Spurs under 23’s 1-3 West Ham United: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 1-3 West Ham United: (match report)

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Our under 23’s first league game of the new PL2 season got underway with a disappointing 3-1 defeat to London rivals West Ham on Monday evening, at Broadhall Way. It wasn’t the ideal start to the domestic season for Wayne Burnett’s side by any means. Hoping to carry on their fine form from pre-season things were looking up for Burnett’s strong side during the early periods of the game. They were never outstanding but they looked solid and were comfortable at knocking the ball around the park and keeping possession. A wonderful goal from the lively Samuel Shashoua on six minutes put Spurs in good stead against a Hammers side which featured a whole host of experienced players such as Reece Oxford, Josh Cullen (22) and Xande Silva. Liam Manning’s Hammers side certainly looked the sharper team during the first half, they were quicker than us and their attacking players were more switched on. Our back four of Eyoma, Tanganga, Dinzeyi and Ogilvie managed to neutralise the threat of the Hammers recent Portuguese recruit, centre forward Xande Silva and wide man Nathan Holland for much of the first half. We were solid and assured in our defending whilst managing to create some decent chances at the other end. The game could have panned out so differently had Shilow Tracey not squandered a golden chance for Spurs on the stroke of half time. Only a couple of moments later Silva drew the Hammers level at the other end. After the restart Manning’s side stunned our defence, Xande Silva scoring a quick fire brace to virtually extinguish any chances of a Spurs comeback. From that moment on we were flat and quite sloppy with the ball, unable to break down the West Ham defence who put in a really mature performance in the second half to close us down.

It was a disappointing first league game of the season for Spurs, I thought we lacked an offensive threat from the centre of the park, I.E: Maghoma (who was carrying a knock). The two holding midfielders in George Marsh and Dylan Duncan were too defence oriented and I feel as if that isolated the wide players, Georgiou and Edwards who struggled to really get involved in the game, which had a knock on effect for makeshift centre forward Shilow Tracey. Burnett’s side lined up with the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation, for our London derby with the Hammers on a mild summers evening in Hertfordshire. Going strong, Whiteman started in between the sticks whilst the back four consisted of Eyoma, Dinzeyi, Tanganga and Ogilvie (the skipper). In front of the defence was the central midfield partnership of Marsh and Duncan, and in front of them was the talented attacking trio of Edwards, Shashoua and Georgiou. With makeshift centre forward Shilow Tracey leading the line just as he had done for the majority of pre-season. Liam Manning’s West Ham side was also strong and he decided to field the likes of Josh Cullen, Reece Oxford and new signing Xande Silva. Spurs got the game underway at Broadhall Way as they went in search of those all important three points. The Hammers were looking sharp in the opening couple of minutes and were stringing together some decent passes. Shashoua looked lively for Spurs in the opening couple of minutes and only a couple of moments after playing a clever through ball to Georgiou out on the left, which ended in the Cypriots cross being deflected out for a corner kick. Shashoua put Spurs ahead courtesy of a moment of magic from the 19 year old. All stemming from the resulting corner kick, Spurs tried to work the ball into the area. Georgiou’s pass to Edwards on the edge of the box saw the forward robbed of the ball by Cullen.

The loose ball came rolling out to Shashoua who picked it up on the edge of the area before spinning around Cullen and bending a delightful effort off of the left hand post and into the back of Trott’s goal, 0-1. Catching the West Ham keeper by surprise as he caught his blindside, Samuel’s sharp turn after picking up the ball was nice and effective but the way in which he managed to wrap his foot around the ball and just place it into the bottom left hand corner of the goal was sublime, the pace and bend of the ball caught Trott by total surprise in only the sixth minute of proceedings. Almost immediately from the restart West Ham’s Nathan Holland came close to forcing an equaliser after he managed to go on a tricky run through the middle. Holland’s quick feet saw him get away from Tanganga and Dinzeyi before entering the right side of the penalty area, before forcing a good save out of Whiteman at his near post with a powerful low effort. Japhet Tanganga made two important blocks in quick succession to deny West Ham’s Grady Diangana inside the penalty area, before the same player curled an effort well wide of goal a couple moments of later. Japhet Tanganga headed over from Shashoua’s corner at the other end as Spurs started to see a lot more of the ball. However, the visitors still looked the more dangerous side in the final third. The alert Jonathan Dinzeyi got an important toe on the ball to thwart Diangana’s menacing cross, before Oxford attempted to replicate David Beckham’s famous goal against Wimbledon from the halfway line. However, the Stevenage stewards wouldn’t have been too happy as it went high and wide and into the building site behind the Spurs goal. Hogging possession in the central areas of the park Spurs were trying hard to get their second goal of the game. Edwards lovely slaloming run to round Akinola on the edge of the box looked promising as he slipped the ball into Shashoua down the right side of the box. Unfortunately his effort was blocked by Pask who came sliding across.

Again at the forefront of any decent attacking moves in the final third, Shashoua managed to whip an inviting corner into Ogilvie who did excellently well to flick his diving header back into Tanganga in the centre of the box. Rising high to win the ball ahead of any West Ham defenders, Tanganga’s dangerous looping header had to be tipped over the crossbar by Nathan Trott. West Ham were continuing to stand strong in defence as Josh Pask did well to block Edwards powerful strike on the edge of the penalty area. Despite looking confident and assured in defence Spurs almost gifted West ham an equaliser when Marsh put Whiteman under great pressure with his clumsy back pass. Failing to look up as he passed the ball back to Whiteman from the edge of the Tottenham penalty area, Marsh’s back pass was chased down by Alfie Lewis. As Whiteman tried desperately hard to get to the ball before him, Lewis managed to win the ball off of Whiteman down the left side of the penalty area.

Whiteman managed to do a good job at closing down Lewis whose shot from a tight angle was well saved by the Spurs goalkeeper. Whiteman then managed to smother the loose ball as Marsh came racing back to help him out. Whiteman was clearly angry at his teammate for putting him under such unnecessary pressure. Whilst West Ham were starting to get back into the game more from an offensive perspective, Spurs still looked good whenever they entered the final third. A good through ball from Marsh sent Edwards galavanting down the middle of the pitch, embarking on a promising jinking run as he skipped past Coventry. He was just about to pull the trigger when he had the ball intercepted off him on the edge of the box. Georgiou was starting to establish himself a bit more down the left, only a couple of minutes after blasting an effort over from rage. The speedy winger sped away from his man down the left wing, the run ended in him having his powerful effort blocked behind for a corner kick by Cullen.

Right towards the end of the half Shashoua created a golden chance for Tracey to convert. After winning the ball off of Lewis in the centre of the park Shashoua did well to hold the Hammers man off before surging through the middle, with the ball glued to his foot. Shashoua continued forwards before threading a perfectly weighted through ball into the feet of Tracey down the right hand side. The forward skipped past Pask and into the box before steadying himself and firing an effort across goal. Tracey’s powerful low effort was desperately unlucky as it flew inches wide of Trott’s far post. Most of the crowd thought it was a certain goal. Shashoua came close to doubling Spurs’ lead a couple of moments later. After receiving a pass from Duncan, Shashoua curled an effort towards that very same corner of the goal, Trott was left scrambling as he palmed the ball away before coming out to smother it as Tracey tried to pounce on the loose ball. Excellent in the first half TJ Eyoma made a brilliant crunching challenge on Akinola which drew rapturous applause from the crowd. West Ham were pushing for an equaliser as we entered the last couple of minutes of the half, the alert Dinzeyi did well to get in front of Silva inside the box and make an important headed clearance. However, Spurs’ excellent defending in the first half was all undone in the 44th minute. After Xande Silva netted an equaliser for the East London club. After picking up the ball out on the right wing Diangana looked to work his way through the Tottenham defence. After cutting inside and onto his left foot the winger spotted the run of Silva who was coming across Tanganga. He slipped the ball into the Portuguese forward who took the ball into right side of the penalty area. Duncan made a sliding challenge to try and intercept the ball off him but he didn’t get much clean contact on the ball and Silva continued forward before riffling an unstoppable effort into the roof of Whiteman’s goal, from an acute angle, 1-1.

Reece Oxford blocked Duncan’s ambitious attempt a couple of moments later as Sam Purkiss blew for half time, it was such a frustrating goal to concede for Burnett’s side. The Irons got the second half underway and they were wasting no time in trying to trouble our defence. Less than a minute after getting the game back underway West Ham had the ball in the back of the net through Xande Silva once again. We’d been caught napping, allowing Cullen to go running through the middle. The Irishman weighed up his options before rolling the ball through to Silva who waited on the edge of the box. Tanganga’s attempted lunge to try and trap the ball was unsuccessful and the ball rolled on through to the Portuguese forward, who darted into the penalty area before tucking the ball inside the bottom left hand corner of Whiteman’s goal, 1-2. This came as a bitter blow for Burnett’s side who now had it all to do if they were going to get back into the game. West Ham had come flying out of the blocks and only two minutes after taking the lead the irons punished us again, with devastating consequences. It was as if Burnett’s side hadn’t recovered after giving away such an early goal. Nathan Holland picked up the ball out on the left wing before going across to the byline and squaring it to Silva, who waited in space inside the penalty area. With far too much room to aim at the centre forward calmly just stroked the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the Spurs goal, leaving Whiteman with no chance, 1-3. Deflated and stunned by the Hammers excellent start to the half, Burnett knew that his side had to make an immediate response. Shortly after Japhet Tanganga had done well to block Diangana’s effort, Burnett introduced Shayon Harrison to the game as he replaced the injured Samuel Shashoua who limped off after taking a knee to the back.

The potent Nathan Holland fired narrowly over for the away side after picking up the ball on the left side of the penalty area. Shortly afterwards Spurs’ talisman Connor Ogilvie was the victim of a nasty crunching challenge from West Ham’s Ben Johnson, but to the youngsters credit he stayed with Ogilvie as he was being treated by the physio. Spurs looked disjointed and fairly sloppy whenever they managed to get out of their own half. The impressive Reece Oxford nodded wide from a corner kick, whilst George Marsh went into the book after catching Johnson in the head with a flailing arm. The young Spurs lads were finding it increasingly difficult to find a way past the West Ham defence, the isolated Marcus Edwards had a speculative shot blocked behind for a corner by Coventry. Japhet Tanganga then headed over from the resulting corner kick claiming to the referee that he was having his shirt pulled by a West Ham player. West Ham responded down the other end as Holland whipped a teasing ball across the face of the Spurs goal. Unable to involve the wide players especially Georgiou who was often finding himself in acres of space out on the left, Spurs were unable to trouble the resolute West Ham defence. After getting on the end of Ogilvie’s header Diangana blasted over for the Hammers, Ogilvie was replaced by Brown shortly afterwards I believe this was as a result of the challenge he sustained from Johnson. The visitors were showing no signs of slowing down as they continued to move the ball around the park with pace. A well worked move from Manning’s side saw Johnson receive the ball from Lewis out on the right wing. The fullback travelled forwards before squaring the ball to Silva inside the penalty area, but the forwards effort on goal was heroically blocked by Tanganga who came across the Portuguese player.

In one final roll of the dice Burnett brought on Jack Roles for Dylan Duncan in the centre of the park. The Cyprus under 21 international came close to making an immediate impact after he came across the face of the goal to meet Marcus Edwards corner, forcing a decent stop out of Trott from his bullet header at the near post. The game had begun to peter out for Burnett’s side who apart from the odd individual move were unable to trouble the Hammers defence. To make matters worse Spurs were forced to play the final minutes of the game with ten men after Mason Barrett had injured Tracey with a meaty sliding challenge after the forward had embarked on a promising run down that side. Shortly after the fourth official had signalled that there would be a minimum of five minutes additional time, West Ham thought they had netted their fourth of the evening. After Holland had cut inside onto his right foot, the forward forced a good save from Whiteman with Barrett there to nod home from close range. Unfortunately for him the linesman had adjudged him to have been offside, in the end it was a disappointing evening for Burnett’s youngsters. We weren’t great by any means but we managed to play well for large periods of the first half, and we defended superbly during that period. Essentially what killed us was Silva’s quick fire hat-trick, it stunned the team and left them totally depleted, and after that we offered virtually zilch going forwards in the second half. Spurs will be looking to make a response when they travel up to Merseyside on Friday to face Liverpool at Anfield. The reds have beaten us in their last two meetings at Anfield and will no doubt fancy their chances of making it win number three come Friday night.

Player reviews: – Alfie Whiteman: The 19 year old had a decent game in between the sticks on Monday evening, Whiteman was solid. The 19 year old old made some important stops and his overall reading of the game was impressive. I.E set pieces and corner kicks of which he dealt with well.
– TJ Eyoma: Fresh from his time away with the first team in pre-season, Eyoma played at right back for our encounter with the Hammers. He put in a strong performance particularly in the first half where I thought he was faultless, making many crucial interceptions and a crunching challenge which brought spectators off their feet. The second half was a bit tougher for Eyoma and his lack of pace did cause a few issue when trying to defend against the tricky Nathan Holland.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: My motm, see below.
– Japhet Tanganga: The England under 19 international put in a good showing at centre half against West Ham. He defended well making many important blocks/challenges and looked assured in possession. As always with Tanganga he managed to keep excellent positioning throughout, and posed a real goal threat from set pieces.
– Connor Ogilvie: Connor will have made a positive impression on the various EFL scouts who were watching the game last night. The 22 year old skipper is far too good for this level and it showed once again last night. He defended right winger Diangana tightly and managed to neutralise the threat on that side. He covered well for the centre backs on occasions and showed real maturity when leading the team. Ogilvie is a captain who every young player would like to play alongside. It will be interesting to see whether or not he goes out on loan before the window closes at the end of the month.
– George Marsh: Another player who clocked up valuable minutes for the first team in pre-season. Marsh dropped back down to u23 level for the West Ham game as he formed a central midfield partnership with Duncan. I thought Marsh was ok on the whole, generally effective at breaking up play. Although he did make a couple of clumsy decisions on the night.
– Dylan Duncan: Like Marsh he was generally quite effective and combative in the middle of the park. He mopped up well after him and kept things ticking with some nice crisp passing. However, he wasn’t much of a threat going forwards.
– Marcus Edwards: He really struggled to make much of an impression out on the right wing, which was a shame as Pochettino and his coaching staff were watching on from the stands. Edwards found himself isolated out wide quite a lot of time. He tried to cut inside and trick his way through the middle but was often overpowered by the West Ham midfield/defence.
– Samuel Shashoua: Without a doubt our most influential attacking player during his time on the pitch. Shashoua looked really lively as a number 10, the scorer of a wonderful goal in the opening couple of minutes of the game. Young Samuel robbed the West Ham midfield of the ball on a good few occasions. The 19 year old went on some fruitful attacking forays down the middle and a made a couple of defence splitting passes. A really good showing from Shashoua who was forced off through injury early in the second half.
– Anthony Georgiou: One of the young stars from pre-season, it was nice to see Georgiou play against West Ham’s development side out on the left wing. Hard working, skilful and tidy with the ball at his feet, the Cyprus international went on some on good runs down the left hand side. However, he wasn’t picked out enough by his teammates. He found himself in acres of space out on the left wing, particularly in the second half. Yet rarely did his teammates play the ball in to him whenever was trying to make those runs down the wing. Like Edwards a winger can only do so much without the ball, they need support from their teammates, and they need somebody in the middle of the park to play those passes down the flanks. It’s no good for them having to track back or go into the middle and pick the ball up and try and be Cristiano Ronald/superman. Georgiou was up against a really strong right back in Ben Johnson and he managed to neutralise him for much of the game. However, Anthony did well under the circumstances.
– Shilow Tracey: I was pleased with how Tracey lead the line on Monday evening. He’s by no means a natural centre forward and he lacks that goal scoring nous about his game. However, he got stuck in and held the ball up well whilst making some promising runs down the right. He’ll be disappointed that he wasn’t able to convert his chance on the stroke of halftime. He worked so hard for the team!
– Jaden Brown: Filled in well for Ogilvie at left back after coming on for the last 20 or so minutes of the game.
– Shayon Harrison: He looked really lively after coming on in the second half. Playing behind Tracey he managed to initiate some good moves whilst weaving his way around the West Ham defenders. It was a shame that he didn’t lead the line for Spurs.
– Jack Roles: Shory but promising cameo from the box to box midfielder who managed to get in some good goalscoring positions following his introduction to the game. Had he have started the game then I feel as if he would have really changed the flow of the game for Spurs. Hopefully he’ll start against Liverpool on Friday!

My man of the match: Jonathan Dinzeyi. I thought our young centre half was Burnett’s best player on the night. He put in a really strong performance at centre back. He read the game well, and was strong and decisive in the air. However, it was Dinzeyi’s excellent last ditch defending which was so impressive. As always he put in a really brave performance and although he is still quite raw, he never backs down from making that all important challenge/interception. Dinzeyi was excellent at defending set pieces against West Ham and good at getting in front of his man, don’t be at all surprised if he heads out on loan to an EFL club before the window closes at the end of this month. Physically he is ready and after an impressive pre-season he is really starting to find his feet at u23 level. He really impressed me the other night!

Spurs: Whiteman, Eyoma, Dinzeyi, Tanganga, Ogilvie (Brown 68), Marsh, Edwards, Duncan (Roles 75) Shashoua (Harrison 51), Georgiou, Tracey. Substitutes (not used): Freeman, Hinds.

West Ham: Trott, Johnson, Pask (Barrett 78), Oxford (c), Akinola, Diangana (Afolayan 72), Coventry, Cullen, Holland, Silva (Hector-Ingram 78), Lewis. Substitutes (not used): Anang, Scully.

Goals: Spurs – Shashoua 6; West Ham – Silva 44, 46, 48.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Marsh 59; West Ham – Barrett 87.

Attendance: 724.

Venue: Lamex Stadium.

Spurs under 21/23’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Samuel Shashoua – 1

Assists: None.

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