Spurs under 18’s 2-4 Arsenal under 18’s: (match report)
On Saturday our under 18’s side lost 4-2 to Arsenal at Hotspur way, in the first North London derby of the season as John McDermott’s side were desperately unlucky not to have gotten at least a point from Saturdays match. The Gunners started the match well attacking with real intent causing our defence multiple problems. On 16 minutes goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman was forced in to making two excellent saves. Firstly, Whiteman blocked Coyle’s effort before making an exceptional save to deny Da Silva’s effort from 20 yards after he threw himself to the floor to make an excellent reflex save to turn away the ball behind. Despite being on the back foot for the majority of the first half, McDermott’s side grew into the game and after creating a couple of good chances, Spurs took the lead on the stroke of halftime through Reo Griffith’s. The goal came about following a good move which started in the midfield with Oliver Skipp who picked out Shashoua who put in an intelligent pass to Griffiths who one on one rounded Virginia and slotted the ball into the back of the net.
Arsenal equalised 15 minutes into the second half after Pileas netted at the back post following a corner kick. A mere five minutes later the Gunners doubled their lead through Chris Willock after the forward netted from inside the box. However, just three minutes later Griffiths got us level with his second goal of the game, after the striker got on the end of the bouncing ball inside the penalty area, before nudging the ball past Virginia and into the back of the net. The game seemed to be heading for a draw but on 89 minutes Arsenal got a late winner courtesy of a goal from Chris Willock. Willock capitalised after Jack Roles was brought down near the half way line with the referee waving play on Willock surged forward down the left wing before firing the ball into back of the net. Deep in stoppage time Arsenal put the game out of sight after Coyle received the ball on the left side of the box before slotting the ball past Whiteman and into the back of the net. The result was cruel on Spurs as I felt the lads really deserved a draw however, regardless of the result there were plenty of very good individual performances from this talented group of youngsters and many positives to take. Bearing in minds Arsenal’s under 18 side are one of the best in the country and are currently top of the league.
Japhet Tanganga and Reo Griffiths were our two best players, Tanganga put in a magnificent job at the centre of defence making some key challenges and interceptions, the England youth international came off through injury late in the second half at which point we were level with the gunners. However, shortly afterwards the young lillywhites conceded two late goals, showing Tanganga’s importance to the game. 16 year old striker Reo Griffiths continued his excellent start to life as an under 18’s player with a brace, the highly talented striker was clinical and powerful, as he worked tirelessly up front for the entirety of the game. Another player who impressed was highly rated goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman, Whiteman made a string of fantastic saves in the first half and his commanding presence in the box as well as his vocalness and leadership were extremely impressive. Meanwhile, Jaden Brown had a good game at left back, whilst midfielder George Marsh had a fine game, working tirelessly in the centre of midfield.
My man of the match: Japhet Tanganga. The centre back who made his first start of the season against Arsenal on Saturday, is one of our best defensive prospects in the academy, Tanganga was superb against Arsenal and his decision making was top draw as were his numerous tackles and interceptions.
Spurs U18s: Whiteman, Hinds, Brown, Marsh (c), Tanganga (Dinzeyi 84), Eyoma, Oakley-Boothe, Skipp (Roles 73), Griffiths, Duncan, Shashoua (Tsaroulla 66). Substitutes (not used): Oteh, Austin (GK).