Spurs under 18’s 0-1 Reading: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 0-1 Reading: (match report)

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“I thought we were second best to everything, I didn’t think we had that real work ethic and they were more hungry than us, which hurts me to say because it’s not one of my traits so it’s obviously very disappointing. It’s the highs and the lows of Under-18s football. We need to help the boys understand that there are certain values you cannot lose and I’m just worried that we’re a little bit up and down at the moment.”(Scott Parker)

Our under 18’s fell to a 1-0 away defeat to Reading at their Hogwood Park training ground on Saturday morning. In what was Scott Parker’s sides last game before a two week international break, he’d have been hopeful that our lads could prolong Reading’s six game losing streak. However, this wasn’t to be the case as a game much reflecting the dull weather above, was to end in a late defeat for the lilywhites, as their hard work and graft failed to produce any positive results on this occasion. It was a game with very few clear cut chances and Reading’s scrappy late goal was to underline the nature of the game. It took less than 20 seconds for Spurs to create their first chance of the game, after kicking off proceedings. Young Spurs forward Rodel Richards testing Liam Driscoll with a low effort, as Parker’s side started their attacking foray. Spurs pushed forward again soon afterwards when Richards slipped through Mukendi down the right, his effort being well parried by the Reading goalkeeper. It was then Reading’s turn to attack, Jack Nolan testing De Bie with a decent effort from long range, in what was continuing to be a very level sided game. Spurs were enjoying the better of possession but we struggled to break through the Reading defence. Mukendi crossed to Maghoma from the right, his effort on the edge of the area was blocked by his own man, in Richards. An important interception by Maxwell Statham followed at the other end, as the game lacked creativity.

Spurs’ centre half Jonathan Dinzeyi won a dangerous free kick on the edge of the penalty area as the interval grew nearer. Free kick specialist Paris Maghoma’s following effort was well blocked by the Reading wall, as Spurs’ frustration grew. Reading’s best chance of the half came late on, Jamal Balogun’s cross being met by Olli Pendlebury, De Bie doing well to gather his effort at the first attempt. Overall, it was a first half with few openings or chances, though Spurs were probably the brighter of the two teams. The second 45, was started off well by the home team. Jordan Holsgrove forcing a great save out of De Bie shortly after the restart. Before Nolan dragged a shot just wide of the goal. The rain was pouring down as Reading continued to attack Spurs, Holsgrove again testing De Bie. The Belgian producing an important low save to stop the royals player. Parker’s side were going for the game at the other end, Maghoma going on a surging run from midfield as he played through Mukendi who prodded an effort inches wide of the goal. However, Reading counter attacked us down the left flank, as Nolan pulled a shot across the face of the goal.

Shashoua who had been prominent throughout the game, went close at the other end as Spurs’ long search for an opener continued. The deadlock was to be broken but in disappointing circumstances. A vital late block from Hinds forced a corner for Reading, which was whipped in only to be met by Reading’s Ethan Coleman who nodded the ball into the back of the net, despite the best efforts of De Bie who managed to get a touch, it was almost a carbon copy of the goal which cost us the Brighton game back in August. Late chances went begging, first through Shashoua who was unable to finish off a promising Spurs move inside the penalty area. Then through the newly introduced Dilan Markanday who got on the end of Statham’s cross, only to see his deft flick go agonisingly wide of Driscoll’s goal. Not a game to remember in county Berkshire for Parker’s lads despite their best efforts. Their not in action again until the 14th October when they host West Ham. Our development squad however, have a Checkatrade trophy game with Wimbledon on Tuesday evening, I shall be reporting on that game. COYS

Notable performances: There were a couple of impressive performances that caught my eye during yesterday’s game, I was particularly impressed with the following trio of players (my normal player reviews will resume on Tuesday). Goalkeeper Jonathan De Bie put in a typically excellent performance in between the sticks, made some great saves and his overall play was also very good. Attack minded midfielder Paris Maghoma had a great game, he was very creative going forward with the numerous forward runs he made. He looked dangerous every time he had the ball at his feet, dominant in the midfield and composed in his play, I really like his style of play, it’s quite Onomahesque and forward thinking. I thought our best player against Reading was Armando Shashoua, the midfielder had such a profound influence on the game. As I’ve said before he reminds me a bit of Renato Sanches with his versatility across the midfield, he dictated the tempo of the game at times with his fine reading of the game, his awareness and accurate passing ability. He injected much needed energy into what was a flat game, pressed non stopped and gave a great account of himself both offensively and defensively.

My man of the match: Armando Shashoua. I thought our best player against Reading was Armando Shashoua, the midfielder had such a profound influence on the game. As I’ve said before he reminds me a bit of Renato Sanches with his versatility across the midfield, he dictated the tempo of the game at times with his fine reading of the game, his awareness and accurate passing ability. He injected much needed energy into what was a flat game, pressed non stopped and gave a great account of himself both offensively and defensively.

Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Hinds, Lyons-Foster, Omolabi, Statham, Dinzeyi, Mukendi, P Maghoma, Richards, A Shashoua, Patterson. Substitutes (not used): Pochettino, Freeman (GK).

Referee: Edward Turner.

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