Under-18s suffer FA Youth Cup exit
Spurs 0-5 West Bromwich Albion (FA Youth Cup)
Tue 13 April 2021, 21:50|Tottenham Hotspur
A first-half red card, injuries to two key players and five unanswered goals - including two right at the end of the game - left our Under-18s shellshocked at the hands of West Bromwich Albion in the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday night.
Having lost goalkeeper and captain Thimothee Lo-Tutala to injury inside four minutes at Hotspur Way, we fell behind to Tom Fellows' strike on 20 minutes before centre-back Marqes Muir picked up a second yellow card in first-half added time, forcing us to play the last 45 minutes with 10 men.
Our night subsequently went from bad to worse when striker Dane Scarlett - who had earlier hit the bar in search of an equaliser - limped off at the start of the second period, with the Baggies taking full advantage to extend their lead through Tim Iroegbunam and a second for Fellows.
To the credit of Matt Taylor's young side, we battled hard to get back into the fifth round tie with substitute striker Jamie Donley firing just wide and Nile John's long-range shot spectacularly tipped onto the crossbar by West Brom goalkeeper Maksymillian Boruc, but the visitors - who were also reduced to 10 men when right-back Ethan Ingram saw red in the closing stages - picked us off with two late goals from substitutes Jamie Andrews and Samuel Okoka to complete an unexpected 5-0 final scoreline, one totally out of keeping with our excellent performances at youth level over the course of the season.
Just four minutes were on the clock when keeper Lo-Tutala, who saved a penalty when the sides met in the Under-18 Premier League in December, got injured while defending a corner and although his replacement Adam Hayton could do nothing to prevent Fellows from slotting home from the right angle inside the area on 20 minutes, he made some useful stops during the first period, notably flinging out his arm to impressively keep out Modou Faal's close-range header seven minutes before the break.
Scarlett went agonisingly close to restoring parity on 40 minutes when he controlled Jeremy Kyezu's excellent cross from the left in the box, but saw his effort deflected onto the underside of the bar, with the ball bouncing down on the goal-line. Alfie Devine kept the attack alive, but Scarlett's attempted flick from inside the six-yard box was kept out by Boruc.
There was a significant amount of first-half stoppage time owing to Lo-Tutala's earlier treatment and in the fourth of the added minutes, Muir picked up a second yellow card for his challenge on Andrews, who had only come on for Faal moments beforehand. The defender had previously been booked for hand-ball on 19 minutes and was duly dismissed.
Scarlett was forced off injured just two minutes after the restart, replaced by Donley, with Rico Richards denied by the legs of Hayton and Andrews craning a header across goal and against the post as West Brom pushed on, eventually adding a second just before the hour mark when Iroegbunam burst onto a stray pass at the back and lashed high into the net.
We showed real fighting spirit in attack, though, with John making inroads through the middle of the field, first setting up Donley who dragged just wide of the far post from the left angle, before John himself tried a dipping shot from distance that forced Boruc to tip onto the woodwork. But as we sought a way back into the game, West Brom added a third when Fellows got in down the inside right channel and slotted home for 3-0 on 74 minutes.
Substitute Roshaun Mathurin was also causing problems for the Baggies as he ran at their defence and the visitors lost their numerical advantage when Ingram picked up two yellow cards in three minutes just beyond the 80-minute mark, but with everyone pushing up in determined search of a breakthrough, the visitors netted twice more from distance through Andrews on 90 and Okoka on 94 to end this season’s FA Youth Cup journey on a flat note.
Spurs 0-5 West Bromwich Albion (FA Youth Cup)
Spurs: Lo-Tutala (c) (Hayton 8), Cassanova (Mathurin 64), Kyezu, Matthew Craig, Muir, Paskotsi, Mundle, John, Scarlett (Donley 47), Devine, Santiago. Substitutes (not used): Michael Craig, Haysman, Hackett.
West Brom: Boruc, Ingram, De Sousa, Teixeira, Taylor (c), Ashworth, Fellows (Hall 85), Iroegbunam, Faal (Andrews 42), Malcolm, Richards (Okoka 73). Substitutes (not used): Hollingshead, Cleary, Shaw, Grant.
Goals: West Brom - Fellows 20, 74, Iroegbunam 59, Andrews 90, Okoka 90+4.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Muir 19, 45+4, Matthew Craig 30, John 73; West Brom - Iroegbunam 62, Teixeira 73, Ingram 80, 83, Taylor 83, Andrews 90+2.
Red cards: Spurs - Muir 45+4; West Brom - Ingram 83.
Referee: Ben Atkinson.
Venue: Hotspur Way, Enfield.
Weather: Clear skies, six degrees.