Spurs under 18’s 2-1 Leicester City: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 2-1 Leicester City: (match report)

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Our under 18’s debut appearance in the new premier league under 18 cup, ended in a hard fought 2-1 victory yesterday. As Scott Parker’s battling side managed to grind out a 2-1 victory over Leicester City, at their belvoir drive training complex. Just like the last time these sides met little under a month ago, it was a game of two halves Spurs dominating the first with some superb and intricate attacking football which should have seen them go into half time with more than a two goal lead. The second half saw the foxes revitalised, they had us defending for our lives for the whole of the second period, though Parker’s lads did create chances down the other end. It was a nervy end which despite suffering a bombardment from the home side, saw a very young Spurs side somehow scrape victory in their first game in the competition. It was a lively start to the game, Leicester having a half chance inside the first minute. After Spurs centre half Statham gave possession away to a Leicester player whose snap shot was hit straight at De Bie. Parker’s side then got off to the ideal start with in five minutes when Dilan Markanday put the lilywhites ahead. The goal came after, Patterson turned round on to his left foot just outside the area, before curling an effort on to the left post, the ball rebounded for Markanday inside the area, to tap home into an empty net. Spurs had gathered momentum from their early lead, playing some intricate attacking football as Parker’s side began to create a flurry of decent chances. Parker’s lads were further rewarded for their bright start when Patterson’s low drive was parried by Stolarczyk with the ball coming to Markanday who nodded the ball home to get his and Spurs’ second of the game.

Soon afterwards the tricky winger Dilan Markanday almost netted his hat trick, Patterson again the creator, his shot being scrambled away to the alert Markanday. Whose following effort is saved, the ball then came out to Lyons-Foster his resulting attempt was also thwarted by Stolarczyk. Apart from having a goal ruled out for offside Spurs had really contained Leicester, whose youngsters couldn’t break down our solid and dominant defenders. Prominent left back Jamie Reynolds burst forward before striking a long range effort at goal, which was thwarted by their active goalkeeper. This, followed a rare attack from the foxes as they sent a header harmlessly over De Bie’s crossbar. However, Parker’s side continued their attacking exploits, Paris Maghoma creating a good chance just after the half hour mark. The midfielder drove forward on one of his typically powerful surging runs before playing through Richards inside the penalty area, the strikers effort being well saved down low by Stolarczyk. It was an eventful end to what had been a dramatic half, as Leicesters number 7 forced De Bie into making an important finger tip save to deny his long range effort. Then Leicester had another chance down our end, when a mix up inside the box saw De Bie spill a cross, but the Belgian done well to block Leicester’s follow up.

Leicester’s energised end to the half continued when their number 10 (Apologies, I once again couldn’t get a team sheet!) slotted through one of their forwards down the right side of the area, his first time shot being tipped on to the post by De Bie. Leicester started the second half, even more revitalised than they had ended the first, the half had barely begun when a dangerous cross whipped into the Spurs area had to be cleared by Lock. The foxes were pressing our lads incredibly high as Trevor Peake’s side went in search of a route back into the game, our defence had to be alert as they continued to attack us. An attacking move by the home side ended in one of their players lashing an effort at goal, which was easily gathered by the Spurs captain. Then in quick succession, the game saw Leicester’s number 11 nod the ball narrowly wide of the Spurs goal, Parker’s side were really under the cosh. Spurs had barely entered their half since the restart, such was the dominance of the home team. However, that all changed when Leicester deservedly got a goal back on 68 minutes. The referee immediately awarding Leicester a penalty, following Lock’s trip on Leshabela inside the area. A touch from De Bie wasn’t enough to deny Leshabela’s low effort. Parker’s side knew that they had to consolidate their lead if they were to walk away with three points, this saw Spurs embark on a couple of decent forward runs. A free kick on the edge of the Leicester box dipped just wide after Maghoma’s fine strike, then a fine move from Spurs. Which saw Shashoua and Richards exchange passes, before the latter turned to goal only to fire narrowly wide of Stolarczyk’s goal.

Spurs were desperately trying to see out the final minutes of the game but they also showed a bit of the attacking flair that had won them the first half. A great pass from Maghoma picked out Richards inside the penalty area, the striker chested the ball down before firing an effort at goal, which was tipped over by Stolarczyk. The newly introduced Maurizio Pochettino then, played through Markanday a couple of minutes later. His deflected effort squirming just wide of the goal. Leicester’s number 9 then almost secured a point at the other end. After his fabulous bicycle kick was tipped to safety by the alert De Bie. Then as the game neared to an end, Leicester were inches away from grabbing a point which they would have most certainly deserved. The resulting corner kick being met by Brown whose powerful header smashed off the post, as Spurs somehow manage to cling on. It was a real rollercoaster ride of a game, Pochettino showed good feet at the end before testing Stolarczyk from long range, as the game entered a nail biting final moments. Parker’s lads were jumping for joy at the final whistle, as hard work and a bit of luck on the way, had ensured Spurs’ first victory in this new competition. Parker’s lads host Aston Villa next Saturday as league action resumes. COYS

Quick note: Our under 16’s were also in action against the foxes yesterday, despite taking a two goal lead Spurs ended up losing the game 3-2.

Player reviews:
– Jonathan De Bie: Really good performance from the Belgian youth international! Made some really important saves, his leadership was also very good. Also of note, De Bie showed real class on the final whistle, when he went straight over to the opposing keeper who was distraught, on the floor.
– Matt Lock: Fine performance from the attacking right back, both offensively and defensively. Made some really important blocks.
– Maxwell Statham: Impressive, read the game well and had a calming influence on the game, reassuring and efficient.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Similar to Statham, Lyons-Foster also impressed. He was clever both on and off the ball, made some crucial challenges.
– Jamie Reynolds: His second game filling in at left back, and I felt that he done a superb job. He was prominent going forwards and tracking back to make important interceptions, looked very confident.
– Jamie Bowden: Bowden is such a consistent player, I thought he was our best player in Saturdays win. Like a Michael Carrick, he keeps the team ticking with the many numerous interceptions he makes in the midfield. I watched him closely yesterday, he was very intelligent in his play and reading of the game. Tidy and composed, he often broke up play with aplomb. His accurate passing and close ball control made him really stand out. My man of the match!
– Paris Maghoma: A dominant and commanding force in the midfield, he’s many promising forward runs and Dembele like ability saw him shrug off opposition players on numerous occasions. Also took some nice free kicks.
– Phoenix Patterson: Another great display from the winger, really dangerous going forward with his energetic and skilful runs. Bagged two assists.
– Armando Shashoua: I felt Shashoua had a terrific game yesterday, he was so effective in what we did. It was another workman like performance from the 16 year old, he was tenacious and resilient. He was creative going forward but it was the many interceptions that he won which was so influential, he would often drop deep. Has a bit of a Renato Sanches style to his game!
– Dilan Markanday: Excellent performance from a player whose started the season in fine form. Really good on the ball, creative and good at getting into good positions hence why he grabbed a deserved brace.
– Rodel Richards: Played well, looked sharp and pressed high throughout. Unlucky not to score, had a couple of good efforts on goal.

My man of the match: Jamie Bowden. I thought he was our best player in Saturdays win. Like a Michael Carrick, he keeps the team ticking with the many numerous interceptions he makes in the midfield. I watched him closely yesterday, he was very intelligent in his play and reading of the game. Tidy and composed, he often broke up play with aplomb. His accurate passing and close ball control made him really stand out. My man of the match!

Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Lock, Reynolds, Bowden, Statham (Omolabi 73), Lyons-Foster, Patterson (Mukendi 69), P Maghoma, Richards (Pochettino 83), A Shashoua, Markanday. Substitutes (not used): Tainio, Oluwayemi (GK).

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