WEST HAM UNITED v TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
BARCLAYS U21 PREMIER LEAGUE ELITE GROUP STAGE
MONDAY 8 APRIL 2013
REFEREE: CARL FITCH
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Final score - West Ham United 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
92 mins - Carl Fitch blows for full time and I'd suggest Nick Haycock will be delighted with his side's application this evening. Seeing as Spurs have been blowing sides away in this competition, a 1-1 draw is a hugely creditable outcome. The U21s are back in action a week today, as they travel to Eastleigh FC to take on Southampton.
90 mins - We're into the final minute of the alotted 90 with the visitors still pressing for the elusive winner. There will be a minimum of two additional minutes.
87 mins - What a chance that is. Moncur's corner goes through everyone and falls at the feet of Tombides at the far stick. He takes an instant too long and sees his effort blocked by several Spurs bodies.
86 mins - This is fast becming a personal duel between Ceballos and Larkins. The Spurs man unleashes another fine curler but Larkins is on his toes to tip over the bar for a corner.
82 mins - The visitors continue to pour forward but there's no way through West Ham's well-organised back four. Meanwhile, Turgott is withdrawn for Dylan Tombides. The substitute is straight into the action as he attempts to play a one-two with Moncur, but the return ball is underhit and Spurs are back in possession.
79 mins - Spurs are cranking it up again, but in truth it's all long range stuff just now. Coulthirst is the latest to try his, though Larkins is not called upon on this occasion.
77 mins - The Ceballos show goes on as he takes aim from 30 yards. He absolutely hammers it, but thankfully Larkins is able to just stand and admire as it sails over the bar.
74 mins - West Ham win a free-kick on the edge of the box and Maiga is the man to take charge. It's rather disappointing I'm afraid, as it cannons into the wall.
72 mins - Spurs make their third and final change as Jack Munns joins the action in place of McEvoy. I suspect West Ham will be glad to see the back of him.
71 mins - Brilliant stop from Larkins! Bentaleb gets his head to a right-wing corner and it looks for all the world to be headed in, only for Larkins to somehow tip it over the bar. First class.
69 mins - Haycock makes his first switch, with first-year scholar Kieran Bywater coming on for fellow 17-year-old Amos Nasha. Meanwhile, Ceballos whips in a free-kick from the left, which skims off a West Ham head and out of harm's way.
68 mins - It's Ceballos again in the thick of it, as he cuts inside before slamming goalward from 20 yards. Larkins is sufficiently concerned to fling himself across goal, but it's a foot or two wide in the end.
66 mins - Ceballos is giving Frazer Shaw a run for his money on the far side and the winger gets to the byline for the umpteenth time. His centre is begging to be stabbed home but there's no one on hand to apply a telling touch.
63 mins - Though Spurs are seeing more of the ball, it's West Ham who have another clear sight of goal. Maiga flicks onto Lletget who does well to slide Turgott in on goal. The teenage winger does well enough but Spurs' stopper reacts smartly to claw his effort away from goal.
61 mins - A second change for the visitors, as Jack Barthram replaces Kaboul on the hour.
57 mins - West Ham carve out a golden chance to re-establish a lead. Moncur slips it into Lletget, who in turns rolls it into the path of Turgott but it's frustration all round as his strike flies just over the bar.
56 mins - It's all a little bit too easy for Spurs at the minute as West Ham battle to repel wave after wave of attack. Dan Potts is twice on hand to stick out a foot and intercept as the Hammers hold firm for now.
54 mins - Meanwhilee, some rather sluggish defending allows Zeki Fryers all the time and space in the world to pick out a cross. Fortunately, he can't quite pick the pass and the Hammers smuggle it behind. Let off.
53 mins - McEvoy has the ball at his feet once more and though he finds a yard to deliver a cross, he shanks it horribly into the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand.
50 mins - West Ham make further inroads as Seb Lletget has space down the right. Turgott is pleading for a pass that never comes, much to his anguish. Spence picks up the pieces but gets no change out of Kaboul. Goal-kick.
46 mins - We're back underway here and Paulista immediately bursts down the right flank before winning a corner. For once, Moncur's corner is a poor one, as it trickles towards the near post, but Spurs make a hash of the clearance and Turgott, from the edge of the box lashes one inches wide. Meanwhile, Spurs have made their first change of the evening, with Tom Carroll making way for Laste Dombaxe.
19:52 - In the other game in the Elite Group, it's Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal at the break. Meanwhile, we have a confirmed attendance of 647, a pretty good show in view of the fact it's still positively freezing.
45 mins- Some respite here for the hosts as they win a corner on the far side. Moncur floats it in and Ruddock's header looks to be heading wide, but a Spurs defender hacks clear all the same. Seconds later, Lletget has a dig from 25 yards, forcing Vigouroux into a flying one-handed stop. That's the last action of the first half, one that has been thoroughly entertaining. 1-1. We'll be back with you shortly...
43 mins - It's all Tottenham as the first half winds to a close. Ceballos runs menacingly at Shaw but his touch is a heavy one and he's unable to prevent the ball going behind for a goal-kick.
39 mins - The Hammers have got to hang in here as Larkins prevents the hosts from making it two in two minutes. Coulthirst is through on goal, but Larkins races off his line to foil the Spurs No9.
38 mins - Goal! Spurs are back on terms courtesy of the impressive McEvoy. He strides into the box before angling a neat finish past Larkins and into the right-hand corner. Cool finish, if somewhat harsh on the Hammers.
36 mins - Maiga is putting in a real shift here as he puts on the afterburners to chase down a long ball from Frazer Shaw. He has two centre-halves for company and despite his best efforts is ultimately hustled out of it.
33 mins - Maiga wriggles free in the box, before standing up an inviting ball to the waiting Paulista at the far stick. The Brazilian is airbound as he connects with a stunning acrobatic effort, which has the beating of Vigouroux in the Spurs goal, but cannons back of the frame of the goal. That would have been some goal!
30 mins - Another opportunity comes and goes, in fact, several opportunities in the space of a few seconds. Maiga climbs highest to nod down Jordan Spence's free-kick in the box. Dan Potts is first on the scene but can't quite sort his feet out to get a shot away. Maiga takes charge once more, but he too is crowded out, before Amos Nasha slams goalward from range, only to see his drive flash wide.
28 mins - Maiga, Paulista and Lletget are all involved in some intricate play on the edge of Tottenham's box. It's Moncur, however, who has a go, as his curler loops narrowly over the bar. Probably the best passage of play thus far.
26 mins - Another Spurs attack sees Ceballos have a pop from 25 yards plus. It's a daisy cutter and though Larkins is called into action, in truth it's a pretty comfortable stop down low to his left.
24 mins - For the first time in a long time, the Hammers have some defending to do. An astute pass sends McEvoy in behind, but curiously he opts to square it rather than go for goal. His cut-back rolls harmlessly across the face of the six-yard box and West Ham escape.
20 mins - Close, very close. West Ham very nearly double their lead as Pelly Ruddock meets Moncur's corner, but there's a Spurs body on the line to leap and head clear from under the cross bar. The Hammers' delivery into the box has been first class so far. Clearly learning from the Premier League's most potent winger!
19 mins - The hosts are growing in confidence here as Paulista engineers some space out on the right flank, before sending in yet another dangerous delivery. Spurs struggle to deal with it once more and the visitors have another set-piece to defend.
16 mins - GOAL! West Ham strike first and it's Paulista who has done the damage. George Moncur flings in a corner to the near post and the Brazilian, in trademark fashion, heads home in some style. That's five now for Welly in claret and blue.
14 mins - Ryan Fredericks lunges in on Lletget on the touchline, who ends up in a crumpled heap. Moncur takes charge of the free-kick and it's headed behind for a first West Ham corner.
13 mins - The returning Younes Kaboul looks long for Coulthirst, but not for the first time this evening, the centre-forward has strayed beyond the last man.
11 mins - Both sides are beginning to find some fluency now, as Dan Potts' long ball has too much weight on it for Blair Turgott. Spurs respond in kind but Mcevoy's low centre is easliy gathered by Larkins at his near post. We're still waiting for a first clear sight of goal here.
7 mins - At the other end, Cristian Ceballos lets fly from 20 yards and it's deflected behind for a corner on the far side. It's whipped in with pace and Larkins gets sucked under the flight. It evades him and, fortunately, everyone else. Nervy moment for the Hammers stopper.
5 mins - West Ham are pressing high up the pitch and finally enjoy some possession. Modibo Maiga shows off his quck-feet with a neat touch or two, but Seb Lletget's return ball catches the forward offside.
3 mins - The visitors have started the brighter here and Kenneth McEvoy whips in a develish centre from the right, which fizzes between centre-half and Larkins. It eventually falls awkwardly to Nabil Bentaleb at the far post, but he can only volley over the bar.
1 min - It's Spurs who get us off and underway, shooting towards the Bobby Moore Stand. Inside the opening 40 seconds, Shaquile Coulthbirst races onto a long ball over the top, but there's no alarm as he's flagged offside.
18:45 - The teams are in and as expected, Modibo Maiga is drafted in for the sidelined Elliot Lee. Other than that, it's very much business as usual for Nick Haycock's men. As for our visitors, experienced centre-half Younes Kaboul is included, as he continues his recovery from a serious knee injury.
West Ham United U21s: Larkins, Spence, Shaw, Nasha, Potts, Ruddock, Paulista, Moncur, Maiga, Lletget, Turgott.
Subs: Driver, Baxter, Tombides, Maguire, Bywater.
Tottenham Hotspur U21s: Vigouroux, Fredericks, Fryers, Kaboul, Hall, Veljkovic, McEvoy, Bentaleb, Coulthirst, Carroll, Ceballos.
Subs: Munns, Priestley, Barthram, Gallifuoco, Dombaxe
Good evening and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for this evening's Barclays Under-21 Premier League Elite Group fixture featuring West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Nick Haycock's Hammers return to action after three weeks without a competitive fixture, owing to last weekend's prospective trip to West Bromwich Albion falling foul of the weather.
West Ham's Development Squad currently lie sixth in the standings, having accumulated nine points from their nine outings thus far.
After winning two of their opening three fixtures in the competition's second phase, Haycock's charges are now without a win in six, though creditable draws with Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal suggest a third victory is not far away.
They do, however, face the sternest of tests this evening against runaway leaders Tottenham Hotspur, who have won their last three, scoring eleven in the process.
Spurs are ten points clear at the top of the Elite Group, with eight wins and 32 goals to their name to date. Their one and only reverse came courtesy of a 4-3 defeat away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
As for team news, Sebastian Lletget is back in the reckoning following a short injury lay-off, while first-team frontman Modibo Maiga is expected to play some part in proceedings.
We will confirm the starting lineups shortly and there will be live text updates here as of the 7pm kick-off.