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Under-18s rue wasted chances against Hammers

West Ham 3-1 Spurs (Under-18 Premier League)

Sat 22 February 2020, 13:22|Tottenham Hotspur

Our Under-18s were made to pay for a series of missed chances as West Ham United snatched all three points in Saturday morning’s Under-18 Premier League clash at Little Heath.

Dominant in a number of areas, we took a deserved lead through Kion Etete’s penalty, but the Hammers levelled with a spot-kick of their own through Veron Parkes in the run-up to half-time and then grabbed the upper hand via Ademipo Odubeko in the opening exchanges of the second period.

We continued to create chances but simply couldn’t convert any of them and as we chased an equaliser late in the game, substitute Kamarai Swyer made sure of the points for the hosts, firing home for a 3-1 final scoreline.

We’d started well and when Max Robson was fouled in the box after latching onto Nile John’s pass on 21 minutes, centre-forward Etete fired us ahead from the spot. J’Neil Bennett also had a couple of chances coming in off the left flank but three minutes before the interval, Matthew Craig was pulled up for a challenge on Daniel Chesters in our box and Parkes made it 1-1 from the resulting penalty.

Between both boxes we were dominant but we didn’t defend our goal well enough and we weren’t ruthless enough in our finishing in their box.

Under-18s Coach Matt Taylor

West Ham turned the scoreline completely around within three minutes of the start of the second half as Parkes’ cross from the right was turned in at the back post by Odubeko, but there followed a series of opportunities for us to draw level. John and Etete both had efforts blocked in big chances, Bennett hit the bar, Dennis Cirkin fired over from outside the area and Yago Santiago saw one cleared off the line – we just couldn’t find the finishing touch.

And as the game entered added time, with our players still trying to build attacks, we were punished for a mistake at the back with Swyer storming through to add a third goal for the Hammers.

Coach’s view

Under-18s Coach Matt Taylor said: “Our control of the game was good for the first 40 minutes but ultimately we made a mistake in giving away a penalty, which was good timing for them just before half-time,” he said. “We had lots of chances but our final ball wasn’t good enough. In the second half, against the run of play, they managed to get a second goal. That seemed to knock us a bit and gave West Ham something to hold onto. Then, at the end, we conceded a third goal, which probably slightly flattered the opposition.

“The reason we lost the game today was because we didn’t take our chances. Between both boxes we were dominant but we didn’t defend our goal well enough and we weren’t ruthless enough in our finishing in their box, so we’ve come away really disappointed. We hit the woodwork, they cleared two or three off the line, they made some really good blocks, they hung on and the second goal gave them a lift, then when we went searching for the equaliser we got caught out and lost the game 3-1. We were good technically, our shape was good, our movement was good but in both boxes, we got punished.”

West Ham 3-1 Spurs (Under-18 Premier League)

Spurs: Kurylowicz, Lusala, Cirkin, Matthew Craig (Whittaker 70), Fagan-Walcott (c), Muir, John, Skinner (Pedder 82), Etete, Robson (Santiago 74), Bennett. Substitute (not used): Lo-Tutala.