Spurs under 23’s 0-1 Derby County: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 0-1 Derby County: (match report)

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Our under 23’s visit to the East Midlands on Friday evening was one of disappointment as Wayne Burnett’s side were frustrated by a very solid and well organised Derby side (one which included 34 year old centre half Jason Shackell) and in the end, the game was won by a mere one goal margin by the rams, at pride park. In all truth it was a quite frustrating game of football and even though our lads made a good impression on the game, it wasn’t enough to break down such a tenacious Derby defence, though for Loft and Sterling it would have been a great experience to come up against such an experienced centre half. After a slow opening couple of minutes the rams almost took an early lead, after Amos was robbed of possession which resulted in a Derby forward being played through on goal, but thankfully his lofted effort was met by Austin who made a fine reaction save to thwart the ball clear. Some good work from fullback Keanan Bennetts down the left forced a Spurs corner, which was cleared from danger. Spurs were pressing high (ie:Shashoua)and were trying to force a composed Derby team in to making errors, however an error was to come inside the Spurs penalty area after a mix up from an in swinging free kick ended up with Austin taking out Bennetts, but thankfully Tanganga was there to make an important block.

We were playing the passing game, playing it out from the back, a good chance for Burnett’s side came just after the 20 minute mark. When the prominent Shashoua’s tricky forward run saw him play a one two with Harrison before curling an effort inches wide of the right post. A vital block from the efficient Spurs skipper Amos stopped a good Derby chance. Though the home side were to test us again moments later after Callum Guy beat Bennetts down the flank before whipping a cross tantalisingly across the face of goal being missed by centremeters from a Derby forward. Neither side could really take a hold of the game, veteran centre half Shackell made a good challenge to deny Harrison a dangerous opening, as the game continued to lack any clear cut chances. The rams tried to carve through our alert defence, Austin was there to make a comfortable save from Babos’ effort, Tanganga showed tremendous skill moments later to get out of a tricky situation, whilst Harrison had a low effort gobbled up by Josh Barnes at the other end. A brilliant run from target man Ryan Loft saw him perform a Ricky Villaesque run into the penalty area before forcing Barnes into making a good low stop.

 

Then, followed a bad mistake from Amos who overplayed a situation and was hence robbed of the ball by a Derby player, luckily it was fired high over the cross bar, the home side were showing some impressive attacking play. Some really clever play from Shashoua who was under pressure, saw him get out of a tricky situation, as Spurs passed the ball around with real attacking intent. Oliver Skipp who had been impressive in the centre of the park was replaced by Pritchard at the interval, who took over the captains arm band, Pritchard quickly barking instructions to his team mates. Another vital block by Tanganga on 53 minutes prevented a good attack as the game started to become a little flat. Left back Bennetts went close shortly before the hour mark after showing some nice footwork inside the Derby box before smashing an effort against the side netting. However all of Spurs’ handwork was to be undone when winger Luke Thomas gave Derby the lead. It was a counter attacking move from Derby which resulted in Thomas’ curling an effort towards goal, which was most unfortunately turned into his own net by Maghoma leaving Austin with no chance, that goal could well go to the dubious goals committee.

Marcus Edwards had a penalty shout dismissed at the other end as Spurs looked to respond, Shashoua was brought off to replace Tracey down the right. Burnett’s side struggled to create chances against a rock solid Derby outfit who were defending brilliantly against us. Spurs were being limited to out of the box chances, Harrison hit a decent low effort just wide before claiming for the corner. The game had become quite dull up until Tanganga was forced into making an important clearance to clear Wassall’s effort at the far post. Then minutes later the Tottenham centre half got a vital head on Thomas’ curling effort. We never looked like we were going to equalise, the hosts were constantly nullifying any forward threat we posed. Spurs’ best chance of the second half came after we were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area. Marcus Edwards’ good up and down effort forcing Barnes into making an excellent save. There were no more chances of note for either side as Derby held on to win 1-0. Up next for Burnett’s side is a premier league international cup tie at home to Villarreal at the Lamex stadium, on the 14th of November.

Player reviews:
– Brandon Austin: Didn’t have an awful amount of saves to make, but he made a top class one in the beginning of the first half.
– George Marsh: Played well seems to be adapting well to the role of right back. Defended well and didn’t overplay situations, also put in some good crosses.
– Christian Maghoma: Had a good game, defended well and looked solid and composed when called into action.
– Japhet Tanganga: My man of the match, I thought Tanganga put in a really good defensive performance against Derby, made more crucial interventions/blocks than any one else, and played the ball out from the back by example, rock solid performance by the 18 year old.
– Keanan Bennetts: Had a really good game looked solid down the left, and also went on some really promising runs whipping a number of good crosses into the area.
– Oliver Skipp: Put in a fine shift in the first half before being brought of at half time, imposed himself well on the game and was there at important moments.
– Luke Amos: Thought the 20 year old had a really good game, he was efficient and broke up play really well.
– Samuel Shashoua: I thought the creative Shashoua was our best player until being brought off early on in the second half, in a substitution which I personally found odd. He created openings for Spurs, showed really good close ball control especially in tight situations, and tracked back well.
– Marcus Edwards: Potent on occasions, like Shashoua Edwards showed great ball control in tight situations, he was good going forward and was unlucky not have scored his late free kick.
– Shayon Harrison: A little quieter than usual, due mainly to the fact he was playing as a second striker and that he was up against a top defence. Still he managed to hit some good efforts on goal.
– Ryan Loft: Was a great experience for the target man who held his own against Shackell, constantly tussling with the veteran centre half, put in a good shift up top.
– Joe Pritchard: Came on at the interval and put in a tireless and battling display in the middle of the park, thought the skipper done really well.
– Shilow Tracey: The substitute didn’t see much of the ball.
– Kazaiah Sterling: Positive and lively cameo up top.

My man of the match: Japhet Tanganga. My man of the match, I thought Tanganga put in a really good defensive performance against Derby, made more crucial interventions/blocks than any one else, and played the ball out from the back by example, rock solid performance by the 18 year old.

 

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