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Report: Tottenham tamed as under-23s return to winning ways

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Albion under-23s returned to winning ways in Premier League 2 with a narrow but deserved 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Stevenage’s Lamex Stadium on Monday night.

By Bruce Talbot • 03 February 2020

By Tottenham Hotspur/Getty Images
  • Albion beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at the Lamex Stadium
  • Peter Gwargis and Warren O'Hora on target
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott scores for Spurs
  • Simon Rusk's side are next in action against Manchester City on 14th February

Goals from Peter Gwargis – his fifth of the season in the league – and defender Warren O’Hora proved decisive and Simon Rusk’s side had other chances, particularly in the second half, to stretch their advantage, as they bounced back following defeats in their previous two matches.

Albion were looking to complete a League double over Spurs after beating them 4-1 earlier in the season and they made the perfect start, with a seventh-minute goal by Gwargis.

Ryan Longman, playing up front following Bojan Radulovic’s loan move last week, broke quickly down the right and his low ball across the face of goal gave the Swedish striker an easy finish at the far post.

Albion were on top and they nearly got a second in the 11th minute. Moments earlier, Jack Spong had forced home keeper Josh Oluwayemi to block his powerful close-range effort, after Alex Cochrane’s clever pass found the midfielder inside the six-yard box. Spurs only cleared the resultant corner to Gwargis lurking on the edge of the box, but his goal-bound volley was blocked.

By Tottenham Hotspur/Getty Images
Jack Spong in action against Spurs.

It had been an impressive start by Albion, but Tottenham responded and levelled in the 17th minute when defender Malachi Fagan-Walcott used his height to climb above the visitors’ defence and head Harvey White’s corner past a helpless Hugo Keto.

The home side then enjoyed their best spell of the first half, although Keto didn’t have too many saves to make. Dilan Marakanday broke at pace from midfield to create space for a shot, but fired wide of the left-hand post, before White let fly from the edge of the box but his shot was always rising over the target.

Towards the end of the half, with Romaric Yapi showing his pace on the left having started on the right, Albion came back into things as they enjoyed good spells of possession in the final third again.  

Andrew Crofts in action against Tottenham.

They came out firing after the interval and a minute into the second half they were back in front. Teddy Jenks’s corner from the left was met at the near post by O’Hora, whose glancing header flew past Oluwayemi and into the far corner.

Oluwayemi came to Tottenham’s rescue on two occasions as Albion went close to a third goal, spreading himself to block Longman’s shot before flinging himself to his right to push away Jack Spong’s right-footer from just inside the box.

Danny Cashman replaced Longman just past the hour mark and Albion continued to look more threatening until the closing 15 minutes or so when they sat a little deeper and relied on breakaways. Tottenham had more of the ball as a result, but apart from punching clear a corne,r Keto had little do as Albion saw out the game fairly comfortably.

ALBION: Keto, A. Davies, O’Hora, Roberts, Cochrane (c), Crofts, Yapi (Leahy 90+2), Spong, Jenks, Gwargis, Longman (Cashman 61).

SUBS NOT USED: Desbois (GK), Freestone, Packham.

ATTENDANCE: 470

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