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Rapid Lankshear treble caps big win for Under-21s at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Spurs 6-0 Fleetwood Town (Premier League Cup)

Sat 24 February 2024, 15:20|Tottenham Hotspur

Will Lankshear bagged an 11-minute hat-trick in the first half as our Under-21s cruised to their biggest-ever win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, seeing off Fleetwood Town 6-0 in the last 16 of the Premier League Cup on Saturday lunchtime.

The in-form striker added to Dane Scarlett's opener with his first goal on 28 minutes and by the 39-minute mark, he had three to his name in what was the fastest hat-trick to be scored at our N17 home since the venue opened in 2019.

All three of Lankshear's goals were assisted by Jamie Donley, who subsequently set up Yago Santiago to round off the scoring in the second half, after Nile John had also fired home in the wake of Scarlett's blocked free-kick.

It was a scintillating performance from Wayne Burnett's side, who continued their season-long wave of momentum that has only seen them lose once in all competitions against Under-21 opposition - a dead rubber in the last group game of this tournament.

Fleetwood might have stolen the lead inside four minutes but George Abbott was back to clear Theo Williams' effort off the line, while Lankshear and John had a couple of near-misses before Scarlett gave us a 26th-minute advantage, turning nicely onto John's through ball and slotting beneath covering defender Nathan Pond into the far corner.

That opened the floodgates as two minutes later it was 2-0, Santiago's cut-back from the left swept on by Donley into the path of Lankshear, who was left with a simple tap-in from six yards out. And five minutes after that, just after Max Robson had been denied by goalkeeper Pat Boyes, we were in cruise control as Donley's long ball over the top from deep was expertly controlled by Lankshear with his first touch and he duly converted from inside the area. Lankshear completed his treble as the game entered its 39th minute, taking Donley's pass in his stride and gleefully clipping the ball over Boyes.

Our play was a joy to watch as the lads relished playing on the big stage, while we were also a threat from set-pieces - Donley hit the bar with a free-kick in first-half stoppage time before another one led to our fifth goal 10 minutes into the second period, Scarlett's free-kick blocked before John squeezed a shot through a crowded area and inside the near post from 18 yards out.

The visitors could have pulled one back just prior to the hour mark when Kyle White knocked the ball back across goal, it glanced off Abbott and fell kindly for Williams six yards out, but goalkeeper Aaron Maguire produced a superb save at point-blank range to deny the Fleetwood forward.

Abbott and Santiago were narrowly off-target before the latter registered goal number six, collecting Donley's pass in the box before jinking his way around the helpless Boyes and rolling into the empty net with 19 minutes remaining. Jude Soonsup-Bell nearly diverted Donley's cross in while Abbott and substitute Rio Kyerematen also went close, although the final chance went Fleetwood's way when Pharrell Brown flashed a shot wide a minute from time. Nevertheless, it was a fine performance from our young professionals as we marched on into the quarter-finals.

Watch the goals on SPURSPLAY

'A really good team performance'

Under-21s Coach Wayne was delighted with the style of play on show. He told SPURSPLAY afterwards: "I'm really pleased. Some of our football was very good, I thought we were excellent, scored some very good goals and it was a very much deserved win. We spoke about coming here to our wonderful stadium, being able to showcase our abilities and we've done that. I was pleased at the way in which we played but I was pleased about our work ethic and our application as well. For the fans here today, when you come and you see the goals that they've seen - some very good goals - hopefully they've gone away pleased and have seen that we've got some young players coming through who they should be proud of."

On the goalscorers, Wayne added: "Some of our football was excellent with some real fluidity. I'm really pleased for Dane coming back and getting some minutes, he's come in and applied himself excellently, Will Lankshear has been in fine form, he's continued that and got some more goals, Nile scored a good goal and Yago's was a very good goal at the end, so I'm pleased for them all but really pleased for the team because it was a real team effort today - let's not forget Jamie Donley with four assists as well! Overall it was a really good team performance with some outstanding individual performances as well."

Spurs 6-0 Fleetwood Town (Premier League Cup)

Spurs: Maguire, Ashcroft (McKnight 75), Robson (Linton 88), Cassanova, Abbott (c) (Andiyapan 88), John, Soonsup-Bell (Williams 75), Donley, Lankshear, Scarlett (Kyerematen 65), Santiago.

Fleetwood Town: Boyes, Johnson (c), Wright-Ocana, Wilson, Potter, Pond (Cirino 88), Quitirna (Fishburn 58), Glenfield (Hoyle 71), White, Brown, Williams (Roberts 88). Substitute (not used): Bellizia.

Match data

Goals: Spurs - Scarlett 26, Lankshear 28, 33, 39, John 55, Santiago 71.

Yellow cards: Spurs - Donley 78; Fleetwood Town - Glenfield 41, Wright-Ocana 56.

Referee: James Oldham.

Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Weather: Light rain, light winds, eight degrees.

Attendance: 2,048.