Spurs U18s 2-1 West Ham U18s
Report from Hotspur Way
07 November 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Defenders Jon Dinzeyi and Jaden Brown netted their first goals for our Under-18s to give us a 2-1 victory over West Ham United in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League on Saturday (November 7).
The duo converted two of very few chances we had in the driving rain at the Training Centre to turn the scoreline around after Tunji Akinola capped a bright start for the Hammers by putting them into the lead mid-way through the first period.
Alfie Whiteman made some crucial stops in our goal as the game progressed, while the visitors were forced to play out the last couple of minutes with 10 men following the dismissal of substitute George Dobson following a verbal exchange with the referee.
Looking to bounce back from successive 1-0 defeats in our two most recent matches, we had the first real effort at goal with three minutes gone when Kazaiah Sterling tested Hammers stopper Sam Howes from just inside the box – the custodian doing well to keep hold of the ball with Keanan Bennetts looking for any potential rebound.
The visitors soon found their attacking impetus, though, and we were fortunate not to fall behind on eight minutes when the Hammers hit both posts in the space of a few seconds. Joe Powell played in Grady Diangana on the right side of the box, his shot was pushed onto the near post by Whiteman, Idris Kanu then scooped the ball against the other upright under pressure from defender Christian Maghoma before a scramble ensued and Dinzeyi hacked the ball off the line.
There was very nearly another opening for West Ham on the 20-minute mark as Kanu fed Diangana, but Chris Paul came across with a vital covering tackle to thwart the visitors once more.
A minute later, though, the Hammers were in front as Akinola latched onto a falling ball in the box and flicked over Whiteman into the far corner.
To our credit we responded quickly, making the most of a set piece situation. Bennetts sent in a free-kick from the right side and Dinzeyi towered above everyone else in the box to head the ball across Howes and into the net with 25 minutes played.
West Ham went close to restoring their lead when Matt Carter drilled wide of the near post after a free-kick caused us problems, while Oscar Borg dragged a shot across the face of goal on the counter-attack five minutes before the interval.
The opening exchanges of the second half didn’t yield any clear opportunities for either side, with West Ham’s Powell blazing high and wide after getting on the end of a cross from Jake Eggleton just beyond the hour mark in a rare effort, but we got ourselves in front on 64 minutes.
Sterling broke clear of the last defender and went through on keeper Howes, his low shot was blocked by the custodian’s legs but left-back Brown had made a run through the middle and he gleefully slotted home from the rebound.
In search of an equaliser, the visitors went back on the offensive and Whiteman had to be at his best to prevent them from finding a breakthrough.
He made a fine save from Akinola’s shot on 69 minutes before scrambling to his right to keep out Vashon Neufville’s effort from the left angle nine minutes later. Eggleton flicked the ball towards goal following a cross from the left shortly afterwards, but Whiteman was there again to keep us in front.
Despite seeing the Hammers go close, we kept our composure and fashioned a couple more opportunities of our own in the closing stages.
Charlie Owens’ free-kick skimmed the top of the crossbar on 86 minutes after Samuel Shashoua was brought down 25 yards out, while Owens saw another shot deflected behind within 60 seconds.
Dobson, who had been introduced off the bench earlier in the second half, was then shown a straight red card and with 10 men the Hammers couldn’t meaningfully trouble our defence as we saw out the game to return to winning ways.
Spurs U18s: Whiteman, Paul, Brown, Owens, Maghoma, Dinzeyi, Bennetts (Tsaroulla 76), Stylianides (Roles 53), Sterling, Duncan (Loft 69), Shashoua. Substitute (not used): Austin (GK).