Patrick Roberts hit a hat-trick as Fulham won 3-2 at Tottenham Hotspur in the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup.
The game, played at Dagenham & Redbridge’s Victoria Road ground, started 10 minutes later than scheduled due to an accident on the A2. When play did begin, the Whites couldn’t have got off to a worse start as Spurs went in front in the third minute. Nathan Oduwa spun away from Liam Donnelly near the halfway line and burst down the left. His pace was too much for Fulham to deal with and his cross from the byline was met at the far post by Joshua Onomah who slotted into an open goal from seven yards out.
Fulham hit back, constructing their first attack in the eighth minute when Emerson Hyndman won the ball in midfield before sending Dean O’Halloran clear. The striker’s touch was heavy, however, allowing Spurs keeper Luke McGee to race out of his goal and save at the Fulham youngster’s feet.
George Williams went close for Fulham with a curling effort from the edge of the box in the 22nd minute. But, the Whites drew level from the resulting goal-kick after a horrendous error from Tottenham’s Cameron Carter-Vickers. Receiving a short pass from McGee, Carter-Vickers tried to find centre-back partner Filip Lesniak but only resulted in giving the ball straight to Roberts who smashed home.
Spurs went straight down the other end and an angled effort from Shayon Harrison forced Marek Rodàk into a parry, before the same Tottenham player shot wide at the near post after meeting a low cross from Emmanuel Sonupe.
Just before the half-hour mark Conor Ogilvie sent a free-kick from 30 yards inches wide of Rodàk’s left-hand post, but it was 2-1 to Fulham in the 33rd minute. Josh Smile cut in from the right before unleashing a left-footed shot from distance that McGee could only parry. Roberts was quickest to the rebound and slotted home to double his and Fulham’s tally for the night.
Shortly afterwards Williams jinked into the box and saw a left-footed shot deflected just over by Carter-Vickers, before Steve Wigley made a substitution, Ryheem Sheckleford replacing Elijah Adebayo in the 38th minute.
Oduwa went close to drawing Tottenham level shortly after the break when his shot was blocked near the line after a great run by Onomah. But Spurs were level in the 52nd minute, Oduwa cutting inside and skipping past a couple of Fulham challenges before seeing his shot squirm under Rodàk and over the line.
Fulham should have been back in front in the 58th minute. Williams showed superb skill to turn and speed past Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker-Peters and find Hyndman, but the American could only send a side-footed effort over the bar from 10 yards out.
Hyndman went into the book in the 68th minute for chopping down Walker-Peters just outside the box. Ogilvie took the free-kick and forced Rodàk to tip the ball away with a fierce left-footed drive.
Oduwa was continuing to cause Fulham problems and he flashed a shot across the face of goal and just wide of the far post with 17 minutes remaining.
With the game heading for extra-time, Fulham went back in front in the 82nd minute as Williams saw a shot beaten away by McGee and that boy Roberts was on hand to fire home at the near post to grab his third of the game.
Just moments later both teams were reduced to 10 men. Onomah was fouled by Smile and reacted to it, with the Fulham winger retaliating. Something of a melee then ensued before calm was restored and referee Ashvin Degnarain dismissed both Onomah and Smile.
Spurs threw players forward in the dying minutes in search of an equaliser and Roberts was withdrawn for Josh Walker in injury time as Fulham held on for the win and a place in the Fifth Round away to Manchester City.
Fulham: Rodàk, Donnelly, Burgess, Adebayo (Sheckleford 38), Evans, Smile, Sambou, Hyndman, Williams, Roberts (Walker 90), O'Halloran.