Dylan Duncan finished off an excellent team move and Marcus Edwards netted from the penalty spot during a bright first-half display at the Training Centre, in which Edwards was lively on the ball and Shilow Tracey, operating as the central striker, showed impressive prowess in attack.
We began the second period in the same fashion with captain Joe Pritchard leading by example and driving forward, only to drag just wide.
But when Dan Kemp steered home from close range after we switched off at the back, it started to go wrong. Nathan Holland curled home an unstoppable equaliser before Josh Pask completed the Hammers’ comeback just after the hour mark.
West Ham stopper Nathan Trott wasn’t really troubled after that, although 16-year-old midfielder Oliver Skipp came agonisingly close to a stoppage-time leveller but saw his bundled attempt cleared off the line.
CHANCES: TRACEY DENIED TWICE, AUSTIN SAVES – 10-16mins
Our first real chance arrived 10 minutes in when Edwards took a quick throw-in, Tracey did well to turn his marker but dragged across the face of goal and wide. Tracey got in again moments later but was denied by Olatunji Akinola’s sliding challenge, while goalkeeper Brandon Austin made an important block from Antonio Martinez at the other end.
GOAL: SPURS 1-0 WEST HAM – DYLAN DUNCAN – 33mins
Skipp, once again showing maturity beyond his years in the middle, triggered the move that led to our opener with an excellent pass out to Will Miller on the left. He advanced down his flank and played it infield for Tracey, who teed up Duncan to drive low into the corner for his first goal at Under-23 level.
GOAL: SPURS 2-0 WEST HAM – MARCUS EDWARDS (PEN) – 44mins
Our second goal arrived just before the break as Edwards was tripped in the area by Akinola. The crafty midfielder tried to stay on his feet but ended up losing his footing before getting up to slot home the resulting penalty. Keanan Bennetts crossed from the left 60 seconds later, but Tracey couldn’t quite convert under pressure at the back post.
Action: Keanan Bennetts goes up for a header.
GOAL: SPURS 2-1 WEST HAM – DAN KEMP – 49mins
Pritchard went close less than 20 seconds into the second period but a lapse in concentration at the back allowed left-back Vashon Neufville to find space for a cross from the left and Kemp was there at the far post to convert from close range.
GOAL: SPURS 2-2 WEST HAM – NATHAN HOLLAND – 56mins
A great last-ditch tackle from Jaden Brown, operating at centre-half, denied Martinez a clear shooting chance, but there was nothing he or goalkeeper Austin could do about the Hammers’ equaliser on 56 minutes. Holland picked the ball up 20 yards from goal, left of centre, and let fly with a right-footed curler that flew inside the far post.
GOAL: SPURS 2-3 WEST HAM – JOSH PASK – 63mins
Pritchard and Edwards both went close to restoring our lead, but the turnaround was completed from a West Ham perspective on 63 minutes when Akinola knocked down a cross from the left and Pask reacted quickest to turn home from six yards. That link-up between Edwards and Tracey almost paid off again midway through the second period but Trott saved from the forward at his near post.
CHANCE: SKIPP ALMOST LEVELS IT LATE – 90+1mins
Substitute Ryan Loft saw his shot across the face of goal cleared on 88 minutes and he was involved again in stoppage time when we broke forward three-on-three. Loft squared for Skipp, who managed to clip the ball tamely beyond Trott as he arrived late in the box, but the Hammers were able to clear off the line.
COACH WAYNE BURNETT SAID
“I thought we played some very good stuff in the first half, really controlled the game and could have been more goals up at half-time. We came out in the second half, had a glorious chance to make it 3-0, didn’t take it and almost straight away they went up the other end and scored for 2-1 and the momentum of the game changed a little bit. We controlled large parts of the first half and they controlled large parts of the second half, but saying that I think we still had some really, really good chances to increase our goals tally but we never took those. If the chance presents itself you have to be clinical and you have to take that. If at 2-0 we score the third goal, it takes the wind out of their sails even more.
“There’s no point in coming away from the game, not winning and not learning from it. There are some negatives because people will look at the result and we’re disappointed with how we’ve conceded the goals but there are certainly some positives as well. We had 18 attempts at goal, only six on target so we can improve on that front, but there were some decent performances, certainly in the first half. We controlled the game both in and out of possession and Oliver Skipp was very good today. What impressed me was how hard he worked and he was the one that nearly got us back in it with an equaliser. Overall, there was some good stuff but it’s disappointing, being in front at 2-0 we need to be better and understand how we see the game out.”
Spurs: Austin, Eyoma, Bennetts, Skipp, Tanganga, Brown, Edwards, Duncan (S Shashoua 72), Tracey (Sterling 79), Pritchard (c), Miller (Loft 58). Substitutes (not used): Dinzeyi, O’Reilly (GK).
West Ham: Trott, Pike, Neufville, Makasi (c), Akinola, Pask, Kemp (Hector-Ingram 84), Powell (Sylvestre 58), Martinez, Samuelsen (Diangana 46), Holland. Substitutes (not used): Scully, Matrevics (GK).
Goals: Spurs – Duncan 33, Edwards 44 (pen); West Ham – Kemp 49, Holland 56, Pask 63.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Skipp 74; West Ham – Martinez 70.
Referee: David Rock.
We have a chance to put our first points on the board in the Premier League 2 on Friday night when we host Manchester United at Stevenage, kick-off 7pm.