Spurs under 18’s 2-4 Leicester City: (match report)
”In football you come up against different styles and today we came up against a style that we couldn’t live with. It’s a massive learning curve for our boys and they need to understand that this is football and you need to adapt, work out how to get the best out of games and work out how to adapt yourself to games.”(Scott Parker)
Our under 18’s suffered their first defeat of the season this afternoon, when Scott Parker’s side lost 4-2 to Leicester City at the clubs Belvoir drive training complex. I was in attendance for this mornings game, which I found to be an intriguing affair, the early stages of the game pointed towards a dominant Spurs victory after we took the lead inside 10 minutes, but it was anything but that as Parker’s side ended up coming up against the better and more physical side on the day, though there were some very good individual performances in the young Spurs side. Parker’s lads started the game well in the opening minutes, playing a possession based game they enjoyed the majority of the ball in the early stages. The team which was made of predominantly first year scholars, looked assured and composed as they went in search of the opener. Dilan Markanday tried his luck from range early on, whilst a couple of minutes later Spurs capped off an incisive move with the first goal of the game. It had taken only 9 minutes for us to take the lead, courtesy of a fine team goal. Shashoua had done well to rob Leicester of possession on the edge of the penalty area, the ball was then worked to Reynolds who played a pass through to striker Reo Griffiths who was advancing on goal, the England youth international found the net with a clinical low drive, 1-0.
After taking the lead so early on Spurs looked to cement their authority on the game, they were dominating possession, creating some well worked chances with their quick passing game. Though there were no shots on target for either side since our opener, we remained firmly in control of proceedings, as the home side saw little of the ball within our half. That’s why it came as such a surprise when the foxes drew level on 25 minutes, Trevor Peake’s side had caught us on the break. When Tyrese Shade robbed Patterson of the ball in the Spurs half, the forward advanced on goal before swivelling past the diving De Bie to cooly slot the ball home. We responded by almost regaining the lead minutes after their equaliser, after Bowden played a lovely through ball to Griffiths but his shot on the turn was well thwarted by Leicester keeper Cameron Yates. Parker would have been disappointed when his side faced a further blow on 37 minutes when they fell behind. It was a disappointing goal to concede, there was a bit of a mix up between Dinzeyi and Omolabi as the former missed the ball when attempting to head it clear, the ball came down for midfielder Conor Tee who prodded the ball past De Bie to put Leicester ahead. Spurs had looked a completely different team since conceding the equaliser, they’d lost their composure and concentration, both on and off the ball.
The game was in danger of spiralling away from our lads, when Leicester netted their third of the game on the stroke of half time. Midfielder Jamie Bowden had tripped Leicesters Calvin Ughelumba inside the area, with the referee pointing immediately to the spot. The centre half stepped up to put the ball past De Bie and into the back of the net, 3-1 Leicester. Bringing the half to a disappointing end after it had promised so much for Parker’s side early on. Spurs started the second period with two surprise substitutions, 16 year old goalkeeper Josh Oluwayemi replaced De Bie in the Spurs nets, whilst the impressive Jamie Bowden came off to make way for midfielder Paris Maghoma. Leicester continued to look the better side as the half progressed, they should have extended their lead shortly after the interval, when a free header for a Leicester player from the resulting cross was headed wide of goal. Then moments later they saw a powerful strike on the edge of the area dash past Oluwayemi’s right hand post. The foxes onslaught continued when one of their players (apologies, I couldn’t get a team sheet) robbed Oluwayemi on the ball, before hitting an effort at goal which was superbly blocked on the line by Omolabi.
The pressure Leicester were putting Spurs under, meant that the inevitable was always going to happen, and it duly arrived on 58 minutes when the foxes extended their lead. Conor Tee’s in swinging free kick was met by a seemingly unchallenged George Heaven, who powered his header into the top right hand corner of the net, leaving Oluwayemi helpless. The ball was constantly being passed down the flanks by Peake’s side as they attacked on goal. Scott Parker may be the new under 18 head coach, but the bellowing voice of John McDermott (academy manager) rang out, as McDermott barked instructions out to the Spurs players, as they struggled to keep up with a Leicester team who had simply outwitted them. Parker’s side had a real go at Leicester during the final minutes of the game, a lovely bit of skill from Hinds down the left saw the fullback ping a wonderful pass forward to Griffiths who took it down well, but his resulting effort didn’t trouble Yates who parried it away. However, the game did finish on a positive note for Spurs, substitute Jeremie Mukendi forcing a fine stop out of Yates, whilst Oluwayemi produced a superb reflex save at the other end. Then as the game neared an end, prolific young striker Reo Griffiths got his third goal in two games to make it 4-2. It was a good counter attack from Spurs, which saw Patterson play a lovely weighted pass through to Griffiths from the right, the striker confidently curling home. The final score Spurs under 18’s 2-4 Leicester City.
Additional info: Our under 16’s were also playing Leicester today, they were on the pitch up from the one the under 18’s were playing on. I’m not sure what the final result was, but I noticed that first year scholar Maximus Tainnio was playing. Our under 18’s host Brighton at the training centre next Saturday, in their next game of the campaign.
Player reviews: -Jonathan De Bie: Not a lot to do in the half that he played, couldn’t have done anything to prevent the three goals.
– Josh Oluwayemi: Thrown right into the deep end on his under 18 premier league debut, made an excellent save late on.
– Matt Lock:Lock had a good game, a skilful player, he defended well down the right.
– Tariq Hinds: Really impressive going forward, created some good chances down the left flank, was sound defensively.
– Jamie Bowden: The midfielder who only played the first half, had an excellent performance in my opinion. Despite conceding a penalty late on, Bowden was a real force with in the midfield, he is a Carrick like player. Made some lovely passes from deep.
– Paris Maghoma: Really impressed me with his second half performance, added steel and leadership to the game. A bit similar to Onomah in styles of play, he was good on the ball and going forward. Got stuck in and made some fine challenges, has a brilliant work ethic.
– Moroyin Omolabi: Seems to be playing a lot at centre half now, Omolabi had a fine game, he was busy and involved, composed in play. Made a superb goal line block in the second half.
– Jon Dinzeyi: Had a decent game despite his error which lead to Leicesters first of the game. Was dominant in the air, Dinzeyi also made some good surging (Vertonghenesque) forward runs from the back.
– Dilan Markanday: The first time I’ve seen him play since the Ipswich under 15 game two seasons ago. Really tricky winger down the right flank, has really good ball control. Samuel Shashouaesque. Looking forward to seeing more of him this season.
– Jamie Reynolds: Tidy and creative performance from the midfielder, assisted our opener.
– Reo Griffiths: Top performance from the striker who now has 3 goals in 2 games this season. Lead the line well, was strong and clinical in front of goal.
– Armando Shashoua: Really impressed me today, looked a real threat when ever he was on the ball, similar to his brother in style of play. Roamed all over the park, constantly pressed the opposition.
– Jeremie Mukendi: Impressive second half cameo from the pacy striker.
– Phoenix Patterson: Eminent winger Phoenix Patterson enjoyed a fine game down the left flank. With his silky skills and eagerness to get a cross away, he was a real source of creativity with in the Spurs side. A tireless performance from Patterson, who also assisted Griffiths goal with a nice through ball.
My man of the match: Eminent winger Phoenix Patterson enjoyed a fine game down the left flank. With his silky skills and eagerness to get a cross away, he was a real source of creativity with in the Spurs side. A tireless performance from Patterson, who also assisted Griffiths goal with a nice through ball.
Spurs U18s: De Bie (c, Olywayemi 46), Lock, Hinds, Bowden (P Maghoma 46), Omolabi, Dinzeyi, Markanday, Reynolds, Griffiths, A Shashoua (Mukendi 63), Patterson. Substitutes (not used): Lyons-Foster, Statham.