Spurs under 23’s 2-2 Chelsea: (match report)
Ugo Ehiogu’s resilient Spurs side came back on two occasions to get a valuable and well deserved draw against Chelsea under 23’s, at Hotspur way this afternoon. The Blues began the game the better side on a bitterly cold afternoon in Enfield, Chelsea taking the lead just five minutes in to the first half through highly rated midfielder Mason Mount. Chelsea were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area, following a handball by Walkes, Mount stepped up to curl the ball over the wall and beyond the reach of Pau Lopez as it nestled in to the top right hand corner of the net. Both sides had good spells in the minutes that followed but the visitors seemed the more likely to score the next goal however, six minutes from the interval Spurs striker Shayon Harrison drew the Lillywhites level with a header. Nathan Oduwa who had just returned from his loan with Peterborough was highly influential in the making of the goal. Oduwa showed clever feet as he dribbled away from the Chelsea defenders down the left, before putting in a perfectly weighted cross which Harrison disposed with a good header which flew past the Chelsea goalkeeper Collins, and into the back of the net.
We started the second half brightly but the blues always posed a threat going forward and ten minutes into the second half they regained the lead through striker Dominic Solanke. After the tall striker got the ball on to his left foot inside the penalty area after some good build up play, Solanke fired the ball low and into the back of the net, 2-1 Chelsea. Ehiogu’s didn’t give up and they showed a fighting spirit, which was duly rewarded, when we drew level for a second time on 58 minutes. Joe Pritchard whipped the ball in from the resulting corner and defender Connor Ogilvie rushed to the near post to meet the ball, powering it brilliantly beyond Collins and into the net. Both sides had their fair share chances in the remaining minutes of the match, but neither side could find a winner. Pau Lopez made a top reaction save to deny Ugbo’s header, whilst Oduwa’s curved free kick was just tipped over the crossbar by the Chelsea keeper at the other end, the final score Spurs 2-2 Chelsea.
Shayon Harrison was the standout out player (see below) but Nathan Oduwa, Connor Ogilvie, Luke Amos and Zenon Stylianides also stood our for me. Oduwa is an incredibly skilful player and I knows he capable of the spectacular, but his recent loans have been somewhat underwhelming, with the Nigerian youth international struggling for game time at Peterborough. However, Oduwa had a great match today he posed a significant attacking threat his dribbling, weaving runs and decision making all being of the highest order. Connor Ogilvie was defensively solid and managed to get us a point with his fine second half header. Whilst Luke Amos was impressive in the centre of the park he was tenacious and broke up play well, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was named on the bench for Sunday’s match. Finally, Zenon Stylianides impressed me in the centre of the park, it may not be the most eye catching of jobs but Stylianides was very good in the centre of the park. He was one of the hardest workers on the field, his stamina and persistence had a real effect on the midfield and he pressed the Chelsea players constantly. It’s worth noting that the second half was keenly observed by Mauricio Pochettino and his assistants.
My man of the match: Shayon Harrison, the 19 year old striker netted his seventh goal of the PL2 campaign. Harrison’s skill and movement was impressive as to was his headed goal to draw level in the first half. I suspect Harrison will be part of the senior squad that take on Aston Villa at the Lane on Friday, in the FA Cup third round, his edging ever close to senior football.
Spurs: Pau Lopez, Walker-Peters, Ogilvie (Muscatt 78), Amos (c), Maghoma, Walkes, Pritchard (Owens 63), Stylianides, Harrison, Tracey, Oduwa (Goddard 84). Substitute (not used): Glover (GK).
Chelsea: Collins, Sterling, Tomori, T Chalobah, Dabo (c), Sammut (Maddox 65), Wakefield (St Clair 77), Ali, Ugbo, Solanke (Christie-Davies 73), Mount. Substitutes (not used): Colley, Thompson (GK).
Goals: Spurs – Harrison 39, Ogilvie 58; Chelsea – Mount 5, Solanke 55.
Referee: Wayne Barratt.