Spurs under 18’s 1-2 Chelsea: (match report)
“I don’t think we showed our best – our players are better than that performance, certainly in possession, but the fact that we’re still in the tie is credit to the strong mentality that this group has. I feel pretty confident that we will play better than that at Stamford Bridge.” (John McDermott)
Our under 18’s hopes of making the FA youth cup final were dented on Tuesday evening, in the first leg of the FA youth cup semifinal. John McDermott’s side were defeated 2-1 by Chelsea, in a match where they were outplayed for the most part. And despite it ending in defeat, most Spurs fans will be happy with the final result, such was the dominance of Chelsea. The brilliance of goalkeeper Brandon Austin, and the late goal of Kazaiah Sterling giving us a fighting chance ahead of Saturday’s second leg at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea controlled the tempo of the game from the offing, Jody Morris’ highly structured side were pressing the Lillywhites into making mistakes. 17 minutes in to the game Chelsea came close through midfielder Mason Mount. The England youth international whipped a delightful free kick over the wall, his effort dipping, before striking Brandon Austin’s left post. Chelsea’s dominance paid off on 34 minutes, when Reece James’ looping header from the resulting corner kick, made a slight deflection off Dinzeyi before going under the crossbar, 1-0 to Chelsea. Just 6 minutes later the visitors doubled their lead through striker Ike Ugbo, Dujon Sterling launching the ball into the box from the right, with the striker their to head home from eight yards out, 2-0 to Chelsea.
Despite improving during the beginning of the second half we soon began to find ourselves again on the back foot. Goalkeeper Brandon Austin was proving to be Spurs’ saviour, Austin produced a marvellous reflex save to deny Mount on 50 minutes. Shortly afterwards he denied Ugbo’s point blank effort with his face, we were starting to show positive signs as the game neared the end, but Chelsea would again force Austin into making numerous wonder saves. The lads really went for it as the game neared the end, and Spurs’ attacking intent was rewarded on 88 minutes when Kazaiah Sterling pulled a goal back for the Lillywhites. The newly introduced Jack Roles done well as he drove forward before picking out Sterling with a nice pass, the young striker took his chance first time, tucking the ball low past Cumming, 1-2! We looked a totally different team in the final minutes as we pressed Chelsea for an equaliser, but their was to be one last bit of action, when Chelsea were awarded a penalty deep in stoppage time, after Oakley-Boothe brought down St Clair in the penalty area. Following a scuffle between the Spurs and Chelsea players, the penalty was eventually taken by Luke McCormick. McCormick’s powerful low effort rebounding of the outside of the left post, much to the delight of the Spurs fans. All to play for on Saturday, the game will again be televised live on ITV 4 kick off: 5:15pm. COYS
Additional notes: Chelsea are a very good youth team and overcoming the blues in the second leg will be no small feat. However, if we can play like we did during the last 20 minutes and replicate some of the fast attacking football that has been so present throughout the season, then I wouldn’t be too surprised if we defeated Chelsea at the bridge. Saturday evenings tie in west London is certainly going to be an intriguing affair, and one that holds such great rewards if Spurs can win. Goalkeeper Brandon Austin produced one of the finest goalkeeping displays you’re likely to see all season, the young goalkeeper’s reflexes were astounding, his focus and anticipation both top class. Goalscorer Kazaiah Sterling is such a clinical player and took his goal really well, he pressed the Chelsea defence very well, working incredibly hard. Following his late introduction midfielder Jack Roles, had a profound impact on the game, he done well to assist Sterling for his goal, and the midfielder almost nicked an equaliser late on, I’d be surprised if he didn’t start on Saturday.
My man of the match: The sensational Brandon Austin. The young goalkeeper had an incredible game against the blues, making countless top class saves to keep Spurs in the tie. His shot stopping was nothing less than incredible!
You can rewatch Tuesday nights match on the ITV player: http://www.itv.com/hub/fa-youth-cup/2a1758a0021
Spurs: Austin, Eyoma, Tsaroulla, Marsh (c, Roles 74), Dinzeyi, Tanganga, Shashoua (Duncan 46), Skipp (Griffiths 68), Sterling, Oakley-Boothe, Bennetts. Substitutes (not used): Hinds, Whiteman (GK)
Chelsea: Cumming, James, T Chalobah, Grant, Castillo, Uwakwe (McCormick 72), Sterling, Maddox, Ugbo (St Clair 83), Mount (c), Hudson-Odoi (McEachran 62). Substitutes (not used): Guehi, Bulka (GK).
Goals: Spurs – Sterling 88; Chelsea – James 34, Ugbo 40.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Marsh 46, Tanganga 90+3; Chelsea – Mount 90+3.
Referee: Lee Swabey.