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Posted on 20 September 2006  - 12:00

Our reserves toppled West Ham 3-1 on Wednesday night thanks to an irresistible performance in the first half at Stevenage Borough.

Our reserves toppled West Ham 3-1 on Wednesday night thanks to an irresistible performance in the first half at Stevenage Borough.

West Ham - even with Teddy Sheringham in the line-up - simply had no answer to the quickfire passing and movement of the likes of Andy Barcham, Simon Dawkins and Jacques Maghoma, the bite in midfield of Stuart Lewis and Kieran McKenna and the left foot of Reto Ziegler, who did all the damage from set-pieces.

The lads started well and got better and better in that first half with some of the best football seen under development coach Clive Allen.

Four corners and a free-kick all delivered by Ziegler yielded two goals and a further three chances in the opening 20 minutes.

Unsurprisingly, it was defensive powerhouse and skipper Charlie Lee who paved the way by pounding a header past Jimmy Walker to hand us the lead after eight minutes and Dorian Dervite could have doubled the lead two minutes later but for Reid's clearance.

The second goal wasn't long in arriving though, this time from a corner and this time the Ziegler-Dervite combination reaped its reward. Ziegler delivered from the right, West Ham's defence stood still and the French youngster ghosted in at the far post to nod home.

The lads played at a ferocious pace and refused the Hammers any time on the ball. McKenna and Lewis continually won possession back in central midfield, allowing the front men to spring forward.

Dawkins and Maghoma went close, Barcham might have done better from 10 yards and Lewis was denied by a last-ditch tackle as the ball was zipped about.

The chances kept coming. Walker did well to palm out Maghoma's effort on 27 minutes and Ziegler's follow up was cleared off the line.

It took West Ham until the 35th minute to contribute anything of note and no surprise that it was Sheringham with a stunning first-time volley from Reid's 50-yard pass that clipped the top of the crossbar.

It was only a temporary respite for West Ham's defence as we flooded forward again - Dawkins, twice, and Maghoma all tried their luck before the almost inevitable third goal in the 44th minute. Ziegler played Dawkins through, Walker blocked but Maghoma was on the spot to turn the rebound home.

It was a shame the whistle had to end it all after 45 minutes and it was no surprise that the second half couldn't quite live up to the first.

West Ham had to come back into it and we were handed a warning less than a minute into the second half with an amazing series that saw Cerny save from Ephraim and then tip Sheringham's return onto the crossbar. The ball bounced to Jeffery for what looked a certain goal - Dervite made the block.

Despite that escape, the visitors were handed a lifeline after 58 minutes when Jeffery skipped around Cerny and finished well from a tight angle.

But there was no comeback and Clive will be pleased with how the lads got a grip back on the game.

More chances followed - Dervite's header was cleared off the line and McKenna was denied one of the goals of the season when his 35-yard dipper cannoned back off the crossbar. West Ham's chances were restricted and it was job done.


2mins: Deep corner from Ziegler headed back into danger area by Lee, McKenna there but volleyed over.

8mins: GOAL - SPURS. Same corner routine, this time Ziegler's cross powered home by Lee from 12 yards.
Spurs 1, West Ham 0

10mins: Third corner - third chance. Ziegler again swung it in, Dervite this time had free header at far post, Reid scrambled away.

15mins: Ziegler's corner headed out to Lewis, who volleyed well wide from 20 yards.

17mins: GOAL - SPURS. Silly foul in the right channel. Ziegler clipped in inswinging free-kick met by Dervite, unchallenged, simple enough headed finish from six yards.
Spurs 2, West Ham 0

18mins: Great run from Dawkins through the middle, reached edge of the box but didn't get hold of shot.

21mins: Barcham quick feet to work a yard on the edge of the box, left-foot shot straight at Walker.

22mins: CHANCE. Lovely pass from Ifil sent Barcham through on goal, right side of box, lashed wide from 10 yards.

23mins: Quick interplay again, Barcham threaded pass through to supporting Lewis, Collison there in nick of time to clear as goal beckoned.

27mins: SAVE/OFF LINE. Maghoma cut inside from right, had options either way but opted to shoot, hit low effort that Walker did well to palm out to his left, Ziegler first to it and drove back at goal, Widdowson there to hack off line.

35mins: WOODWORK. Reid hit searching 50-yard crossfield pass to Sheringham, he caught with typical first-time volley that clipped the top of the crossbar.

36mins: Maghoma break down the right, low cross to near post that Dawkins tried to turn home, effort blocked.

37mins: SAVE. Another quickfire passing move as McKenna fed into Barcham, he flicked into path of Maghoma but Walker out to smother at Maghoma's feet.

39mins: Maghoma low cross into Dawkins who turned well but fired wide.

44mins: GOAL - SPURS. Perfectly-weighted pass from Ziegler to Dawkins, through on goal, Walker saved initial shot with his legs but could do nothing as Maghoma picked up loose ball and fired low into corner.
Spurs 3, West Ham 0

Half-time: Spurs 3, West Ham 0

46mins: SAVE/WOODWORK/BLOCK. Ephraim burst through middle, low shot superbly saved by Cerny down to his right, Sheringham first to rebound but Cerny up in time to touch effort onto the top of the crossbar, ball fell to Jeffery eight yards out, certain goal blocked by Dervite.

54mins: Ziegler snapshot on turn from 20 yards straight at Walker.

58mins: GOAL - WEST HAM. Collison's prod forward suddenly found Jeffery through on goal, nipped the ball around Cerny and finished well into roof of net from tight angle.
Spurs 3, West Ham 1

60mins: OFF LINE. Ziegler whipped in corner from left met by Dervite, header from 16 yards hacked off line by Reid.

63mins: One-two between Ziegler and McKenna, Ziegler fierce drive from tight angle straight at Walker.

65mins: WOODWORK. McKenna 35-yard dipping volley cracked underside of crossbar and bounced to safety.

76mins: Decent turn and shot from Maghoma, again, straight at Walker.

79mins: Lewis popped pass forward to Pekhart, early hit deflected wide.

Added time: SAVE. Ziegler broke centrally, slid pass through to Pekhart, through on Walker but keeper made fine save to block.

Full-time: Spurs 3, West Ham 1

Spurs: Cerny, Ifil, Daniels, McKenna, Lee, Dervite, Maghoma, Lewis, Barcham (Pekhart, 60), Dawkins (Livermore, 80), Ziegler. Subs: Hughton, Button, Davis.

West Ham: Walker, Widdowson, Fitzgerald, Spector, N'gala, Stokes, Ephraim (Hunt, 69), Collison, Jeffery, Sheringham (Hales, 79), Reid. Subs: Spence, Blackmore, Harvey, Sears.