Spurs under 18’s 5-2 Fulham: (match report)
“We played some really good football, we were high-energy and I thought we looked like we had some really good players.” (John McDermott)
Our under 18’s were in fine form this morning, as they thrashed fellow London club Fulham 5-2 in a thrilling game at Hotspur way. There was an emotional and respectful minutes silence before today’s game in tribute to Ugo Ehiogu who tragically passed away last week. I was treated to some breathtaking football this morning, McDermott’s highly attacking side brutally exposing Fulham’s defensive vulnerabilities putting in an exceptional offensive display. It was a game in which the Lillywhites produced chance after chance, McDermott’s side were so creative and sharp, on another day they could have ran out 7-0 winners! McDermott’s side were astute, playing down the wings through the highly effective duo of Keanan Bennetts and Samuel Shashoua. Spurs started the game well and it didn’t take them long to find their usual attacking rhythm, on 13 minutes Kazaiah Sterling forced a fine save out of Fulham goalkeeper Ashby-Hammond, with the rebound falling for Jack Roles who drilled an effort against the post. We came close again moments later, when Jaden Brown’s clever cross came to Sterling inside the box, his first time effort producing another fine save from the Fulham goalkeeper, before the ball was thwarted into the path of Bennetts, the goal was gaping at his mercy but he blasted over from just a couple of yards out, no one including himself could quite believe it. We continued to threaten Fulham’s defence, McDermott’s team were creating numerous chances and it was only a matter of time before they eventually took the lead. Roles showed great technique to rifle an effort narrowly over the crossbar before Sterling and Skipp saw their chances go close.
Spurs’ dominance was finally rewarded on 35 minutes when Jack Roles broke the deadlock for the Lillywhites. Sterling played a big part in the goal, the forward cutting inside his man before laying the ball off to Roles who made no mistake from close range burying the ball into the back of the net, 1-0. Our attacking superiority over the cottagers was growing, and just nine minutes later the youngster doubled their advantage with a well worked goal. Winger Keanan Bennetts who had been potent throughout the game, surged forward before finding Shashoua inside the box. The nimble footed winger turning on to his left foot before slotting the ball home, 2-0 to Spurs! Shortly after the interval Spurs resumed their attacking ways, Shashoua forcing Ashby-Hammond into making a brilliant reflex save as he clawed away Shashoua’s effort with a strong hand. However, we allowed Fulham a route back into the game on 52 minutes when Skipp brought York to the floor, Nwietniewski’s resulting effort converted to make the scores 2-1. However, McDermott’s side made an instant response from the kick off, Shashoua playing a one two with Roles before sending a delightful chip into the back of the net, simply sublime stuff! The lads were playing some scintillating football and were constantly striving for that next goal. And it didn’t take long before goal number 4 came along, anchor man Oliver Skipp picking out Keanan Bennetts with a delightful lofted pass, racing through on goal the winger was clinical as he calmly slotted home, 4-1 to Spurs!
Our lead became even greater 10 minutes from time, when Kazaiah Sterling deservedly got his first goal of the game to put us 5-1 ahead. Bennetts played Sterling in with a lovely cross from the right, and Sterling made no mistake as he poached the ball home, 5-1. Our defence temporarily went to sleep late on, at which point Harris had gotten through on goal to hammer home a consolation goal for the cottagers. The final score Spurs 5-2 Fulham, McDermott’s side treated the spectators to a wonderful attacking display, they outplayed Fulham in every way, their intensity overwhelmed Steve Wrigley’s side. Our under 18’s can hold their heads high after this superb performance which comes at a very difficult time for our academy.
Player review: – Alfie Whiteman: Done well when called into action, good in the air and made some fine saves,
– Tariq Hinds: Another impressive performance from the right back, very creative going forward and solid defensively.
– Jaden Brown: Defensively solid, read the game well.
– Oliver Skipp: Anchor man in the midfield set up Bennetts goal with a lovely assist.
– George Marsh: Fine performance from the captain done well to constantly snuff out danger.
– Japhet Tanganga: Dominant game from Tanganga, the centre half won everything in the air and linked up well with Marsh at the back. Also impressed me with his passing.
– Samuel Shashoua: Another vintage performance from my man of the match, see below.
– Dylan Duncan: One of our best players, was very creative with a lovely range of passing.
– Kazaiah Sterling: Worked incredibly hard throughout and got a much deserved goal.
– Jack Roles: Constantly managed to find openings, his goal today his 18th of the domestic season.
– Keanan Bennetts: Made a significant contribution to the game with his goal and two assists, pacy and powerful Bennetts terrorised the Fulham fullbacks, a top performance from the 18 year old.
My man of the match: Not for the first time this season it goes to Samuel Shashoua, the England youth international bagged a stunning brace and proved to be the most effective player in a game where many players shone. Shashoua’s trademark flare and dizzying skills gave the Fulham defence a nightmare of a time. I can’t sing this talented players praises high enough!
Spurs U18s: Whiteman, Hinds (Lock 76), Brown, Skipp (Omolabi 70), Marsh (c), Tanganga, Shashoua, Duncan, Sterling, Roles (Patterson 58), Bennetts. Substitute (not used): Freeman (GK).