Spurs under 23’s 1-0 Sunderland: (match report)
Our under 23’s side recorded an important 1-0 victory over Sunderland this evening, as Ugo Ehiogu’s side move up to seventh in the PL2 table. Our victory at the Lamex stadium in Stevenage, was in my opinion the teams best performance of the season. It was a faultless team performance, everyone worked so hard and made vital contributions to the play. We controlled the game, dictating the tempo against a good Sunderland side, and despite fielding four under 18 players, Ehiogu’s players dominated the game and reaped their rewards. The game was only five minutes old when the Lillywhites took the lead, courtesy of young striker Kazaiah Sterling. After Christian Maghoma hit a long ball upfield, Sunderland’s goalkeeper Max Stryjkek controlled the ball with his feet but the high pressing of Sterling unsettled Stryjeck, and the striker managed to rob the ball off him and hit the ball home, 1-0 to Spurs. After having taken the lead Spurs established their authority on the game, making the visitors chase after the ball. However, Sunderland almost found a way back into the game on 24 minutes, when the ball fell to Swedish forward Joel Asoro and from eight yards out the striker forced a tremendous cat like diving save from Lopez, with the ball deflecting off of Tanganga in the process. Just under ten minutes later Spurs came close to doubling their advantage, following a foul on Tsaroulla on the edge of the penalty area, Joe Pritchard stepped up to curl a wonderful effort over the wall as if cannoned off the crossbar, much to the relief of the Sunderland goalkeeper.
The second period started in Sunderlands favour, as the Tyne and Wear club almost drew level a couple of minutes in. Joel Asoro showing brilliant feet as he surged forward on to the edge of the penalty area, before firing an effort off the inside of the post, with the ball somehow going wide as it came back across the goal. Later Spurs went close at the other end, after Sterling was found at the far post from the resulting free kick, but the strikers effort from close range hit the side netting. Spurs battled well both defensively and in the midfield as they saw out the game, to record a much deserved victory. I thought every single player had an excellent game against the black cats and and Monday evenings performance will be a massive confidence boost to Ehiogu’s side.
– Pau Lopez: Although he wasn’t tested a great deal, Lopez made a world class save in the first half. In addition the Spaniards handling was very impressive.
– Joe Muscatt: An excellent display from the right back, solid defensively Muscatt drove forward with some great weaving runs on many occasions, and demonstrated great skill.
– Nick Tsaroulla: His first ever appearance for the under 23’s, but the left back looked right at home putting in a great display at left back, making some fine challenges.
– Filip Lesniak: The skipper was an anchor in the midfield, very efficient and didn’t make a single mistake all night.
– Japhet Tanganga: The second year scholar was very comfortable against Sunderland, composed and tenacious. Him and Maghoma make a good centre back pairing.
– Christian Maghoma: A quality display from the tall centre back, Maghoma was commanding and dealt very well with the Sunderland attack, winning almost all of his headers.
– Shayon Harrison: The Yeovil loanee was played out wide tonight and he showed really good feet, looking very dangerous when going forward.
– Zenon Stylianides: Was such an important player in our win, Stylianides showed great awareness as he impressed with both the offensive and defensive aspects of his game. Glided past players and made some lovely forward passes.
– Shilow Tracey: Never stopped, constantly pressed the Sunderlands defence, and made some lovely powerful forward runs.
– Kazaiah Sterling: Sterling’s fantastic goalscoring form continued as he netted what proved to be the winner. Sterling was a constant threat, sharp and instinctive it looks as if this won’t be his last under 23 match of the the season.
– Joe Pritchard: A good performance from the attacking midfielder, worked incredibly hard and was so unlucky not to get on the scoresheet with his free kick.
My man of the match: Zenon Stylianides. The skilful midfielder was such an important player in our 1-0 win, Stylianides showed great awareness as he impressed with both the offensive and defensive aspects of his game. Glided past players and made some lovely forward passes, his skilful style of play and great vision outwitting the Sunderland midfield.
Spurs: Pau Lopez, Muscatt, Tsaroulla, Lesniak (c), Tanganga, Maghoma, Harrison, Stylianides (Skipp 90+1), Tracey, Pritchard (Owens 79), Sterling (Goddard 87).Substitutes (not used): Glover (GK).
Sunderland: Stryjek, J Robson, Hume, Wright, Casey, Ledger, Molyneux, E Robson (c), Asoro, Embleton, Greenwood. Substitutes (not used): Brotherton, Gamble, Taylor, Yves Poame, Talbot (GK).
Goal: Spurs – Sterling 5.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Goddard 90+1; Sunderland – J Robson 33, Casey 89.
Referee: Dean Treleaven.