West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur
West Ham United U18s defeated Tottenham Hotspur U18s for the second time in a fortnight to open their 2019/20 Premier League Cup campaign with three points.
Drawn in a tough-looking group against Spurs, Newcastle and Stoke, Kevin Keen’s side got off to the best possible start with a 2-1 victory over their London rivals at Little Heath Sports Ground on Saturday.
The Hammers opened the scoring towards the end of the first half when left-back Sam Caiger, having featured twice for the U23s recently, cut in from the left-hand side and curled the ball into the far corner from 20 yards.
The balance of play remained relatively even for the rest of the first half as both sides spurned chances, Amadou Diallo and Caiger having shots well saved, but it was the visitors who came out on the front foot after the break.
Three minutes after the restart, Chay Cooper’s low ball into the box found Enoch Asante at the far post, the Spurs attacker duly converting from four yards.
Hammers heads remained high, however, and six minutes later the home side regained the lead, a corner finding its way to the back-post where midfielder Iyiola Adebayo was on hand to sidefoot home.
True to the attacking form which saw them play out a 3-2 thriller two weeks ago, both sides continued to push for another goal, trading opportunities – with West Ham goalkeeper Daniel Jinadu particularly impressing - until the full-time whistle.
After the game, Assistant Coach Mark Phillips told whufc.com: “It’s great to get off on a good footing and win the first game of our Premier League Cup campaign.
“There were spells when Spurs had control of the game, but we were much better at keeping possession than we were two weeks ago.
“Hopefully now, we can capitalise on our good start, try and get at least one win from our next two fixtures away at Newcastle and Stoke, and get out of our group.”
To qualify for the knock-out stages, West Ham will need to either finish top of Group E – a position currently held by Stoke, who defeated Newcastle 3-2 on Saturday – or be one of the two best-placed runners-up out of six.
West Ham U18s return to Premier League South action away to Fulham next weekend; their next Premier League Cup game sees them travel to Newcastle’s Academy on Saturday 26 October.
West Ham United U18s: Jinadu, Greenidge, Caiger, Adebayo, Nsumbu, Okotcha (Nebyla 64), Chesters, Giddings, Kileba (Veliky 80), Flaherty, Diallo (Peake 64)