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Big win for youngsters in FA Youth Cup

Brentford 1-5 Spurs (FA Youth Cup)

Tue 05 December 2023, 21:08|Tottenham Hotspur

Five goals from five different scorers gave our Under-18s a deserved win over Brentford in the third round of the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday night.

Taking our first steps in this season's competition, we had to be patient at times, leading at the break through a marvellous strike from the superb Tyrese Hall and then netting a second via Yusuf Akhamrich, only for the Bees to hit straight back with a close-range header from Iwan Morgan.

But the sending-off of Remy Bennison for a second bookable offence proved a real setback for the hosts and we took full advantage to power to victory, Kieran Morgan, Damola Ajayi and Callum Olusesi all on target to round off a 5-1 win and book our place in round four.

It didn't take us long to get into our attacking rhythm at Wheatsheaf Park as we produced some neat passages of play at times, albeit without threating Evan Anderson's goal as much as we'd have wanted. Morgan's deflected shot sailed over while Ellis Lehane was denied by Anderson's outstretched left hand after latching onto a miscued clearance from the goalkeeper, but ultimately it was a moment of magic from Hall that proved to be Brentford's undoing as he picked up the ball in the centre of the pitch, roamed forward and cracked a great shot high into the net from 20 yards out. Hall looked dangerous throughout when driving at the Bees' defence while Akhamrich - again filling in at left-back - was also a lively influence, firing just off-target in the aftermath of the opening goal.

Brentford, though, were hard-working and created chances of their own - they should have gone in level after Isaac Holland latched onto Tony Yogane's cross at the back post with the goal gaping in first-half stoppage time, but he somehow failed to turn his volley on target - and they came out with renewed purpose at the start of the second half, Bennison denied one-on-one by Carey Bloedorn after a fine solo run with Adam Poliakov firing the rebound over the bar.

Akhamrich thought he'd given us some breathing space when he cut out a Brentford counter, ran towards the box and squirmed a left-footed shot beyond Anderson from close to the 18-yard line on 59 minutes but the hosts hit back two minutes later, Morgan converting Bennison's sweeping cross from the left with a powerful header in the centre of the box.

Four minutes after that, though, a crucial moment arrived as Bennison dragged back Olusesi as he tried to break forward onto a through ball and picked up a second yellow card, reducing Brentford to 10 men. Lydia Bedford reshuffled her side but we were too strong at that stage and duly put the game out of the hosts' reach with two goals in three minutes, Morgan placing a low shot into the next from 18 yards after the ball broke to him on 72 minutes before his through ball allowed Ajayi to blast a shot past the despairing grasp of Anderson for 4-1.

To their credit, Brentford continued to create openings and wasted two great chances at the back post after some wayward finishing, but we were always threatening when we went forward and after both Hall and the impressive Leo Black were denied by Anderson, it was Olusesi who rounded off the scoring with effectively the last action of the game, stealing possession as Anderson tried to play out from the back before rounding the keeper and slotting into the empty net.

'The sending-off was a turning point'

Under-18s Coach Stuart Lewis was pleased that the evening's overall target - securing a place in the next round - was achieved, but saw several areas for improvement.

"It's a pleasing scoreline, to get that result in the Youth Cup is great, but there are still areas we can improve on and work on with the all-round performance levels, although we're into the next round and that was the objective," he said.

"Scoring goals has been a real hallmark of our games this year - we're really playing on the front foot, playing attacking football, we've scored 30 goals in the league, we've scored five with five different goalscorers tonight so that will carry that momentum on and Tyrese's goal was an outstanding strike from distance, so that aspect was really pleasing. The sending-off was a turning point within the game and we controlled it after that. We can play and perform better than we did this evening but that's our first game in nearly four weeks and I think the boys needed this game physically. That was a really important component for us to assess and review, but it's good to get into the next round and we're looking forward to Saturday against Fulham in the league now."

Brentford 1-5 Spurs (FA Youth Cup)

Brentford: Anderson, Shield (c), Bennison, Samuels, Kilmas, Booth, Morgan (Taylor 69), Poliakov, Halil (Grey 60), Holland (Payet 88), Yogane. Substitutes (not used): Saward, Asemokhai, Djoro, Peters.

Spurs: Bloeborn, Black, Akhamrich (Logan 81), King (Adewole 90), Chaplin (c), Hall, Ajayi, Olusesi, Lehane, Morgan, Irow (James 73). Substitutes (not used): Warren, Adelusi, Orr, Egan-Riley.

Match data

Goals: Brentford - Morgan 61; Spurs - Hall 32, Akhamrich 59, Morgan 72, Ajayi 74, Olusesi 90+3.

Yellow cards: Brentford - Bennison 25, 65; Spurs - Black 80.

Red card: Brentford - Bennison 65.

Referee: Elliot Kaye.

Venue: Wheatsheaf Park, Staines.

Weather: Cloudy, four degrees.

Attendance: 550.