Tough day for U18s

Tottenham Hotspur U18s 5-2 West Ham United U18s

A youthful Academy side came up short in the London derby away to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday morning.

Tony Carr's side found themselves 3-0 down by half-time and quickly conceded a fourth in the second half before staging a spirited fightback. Robert Hall, still only 15, and captain Sergio Sanchez pulled two goals back and the Hammers began to believe they could yet earn something from the game. However, Danny Subuola was unlucky with a great chance to make it 4-3 and Spurs regained their superiority and added a fifth.

"Tottenham were too powerful and too strong for us," said Carr "They were better than us on the day and we were second best in most departments. However, we did well after half-time and we got the improved performance that we were looking for. We got two goals back and could have made it interesting had we got the third one but it was not to be. Peter Loveday saved a penalty before they scored again."

The Academy Director changed things around in the second half with Sanchez dropping back into defence from a holding midfield role and Hall on a rare start at this level soon got his reward. Sanchez then headed in from close range after a corner before substitute Subuola nearly added a third. Goalkeeper Loveday, on his first start of the season with Turkey's Deniz Mehmet on international duty, then saved from the spot while Hall also had a couple more opportunities.

Carr was without the extra experience of Conor Okus (groin) and Callum McNaughton (ankle), both of whom he hoped would be back in full training next week, while the likes of Tony Brookes and Olly Lee are with the reserves. There was the welcome boost of Polish youth international full-back Filip Modelski returning after his long-term knee injury with a second-half appearance off the bench. It was his first outing since mid-January.

"Filip came on for the last 30 minutes which was a real plus and there was no reaction," added Carr. "He will get a bit more in the next few weeks and hopefully we can progress as well. We got off to a flying start on the first day at Everton and let's hope we can get back to that."

The Hammers had won 2-1 against the Toffees on 22 August but then went down 1-0 at home to Stoke last week before the reverse at Spurs. It is back to Little Heath next weekend when Birmingham City come calling, four days after the clubs - and possibly some of Carr's brightest youngsters - are involved in a reserve match at the Boleyn Ground.

West Ham United: Loveday, Smith (Modelski 60), Brown, Lampe, Driver (Moncur 70), Sanchez, Barrett, Wearen, Hall, Abdulla, Montano (Subuola 40)