Spurs 7-2 West Ham (U23s)
Report from Stevenage
Thu 31 August 2017, 21:10|Tottenham Hotspur
Seven goals scored and two of FOUR West Ham penalties saved by Alfie Whiteman – it was quite a start to this season's Premier League International Cup for our Under-23s at Stevenage on Thursday night!
Taking on our London rivals at Under-23 level for the second time in 10 days, we well and truly exacted revenge for the 3-2 reverse we suffered in the Premier League 2 and got three points and a hefty goal difference on the board in Group F in the process, ahead of games against Villarreal and Benfica in the coming months.
A handful of Under-23s regulars were missing through international duty but those who took to the field ran the Hammers ragged at times. George Marsh and Nick Tsaroulla made welcome returns after injury, while young Brooklyn Lyons-Foster from the Under-18s was superb at the back alongside opening goalscorer Christian Maghoma.
Kazaiah Sterling continued his healthy goalscoring record at the Lamex Stadium with a brace, Samuel Shashoua also got two, with Joe Pritchard and Dylan Duncan completing our side of the scoreline.
Goal: Spurs 1-0 West Ham - Christian Maghoma - 11mins
The return of Marsh after a foot injury sustained at the end of last season saw us line up with three centre-backs – Marsh on the right, Maghoma in the middle and Lyons-Foster on the left – with Shilow Tracey and Anthony Georgiou providing the width down the flanks. It took us a few moments to find our feet in the game but on 11 minutes we took the lead as skipper Pritchard sent in a corner and Maghoma, whose run wasn't picked up, rose to head powerfully into the top corner.
Goal: Spurs 2-0 West Ham - Kazaiah Sterling - 13mins
For the second time in six days at Stevenage, following last Friday's 3-0 win over Manchester United in the Premier League 2, one quickly became two. Tracey burst into space down the right and slid across for Sterling to fire in from a central position.
Penalty save: Whiteman denies Powell - 18mins
Goalkeeper Whiteman, playing his first game of the season, pulled off a marvellous save to prevent Joe Powell from scoring a penalty for the Hammers on 18 minutes. After Maghoma was penalised for a challenge on Jahmal Hector-Ingram, Powell took the spot kick with his left foot but Whiteman hurled himself to his left to beat it away.
Goal: Spurs 2-1 West Ham - Anthony Scully (pen) - 28mins
Hector-Ingram won a second penalty for the visitors on 28 minutes, this time Whiteman adjudged to have committed the foul. Anthony Scully stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way. Georgiou and Sterling both fired just wide from the left angle after slick moves involving Pritchard towards the end of the first period, though, as we continued in the ascendancy.
Goal: Spurs 3-1 West Ham - Joe Pritchard - 52mins
We switched to a back four in the second period and restored our two-goal cushion seven minutes after the break. Pritchard forced a mistake in the West Ham defence, winning the ball high up the pitch and sending Sterling in on goal. The striker was being rapidly closed down from all angles, so smartly back-heeled for Pritchard to slide into the empty net.
Above: Nick Tsaroulla in action on his return from injury.
Goal: Spurs 4-1 West Ham - Samuel Shashoua - 59mins
Our passing was too hot to handle and just before the hour mark it was 4-1 as Tracey sent the ball in from the right for Shashoua to sweep home.
Goal: Spurs 5-1 West Ham - Kazaiah Sterling - 63mins
Luke Amos produced a brilliant pass to find Shashoua on 63 minutes, who in turn split the West Ham defence with a ball through for Sterling to score number five from the left angle.
Goal: Spurs 6-1 West Ham - Dylan Duncan - 65mins
Duncan then got in on the act. Having also scored against the Hammers 10 days ago, he picked up a pass from Pritchard and finished well from the right side of the box.
Goal: Spurs 7-1 West Ham - Samuel Shashoua - 68mins
Our last goal of the night came courtesy of Shashoua on 68 minutes. He embarked on a jinking solo run towards the Hammers' area before clipping low into the corner.
Penalty save: Whiteman at his best again - 80mins
Young substitute full-back Matt Lock was adjudged to have fouled Nathan Holland with 10 minutes left, but again Whiteman saved the resulting penalty. Antonio Martinez took it, but Whiteman dived to his right to punch it over the bar.
Goal: Spurs 7-2 West Ham - Antonio Martinez (pen) - 81mins
Less than 30 seconds later, referee Alan Young spotted another infringement in the area and awarded West Ham a fourth penalty of the game. Martinez stepped up once more and blasted it down the middle, high into the roof of the net. Martinez might have scored again in the closing moments, but for an important Lyons-Foster block, while Sterling bundled in on 90 minutes but was penalised for a foul on the keeper, denying him his hat-trick.
Coach Wayne Burnett said
“We started the game reasonably well, scoring a couple of goals but then we let West Ham back in it with a penalty and then another one – strangely enough there were four penalties given against us which is a little bit worrying if I’m being honest – but we changed the shape in the second half, got into our rhythm a little better and managed to score five goals more goals. We’ve now scored 10 goals in the last two games, which is encouraging.
“It’s important for the players’ development that they can adjust accordingly to different formations. Three of our defensive players were called up to their national teams this week so we thought we’d go to three at the back, which would allow us to get more of our attacking players on. Young Brook (Lyons Foster) came in and did very well – I’m really pleased for him because he was very calm and looked mature on the ball. His physicality isn’t going to allow him to compete just yet, we’re aware of that, but certainly his positioning, his reading of the game and his calmness on the ball was quite evident.
“Kazaiah’s movement was very good, he looked sharp and bright and Samuel Shashoua took his goals well too. The pleasing thing was the second-half performance where we were really on the front foot and we really pressed them. George Marsh has been out for a while but he managed to get through about 65 minutes, then we managed to get Nick Tsaroulla 15 minutes at the end, which will help him as well.”
Spurs: Whiteman, Marsh (Lock 69), Lyons-Foster, Amos, C Maghoma, Duncan, S Shashoua (Tsaroulla 83), Tracey (Loft 69), Sterling, Georgiou, Pritchard (c). Substitute (not used): Austin (GK).
West Ham: Bishop, Pike, Neufville, Makasi (c), Akinola, Wells, Powell (Holland 65), Sylvestre (Henry 74), Hector-Ingram, Scully (Martinez 65), Diangana. Substitutes (not used): Forde (GK), De Rosa, Hannam Belic.
Goals: Spurs - C Maghoma 11, Sterling 13, 63, Pritchard 52, S Shashoua 59, 68, Duncan 65; West Ham - Scully 28 (pen), Martinez (pen) 81.
Referee: Alan Young.
We return to Premier League 2 action against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday 10 September at 1pm, just a day after the first team take on the Toffees in the equivalent fixture.