Spurs Under 18’s 6-1 West Bromwich Albion: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side progressed to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup, by defeating West Bromwich Albion 6-1, on Friday afternoon at Hotspur Way. Spurs won the match in style, and they will now face Wolverhampton Wanderers (away) in the next round of the competition. Luca Gunter started in goal for Spurs, while a back four consisting of Brandon Bryan-Waugh, Alfie Dorrington, Charlie Sayers and Jordan Hackett-Valton lined-up in defence. Han Willhoft-King and Rio Kyerematen started in central midfield, while Maxwell McKnight and Thomas Bloxham started out on the flanks, either side of CAM and captain Alfie Devine. Jaden Williams led the line for Spurs. West Brom got the game underway in Enfield, and they created the first real chance of the game. After Fenton Heard passed the ball to Reyes Cleary inside the Spurs box, the West Brom centre-forward hit his effort over Luca Gunter’s goal. Alfie Devine headed Thomas Bloxham’s corner-kick into the side netting of the West Brom goal, a couple of minutes later, after making a good run to the near post. Jaden Williams had an effort saved inside the West Brom box, from goalkeeper Ronnie Hollingshead, after a clearance from Alex Williams came his way.

Jordan Hackett-Valton did well to block an effort from Reyes Cleary, before Rio Kyerematen had an effort saved by Hollingshead, at the other end of the pitch. Reyes Cleary hit a free-kick from out on the left, wide of Luca Gunter’s goal, before Rico Richards then hit a free-kick wide of the Spurs goal. Spurs then took the lead in the 26th minute of the game, through the impressive Jaden Williams. After receiving Rio Kyerematen’s pass out on the left flank, Thomas Bloxham came inside onto his right foot. The skilful winger then hit an effort towards the goal off his right foot, and the ball ended up hitting Ronnie Hollingshead’s left post, before coming to Williams, whose initial effort was well saved by Hollingshead, before Williams then found the back of the net at the second time of asking, 1-0. A good threaded pass from Bloxham, into the feet of Williams soon afterwards, resulted in the Spurs centre-forward having his low effort on goal saved well by Hollingshead. Spurs then doubled their lead a couple of minutes later, after Maxwell McKnight received Bloxham’s pass out on the right flank, before whipping a low cross into the West Brom penalty area. His cross was met by Jaden Williams, whose low first time effort went past Hollingshead and into the back of the goal, 2-0.

After receiving Rio Kyerematen’s pass on the edge of the West Brom box following a good forward run from the Spurs midfielder, Alfie Devine hit an effort over the West Brom goal, in what turned out to be the final chance of the first half. Spurs got the second half underway and not long into the half Maxwell McKnight had an effort tipped over by Ronnie Hollingshead. Charlie Sayers did well to block behind Reyes Cleary’s effort, before Spurs made it 3-0, thanks to a great solo goal from Alfie Devine. After receiving the ball Devine embarked on an excellent mazy run into the West Brom penalty area, before then finishing low past Hollingshead, and into the back of the goal, 3-0. However, West Brom had a great chance to try and get back into the game, after Alfie Dorrington fouled Reyes Cleary inside the Spurs box, resulting in the referee pointing to the penalty spot. Cleary stepped up to direct the ball into the middle of the goal and past Gunter, who had dived to his right, 3-1.

Rio Kyerematen had an effort blocked behind for a corner-kick, before Spurs extended their lead from that set-piece. Thomas Bloxham managed to find Rio Kyerematen down the right side of the West Brom box, and although his effort was saved by Hollingshead, the ball came to Charlie Sayers, who managed to finish from close range, 4-1. Less than ten minutes later Spurs managed to get their fifth goal of the game, and it was a deserved one for Thomas Bloxham. Jaden Williams cut the ball back for Bloxham, inside the West Brom penalty area, and the Spurs winger powerfully finished past Hollingshead, 5-1. McKnight hit a low effort narrowly wide from out on the right side of the West Brom box, but then Thomas Bloxham got his second goal of the game. Bloxham tapping home from Rio Kyerematen’s low cross into the West Brom box, 6-1. Han Willhoft-King and Thomas Bloxham were replaced by Jamie Donley and Sam Amo-Ameyaw, and then Billy Heaps replaced Maxwell McKnight not long after. 

Luca Gunter did well to stop Reyes Cleary’s thumping effort late on in the game, before Brandon Bryan-Waugh did well to block a volleyed effort from Rico Richards. The final score – Spurs 6-1 West Bromwich Albion. 

Player reviews:

  • Luca Gunter: The first year scholar didn’t have an awful lot of saves to make today. Gunter did however, make a good one to stop Reyes Cleary from scoring his second goal of the game, late on in the match.
  • Brandon Bryan-Waugh: This was another good all-round performance from the right-back, who defended well against West Brom winger Rico Richards, throughout the match.
  • Alfie Dorrington: Apart from conceding a foul on Reyes Cleary which led to a West Brom penalty in the second half, I thought that Dorrington worked well with Charlie Sayers in central defence, and also brought the ball out well from the back. 
  • Charlie Sayers: This was another solid performance from the recent Spurs signing, which also saw Charlie Sayers score another goal. 
  • Jordan Hackett-Valton: The left-back made an important defensive intervention at 0-0, and also made a good block as well.
  • Han Willhoft-King: The skilful midfielder likes to receive the ball and go on skilful forward runs. And the schoolboy footballer did it really well on a couple of occasions today as well, while playing as the deepest of the two central midfielders. 
  • Rio Kyerematen: This was a good performance from the central midfielder, who set-up two goals against West Brom, and got forward well. 
  • Maxwell McKnight: This was another strong performance from the Colchester born footballer. Playing out on the right flank as a winger, McKnight got one assist and was also very direct both with and without the ball. 
  • Alfie Devine: The Spurs captain showed good leadership throughout the game, and his quality with the ball at his feet really showed during the match, and he played the game with a real elegance about him. And his excellent solo goal was taken really well. 
  • Thomas Bloxham: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jaden Williams: This was a very good performance from the centre-forward, who made some good runs in-behind, led the line well and was potent inside the West Brom box. Jaden took both of his goals well and got an assist as well. 
  • Jamie Donley: The late substitute played just behind centre-forward Jaden Williams, in the CAM role.
  • Sam Amo-Ameyaw: The second half substitute played in midfield, following his introduction.
  • Billy Heaps: The first year scholar and midfielder came on as a late substitute in the second half.

My man of the match: Thomas Bloxham: Starting out on the left flank as a winger, first year scholar Thomas Bloxham was very influential in the game. Bloxham took responsibility with the ball and was unpredictable with it. He took both of his second half goals well, but he was also involved in some of the other goals today as well. The skilful player also worked really well off the ball.

Spurs Under 18’s versus West Bromwich Albion: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side will face West Bromwich Albion, tomorrow afternoon (the game starts at 13:00pm on Friday), at Hotspur Way, in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup. Spurs defeated Ipswich Town to reach round four of the prestigious competition. West Brom actually beat Spurs 5-0 in the fifth round of this competition, last season, and have already beaten Spurs 4-3 in the league already during the 2021/22 season. This will be a very tough game for Spurs, who will already know how difficult West Brom can be to play against at this level, although Spurs are currently four points and three places above them in the Premier League South table. I would like to wish Spurs all the very best of luck for the game on Friday. If they do progress past West Brom, then they will face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the fifth round of the competition. 

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Gunter, Bryan-Waugh, Dorrington, Sayers, Hackett, Willhoft-King, Kyerematen, McKnight, Devine (c), Amo-Ameyaw, Williams.

Subs from: Hayton, Andiyapan, Abbott, Linton, Davies, Bloxham, Donley.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 3-4.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Reyes Cleary. The forward (17) has been in excellent form for West Brom, at Academy level this season. Cleary has scored seven Premie League 2 goals from 11 appearances for West Brom’s Under 23 side this season, plus an additional ten league goals for the club’s Under 18 side.

Farewell and good luck Rafferty Pedder:

Technically gifted midfielder Rafferty Pedder has left Spurs, after it was mutually agreed to end his contract. He has since joined Queens Park Rangers, and will be hoping to establish himself as a regular for their Development side, during the remainder of this season. The Maidstone born footballer who joined Spurs early on in his footballing journey, had missed a lot of football prior to signing full-time with Spurs in the summer of 2018. However, after having to wait for a while to make his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side, during the following 2019/20 season Rafferty became a key player for then head-coach Matt Taylor, and would finish the season with more appearances than anyone else in the side. Rafferty was consistent during that season, and the skilful and direct midfield player (capable of playing in central midfield or as a CAM) really showed his quality on the ball. Agile, very hardworking and with really good vision for a pass, the 19 year old is a real joy to watch play football. He is always looking to play the ball forward, loves to run forward at pace with the ball and is also a great athlete.

Regardless of whether he is playing as a CAM or as a central midfielder, Rafferty links the play really well and he is a very intelligent midfield player. Excellent performances against Norwich City and Southampton in the Premier League South during the 2019/20 season, really standout from looking back at all of the games that I saw him play for Spurs at all levels. However, Rafferty has always been a very consistent player, since I started watching him at Spurs. And he is the kind of player who gets fans off their seats, as he is just to purposeful with the ball. Rafferty made 13 competitive appearances for Spurs’ Development side, since the start of last season, providing two assists from those appearances. His last competitive appearance for Spurs’ Under 23 side was in a Premier League 2 game against Blackburn Rovers, in September of last year. I’ve really enjoyed seeing Rafferty play for Spurs, since joining full-time in 2018, and I will closely follow his progress at his new club. I would like to wish him all the very best for the future. Farewell and good luck, Rafferty.

Farewell and good luck Dilan Markanday:

Barnet born, boyhood Spurs fan and professional footballer Dilan Markanday departed Spurs yesterday, to join Championship club Blackburn Rovers on a permanent transfer. The highly skilful 20 year old winger had been having a sensational season for Spurs’ Under 23 side, scoring a highly impressive total of 12 goals and providing eight assists, from 17 competitive appearances for them. Dilan joined Spurs full-time in the summer of 2017, when he signed scholarship forms with the club. He made a number of competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side that season, scoring his first goal for them in a Premier League Cup game against Leicester City, back in the autumn of 2017. However, Markanday would become a key player for the Spurs Under 18 side during the following 2018/19 season, when Spurs came so very close to winning the Premier League South. Markanday was excellent throughout that season, and would also make some further competitive appearances for the Under 23 side.

The 2019/20 season saw Dilan make the permanent step-up to Wayne Burnett’s Under 23 side, as he continued his development at the club. Always a very creative player, who is never afraid to take defenders on for skill, the 2020/21 season, like the previous season, may not have resulted in Dilan getting the goals and assists that his performances deserved. However, he was continuing to improve and get stronger both on and off the ball. This resulted in Dilan enjoying an outstanding pre-season with the Spurs Development side, and his excellent form carried on into the competitive season, where he had been beyond outstanding, right up until his final game for the Under 23 side, which was against Manchester United, earlier this month. Markanday also made one competitive appearance for the Spurs first team, when he came on as a substitute against Vitesse Arnhem, in the UEFA Europa Conference League, earlier this season. Dilan is a brave and fearless creative and highly skilful winger, who will take players on for sheer skill. 

Dilan is able to ride a challenge superbly well (the best that I have ever seen from any Spurs Academy player), is unselfish on the ball and also has incredible balance, and can twist and turn his way past defenders with ease. He has become a lot more physical over the last 18 or so months, and has become even more clinical when inside the oppositions penalty area. He has always been a very talented player, but during the last 18 months Dilan has just got better and better, both on and off the ball. Always a player who has worked very hard off the ball, and has shown that he can play at full-back well, Dilan is in my opinion at his very best when he is playing out on the right flank. When running with the ball at pace, taking players on and also cutting inside onto his excellent left foot (he is also good with his right foot) and testing the goalkeeper, that is in my opinion where I see Dilan playing regularly at in the future. However, having said that he is also very comfortable and effective at playing as a CAM, out on the left wing and also as a centre-forward, which he has already shown that he can play as so well this season.

An absolute pleasure to watch play and excel for Spurs at Academy level over the years, I’m sad to see Dilan leave the club. He is a fantastic talent who will go on to achieve great things in the game, and I have no doubts about that. I very much look forward to following Dilan’s progress at Blackburn, over the coming years. And I do hope that he gets a chance to play for the England Under 21 side in the very near future. What a player and what a future in the game. Farewell and good luck, Dilan!

Spurs Under 23’s versus Manchester United: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 23 side will play their first competitive game of 2022, when they face Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village, on Monday evening (the game starts at 19:00pm). Wayne Burnett’s side are currently in third place in the league standings, while Manchester United are in seventh place in Division One. When these two teams met in the league back in October, Wayne Burnett’s side won the match 1-0, but it was a very close and competitive game. Manchester United are a team of very talented players, such as Shola Shoretire, Charlie McNeill and Alvaro Fernandez. This will be another tough game, but Spurs are in great form at this level and if they play like they have recently then they have a good chance of getting a good result. I would like to wish Spurs all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: Lo-Tutala, Lavinier, Fagan-Walcott, Omole, Cesay, Lyons-Foster, White (c), Markanday, John, Devine, Clarke. 

Subs from: Oluwayemi, PaskotÅ¡i, Matthew Craig, Michael Craig, Santiago. 

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Shola Shoretire. The Manchester United forward really impressed in the reverse fixture in October, and his skill on the ball was very good. Shoretire has scored four goals and provided two assists from ten Premier League 2 appearance this season. 

Spurs Under 18’s versus Arsenal: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side will play their first competitive game of 2022, when they face Arsenal on Saturday morning (the game starts at 11:00am). The game which will take place at Arsenal’s training centre, is the first competitive meeting between the two sides at this level this season. Spurs won 2-0 against Arsenal near the start of last season, before losing 4-1 in the reverse fixture. Arsenal are three places and seven points above Spurs in the league, in sixth place in the Premier League South. Always very competitive games at this level, the game on Saturday should be no different. I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: Gunter, Bryan-Waugh, Dorrington, Sayers, Hackett, Willhoft-King, Cassanova (c), McKnight, Haysman, Hall, Williams.

Subs from: Hayton, Andiyapan, Linton, Davies, Bloxham.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-4.

My score prediction: 2-2. 

My one to watch: Khayon Edwards. The second year scholar has scored nine league goals and provided three assists for Arsenal at this level, so far this season.

Where are they now? (The Spurs Academy players who left the club at the end of the 2020/21 season):

At the end of last season there were 11 Spurs Academy players who left the club, after their contracts came to an end. There were also other Spurs Academy players who have left the club since last season came to an end, such as Dennis Cirkin and Jubril Okedina. However, in this short informative piece I will be writing a short update on each of the eleven former Spurs Academy players who left the club at the end of the 2020/21 season. I continue to wish them all the very best of luck for the future.

Enock Asante: The talented 20 year old centre-forward is currently a freshman at the University of Texas Rio Grande, where he plays football for UTRGV Vaqueros, who he joined in July of this year. A good finisher inside the penalty area, Enock last made the squad for Spurs’ Under 23 side back in the February of 2021, when he was an unused substitute in a Premier League 2 match against Blackburn Rovers. Unfortunately Asante often had quite a lot of injuries while at Spurs, meaning that he didn’t get to feature a lot for either the Under 18 or 23 sides, since joining the club full-time in the summer of 2018. He did however, have a very impressive goalscoring record prior to joining Spurs full-time. During the 2021 season for UTRGV Vaqueros, Enock has made ten appearances, scoring one goal.

Eddie Carrington: A skilful winger, who also has a good amount of pace – Eddie Carrington normally operated out on the right flank for Spurs, at Academy level. However, he also featured at right-back on occasions. The 19 year old didn’t feature a lot for Spurs’ Under 18 side during his two seasons full-time at the club, and in his final season (2020/21) the player who was previously with Brentford, prior to joining Spurs, made six competitive appearances for the Under 18 side. Carrington left Spurs after his contract with the club came to an end last summer. Since then he has signed for Isthmian Premier Division side Leatherhead, who he is currently playing for. The winger has scored one goal so far this season for Leatherhead, who are currently in bottom place in the league. However, Eddie unfortunately got injured in Leatherhead’s last competitive game, which was against Bowers & Pitsea.

Chay Cooper: After doing really well in his second season as a scholar at Spurs (2019/20) highly skilful and creative winger/CAM Chay Cooper featured in some pre-season friendlies for Spurs’ Development side at the beginning of last season. However, the Harlow born former Southend United youth player didn’t make any competitive appearances for Spurs at any levels during 2020/21. Cooper trialled for League Two club Colchester United during this pre-season, and did well enough to earn a contract with the Essex based club. Chay has done well so far during the competitive season for Colchester, scoring two goals for their Under 23 side to date, and also making four first team appearance for them. The 20 year old got an assist on his competitive first team debut for Colchester, in a Papa John’s Trophy group game against West Ham United’s Under 21 side, earlier in the season. Chay is a player who I believe has a very bright future in the game. His skill on the ball and ability to go past players is superb.

Keenan Ferguson: Right-back Keenan Ferguson impressed (while trialling for Spurs) during the inaugural JE3 Cup game back in the summer of 2020, when a Spurs Development side took on Leyton Orient. Ferguson had previously been with Sheffield United, and he signed for Spurs soon after that game. He started the first two Premier League 2 games for Spurs’ Under 23 side at the beginning of the 2020/21 season, but soon after that second game Ferguson picked up an injury and didn’t feature again for Spurs at any levels that season. He left Spurs when his contract came to an end last summer, and soon signed for National League North side Boston United. The 21 year old seems to be doing well for Boston, who are currently in seventh place in the National League North. Ferguson has made 16 league appearances for them so far this season.

George Marsh: A defensive minded midfield player who is a real leader on a football pitch. 23 year old professional footballer George Marsh progressed up the youth ranks at Spurs, during his time at the club and he would go onto become the captain of the Under 23 side, while also making one competitive appearance for the Spurs first team. Marsh had previous Football League experience with Leyton Orient, who he was on loan at during the 2019/20 season, but he stayed at Spurs last season, and he was a regular for the Under 23 side. After leaving Spurs in the summer he joined League One side AFC Wimbledon, and so far the midfielder has made 12 competitive appearances for them in all competitions. Hopefully Marsh will play a lot more games for Wimbledon during the second half of this season.

Rodel Richards: The 21 year old forward, who can play up-front, out-wide or in midfield, is unfortunately still without a club following his contract coming to an end  at Spurs, last summer. Rodel made nine competitive appearances (scoring three goals) for Spurs’ Under 23 side during the 2020/21 season, a season which was disrupted by injury.

Jack Roles: At Spurs for a good number of years, since joining the club as a youth player many years ago. Goalscoring midfielder Jack Roles rose up the Academy ranks at Spurs, would go on to feature for the first team in pre-season and also had a very impressive goalscoring record for a midfielder at Academy level. A former Cyprus Under 21 international, Roles went out on three separate loans during his time at Spurs, with his loan to Cambridge United during 2019/20 being his most successful one. Jack’s movement off the ball is some of the best from a midfielder that I’ve ever seen at Academy level, but he is also a high skilful player as well. Roles joined Crystal Palace earlier this season, following his release from Spurs. He has so far made eight competitive appearances for their development side, scoring one goal. 

Aaron Skinner: A tough tackling centre-half/defensive-midfielder who had previously played for Bury and Bolton Wanderers at youth level. Aaron Skinner joined Spurs’ Academy in the autumn of 2019 and would go on to become a regular for the Spurs Under 18 side during the remainder of that season. The Salford born footballer made two competitive appearances from the bench for the Spurs Under 23 side during 2020/21, plus an additional two for Sunderland’s Under 23 side, when he was on trial with them during part of that season. Skinner joined Northern Premier League Premier Division side Bamber Bridge, during the current season. He has been regularly making match-day squads for them since joining, and he started their most recent league game against Lancaster City. The 19 year old is a current teammate of former Spurs Academy graduate and first team player – Mark Yeates, at Bamber Bridge.

Kazaiah Sterling: A Spurs player for a number of years, having joined them from Leyton Orient as a schoolboy youth player. Centre-forward Kazaiah Sterling would go on to make two competitive first team appearances for Spurs’ first team during his time at the club. A regular scorer at both Under 18 and Under 23 level, Sterling went out on several loans (including to Doncaster Rovers and Sunderland), but I often felt that he was very unlucky with injuries. Kazaiah left Spurs last summer, but was without a club for a little while, until he joined Isthmian Premier Division side Potters Bar Town. Sterling last made a match-day squad on the 12th December, when Potters Bar played Eddie Carrington’s Leatherhead. I am sure that Kazaiah will soon rise up through the leagues in the very near future. He currently has three league goals for Potters Bar Town, so far this season.

Shilow Tracey: Winger Shilow Tracey (23) was signed from non-League side Ebbsfleet United, during the 2015/16 season. He was for many seasons a mainstay in the Spurs Under 23 side. A winger with a real eye for goal, Shilow went out on his first loan to Macclesfield in the 2019/20 season, and then during the following season he went out on loans to Shrewsbury and Cambridge United. After leaving Spurs after his contract came to an end last summer, Shilow rejoined Cambridge United on a permanent basis. He has scored three goals and provided one assist from 22 appearances in all competitions for Cambridge United, so far this season.

Tarrelle Whittaker: Able to play as winger or as a centre-forward. Tarrelle Whittaker was the first Academy player from his age group to feature for the Spurs Under 18 side, back in the 2018/19 season. Whittaker started his two year scholarship at the club at the beginning of the following season, and he made a lot of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during that time. Since leaving Spurs the 19 year old joined Swansea City, where he has been a regular for their Under 23 side this season, scoring six goals so far.

Spurs Under 18’s 5-1 Ipswich Town: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side faced Ipswich Town in the third round of the FA Youth Cup, on Thursday evening, at Stevenage’s Lamex Stadium. Stuart Lewis’ Spurs side won 5-1, in what was a really good team performance, against a good Ipswich side. Luca Gunter started in goal. Brandon Bryan-Waugh, Alfie Dorrington, Charlie Sayers and Jordan Hackett, started in defence. Han Willhoft-King and Rio Kyerematen started in midfield, while Maxwell McKnight and Tyrese Hall started out on the flanks, either side of CAM and captain Alfie Devine. Jaden Williams returned to lead the line for Spurs. Ipswich got the game underway. An early but hugely important challenge from recent Spurs signing Charlie Sayers, on on the edge of the Spurs box on Ipswich player Gerrard Buabo, stopped a promising move from Ipswich. Soon afterwards Tyrese Hall whipped a good effort across the face of the Ipswich goal, from the left flank, and then in the sixth minute of the game Spurs took the lead. Maxwell McKnight crossed the ball into the Ipswich box, looking to find teammate Jaden Williams. Williams managed to get to the ball and although his first time effort was saved by goalkeeper Lewis Ridd, the ball came back to the first year scholar, and he hit the ball into the roof of the goal, 1-0.

A good run from Gerrard Buabo, into the Spurs box ended after his low effort was blocked by Charlie Sayers, who was having a good start to the game. Tawanda Chirewa hit an effort over Luca Gunter’s goal, before Albie Armin headed over an Ipswich corner-kick. Spurs doubled their lead a couple of minutes later, as a good move which saw McKnight pass the ball to Willhoft-King inside the Ipswich penalty area, ended with the midfielder passing the ball to Devine. The former Wigan Athletic player skilfully stepped past an Ipswich defender, before calmly hitting the ball low and with accuracy past Lewis Ridd, and into the back of the goal, 2-0. The last chance of the half was for Ipswich, as Jack Manly’s low effort deflected behind off of defender Alfie Dorrington. Spurs got the second half underway. Ipswich centre-forward Ashley Boatswain hit a deflected over on the turn, from the edge of the Spurs box, before some really good defending from Charlie Sayers meant that he ended up stopping Gerrard Buabo from being able to go through on goal.  

Luca Gunter made a good save from an effort inside the Spurs box, before Dorrington cleared a header from a corner-kick, off the Spurs goal line. Tawanda Chirewa hit an effort wide of the Spurs goal, and then Ipswich’s good start to the half saw them get a goal back. Luca Gunter couldn’t gather a headed effort inside the Spurs box, and then shortly afterwards Ashley Boatswain got on the ball and finished well on the turn, 2-1. Spurs responded by making a change, as Dante Cassanova replaced Rio Kyerematen in midfield. Tawanda Chirewa had a low effort saved by Gunter a couple of moments later, before Khalon Haysman replaced Tyrese Hall. Brandon Bryan-Waugh saw his deflected effort go wide of the Ipswich goal, before Spurs made another change, this time seeing Jaden Williams leave the pitch to be replaced by Jez Davies. Jordan Hackett received a yellow card as the game could have went either way. However, a good ball over the top of the Ipswich defence from Alfie Dorrington, resulted in Ipswich goalkeeper Lewis Ridd colliding with teammate Edwin Adbaje, allowing Jez Davies to receive the ball inside the Ipswich box, and allow him to just tap the ball into the empty net, 3-1.

Tawanda Chirewa whipped a good effort wide from an Ipswich free-kick, before Brandon Bryan-Waugh fouled Jesse Nwabueze inside the Spurs box, resulting in the referee pointing to the penalty spot. However, Luca Gunter made a really good save after diving to his left to stop Tawanda Chirewa’s effort from going in. Spurs made it 4-1 moments later, as Dante Cassanova played a pass into Jez Davies, inside the Ipswich box. Davies very unselfishly passed the ball across to Khalon Haysman, who had his initial effort saved by Lewis Ridd, before finding the back of the goal with his following effort. Ashley Boatswain hit an effort over from inside the Spurs box, and then Spurs made it 5-1, in what turned out to be the final chance of the game. After receiving Maxwell McKnight’s pass inside the Ipswich box, Jez Davies hit a powerful low effort into the bottom left hand corner of the Ipswich goal, 5-1. Spurs will now play West Brom in the fourth round of the competition. They won’t play another game at this level until early in the new year.

Player reviews: 

  • Luca Gunter: Making an excellent save from a penalty in the second half, Spurs goalkeeper Luca Gunter also commanded his box well, dealing well with crosses and set-pieces.
  • Brandon Bryan-Waugh: This was a good defensive performance from the right-back. The Spurs defender made some good challenges during the game, and also got forward well on occasions.
  • Alfie Dorrington: The right-sided centre-half teamed up well with Charlie Sayers in defence, made a really important headed clearance off the line in the second half, and he was good on the ball and at passing it out from the back. 
  • Charlie Sayers: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jordan Hackett: The left-back went on some surging runs down the left flank, to help Spurs go forward down that side of the pitch.
  • Han Willhoft-King: Going on some nice and skilful runs with the ball, midfielder Han Willhoft-King was reliable with the ball. He was also good off the ball in a defensive sense.
  • Rio Kyerematen: The Spurs midfielder worked well with Willhoft-King during his time on the pitch, and like Willhoft-King, Kyerematen went on some good runs forward with the ball.
  • Maxwell McKnight: This was a really good performance from the player from Colchester, who was involved in three of Spurs’ goals against Ipswich. McKnight went on some really good runs forward with the ball, made some good passes and tracked back well.
  • Alfie Devine: Taking up really good positions all over the pitch, second year scholar Alfie Devine was very good for Spurs against Ipswich. The CAM took his goal so well, but it was his excellent movement off the ball and runs forward, which really helped Spurs. Devine worked really hard to try and influence the game.
  • Tyrese Hall: Showing some good skill on the ball from out on the left flank, this was Tyrese Hall’s second ever appearance for Spurs at this level.
  • Jaden Williams: Taking his early goal well, Jaden Williams linked-up well with Alfie Devine and also pressed the Ipswich defence well, during his time on the pitch.
  • Dante Cassanova: The second half substitute was involved in Spurs’ fourth goal of the game, after going into midfield.
  • Khalon Haysman: The second half substitute played out on the left flank, and he got a late and important goal against Ipswich. 
  • Jez Davies: The substitute made an excellent impression on the game, after replacing centre-forward Jaden Williams. Davies got two goals and an assist, in what was a very good performance from the second year scholar.

My man of the match: Charlie Sayers. The Spurs defender had in my opinion a very solid game in central-defence. The former Southend United player made two really important defensive interventions during the first half, and the second year scholar also worked really well with Alfie Dorrington. Sayers was assured in defence and kept very good positioning throughout the game.

Spurs Under 18’s versus Ipswich Town: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side face Ipswich Town in the third round of the prestigious FA Youth Cup, on Thursday (the game starts at 19:00pm) at Stevenage’s Lamex Stadium. Stuart Lewis’ Spurs side face a difficult opening game in the competition, with Ipswich likely to be difficult to win against. Spurs have not won a competitive game of football at this level in any of their last four matches. Meanwhile Ipswich Town, are in second place in the Professional Development League and are doing well this season. This will be a very interesting game of football, in this famous competition. I will be reporting on the game, and I would like to wish the Spurs side all the very best of luck for the match. Here’s hoping that Spurs will go far in the competition this season.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Gunter, Bryan-Waugh, Dorrington, Sayers (c), Hackett, Willhoft-King, Davies, McKnight, Haysman, Torraj, Bloxham.

Subs from: Hayton, Andiyapan, Linton, Abbott, Owen, Hall, Irow.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: N/A.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Ipswich Town centre-forward Tyrese Osbourne.

Spurs Under 18’s 0-3 Leicester City: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side faced Leicester City at Hotspur Way on Saturday in their latest Premier League South game. Spurs lost the game 3-0, with Leicester creating more chances than the home side on the day. Luca Gunter started in goal for Spurs, while a back four consisting of Brandon Bryan-Waugh, Alfie Dorrington, Charlie Sayers and Jordan Hackett, started in-front of him. Han Willhoft-King and captain Alfie Devine started in midfield, as Maxwell McKnight and Amo-Ameyaw started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Tyrese Hall. Thomas Bloxham led the line for Spurs. Leicester got the game started, and they started the match well. Defender Alfie Dorrington had to make an important block early on, to stop Joe Wormleighton’s effort from testing Luca Gunter inside the Spurs penalty area. Soon afterwards Chris Popov hit a low effort wide of the Spurs goal, after he received a pass from Will Alves inside the Spurs box. At the other end of the pitch Alfie Devine saw his deflected effort from distance go just wide of the Leicester goal. A couple of minutes later Devine set-up Sam Amo-Ameyaw with a good pass. Amo-Ameyaw took the ball into the Leicester box and tried to go past their goalkeeper Kelechi Chibueze, but the Leicester goalkeeper managed to gather the ball. 

A good run from Chris Popov down the left side of the Spurs box resulted in him having an effort saved by Gunter. Then at the other end of the pitch, Tyrese Hall turned inside the Leicester penalty area, before having an effort saved by Kelechi Chibueze. Dorrington headed narrowly wide from a free-kick from Thomas Bloxham, and then Maxwell McKnight hit a cross into the Leicester box, which went just wide of the goal. Leicester came very close to taking the lead just before half-time, after Chris Popov entered the Spurs box, before Alfie Dorrington made a superb sliding challenge to stop him from scoring. Then the ball came to Brandon Cover, whose effort was really well saved by Gunter, in what was the final chance of the first half. Oliver Irow replaced Alfie Devine for the start of the second half, which Spurs got underway. Brandon Cover hit an effort wide from the edge of the Spurs box, before a good pass from Jordan Hackett to Oliver Irow inside the Leicester box, resulted in the debutant having a low effort saved by the Leicester goalkeeper. After cutting inside onto his left foot from the right flank, Chris Popov had a good effort saved and later gathered by Luca Gunter. 

A couple of moments after Leicester’s last chance, Chris Popov went down the right hand side of the Spurs box, before having an effort on goal saved well by Gunter. The ball then fell nicely for Will Alves, but Gunter once again made a really fine save to stop him from scoring. However, in the 56th minute of the game Leicester took the lead. Jack Butterfill’s cross wasn’t gathered by Luca Gunter, and the ball came to Chris Popov inside the centre of the Spurs box, and he was able to hit the ball past Gunter and into the back of the goal, 0-1. Soon after the game got started again Popov won the ball of Dorrington in a good position, he then went on a really good run forward, before eventually hitting an effort just wide of the Spurs goal. Brandon Bryan-Waugh had a deflected effort following a corner-kick, go just wide of the Leicester goal, before Renaldo Torraj came on to replace Sam Amo-Ameyaw. Chris Popov whipped home a great effort from a free-kick on the edge of the Spurs box moments later into the top right hand corner of the Spurs goal, 0-2. Then less than six minutes later Chris Popov got his hat-trick to extend Leicester’s lead further. A clinical move on the break from the away side resulted in Chris Popov receiving Henry Cartwright’s pass as he continued forward. Popov eventually took the ball inside the Spurs box, before finishing with a low effort past Gunter, 0-3.

Jahziah Linton replaced Jordan Hackett at left-back, before debutant Tyrese Hall won a free-kick right on the edge of the Leicester box, from which he tested Kelechi Chibueze with a low effort. Leicester substitute Abdullah Javid went on a good run with the ball, late on in the game, before having his effort blocked superbly well by a sliding challenge from Brandon Bryan-Waugh inside the Spurs box. It was to be the final moment of note from the game. Spurs’ final game of this year at this level is on Thursday, when they face Ipswich Town in the third round of this seasons FA Youth Cup, at The Lamex Stadium.

Player reviews:

  • Luca Gunter: The Spurs goalkeeper made some really good saves today, to stop Leicester from winning by more than 3-0.
  • Brandon Bryan-Waugh: The right-back got up and down the right-flank really well, linked-up well with Maxwell McKnight down that side of the pitch, and was solid defensively. I thought that the first year scholar was one of Spurs’ best players today.
  • Alfie Dorrington: The right sided centre-half had a really strong first half, was on the ball a lot and made one superb defensive intervention. 
  • Charlie Sayers: The recent Spurs signing from Southend United looked assured in defence on his home debut at this level. He also made some nice passes out from defence.
  • Jordan Hackett: Going on some good runs down the left flank, left-back Jordan Hackett used the ball well.
  • Han Willhoft-King: My man of the match, see below.
  • Alfie Devine: This was the former Wigan Athletic players’ first appearance for the Under 18 side of the season, as he made his first start since returning from injury. Devine played in central-midfield, and during the first half he showed good pace and a real desire to try and influence the game. Devine came close to scoring during the first half and he created a good chance for Sam Amo-Ameyaw. Devine was replaced at half-time.
  • Maxwell McKnight: I thought that the winger helped out quite a lot defensively and linked-up well with Bryan-Waugh.
  • Tyrese Hall: Playing as the CAM on his debut at this level, Tyrese Hall managed two attempts on target during the game.
  • Sam Amo-Ameyaw: The winger had one good chance to score from during his time on the pitch, but the Leicester goalkeeper did well to gather the ball. 
  • Thomas Bloxham: Playing out of position during the first half at centre-forward, Thomas Bloxham made some good runs. He later played in central-midfield during the second half.
  • Oliver Irow: Another debutant at this level, Oliver Irow came on for the second half. He worked hard and didn’t look out of place at this level.
  • Renaldo Torraj: The second half substitute was lively and very direct out on the left flank following his introduction.
  • Jahziah Linton: The second half substitute played at left-back during the latter stages of the game, after replacing Jordan Hackett.

My man of the match: Han Willhoft-King. The schoolboy footballer was making only his third competitive appearance at this level on Saturday. Playing as the deepest of the two central-midfielders, Willhoft-King had a good and solid first half alongside Alfie Devine, and then during the second half he improved further. In the second half the midfielder got on the ball more and there were two occasions where he went on some really good and skilful forward runs from midfield. Willhoft-King worked really hard and covered a lot of ground. He had a good game for Spurs, today.