Under-23s sunk by quickfire treble
PL2: Spurs 1-3 West Ham
Mon 13 August 2018, 20:53|Tottenham Hotspur
Three goals in four minutes either side of half-time changed the course of our Premier League 2 opener against West Ham at Stevenage on Monday night.
Everything looked rosy at the Lamex as we took an early lead through Samuel Shashoua's fine strike, created chances and looked likely to add to that tally.
However, it all changed in the 44th minute, when West Ham's Portuguese forward Xande Silva carved out an equaliser from nowhere and within three minutes of the restart, Silva had claimed a hat-trick and the visitors were 3-1 up.
Shashoua curled home a beauty from 25 yards on six minutes and was involved in everything as we looked to build on that goal.
Jon Dinzeyi headed over Shashoua's corner, Japhet Tanganga met Connor Ogilvie's flick from another corner, tipped over by Nathan Trott, Shashoua then sent Shilow Tracey away and the striker slid his effort inches wide and on 40 minutes, Trott got down well to turn away Shashoua's shot and did even better to beat Tracey to the loose ball.
Alfie Whiteman had made a couple of reaction saves to deny Nathan Holland and Alfie Lewis but few would have predicted what was to follow.
West Ham levelled on 44 minutes when Silva blocked Dylan Duncan's attempted clearance, spun and rifled the ball into the roof of the net.
It was 2-1 barely 30 seconds into the second half as Silva raced onto Josh Cullen's pass and slotted home one-on-one. Two minutes later it was 3-1 as Holland hit the byline and cut the ball back for Silva to place into the corner.
Not surprisingly, the team struggled to rediscover their rhythm from the first half but heads didn't go down. Tanganga fought to meet Marcus Edwards' corner only to head over on 62 minutes and Shayon Harrison forced Trott into a sharp save on 79, but there was no way back.
Tracey was inches away from making it 2-0 on 40 minutes - just four minutes before Silva brought West Ham back into the game.
But the key moment has to be Silva's second for West Ham and a hammer blow for us less than 30 seconds into the second half. That put the visitors 2-1 up, momentum had completely shifted and when Silva completed his hat-trick two minutes later, we were left with a mountain to climb.
“We could have avoided the goal in the first half – with only a couple of minutes to go until half-time and we go in at 1-1, it gives them a little bit of a lift,” reflected Under-23s Coach Wayne Burnett.
“It was a fairly even game in the first period, we had the slightly better chances and we spoke at half-time about the importance of concentrating and focusing in the second half but we haven’t done that.
“We came out in the second half and as much as there was some good stuff at times, some of the defending and the competitiveness we didn’t see at times and we conceded two goals in the space of two or three minutes. If you do that against any team it’s very difficult to come back. We couldn’t find a way and we were second best in the second half really.”
Spurs 1-3 West Ham (Premier League 2)
Spurs: Whiteman, Eyoma, Dinzeyi, Tanganga, Ogilvie (c, Brown 68), Marsh, Edwards, Duncan (Roles 75), S Shashoua (Harrison 51), Georgiou, Tracey. Substitutes (not used): Freeman, Hinds.
West Ham: Trott, Johnson, Pask (Barrett 78), Oxford (c), Akinola, Diangana (Afolayan 72), Coventry, Cullen, Holland, Silva (Hector-Ingram 78), Lewis. Substitutes (not used): Anang, Scully.
Goals: Spurs - S Shashoua 6; West Ham - Silva 44, 46, 48.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Marsh 59; West Ham - Barrett 87.
Venue: Lamex Stadium.
Weather: Mild, cloudy, 21 degrees.