Goals from the central midfield trio of Joe Pritchard, Luke Amos and Josh Onomah saw us overturn the Hammers’ early advantage to lead 3-2, but the hosts got themselves back level shortly afterwards through Jordan Brown’s second goal of the game.
We had the better of the opening exchanges in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League clash at the Hammers’ Little Heath academy facility, Onomah sending a free kick into the wall after two minutes while Pritchard’s run and shot failed to significantly inconvenience Sam Howes in the West Ham goal.
The hosts took a 13th minute lead when Fatia Adebayo intercepted the ball centrally and fed Brown in the box, the striker’s shot deflecting off retreating centre-half Cameron Carter-Vickers and wrong-footing goalkeeper Harry Voss on its way into the net.
Four minutes later it was 2-0 as Emmanuel Onariase scored with a free header from inside a crowded area after Grady Diangana swung in a corner kick.
Startled, we pushed forward and pulled a goal back in the 24th minute. Anton Walkes passed the ball out to Pritchard on the left corner of the penalty box and he turned his marker inside out before smashing beyond Howes at his near post.
Carter-Vickers made a great run from inside our own territory seven minutes later, exchanging passes with Onomah as he strode into the Hammers’ box, but, after going down under a challenge from Onariase, the referee waved away claims for a penalty.
Onomah sent a long-range shot over the bar shortly afterwards, before we equalised on the stroke of half-time. In another fine move, Carter-Vickers played the ball out from the back, with Pritchard ferrying it on to Anthony Georgiou charging down the left flank. He cut in and saw his shot blocked but Pritchard recycled it and laid the ball off for Amos to steer low into the net from 18 yards out.
We started the second half determined to complete the comeback, Pritchard testing Howes following Georgiou crosses twice in as many minutes with a first-time shot and subsequent header – the latter being tipped over the bar by the home custodian.
Pritchard again went close in the 56th minute when he met another cross, this time from Walker-Peters, but nudged it over the bar.
The game exploded into action on 65 minutes when substitute Ryan Loft played the ball square to Onomah and he composed himself before powerfully firing us into the lead from 20 yards out.
This stung the Hammers, who might have got an equaliser within 30 seconds had Brown’s close-range shot not been kept out by a combination of Voss and Carter-Vickers at the near post.
West Ham did get themselves back on level terms two minutes later, though, as Brown fired home from a tight angle.
The competitive nature of the fixture spilled into the final 20 minutes, Pritchard’s sweeping cross just evading Shayon Harrison at one end while Djair Parfitt-Williams forced a save from Voss with a left-footed free kick at the other.
Our best chance to get back into the lead arrived when substitute Zenon Stylianides won possession in midfield on 77 minutes and fed Harrison who, in turn, sent Loft through on goal. Howes, however, advanced and made himself big to repel the striker’s effort.
A speculative long-range shot from Stylianides cleared the bar 10 minutes later while Howes did well to hold a rising shot from Harrison.
The final chance of the game arrived a minute into stoppage time when Pritchard swung a free kick from deep on the left into the box, but Harrison’s header went over the bar.
Spurs: Voss, Walkes (Ross 60), Walker-Peters, Amos (Stylianides 69), Maghoma, Carter-Vickers, Daly (Loft 60), Onomah, Harrison, Pritchard, Georgiou. Substitute (not used): Glover (GK).