Spurs under 23’s 2-2 West Ham United: (match report)
Our under 23’s latest PL2 game took place on Monday evening, as Wayne Burnett’s inform side made the short trip across London to Dagenham and Redbridge’s Victoria road stadium to face West Ham United, in an important London Derby. I was in the away section for this game reporting from a bitterly cold Victoria Road. And I got to watch some great attacking football, in what was a fiercely contested end to end game. With chances aplenty for both teams. A couple of slightly interesting of the pitch stories/observations before I start my report. Once again Wayne Burnett was made to sit in the stands (at a ground he knows well) for this game, as John McDermott took his place inside the dugout. Former Spurs man turned West Ham coach Paul Konchesky was sat a couple of seats away from me watching the game, and I also noticed that there were a lot of scouts in attendance ranging from clubs such as Arsenal to Leeds United. And finally the referee and one of the linesmen got on my train at Dagenham East underground station after the game. Focusing on the game, it was a really enthralling affair with both sides going for it from the offing. In a frantic first half an hour Spurs had managed to take the lead. Concede the equaliser. And then shortly after regain their lead courtesy of a lovely finish from Shilow Tracey. The second half was a bit less frantic and despite some really solid defending from Burnett’s team, a late penalty conceded by Joe Pritchard. Was converted by Hammers player Marcus Browne to prevent Spurs from coming home with all three points. The home side got the game underway, and it didn’t take long for it to gather pace. As both sides went in search of the opener, Spurs centre back Jonathan Dinzeyi could count himself a little lucky at not conceding an early penalty after a trip on a Hammers player inside the first minute.
However, Burnett’s team responded well to the early pressure and they managed to take the lead with just three minutes on the clock. It was a good move from Spurs who had managed to catch the Hammers on the break, some great work from the powerful Shilow Tracey down the right. Resulted in him beating his man down the right flank before sprinting forward towards the byline, and whipping in a teasing low cross into the danger zone. The Spurs winger managing to pick out the unmarked Bennetts, who tapped home into the open goal to give Spurs a much appreciated lead. Straight from the restart West Ham tested the Spurs goal, first through Oladapo Afolayan whose powerful effort was kept out by Alfie Whiteman. And then through Domingos Quina who curled just wide of the Spurs goal. This exciting start to the game continued, Spurs almost doubling their lead when the lively Bennetts managed to find Roles in space inside the six yard box, only to see his effort deflected wide at the last moment. West Ham were still seeing more of the ball and they were looking to make this count. Some excellent defending from Dinzeyi, first to make a decisive challenge inside the penalty area. And then to block Browne’s effort on the line, managed to thwart the Hammers attacking side. Alfie Whiteman was busy inside the opening 20 minutes, having to make a comfortable save to stop Diangana’s curling effort from 20 yards out.
We were then dealt a blow in the 20th minute of the game when the hammers pulled level, through Portuguese youth international Quina. Marcus Browne managed to pick out Quina from the right hand side after a clever pull back, the winger who was in space, confidently managed to curl the ball past Whiteman to make it 1-1. Despite this thrilling start to proceedings, neither team had really managed to stamp their authority on the game inside this opening 20 minutes. It was becoming a really end to end game. Whiteman was busy in the Spurs goal and had to be alert to stop Diangana’s efforts straight at him soon after. Quina caused some anxiety amongst the Spurs defenders after he decided to run through towards goal, but both Whiteman and Maghoma managed to put him off just in the nick of time. I’d hardly finished noting down that chance, when we regained our lead through a lovely goal by Shilow Tracey. Spurs had once again caught West Ham by surprise, Keanan Bennetts defence splitting through ball set Shilow Tracey through on goal down the right side of the box. Tracey stayed composed and still with plenty of work to do, the winger managed to clip home with a nice finish passed the outrushing Trott, from a tight angle. Tracey went over to celebrate with the away fans. Come the half hour mark, the game had settled down a bit. But there were still plenty of chances for the home team. Alfie Whiteman did a good job palming away Browne’s deep corner kick, before managing to hold Afolayan’s low effort moments later.
The 19 year old was also alert to a promising West Ham free kick, as Spurs ended the half on the back foot despite being a goal ahead. Spurs got the second half underway, but it wasn’t long before the hammers had an early chance in front of goal. A good delivery into the penalty area from Haksabanovic managed to pick out Afolayan who got to the ball before Maghoma, but he could only jab the ball over Whiteman’s crossbar. We then had a glorious chance to extend our lead at the other end, when Joe Pritchard’s inviting corner kick managed to bounce all the way to the unmarked Dinzeyi a couple of yards out from Trott’s goal. Unfortunately Dinzeyi’s header lacked any real power and it was an easy catch for Trott to make. West Ham had begun to control the game and they posed far more of an attacking threat than our lads could muster. Substitute Rusa fired well wide on the turn for the home side, who moments later had a penalty shout waived away after Dinzeyi handled inside the area. A tactical change swiftly followed as Dylan Duncan swapped places at right back with Joe Pritchard. Whilst Spurs were playing a lot more cautiously than they did in the first half, they were looking solid at the back. The centre back pairing of Dinzeyi and Maghoma snuffing out any danger that came their way. A couple of half chances followed for both teams. Marcus Browne fired over wastefully from a promising free kick, whilst Shilow Tracey’s fine cross down the other side of the pitch seemed to evade any Spurs players inside the box.
The hammers were continuing to hassle our back four, substitute Hector-Ingram ran at the Spurs defence but to no avail as he powered an effort straight at Whiteman. We seemed to be defending comfortably that’s why it came as a massive blow, when we conceded a penalty after a trip committed by Joe Pritchard on Hector-Ingram was adjudged to be a foul by the referee. At the time, I thought it was a harsh decision. But since watching it back and looking at the Spurs players reactions it seemed like the right decision to make. West Ham’s Marcus Browne stood up to smash the ball straight down the middle of Whiteman’s goal, 2-2. Ironically we then had a penalty shout waived away after a challenge on Bennetts soon after (I would have loved to watch that back!). Both sides really went for the winner as the game entered its final stages, West Ham headed just over from a free kick. Before having a powerful effort well blocked by Duncan inside the penalty area. Christian Maghoma produced an excellent last ditch challenge inside the box before u23 debutant Maximus Tainio made a good block shortly after his introduction. Frustratingly in the dying seconds of the game, Bennetts went on a really promising long run with options up top. But a Hammers player cynically pulled his shirt. The final score from Dagenham in east London, Spurs 2-2 West Ham. COYS
Player reviews: – Alfie Whiteman: Good performance from the Spurs goalkeeper. Made a string of fine stops (particularly in the first half) and looked good all round, good decision making.
– Joe Pritchard: Did a fine job at right back for the majority of the game and also in the central of midfield when he switched roles with Duncan, looked nice and composed. Did however, give away a costly late penalty.
– Jaden Brown: Very energetic, liked to dart down the left flank, sound defensively.
– George Marsh: The skipper covered a lot of ground, and put in a fine performance in the centre of the park. Made some good challenges.
– Christian Maghoma: Yet another really impressive display from the centre half. Maghoma was commanding, incredibly vocal (he lead players all across the pitch, telling them to get in to position etc.) but most importantly of all he was decisive during key moments of the game. Continuing to show signs of real maturity in his game.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Impressive performance from Dinzeyi once again. Made some fine challenges and recoveries (caught up to speed with the West Ham forwards). However, there were a couple of nervy moments, particularly in the air, where he’d completely miss the ball whilst trying to clear it from the six yard box.
– Shilow Tracey: My motm, see below.
– Dylan Duncan: Strong on the ball. Tidy in his passing, adapted well to playing at right back for the last 25 minutes of the game.
– Kazaiah Sterling: A real workman like performance up top, but the centre forward didn’t really impact the game, hardly touched the ball in the opposition box.
– Jack Roles: Nice and tidy in the number 10 role, picked out some nice passes.
– Keanan Bennetts: Provided plenty of pace and creativity down the left hand side (particularly during the first half). Got into some good goalscoring positions (being rewarded with a goal). And liked to cut inside a lot of the time.
– Maximus Tainio: Very short cameo from the 16 year old, made an important late block.
– Rayan Clarke: N/A
My man of the match: Shilow Tracey. The winger continued his excellent form into the London Derby with the Hammers on Monday evening. He was really up for the game, providing plenty of power and pace as he surged down the right flank, whipping in some lovely crosses. An excellent performance from the 20 year old who scored one of our goals and created the other!
West Ham United: Trott, Johnson, Powell, Lewis, Pask (Ngakia 61), Akinola, Diangana (Rosa 83), Quina, Afolayan, Browne (c), Haksabanovic (Hector-Ingram 68). Substitutes (not used): Jinadu, Hannam.
Spurs: Whiteman, Pritchard, Brown, Marsh (c), C Maghoma, Dinzeyi, Tracey (Clarke 90+3), Duncan (Tainio 87), Sterling, Roles, Bennetts. Substitutes (not used): Austin, Lock, Mukendi.
Goals: West Ham – Quina 20, Browne 77 (pen); Spurs – Bennetts 3, Tracey 26.
Yellow cards: West Ham – Lewis 75, Ngakia 90+4; Spurs – Roles 90+3.
Referee: Sam Purkiss.
U23’s 2017/18 statistics: Top scorers: Sterling-8