West Ham 2-2 Spurs (PL2) - report from Dagenham
12 February 2018|Tottenham Hotspur
Wide men Keanan Bennetts and Shilow Tracey combined to twice give us the lead, but a penalty converted by West Ham's Marcus Browne saw the points shared in the Premier League 2 at Dagenham & Redbridge on Monday night.
In a frantic opening half-an-hour, Tracey crossed for Bennetts to bundle in after only three minutes and after Domingos Quina levelled for the home side, Bennetts returned the favour and set up the lively Tracey to make it 2-1.
Goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman had to make some good stops while we looked dangerous on the counter, but the game became a cagier affair after the interval with the battle being played out in the centre of the park.
The Hammers controlled proceedings for a spell mid-way through the second half and always seemed to have a spare man in midfield, but couldn't make it count until 13 minutes from the end when Joe Pritchard was adjudged to have fouled substitute Jahmal Hector-Ingram in the area and Browne made it 2-2 with the resulting spot kick.
Dylan Duncan made a crucial block six yards out from Oladapo Afolayan's drive but while we still threatened on the break, our Under-23s' resurgent form took a hit as we were denied a third victory in a row on coach Wayne Burnett's return to Victoria Road, where he previously worked as Dagenham's first team boss.
Goal: West Ham 0-1 Spurs - Keanan Bennetts - 3mins
It was a lively start and we bagged the opener less than three minutes in. Tracey made a superb run down the right flank, putting the burners on as he surged around his full-back before driving the ball into the centre where the arriving Bennetts couldn't miss from a yard out. The Hammers were agitated and defenders Christian Maghoma, Jon Dinzeyi and Jaden Brown all made important interventions in the following moments, goalkeeper Whiteman saved well from Afolayan, Quina fired across goal but just wide before an impressive counter-attack from us saw striker Kazaiah Sterling denied by a last-ditch tackle from Josh Pask and Jack Roles' eight-yard drive deflected behind.
Goal: West Ham 1-1 Spurs - Dominingos Quina - 20mins
The Hammers found an equaliser after picking us off on the counter. Afolayan and Browne burst down the right at pace when we lost possession cheaply on half-way, the latter pulled the ball back across and it fell kindly for Quina to ram past Whiteman from 16 yards.
Goal: West Ham 1-2 Spurs - Shilow Tracey - 26mins
Whiteman got an important hand to the ball as Browne tried to bundle it past him at his near post after getting goal-side of Dinzeyi with another rapid break, but we used our own pace to regain the lead on 26 minutes. George Marsh won the ball and Bennetts sent Tracey surging down the right once more, the attacker finishing well from the angle after carrying it wide of advancing goalkeeper Nathan Trott.
Above: Shilow Tracey celebrates his goal.
Goal: West Ham 2-2 Spurs - Marcus Browne (penalty) - 77mins
The chances dried up after the break but it was still an engrossing battle in the middle. West Ham struck back on 77 minutes, though, when Pritchard challenged Hector-Ingram from behind in the box, referee Sam Purkiss awarded them a penalty and Browne made no mistake in firing past Whiteman. We had our own penalty shout two minutes later when Roles flicked on Whiteman's kick and Bennetts went down under the challenge of Jeremy Ngakia, but the referee saw no infringement.
Chance: Duncan denies Afolayan - 84mins
West Ham looked for a winner and almost found one after an attack down the right, the ball being worked to Afolayan inside the box, left of centre, but Duncan got in the way as the striker hammered towards goal and we were able to clear. Bennetts was dragged back as he tried to counter in added time, but with both sides going for broke, the full-time whistle sounded soon afterwards.
Coach Wayne Burnett said
“I didn’t think we played as well as we have done in the last two or three games. We didn’t start particularly well, even though we went in front, we got the second goal when they were threatening and we went in at half-time 2-1 up, but I didn’t think we played particularly well. We came out in the second half and competed a lot better, unfortunately they managed to get an equaliser with just over 10 minutes to go but it was a tough game, a hard-fought, competitive game, it wasn’t a game where too much quality was on show football-wise and I felt a draw was probably a fair result in the end.
“Being 2-1 up with 15 minutes to go, the players are disappointed that we didn’t get all three points. I was pleased that we kept going, we had some young players involved in the squad and it was a fantastic experience for them but we managed to keep the majority of the players on for the 90 minutes which will do them good, it keeps some continuity and hopefully that’ll be good going into the game against Swansea on Friday.”
West Ham United: Trott, Johnson, Powell, Lewis, Pask (Ngakia 61), Akinola, Diangana (Rosa 83), Quina, Afolayan, Browne (c), Haksabanovic (Hector-Ingram 68). Substitutes (not used): Jinadu, Hannam.
Spurs: Whiteman, Pritchard, Brown, Marsh (c), C Maghoma, Dinzeyi, Tracey (Clarke 90+3), Duncan (Tainio 87), Sterling, Roles, Bennetts. Substitutes (not used): Austin, Lock, Mukendi.
Goals: West Ham - Quina 20, Browne 77 (pen); Spurs - Bennetts 3, Tracey 26.
Yellow cards: West Ham - Lewis 75, Ngakia 90+4; Spurs - Roles 90+3.
Referee: Sam Purkiss.
There's a quick turnaround for the Under-23s with a Premier League 2 trip to Swansea City coming up on Friday night (16 February). The two sides battled out a 2-2 draw at Stevenage back in September, but we go to the Swans' Landore training base bidding to extend our unbeaten run into a fourth game as our survival fight continues. Kick-off in South Wales will be at 7pm.