WEST HAM 1, SPURS 2
WEST HAM 1, SPURS 2
Sweet strikes from Andy Reid and Lee Barnard earned our reserves a deserved 2-1 win against West Ham at Dagenham on Tuesday night.
Clive Allen's men recovered from going a goal down to Elliott Ward's header after just five minutes to dominate procedings from about the 20-minute mark.
Reid levelled after 32 minutes with a classy strike as West Ham paid the price for backing off as he picked up the ball 30 yards out - one look and he lashed the ball into the top corner.
Top scorer Barnard's effort was no less quality as he picked up the ball 25 yards from goal, turned and curled into the bottom corner.
A host of chances came and went after Barnard's goal but at 2-1 the game was never quite beyond doubt - the home side almost made us pay when Clive Clarke's free-kick struck the underside of the crossbar after 76 minutes and keeper Marton Fulop was forced into two decent saves from David Bellion with three minutes left. Anything less than three points would have left coach Clive pulling his hair out.
He made five changes from the defeat against Arsenal with Reid, Marton Fulop, Charlie Daniels, Sean Davis and Tom Huddlestone all in the starting line-up. Andy Barcham, just back from injury, was on the bench.
West Ham's side included Ward, Bellion, Shaun Newton and Carl Fletcher.
An entertaining clash looked on the cards at the Glyn Hopkin Stadium and a smallish looking crowd were not disappointed.
It took just five minutes for the home side to open the scoring when Ward climbed impressively, albeit unchallenged, to power home a header from Hogan Ephraim's corner.
Kyel Reid also went close as West Ham started brightly but once the lads settled, there was only one team in it.
Kieran McKenna and Charlie Lee might have done better with headers from well flighted Jamie O'Hara free-kicks and goalscorer Ward must have held his breath for a second when, already booked, he hacked down Charlie Daniels, but the cards stayed in the referee's pocket.
McKenna ghosted in again from the right and was inches away from Lee's free-kick after 28 minutes and it came as no surprise when Reid levelled four minutes later.
It was a terrific strike from the Irish international as he picked the ball up in space 30 yards out, carried for a couple of yards and, as West Ham left him alone, arrowed a drive into the top corner, sweet as you like.
The pressure continued - Tom Huddlestone didn't get enough on a header to trouble Reed but the keeper was beaten all ends up by Reid's low drive minutes later only for the effort to come back off the post.
Reid was in the mood and almost scored a spectacular goal after 38 minutes, spotting Reed off his line and hitting a dipping volley from fully 35 yards that the young keeper did well to tip over.
West Ham responded in the last few minutes of the half - Stokes guided a volley over from Fletcher's cross to the near post and the same player struck a sweet volley from Reid's deep cross that Fulop did well to divert low to his left.
We created five decent chances between 60-70 minutes. Barnard tried his luck again just after the hour and O'Hara drove over before Chris Riley burst forward from right-back, cut inside Clarke and hit a left-foot drive that Reed did well to palm up and collect.
Reed was there again to collect Barnard's header after Reid put his cross on a plate and the striker worked an opening for himself after 69 minutes, shrugging off the attentions of Cohen and holding off Newton only to fire over from 12 yards.
West Ham weren't out of it at 2-1 though and underlined that fact after 76 minutes. Lee brought down Cowley on the edge of the box and Clarke curled the free-kick onto the underside of the crossbar with Fulop beaten.
A minute later and Reid turned it on again, beating the offside trap by going on his own, dribbling around Cohen and crossing for McKenna but again, there wasn't enough power on the header to beat Reed.
Barnard was shaking his head again with four minutes left after missing the target from close range after Hallfredsson slid in a low cross and if further warnings were needed, Fulop denied Bellion twice in a matter of seconds at the other end, the first from a tight angle, the second a good block from close range. Thankfully, in the end, the missed chances didn't cost us.
THE KEY ACTION
5mins: GOAL. Ephraim's corner powered home by Ward, unchallenged, eight yards out.
West Ham 1, Spurs 0
32mins: GOAL. Reid picked ball up in space, central, 30 yards out, carried five yards, unchallenged, cracked into top corner.
West Ham 1, Spurs 1
35mins: O'Hara clipped in delightful cross to far post, Huddlestone rose well, headed straight at Reed.
37mins: WOODWORK. Reid low drive from just inside box came back off foot of post with Reed beaten.
38mins: Reid spotted Reed off line and in split-second hit spectacular dipping volley from 35 yards that the keeper did well to backtrack and tip over.
Half-time: West Ham 1, Spurs 1
49mins: GOAL. Superb strike from Barnard, picked the ball up 25 yards out, turned and curled low into far corner beyond diving Reed.
West Ham 1, Spurs 2
68mins: Reid pinpoint cross picked out Barnard but not enough power on header to trouble Reed.
69mins: Barnard worked opening for himself, shrugged off Cohen and held off Newton in box only to fire over from 12 yards.
76mins: WOODWORK. Clarke's free-kick from edge of box hit underside of crossbar and bounced to safety with Fulop beaten.
77mins: Reid run down the left touchline, beat Cohen, stood up fine cross for McKenna at far post but again not enough power on header to beat Reed.
86mins: Good work from Hallfredsson down the left, low cross found Barnard charging in at far post but couldn't keep effort down from close range.
87mins: Two quickfire chances for Bellion both saved by Fulop - the first a shot from a tight angle, the second a block from close range.
West Ham: Reed, Newton, Clarke, Cohen, Ward, Fletcher, Bellion, Stokes, Jeffrey (Hines, 67), Ephraim (Cowley, 49), Reid. Subs: Kemal, Henry, White.
Spurs: Fulop, Riley, Daniels, O'Hara, Huddlestone, Lee, McKenna, Davis, Barnard, Reid, Hallfredsson. Subs: Martin, Forecast, Lewis, Barcham, Dawkins.