West Ham U21s 1-3 Spurs U21s
Report from Rush Green
Fri 09 January 2015, 21:10|Tottenham Hotspur
DeAndre Yedlin completed an hour on his Spurs debut as our Under-21s reclaimed top spot in the Barclays U21 Premier League with a win at West Ham on Friday night.
The USA international snapped up from MLS side Seattle Sounders played in his regular right-back slot as the team made it four wins in their last five matches.
Another player with MLS connections, Grant Ward, also made his mark with two carbon-copy free-kicks in his first match for us this season after his loan spell at Chicago Fire. Jordan Archer also made his seasonal bow after his loan spell at Northampton.
Ward's deflected free-kick was cancelled out by Ravel Morrison's volley in the first half before the winner created in bizarre circumstances by Morrison's wayward pass that blew back into the penalty area on the strong wind and was finished in some style by Harry Winks. The win was secured with the final action deep into added time as another Ward free-kick nestled home.
The teams did their best to adapt to the conditions at Rush Green Stadium but chances were few and far between in the first half.
Josh Onomah prompted away from the central areas and Nathan Oduwa was a constant thorn in West Ham's side from the left.
Onomah created the first opening on nine minutes, darting away from two defenders before finding Will Miller, whose low cross looked perfect for Daniel Akindayni before a last-ditch tackle from Lewis Page cleared the danger.
Oduwa soon made inroads again but his cross sailed over Akindayini and then Miller found himself in the same spot, this time the cross was intercepted.
The opener arrived on 21 minutes after Oduwa was fouled 25 yards from goal. Ward took responsibility and his free-kick deflected off the wall and left Raphael Spiegel stranded.
West Ham's first chance followed on 27 minutes when a corner was cleared to Reece Burke who fired low across Archer and just wide of the far post.
The home side levelled 10 minutes later when Amos Nasha's cross caught the wind and drifted to Morrison, who fashioned a waist-high volley that flew past Archer from 14 yards.
Onomah picked out Ward's run from deep for the final chance of the half in added time and the goalscorer drilled in a first-time shot that Spiegel did well to turn away down to his left, Page was there to clear as Akindayini followed in.
Oduwa was back on the offensive at the start of the second half, drifting into the box from the left and crossing for Akindayini. Reece Oxford missed his clearance but the ball ran out.
Akindayini showed clever movement to lose Page on 54 minutes and was picked out by Ward but his effort didn't have the power to trouble Spiegel. Moments later, Djair Parfiff-Williams angled a shot narrowly wide.
We regained the lead with a somewhat bizzare goal on 56 minutes. Morrison, deep in his half, left side, attempted a pass back to his goalkeeper, the ball held up in the wind, Oduwa challenged Spiegel and the ball fell into the path of Winks, who kept his head to sidefoot into the corner.
Archer produced a double save to deny Parfitt-Williams and Morrison on 64 minutes and Danny Whitehead flashed a shot wide from 14 yards five minutes later.
West Ham pushed for an equaliser but we held firm defensively. The next chance fell to substitute Sebastian Lleget, who dragged his shot wide from the edge of the box with 15 minutes remaining.
We took control again in the next 10 minutes and as time ran out, started to open West Ham up again. Patient build-up in the 88th minute saw Emmanuel Sonupe inches away from another Oduwa cross and then Nasha's was taken comfortably by Archer.
As the game ticked into the fifth minute of added time, Oduwa was fouled on the edge of the box, Ward stepped up again, his free-kick clipped the wall again and Spiegel was left stranded again for 3-1.
West Ham: Spiegel, Pike, Page, Nasha, Burke, Oxford, Parfitt-Williams (Turgott, 76), Whitehead, Lee (C) (Lletget, 46), Morrison, Sadlier. Unused subs: Makasi, Howes (GK), Potts.
Spurs: Archer; Yedlin (McQueen, 60), Ball, Khumalo (C), Ogilvie; Ward, Winks (Lesniak, 69), Onomah; Miller (Sonupe, 70), Akindayini, Oduwa. Unused subs: Miles (GK), McEvoy.