryan Loft 15 George Dobson
16 Ajijibola Avese
Dinzeyi 24 Akinola 21
Dinzeyi 30(Foul) Borg 51(Foul)
K. McKenna S. Potts
Referee:– Z. Ellis
On a wind swept rainy morning Spurs entertained London rivals West Ham at Hotspur Way. The weather made playing difficult for both teams as it varied across the pitch blowing towards the North end making it hard to get out of the half. The visitors came into the game on the back of a 1-0 win over Fulham while Spurs lost to a late goal at Brighton. The teams drew 1-1 at Little Heath at the beginning of the season with Sterling replying to Borg for West Ham.
Spurs lined up with Whiteman in goal behind Maghoma and Dinzeyi with Paul at right back and Brown on the left. Owens and Stylianides lined up in front of them with Duncan ahead of those two flanked by Bennetts on the right and Shashoua on the left in support of Sterling up front.
Spurs kicked off the first half defending the North end and were pushed back by the high pressing game of the visitors and the wind stopping the ball from reaching the halfway line. As Spurs tend to move the ball from the back, keeping it on the deck allowed them to get forward while the "Hammers" made it difficult by closing down quickly and tackling hard.
Spurs had an early chance when Bennetts pulled the ball back for Sterling to draw a save from Howes. Borg played in Powell for a chance that went wide for a corner. The visitors came close to scoring when they won the ball and Diangana hit the near post. The follow up by Kanu hit the other post before the next attempt was blocked for a corner.
With Spurs unable to clear their lines due to the wind, West Ham chipped in a centre. Akinola got a foot to it first and scored. They were not in front for long as they conceded a free kick on the left. Bennetts floated the ball to the back post for Dinzeyi to head home his first goal at this level.
The "Hammers" kept up their pressure on Spurs with Carter driving wide. Maghoma was booked as he prevented Diangana from getting through. Borg had the last chance of the half firing wide.
There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw the visitors continue the press high with Powell firing wide and Kanu drawing a save from a cross by Powell. Borg was booked as he tried to stop Spurs getting the ball away. Stylianides, who had to have treatment in the first half due to a late challenge, had to go off and was replaced by Roles. West Ham took off Kanu for Dobson as they kept the pressure on.
Powell drove wide as Spurs began to put pressure on the visitors' defence. Sterling was played through and he saw his effort saved by Howes' out-stretched leg which diverted the ball into the path of Brown following up. Brown planted the ball in the net to put the home side in front.
With Spurs pushing forward Akinola broke out and got to the Spurs area where he got lucky, picking up a rebound to fire in a shot which Whiteman saved. Loft replaced Duncan to play up front with Sterling dropping behind him. Spurs sought to keep the pressure on with the "Irons" forcing turnovers to break out.
Neufville drew a save at the near post for a corner from which Powell's header was saved by the keeper who also saved from Eggleton minutes later. Sylvestre got Roles booked for holding which upset the Spurs players and the "Hammers"' captain tried to make more of as their frustration grew. With time running out Spurs almost got another goal when Owens free kick was tipped unto the crossbar by Howes.
The visitors' frustration boiled over when they were pulled up for a foul and Dobson said something to the ref, who took umbridge and showed him a red card reducing them to ten men. Spurs were able to see out the remaining time to the final whistle. At the whistle Sylvestre went up to the referee and also said something he should not have and was promptly shown a red card.
This was a hard won victory for Spurs who needed a lot of luck. The visitors were unlucky not to win as they played a strong pressing game which prevented Spurs from playing their normal game. They obviously felt aggrieved and let their frustration get the better of them and even the coaches had a go at the referee after the game. Spurs were tested today and are not likely to be given such a tough game for the rest of the season. They will now need to build on this with an away game next Saturday at Fulham.
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