Some notes on Spurs 18’s 3-1 defeat to West Ham United: (match report)

Some notes on Spurs 18’s 3-1 defeat to West Ham United: (match report)


Matt Taylor’s Tottenham Hotspur under 18 side took on London rivals West Ham United in a league game at Little Heath on Saturday morning. This was a typical London derby with plenty of strong challenges however, it was also a close and for the most part end to end game of football. Spurs however, ended up losing 3-1 to the ‘ Hammers ’ after the home side took their chances during the second half. Spurs lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation as Kacper Kurylowicz started in goal. A back four made up of Dermi Lusala, captain Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Marqes Muir and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Matthew Craig and Aaron Skinner anchored the midfield, while Nile John and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks either side of CAM Max Robson. Kion Etete led the line for Spurs. The home side got the game underway on a blustery day in Romford. Early on in the game Spurs’ right winger Nile John dragged an effort wide from distance before centre half Malachi Fagan-Walcott nodded J’Neil Bennett’s cross wide of the West Ham goal. Shortly afterwards Spurs were awarded a penalty. Nile John’s nicely weighted pass set Max Robson racing through on goal in the West Ham penalty area however, the attacking midfield was brought down from behind by Josh Okotcha leaving the referee with no other choice then to point to the spot and show Okotcha a yellow card. Kion Etete confidently stood up to blast the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Krisztian Hegyi’s goal, 1-0.

Ademipo Ademipo responded for West Ham by firing an effort over Kurylowicz’s crossbar on the turn, before J’Neil Bennett went on a run down the left flank before cutting inside and firing an effort on goal. The ball bounced awkwardly in front of Hegyi who managed to gather it in time before the alert Max Robson could latch onto it. However, before halftime Spurs conceded a penalty after Matthew Craig brought down Daniel Chesters inside the Tottenham penalty area. Veron Parkes stood up before firing the ball down the middle of Kacper Kurylowicz’s goal, 1-1. Spurs tried to regain the lead before the break, Nile John had an effort from distance saved by Hegyi before Kacper Kurylowicz saved Peter Stroud’s effort which took a deflection off of Matthew Craig in what was the final piece of action of the half. Spurs got the game back underway however, West Ham started the half strongly. A good break forward from the home side ended in Veron Parkes whipping the ball into the Spurs box from the right flank. His cross managed to pick up Ademipo Ademipo at the back post and he fired the ball beyond Kurylowicz and into the centre of the goal, 1-2. Spurs tried hard to respond, Kion Etete cut inside from the left flank before firing an effort well over Hegyi’s crossbar. After Max Robson had won a free kick, J’Neil Bennett curled his resulting effort over the crossbar. A couple of minutes later and after a good spell of possession from Spurs, the young Lilywhites managed to come close to finding an equaliser.

Max Robson’s cross from the left flank was turned onto the post by West Ham defender Jamal Baptiste before Kion Etete collected the ball and passed it to Nile John, whose first time effort on goal was blocked by Baptiste. It was an even game of football which could have gone either way. Midfielder Matthew Craig received a yellow card for unlawfully preventing a West Ham attack and he was replaced by Tarrelle Whittaker. The lively Max Robson then managed to create another chance when he was able to find Kion Etete in the West Ham box however, Etete’s resulting shot was blocked Samuel Nsumbu. At the other end of the pitch, Daniel Chesters flashed an effort across the face of Kacper Kurylowicz’s goal before Yago Santiago came onto replace Max Robson in the CAM position. Shortly after coming on Santiago had an effort cleared off the line by Jake Giddings.  After receiving Tarrelle Whittaker’s pass in the West Ham box, J’Neil Bennett looked up before smashing the ball against Krisztian Hegyi’s crossbar. Rafferty Pedder then came onto replace Aaron Skinner. Left back Dennis Cirkin received a yellow card for making a strong challenge on Daniel Chesters before he fired an effort over from distance. In second half stoppage time and after latching onto the ball down the right flank Kamarai Sawyer surged forward into the Spurs penalty area before firing the ball into the top left hand corner of Kacper Kurylowicz’s goal to secure the win, 1-3. Nevertheless this was a good performance from Spurs but they just weren’t as clinical as West Ham on the day. Spurs’ next game is at home to Southampton next Saturday. 

Player reviews:

  • Kacper Kurylowicz: The Spurs goalkeeper only had to make one save on the day and that was a comfortable deflected drive from Peter Stroud. Kurylowicz did however, lead by example and he couldn’t have done anything to prevent any of West Ham’s three goals. 
  • Dermi Lusala: The skilful right back carried the ball well and he defended well during what was a closely fought and end to end game. Lusala made some good forward runs down the right flank.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: The Spurs captain was commanding and he spoke his teammates through the game well.
  • Marqes Muir: The LCB had in my opinion a strong game, cutting out some dangerous West Ham attacks and chances. 
  • Dennis Cirkin: The combative left back often stayed deep and he did a good solid job for Spurs. Cirkin made some strong challenges.
  • Matthew Craig: The CM kept things ticking in the central areas of the pitch. 
  • Aaron Skinner: The defensive midfielder made some really strong challenges and he patrolled the midfield well during his time on the pitch. 
  • Nile John: Although Spurs focused their efforts more down the left flank, John did well when he got on the ball. The England under 17 international’s pass to set Max Robson racing through on goal was a good one.
  • Max Robson: My man of the match, see below.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The fast and tricky two footed left winger gave Sam Caiger a difficult time throughout periods of the game. Bennett was unpredictable and he made some good surging runs and he also hit the crossbar during the second half.
  • Kion Etete: The tall and physical centre forward held the ball up excellently and he did a good job at bringing others into the game. Etete was unlucky not to score more than one goal today.
  • Tarrelle Whittaker: The second half substitute injected energy into the game from out on the right flank.
  • Yago Santiago: This was a lively cameo from the young Spanish midfielder who also came very close to finding the back of the net.
  • Rafferty Pedder: The late substitute managed to get stuck in during his short time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Max Robson. The lively CAM was influential during today’s game creating some good chances, showing good skill and feet and also doing well to win our penalty. In addition Robson’s off the ball movement was very good and he was always ready to receive the ball and run at players and take them on. Robson has now been directly involved in 12 goals this season for Spurs at all levels.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2019/20:


Tarrelle Whittaker – 7

J’Neil Bennett – 6

Kion Etete – 6

Max Robson – 5

Chay Cooper – 4

Enock Asante – 3

Harvey White – 3

Kallum Cesay – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Troy Parrott – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Dane Scarlett – 1

Romaine Mundle – 1

Nile John – 1


Max Robson – 6

Chay Cooper – 5

J’Neil Bennett – 5

Tarrelle Whittaker – 3

Dermi Lusala –  3

Romaine Mundle – 3

Kion Etete – 3

Troy Parrott – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Harvey White – 2

Enock Asante – 2

Eddie Carrington – 2

Luis Binks – 1

Michael Craig – 1

Kallum Cesay – 1

Marqes Muir –  1

Yago Santiago – 1

Jordan Hackett – 1

Aaron Skinner – 1

Clean sheets: 

Kacper Kurylowicz – 4

Josh Oluwayemi – 1

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