Sears rampant for reserves

Tottenham Hotspur reserves 1-3 West Ham United reserves

Freddie Sears maintained his scoring streak to earn West Ham United a hard-fought victory against a youthful Tottenham Hotspur side on Monday night.

The 18-year-old forward, who this season now has three goals at this level from six appearances along with 21 in 17 games for the Under-18s, struck on the stroke of half-time to cancel out Troy Archibald-Henville's opener for Tottenham. He wrapped up the win with a superb run and shot 17 minutes from time. In between, he found time to set up Dean Ashton for a close-range finish.

Sears had begun the contest on the right wing but moved into attack when Bobby Zamora made way on half-time. It was an experienced side throughout with Jimmy Walker in goal behind Jonathan Spector and John Pantsil. The victory moves West Ham United three points clear of third-placed Reading in the southern section of the Barclays Premier Reserve League and just two points behind leaders Aston Villa - although both have two games in hand after a 1-1 draw on the same evening.

At a chilly Brisbane Road, Tottenham were the brighter of the two sides in a first half which was most noticeable for a number of challenges that underlined how these derby matches are taken seriously at any level. Walker, who had Ludek Miklosko as his replacement on the bench after the late withdrawal of Adam Street, and David Button in the Spurs goal were largely spectators in the opening stages as a number of moves broke down.

After a couple of fine tackles by young left-back Ashley Miller to stop the visitors in their tracks, West Ham United's first real opportunity came in the 17th minute. Pantsil picked out Ashton in a good central position. It seemed the No9 would open the scoring but he was just unable to make a clean connection and his glancing header flew wide.

Six minutes later, Zamora did well to fashion an opening but the ball would not sit kindly and his effort looped over the bar. A minute later, Jack Collison had the chance to head for goal from the middle of the penalty area after fine work by Ashton but again Button watched it fly safely behind. Tottenham picked up after that and looked the most likely with Danny Rose and Simon Dawkins looking particularly menacing.

Spurs finally broke the deadlock in the 34th minute when Troy Archibald-Henville glanced in a Rose free-kick. Walker had no chance with that but did well soon after the restart to save at point-blank range from David Hutton. Tomkins then had to be alert to stop another potential Tottenham attack and it seemed if any side was going to strike before half-time it would be the hosts.

However, good play by Ashton on the right saw him pick out Kyel Reid on the edge of the area. His shot was miscued into the path of Sears, who turned quickly and flashed a shot beyond Button. It was almost the last action of the half and proved pivotal as Keen's side were always in command after the break. Zavon Hines came on to replace Zamora which in turn allowed Sears to link up through the middle with Ashton.

Within ten minutes, both forwards had made space for a couple of good efforts on goal and looked an effective partnership. With Tottenham making a couple of changes on the hour, the contest was beginning to open up and a second West Ham United goal seemed on the cards. It duly came in the 68th minute as Hines slipped Sears away and he raced through to the byline. From there, he looked up and picked out Ashton who had no trouble converting from close range.

Sears was not finished. Five minutes later, he struck a sensational second to put his side two goals clear. Ashton set him away with a neat pass and the young forward did the rest, racing beyond three defenders before confronting Button in the Spurs goal. Before the keeper could react, Sears fired into the far corner and victory was assured.

Both teams had half-chances in the closing stages but West Ham United's greater experience allowed them to close out the contest. Spurs, who had impressed in the first half, were restricted to half-chances - most notably through a Ryan Mason free-kick - while Reid, Ashton and Collison will all feel they could have added to the visitors' tally.

Tottenham Hotspur: David Button, Cian Hughton, Joseph Martin, Jake Livermore, Troy Archibald-Henville, Dorian Dervite, (Ryan Mason 76), Kyle Fraser-Allen (Dean Parrett 60), Danny Rose, Jonathan Obika, Simon Dawkins, David Hutton (Takura Mtandari 60)
Subs: Oscar Jansson, Daniel Hutchins

West Ham United: Jimmy Walker, John Pantsil, James Tomkins (Jordan Spence 70), Ashley Miller (Lorcan Fitzgerald 78), Jonathan Spector, Freddie Sears, Tony Stokes, Jack Collison, Kyel Reid, Dean Ashton, Bobby Zamora (Zavon Hines 46)
Subs: Ludek Miklosko, Junior Stanislas

Freddie Sears I League table I Fixtures and results I Minute by minute