Tottenham Hotspur U18s 3-0 West Ham United U18s
U18 Premier League South
West Ham United U18s put in a “disappointing” performance in defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday morning, according to assistant coach Mark Phillips.
The young Hammers suffered their second consecutive London derby loss at the Tottenham Hotspur Training Ground, going down 3-0 to their hosts in a fiery U18 Premier League South encounter.
Whereas Kevin Keen’s youth team could feel hard done by to fall to a late 2-1 defeat against Arsenal in the U18 Premier League Cup the previous week, on this occasion they were admittedly outplayed by a more ruthless opposition.
Two goals in the opening quarter of the game for Tottenham set the tone for a tricky morning in North London, with the hosts adding a third shortly after half-time before West Ham lost centre-back Asher Falase to a second yellow card with 20 minutes remaining.
The game did, however, mark forward Divin Mubama’s first start of the season, whilst U16s forward Jemiah Umolu made his youth team debut as a second-half substitute.
It was Mubama who had the first chance of the game as his header went narrowly wide, but a long ball over the top caught the Irons out soon afterwards as England youth international Jamie Donley took full advantage to lob goalkeeper Jacob Knightbridge after 12 minutes.
Just 12 minutes later and Donley’s through ball caused the West Ham backline real trouble, the defence failing to clear its lines as Jaden Williams ran through and doubled Tottenham’s lead.
Williams had another effort denied by Knightbridge and Renaldo Torraj struck the bar for Spurs, but the closest West Ham came the other end was shortly after the restart, half-time substitute Gideon Kodua having an effort denied at close range.
Just four minutes later and Spurs were out of sight as Rio Kyerematen headed in the hosts’ third from a corner, despite Knightbridge managing to get a hand to the effort.
A bright spark on the day, Kodua had two further opportunities for the Hammers, only to be denied by Tottenham goalkeeper Thimothee Lo-Tutala, but following Falase’s dismissal, the points had long since evaded Keen’s team.
“It was our most disappointing performance of the season, even if you leave out the scoreline,” Phillips admitted.
“We just didn’t get going in the first half whatsoever. We made mistakes you just can’t legislate for, and there’s not much point in going over them.
“We changed our shape at half-time and had a go, and were in the ascendancy without really creating that much, but then they got a third goal from a set-piece through bad marking, which was disappointing again.
“It was a strange performance from us. The boys knew it and were disappointed. We were beaten and deserved to get beaten, which I wouldn’t say about our other losses this season.
“We’ve got a good team, good bonding within it and a good team ethic, and a good group of players, but they just didn’t perform on the day.
“We need to get back on the training ground and do what we can, because we have a tough game next week away at Chelsea.”
Phillips was pleased to see, however, proof of progression for both Umolu and 17-year-old Sonny Perkins, who made his full development squad debut on Friday night in the U23s’ 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
“One of our plusses this season has been moving Sonny Perkins to centre-forward,” Phillips mentioned. “He played there for the U23s on Friday night and played very well.
“Jerry Omolu was another plus, an U16 schoolboy making his U18s debut. He was on for around 25 minutes and held the ball up well and didn’t look out of place, so that was another big plus for us.”
West Ham United: Knightbridge; Robinson (Kodua 46), Falase, Casey, Forbes, Clayton, Woods, Tarima, Orford (Scarles 60), Earthy, Mubama (Umolu 67)
Subs: Herrick, Evans
Booked: Tarima, Robinson, Woods, Falase