Spurs Under 23’s 3-4 West Ham United: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 23 side returned to Premier League 2 action on Monday evening, when Wayne Burnett’s side played West Ham United, at Stevenage’s Lamex Stadium. Spurs lost what was a very lively match 4-3. Joshua Oluwayemi started in goal, while a back four consisting of Marcel Lavinier, Marqes Muir, Tobi Omole and Kallum Cesay started in front of him. Matthew Craig and Spurs’ captain Harvey White started in midfield, and Jack Clarke and Dilan Markanday started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Nile John. Alfie Devine led the line for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway, but it was the visitors who started the game better. After Tobi Omole cleared Armstrong Okoflex’s cross early on in the game, West Ham managed their first goal attempt. Pierre Ekwah headed behind Harrison Ashby’s corner-kick, with it taking a deflection on the way. After initially saving well from Okoflex’s low effort, Oluwayemi could do nothing to stop Pierre Ekwah from finding the top left hand corner of the goal in emphatic fashion from distance, moments later, 0-1. Spurs tried to respond. Harvey White’s through-ball pass allowed Jack Clarke to run forward with the ball towards the edge of the West Ham box. Clarke was dispossessed by a West Ham defender, but the ball came to Nile John, who powerfully found the inside netting of the bottom left hand corner of the West Ham goal, 1-1.

In the 16th minute of the game Spurs managed to take the lead, as Alfie Devine latched onto Nile John’s well weighted through-ball pass, before continuing forward, striking the inside left post, with the ball then rebounding into the goal, 2-1. Harvey White then blocked a low effort on goal from inside the Spurs box, before Dilan Markanday hit over a Harvey White corner-kick from close range inside the West Ham box. The lively start to the game continued, and after Daniel Chesters received Keenan Forson’s pass, the winger continued forward before powerfully finding the back of the Spurs goal, with a low effort. Things got even better for West Ham not long afterwards, as Spurs defender Marqes Muir accidentally turned Harrison Ashby’s cross from the right flank, into his own goal, 2-3. After cutting inside from the left flank onto his right foot, Kallum Cesay tried his luck on goal, but West Ham goalkeeper Krisztian Hegyi made a good save. Armstrong Okoflex’s side-footed effort from distance went narrowly wide, before at the other end of the pitch Markanday had an effort blocked. Jack Clarke hit a promising effort across the face of the West Ham goal, before the same Spurs player ended up being fouled inside the West Ham penalty area a couple of moments later, resulting in a penalty kick. Nile John stepped up to powerfully find the back of the net, 3-3.

Okoflex put a low cross just behind at Oluwayemi’s back post, and then a couple of minutes later Harvey White had an effort saved by Hegyi, in what was the final action from the first half. West Ham got the second half underway, and an early chance for Sonny Perkins ended in the centre-forward hitting an effort just wide of the Spurs goal. Lavinier managed to cut out a promising West Ham pass inside the Spurs box, and then Tobi Omole was adjudged by the referee to have fouled Keenan Forson inside the penalty area. Up stepped Armstrong Okoflex to powerfully side-foot the ball past Oluwayemi in the Spurs goal, 3-4. Oluwayemi gathered an effort on goal before Spurs made a double substitution, as Matthew Craig and Alfie Devine were replaced by Yago Santiago and Michael Craig. Keenan Forson struck the Spurs crossbar with an effort, and then Brooklyn Lyons-Foster came onto replace Marcel Lavinier at right-back. Nile John hit two efforts wide in quick succession, before Kallum Cesay became the first Spurs player to receive a yellow card during the game. Harvey White hit a free-kick into the West Ham wall, and then at the other end of the pitch substitute Thierry Nevers hit a bicycle-kick just over Oluwayemi’s goal. Dilan Markanday tried to get an equaliser for Spurs in second half additional time, but he couldn’t keep his effort on target. The final score was Spurs 3-4 West Ham. Spurs will travel up to Manchester to play Manchester City in their next Premier League 2 game, which is on Saturday.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The Spurs goalkeeper could do nothing to prevent any of West Ham’s four goals from going in. Oluwayemi made a couple of good saves during the match. 
  • Marcel Lavinier: The right-back cut out two good and promising chances for West Ham, during his time on the pitch. 
  • Marqes Muir: The right-sided centre-half started alongside Tobi Omole in central defence, and Marqes Muir was good in the air throughout the match.
  • Tobi Omole: The central-defender started as a left-sided centre-half against West Ham. Omole went down injured during the second half, but was fine to continue afterwards.
  • Kallum Cesay: Going on some good runs down the left flank, full-back Kallum Cesay had a good effort saved during the first half.
  • Matthew Craig: The deepest of the two central midfielders patrolled the midfield alongside Harvey White.
  • Harvey White: Delivering some good corner-kicks into the West Ham box, midfielder Harvey White also made some good forward runs off the ball.
  • Jack Clarke: The winger started the match out on the right flank, but later switched flanks with Dilan Markanday during the second half. Clarke won the first half penalty which Nile John scored.
  • Nile John: My man of the match, see below.
  • Dilan Markanday: The winger may not have had a lot of the ball against West Ham, but on another day he could have had a goal or two. He grew into the game as it went on.
  • Alfie Devine: Playing as a centre-forward Alfie Devine had in my opinion another good game. Making some good runs off the ball, Devine took his first half goal really well – it was his sixth league goal of the season.
  • Michael Craig: The midfielder and second half substitute often got forward during his time on the pitch.
  • Yago Santiago: The second half substitute played as a centre-forward.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: The late substitute replaced Marcel Lavinier at right-back.

My man of the match: Nile John. Always looking to receive the ball, CAM Nile John was without doubt Spurs’ most influential player against West Ham. John scored two well taken goals, and also registered an assist. The midfielder was always looking to play the ball forward and take players on.

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