Reserves under the Hammer
Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).
A stunning 87th minute goal from a free-kick consigned our reserve side to defeat against West Ham despite Sergei Rebrov heading us into an early lead.
A pretty strong second string took to the field at Upton Park, with Colin Calderwood able to field Sergei, Oyvind Leonhardsen, Anthony Gardner, Matthew Etherington, along with a welcome return from injury for Stephen Clemence.
Johnnie Jackson, Steven Ferguson and usual skipper John Piercy were missing through injury. Alton Thelwell took the armband for the night.
The experienced campaigners in the West Ham line-up included Steve Potts and former Liverpool star Titi Camara.
It was certainly an action packed opening ten minutes - and, at the time, observers would certainly not have picked Spurs as likely losers.
It was West Ham who attacked first however, with Adam Newton and Shaun Byrne linking up to provide Laurent Courtois with a headed chance that he powered over the bar.
In the next move of the match, Sergei pounced on a loose ball in the area and only an alert block by Hammers keeper David Forde denied him an opener.
Comeback man Clemence was playing with great authority in a deep lying midfield position and was spreading passes round to great effect, often to Etherington who was tormenting his marker Glen Johnson down the left flank.
This was Matty's first reserve appearance since returning from Bradford and it was from his run that a corner was won in the 6th minute. Ciaran Toner flighted it into the near post and Sergei was perfectly positioned to nod the ball into the net from close range.
West Ham responded positively and Grant McCann managed to turn on the edge of the penalty area and unleashed a stinging effort that rattled the underside of Gavin Kelly's crossbar. It was a demonstration of McCann's shooting power that was to have a late effect on the game.
Camara then turned Paul O'Donoghue, but screwed his shot wide. It was a game you could not take your eyes off in the first half, played with a good flow on an excellent pitch.
On 20 minutes Clemence darted down the right and pulled the ball back, but Sergei spurned a good shooting chance. For West Ham Camara was a constant threat and proved to be a costly one on 27 minutes.
The dangerous Omer Riza charged down the right and fed Camara inside the box, he used his strength to shake off the attentions of Anthony Gardner and squeezed his shot beyond Kelly for the leveller.
The game then wilted slightly after the lively start, but Newton attempted to liven proceedings by clattering into Sergei on the touchline and earned himself the first booking of the game. From the resulting free-kick Gardner failed to make a decent connection with his headed effort goalwards.
West Ham began to dictate the tempo as the game headed towards half-time. Riza just missed with a header from a cross by Newton and there was a scare when Camara back-heeled to Newton ten or 12 yards out.
Kelly looked to have retrieved the situation, but spilled the ball and then picked up a back pass. The referee spotted it, but Camara blasted his shot into the crowd of on-rushing players.
Lee Barnard, who scored his first competitive reserve goal at Coventry last week, started the game up front with Sergei and linked well. He was replaced by French striker Yannick Kamanan at the break, but it was still West Ham showing the greater attacking intent.
But it was Sergei who had the next clear scoring chance after 70 minutes. Kamanan took an air shot at a ball played into the area, but the ball completely deceived the Hammers back line and fell to the little striker, but his close-range effort was blocked by Forde.
Yannick then went close with an angled header from an Etherington cross before Riza burst through into our area and fired just past Kelly's right hand post.
A draw looked on the cards until West Ham won a free-kick to the far right of the 18 yard line. McCann then fired in bending shot that swung past Kelly at the near post.
Leonhardsen nearly found a reply in the final seconds from a Sergei cross, but just failed to connect with his head.
Team: Kelly, Thelwell, O'Donoghue, Toner, Consorti, Gardner, Clemence (Snee 60), Leonhardsen, Barnard (Kamanan 45), Etherington, Rebrov. Subs not used: Henry, Burch, Hughes.
West Ham: Forde, Johnson, Soma, Byrne, Potts, Iriekpen, Newton, McCann, Riza, Camara, Courtois (Britton 80). Subs not used: Ferrante, Bywater, Eastwood, Dean.