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Spurs U-18s v West Ham U-18s, 12.10.13
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


           Premier Academy U-18 League 2013-14
            Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
            Saturday 12th October 2013, 11am

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

                 2(1)              3(2) 

             Luke McGee   1  Sam Baxter
     Kyle Walker-Peters   2  Jeremiah Amoo
         Connor Ogilvie   3  Lewis Page
       Joseph Pritchard   4  Ben Marlow
 Cameron Carter-Vickers   5  Manny Onariase
      Christian Maghoma   6  Robert Girdlestone
        Emmanuel Sonupe   7  Moses Makasi
        Joshua Onomah(C)  8  Joshua Cullen 
      Daniel Akindayini   9  Jordan Brown
             Cy Goddard  10  Kieran Bywater(C)
           Nathan Oduwa  11  Djair Parfitt-Williams

           Anton Walkes  12  Nathan Mavila
              (4)61Mins      (11)80Mins
         Alfie Whiteman  13  Vit Nemrava
       Anthony Georgiou  14  Marcio Martins
              (7)61Mins      (9)88Mins
        Shayon Harrison  15  Kieran Bailey 
             (10)72Mins

Scorers:-  
       Pritchard 14          Bywater 3, 45+1
       Oduwa 80 (pen)        Jordan 87 

Coach:-  
       K. McKenna            S. Potts

Ref: T. Barnes

It was a sunny morning if a little chilly, unlike the last time these two sides met. That was during a heatwave in August at the semi-final stage of the Eurofoot tournament in Belgium when West Ham beat Spurs on penalties after the match finished all square at 1-1. Most of the players in that game played today. As in the tournament, Spurs went into the game unbeaten.

Spurs lined up with Carter-Vickers and Maghoma in front of McGee with Walker-Peters at right back and Ogilvie on the left. With Lesniak on international duty, there was no one to anchor the midfield of Onomah, Pritchard and Goddard. Akindayini led the line with Sonupe on the right and Oduwa on the left.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the South end, but found that the visitors were up for the game. They were quick and hard into the tackle giving no quarter. While Spurs were looking to settle, they went behind. Brown chased a through ball and McGee came out quickly but hit his clearance against the big striker and it bounced in-field where Bywater had an empty net to put the ball in for the lead.

Brown got through again but fired over. Spurs began to settle as the visitors dropped off more to defend their lead. From a short corner Pritchard squared for Maghoma to fire wide. Goddard curled a free kick around the outside of the wall but into the side netting. Oduwa then fired over before Spurs passed their way through the visitors' defence for Akindayini to get through. Baxter was out to save but as the ball came back off the keeper, Pritchard followed up to head into the net for the equaliser.

Spurs continued to press for another goal with the visitors dropping back like their first team counter-parts getting everybody behind the ball. Baxter saved from Akindayini before the striker crossed from the right and Goddard laid it off to Pritchard who could not keep it down. Akindayini drew another save before a long ball sent Brown away to shoot wide. Ogilvie got forward to drive in an effort that was saved. Then, like the first team, Spurs were caught on the break when the visitors broke down the right and when the ball was pulled back, Bywaters drove it low into the net to regain the lead in added time.

There were no changes for the start of the second half in which West Ham began strongly. An early attack down the right was half cleared to Makasi but his effort was saved. Cullen played in Brown for a chance that he put wide. A fierce drive by Cullen from the left was pushed round the post for a corner.

Spurs made two changes, replacing Pritchard with Walkes, and Georgiou came on for Sonupe to work the left side with Oduwa switching to the right. Onomah now moved forward more and had an effort that flew over the bar. Makasi fired over before Spurs made their last change replacing Goddard, who was continuously getting knocked over, with Harrison.

Onomah got to the line and whipped in a low cross that was cleared off the line for a corner. Walker-Peters had been making some good attacking runs off the right wing, winning a free kick on the edge of the area on one occasion. He then sent Oduwa away to get in behind and win a penalty off Onariase. Oduwa took the kick himself putting it in the bottom left corner with Baxter rooted to the line. This prompted West Ham to make their first change as both sides looked for a winner opening up the game.

Onomah got in an effort at the second attempt that flew over before the visitors went in front again. Brown got the better of Carter-Vickers for once and volleyed in from the edge of the area despite McGee getting a hand to it. That was the last contribution from Brown as he was injured when his teammates jumped on top of him, and he had to be replaced. His replacement fired wide as the visitors held out for the final whistle. The referee delayed blowing the whistle as he belatedly took into account the time wasted by Baxter, the West Ham goalkeeper, who had taken time out of the game at every opportunity once his team had taken the lead in the first half.

Spurs missed Lesniak sitting in front of the defence as West Ham overpowered the midfield. It has been a long time since the Hammers played the sort of passing game they used to be known for as they now use their strength on the opposing players rather than on the ball. It works for them and they did it well today. It is getting to be an old cliche that it was their "Cup Final". Spurs need to learn to be as ruthless as their opponents, and not rely on better technical skill as our first team found out last week.

Spurs remain second in the southern group while West Ham move up a place to sixth. Next week Lesniak and Miller will be back from international duty to face Chelsea at Hotspur Way. Chelsea did not play today and remain two points behind Spurs making it a game both teams will want to win.

Ray

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