Spurs under 18’s get back to winning ways:

Spurs under 18’s get back to winning ways:

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Scott Parker’s under 18 side returned to winning ways with a 3-1 derby victory over West Ham at the training centre on Saturday morning, in a game which I was unable to attend due to the seniors match with Bournemouth on the same day. It was a much welcomed win over the hammers for Parker’s side after a bit of a bad run of results, goals from the inform Reo Griffiths x2 and an emphatic late volley from Moroyin Omolabi secured the points for our lads who now have a premier league under 18 cup game with Fulham to look forward to next Saturday, I shall be reporting on that game. Scott Parker’s comments on the game: We’re pleased with the win. The game was good in spells – we started quite slowly, after that we got the goal and played some nice bits but then the second half was a bit up and down. There were certain parts that were nine out of 10 and other parts that were two out of 10. I suppose that’s youth team football at the moment but it’s about trying to get that consistency.

“As happy as I am with the result, the way we played, it wasn’t us at times but coming off the back of two bad results it was good to get the win. It was a very good finish from Moroyin, Reo took his goals well so there were some pleasing performances but there are plenty of things to learn so we keep going.”

 

Updated statistics:

Under 18’s Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-6
Phoenix Patterson -2
Dilan Markanday- 3
Jamie Bowden- 1
Moroyin Omolabi-1

Assists: Phoenix Patterson- 4
Jamie Bowden-1
Matt Lock- 1
Jeremie Mukendi-1

Some thoughts on Spurs’ 1-0 victory over Bournemouth:

Some thoughts on Spurs’ 1-0 victory over Bournemouth:

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– Match winner Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in six goals so far this season.

It wasn’t a pretty game, nor was it one in which our lads showed off their footballing prowess, but it was however a massively important win for Mauricio Pochettino’s side on Saturday afternoon against Bournemouth. There was no underlining the importance of our victory over the cherries on Saturday afternoon, our first league win at Wembley was finally achieved with a dominant display over the Dorset club. Despite having 73% of possession it was a far from straight forward game against Eddie Howe’s energetic side, a magnificent reflex save from Lloris and a dangerous chance for Stanislas saw the cherries have the best chances in the first half. Harry Kane could well have converted Eriksen’s brilliant pass just after the half hour mark were it not for an alert Asmir Begovic, as he capped off a quiet first half. The second half was started with real intent from Spurs, an intent which saw them take the lead just two minutes after the restart. When, a block by Simon Francis fell perfectly at the feet of Eriksen, who stroked the ball past Begovic from the edge of the penalty area, to put us ahead. It could and most probably should have been more, as Spurs continued to hog possession for the remainder of the half. Bosnian international Asmir Begovic denying Kane with fine saves in quick succession on the hour mark, as we continued to look for that illusive second goal, Begovic was to make four saves in the second half. Former Spurs favourite Jermaine Defoe was brought on late in the half to bolster the cherries attack, Defoe forcing Lloris into making an important save at his near post on 78 minutes.

A good team move towards the latter stages of the game almost saw Dier seal victory were it not for a valiant block by Cook. Then, deep in additional time the newly introduced Nkoudou was played through on goal by Sissoko. The Frenchman was brought down on the edge of the box by Begovic though the referee waved play on, Winks’ effort from a tight angel sailed high over the crossbar. As the whistle blew for full time, I was sat in my seat relieved that the final Wembley jinx had been broken, and that we had secured that vital win which leaves us in a healthy third place in the table. It’s a real privilege to watch our blossoming team, that’s five wins on the bounce now, ahead of Tuesdays glamour tie against Real Madrid. The lads dug in deep today and achieved the primary objective, yes it may only have been 1-0 but had Bournemouth come at us more when they were behind, then I think we’d have got a couple more against them on another day. Pochettino’s side kept things nice and simple today, they kept the ball attacked when they needed to and defended almost impeccably. Match winner Christian Erisken will have stolen the headlines with his classy winner, but the player who really stood out for me was the brilliant Jan Vertonghen, the central defender switched to left back against Bournemouth. And the Belgian put in a brilliant shift, everything from his tackling to his forward runs and crossing was top notch. At times it felt like he was playing like an out and out winger, he really is such a versatile and important player.

I also thought Winks had a good game today in the centre of the park, he was very creative from deep. And also Kieran Trippier really impressed, both solid and a real attacking threat from the right back. On to Tuesday now, and what a game it will be! COYS

 

Spurs versus Bournemouth: (match preview)

Spurs versus Bournemouth: (match preview)

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After a two week international break, domestic football returns for Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs side, tomorrow ahead of a big week for the lilywhites. The opposition is Bournemouth at the national stadium (Wembley) a league game for which our lads need to win having not yet won a home league game this season. Pochettino will be desperate to change that and the visit of Bournemouth presents the perfect opportunity for Spurs to continue their excellent recent form, with victory over the cherries. Our lads need to forget about the mouthwatering champions league away to Real Madrid on Tuesday, and knuckle down against Eddie Howe’s super fit Bournemouth team. Howe’s attack minded side haven’t had the best of starts to the season, they sit in 19th place with just four points from seven league games, despite their attacking prowess which includes former Spurs favourite Jermaine Defoe, Norway’s Josh King and pacy winger Jordan Ibe. The cherries have conceded 11 goals so far in the league this season, so there are defensive vulnerabilities that we can exploit. I think our lads will restart league football with a flourish tomorrow in front of a buoyant crowd, let’s hope Harry Kane can carry his red hot form into this game.

Spurs absentees: Dembele, Lamela, Rose, Wanyama.

My predicted line up: (3-4-2-1) Lloris(c), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Trippier, Winks, Dier, Davies, Erisken, Alli, Kane.

My predicted score: 3-0 to Spurs courtesy of a goal from Dele and a brace from Harry Kane.

One to watch: A vital clog in Bournemouth’s attacking machine, Irish midfielder Harry Arter is an influential player in the cherry’s side and he was one of the best players during last seasons meeting at the vitality stadium, Arter will also be on a high followings Ireland’s emphatic victory over Wales in midweek.

Spurs under 23’s 1-1 Leicester City: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 1-1 Leicester City: (match report)

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Our under 23’s returned to action on Friday afternoon with a 1-1 draw with Leicester City at the training centre, in what was a fair result for both sides. There were good passages of play from both sides notably in the second half for Spurs, but neither side really stamped their authority on the game even though there were few clear cut chances, the foxes were solid from the offing, and overall Burnett will be happy that his side picked up a valuable point. It was Burnett’s side who had the first real chance of the game, with the Spurs players looking sharp in their play. Marcus Edwards well weighted through ball put Sterling through on goal, though the striker couldn’t quite control it as Max Bramley smothered the ball. Then, on nine minutes Leicester had a golden chance at the other end when George Thomas’ promising cross into the area was mistakenly headed into the path of Choudhury by Maghoma. The midfielder looked destined to score, though his low header from only a few yards out went a fraction wide of the post. Sam Hughes’ deflected effort soon afterwards was easily gathered by Whiteman, as Leicester enjoyed a bright spell. Edwards made another good run just before 20 minutes, when he fed the ball through to Sterling inside the penalty area, the strikers effort was blocked by Bramley before rebounding back off Sterling and then being cleared on the line.

Spurs were trying to open up a rigid Leicester defence often by using the flanks, Shashoua’s effort was a fine example of this. When he went on a jinking run from the left before firing over Bramley’s crossbar. A great surging run from Bennetts down the left followed, as Spurs continued to look for the opener. It was a really solid defensive display from both sides as chances were limited mainly to set pieces, Tanganga and Maghoma were really impressing at the back for Spurs. The prominent Samuel Shashoua went close again shortly after the half hour mark, when he took the ball down well before forcing Bramley into making a comfortable save. Neither side had asserted their authority on the game as half time grew closer. However, the deadlock was to be broken on 35 minutes, when defender Sam Hughes rose the highest to power home Connor Woods cross into the top corner of the net. Oliver Skipp made a brilliant late block to deny a Leicester player, as Spurs went into the interval 1-0 down. In the beginning of the second half, the game was really lacking that bit of creativity. Leicester’s Sherif hit an effort over the bar from long range, as Leicester looked to settle down. Then followed a moment of controversy when (in my opinion) a penalty should have been awarded to Spurs. It came about after Edwards whipped a pacy free kick into the area, with Tanganga seemingly certain to get a head on it at the far post were he not having his shirt pulled with such force by a Leicester defender, it was a tricky one for the referee and the linesman, as Tanganga’s protests went in vein.

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A somewhat scrappy game was turned on its head on 65 minutes after Spurs drew level through the tireless Samuel Shashoua. The lively Marcus Edwards played Shashoua through on goal with a nice pass, from a tight angle Shashoua’s effort was parried by Bramley with the follow up being fired home form Shashoua, 1-1. A shift in possession followed as Spurs started to dominate proceedings, Spurs going close on a couple of occasions. First through a corner, which was headed goal bound by Tanganga only to be blocked back into the feet of Sterling, Leicester scrambling the ball clear. Then, the creative Shashoua clipped in a wonderful cross into the area from the left, which was poked goal wards by Sterling who was only to be denied by a spectacular Bramley save. A rejuvenated Spurs team continued to push, Harrison testing Bramley with a good low strike as Leicester were on the defensive. A late half chance for the foxes followed, when Josh Eppiah went on a long surging run down the left before letting fly, his effort was easily gathered by Whiteman. The final score was a fair one, 1-1. Spurs have a London Derby to look forward to next week when they host Arsenal at the training centre. COYS

Player reviews:
– Alfie Whiteman: Had a fine game, looked solid and composed.
– George Marsh: A terrific performance from the 18 year old at right back, Marsh was really commanding putting in a great defensive shift.
– Christian Maghoma: Rock solid in defence along side Tanganga.
– Japhet Tanganga: Magnificent performance from Tanganga today, his overall defending was superb. From the blocks he made to his positioning he was tremendous, his long passes were equally impressive.
– Keanan Bennetts: Much more defensive in his play today though he did trouble the Leicester defenders down the flank. Looked very solid and assured at left back.
– Oliver Skipp: Unsurprisingly, Skipp really caught the eye today with his performance, made some important blocks and interceptions.
– Joe Pritchard: Very tidy performance from the skipper before being brought off in the second half.
– Luke Amos: Dominated the midfield, one of our best players throughout the game.
– Samuel Shashoua: My man of the match, see below.
– Marcus Edwards: Had a good game, very creative and lively going forward, influential in our goal.
– Kazaiah Sterling: He may not have scored but I thought Sterling had a good game, constantly made good runs and pressed the defenders.
– Shayon Harrison: Great to see him back in action! Played in the number 10 position and had a really positive impact on the game.

My man of the match: On only his second start in the league this season Shashoua showed exactly why he is one of the biggest talents in our academy. He was the creative spark that Burnett’s team needed today, and his important goal was really well deserved. He dazzled down the left flank with some lovely moves, he now has four goals so far this season from just four starts.

Spurs: Whiteman, Marsh, Bennetts, Skipp, C Maghoma, Tanganga, S Shashoua, Pritchard (c, Harrison 61), Sterling (Tracey 81), Edwards, Amos. Substitutes (not used): Austin, Loft, Roles.

Leicester City: Bramley, Pascanu (Eppiah 70), Wood, Hughes, Knight, Johnson,Choudhury, Dewsbury-Hall (Kaba Sherif 46), Muskwe, Thomas, Gordon (Ndukwu 81). Substitutes (not used): Iversen, Martis.

Goals: Spurs – Shashoua 65; Leicester City – Hughes 35.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Bennetts 63; Leicester City – Thomas 90+2.

Referee: Samuel Allison.

Attendance: 189.

Spurs under 23’s versus Leicester City: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Leicester City: (match preview)

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Date: Friday 13 October, kick off: 1:00pm
Venue : Hotspur way
Head2Heads: 4-1 Leicester, 2-0 Leicester.

Our under 23’s host Leicester City at the training centre on Friday afternoon in the PL2, following a two week international break. Wayne Burnett’s side will be hoping to replicate the excellent performance that they produced against AFC Wimbledon in the Checkatrade trophy last Tuesday despite losing 4-3. Our lads come up against Steve Beaglehole’s Leicester City, who have started the season in fine form collecting 10 points from their first six league games. The foxes who defeated Barnsley 3-1 in premier league cup action on Tuesday, have won their last four matches in all competitions. As always these games provide a tough test for the Spurs youngsters regardless of the result, but I’m just looking forward to seeing this talented group of players in action again after a short break. I shall be reporting on tomorrows game, and will have my match report up on Friday evening. COYS

Team news: As far as injuries are concerned I am none the wiser, Shayon Harrison hasn’t featured so far this season because of injury so I would expect he’d be playing against Leicester. Meanwhile, 17 year olds TJ Eyoma and Tashan Oakley-Boothe are away with England’s under 17 squad at the World Cup and our unavailable for tomorrows game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Marsh, C.Maghoma, Dinzeyi, Bennetts, Amos, Duncan, Tracey, Pritchard(c), S.Shashoua, Sterling.

My score prediction: 2-1 to Spurs.

One to watch: Leicester’s tenacious midfielder Hamza Choudhury, I was really impressed with him during the reverse fixture at the Lane last season where Leicester won 4-1.

Spurs’ loanees: (weekly round up)

Spurs’ loanees: (weekly round up)

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I haven’t been doing this regularly over the course of this season, but with an international break currently going on, there’s no better time for me to catch up on how our loanees have done over the past week for their respective clubs.

Connor Ogilvie: The 21 year old left was not involved in the gills match day squad for their 1-0 Checkatrade trophy victory over Colchester in midweek. However, the fullback who has gone on to establish himself in the struggling league one side, completed the whole game of Gillingham’s 1-0 home (league) defeat to Portsmouth on Sunday afternoon, Ogilvie played at his favoured position of left back for the game.

Anton Walkes: The versatile young defender wasn’t a part of the Atlanta squad who lost 3-2 at home to Minnesota in midweek. I am unsure whether his absence was down to suspension or injury. The MLS side have only two league fixtures remaining this season.

Tom Glover: The young Australian goalkeeper (19) made his A league debut for Central Coast Mariners on Saturday in their first league game of the season. However, Glover’s side were beaten 5-1 at home by Newcastle Jets, the fact that the young Tom Glover is already starting matches for the Gosford bass club, just shows how highly rated a keeper he is. This loan at CCM will be a great experience for this great Spurs talent, I look forward to seeing his progress over the course of the season.

Spurs under 21’s 3-4 AFC Wimbledon: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 3-4 AFC Wimbledon: (match report)

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Disappointment was etched across the Spurs players faces at the end of Tuesday nights Checkatrade trophy match against Wimbledon. As Wayne Burnett’s development side were cruelly beaten 4-3 by league one club AFC Wimbledon at their Kingsmeadow ground. You could feel the exasperation at conceding that late goal, in a game which our lads deserved so much more from. It was a brilliant game consisting of attacking football, and even though our lads are virtually out of this senior competition, they should be mighty proud of their performance against an experienced and physical Wimbledon side. The home side got the game underway at a chilly Kingsmeadow, and it was the dons who were to have the first sniff at goal. Spurs defender Jonathan Dinzeyi had given possession away in a dangerous area on four minutes, but thankfully for Spurs, Soares resulting strike flew over Austin’s crossbar. Spurs were pressing high and were looking comfortable in possession, Burnett’s side were to break the deadlock just 16 minutes in. When a good incisive move combining Tracey and Sterling came off. Tracey playing a quick one two with Sterling on the edge of the penalty area, before powering home a low effort underneath the body of the outstretched McDonnell, 1-0. However, their lead wasn’t to last long as just three minutes later the home side levelled through a set piece. It was a disappointing goal to concede as the in swinging corner was headed goal bound by Robinson only to be converted by Toby Sibbick who headed home on the line.

Shortly afterwards the dons had another good opportunity after Skipp lost possession near the Spurs box, Tom Soares powerful effort was brilliantly thwarted by the diving Brandon Austin. It was a very even game as both sides went forward, a great pass from Shashoua found Sterling inside the penalty area though the striker couldn’t quite square it for the approaching Pritchard in time. Pritchard did go close a couple of minutes later, when he brought down the ball on the edge of the area, before volleying just over. Burnett’s side regained the lead on 34 minutes following a great piece of play. A fantastic surging run from Bennetts down the left flank saw him power his way into the box before cutting a lovely pass back to Shashoua, who neatly passed the ball into the bottom corner of McDonnell’s net. A crucial intervention by Dinzeyi to clear a dangerous cross at the other end followed, as the dons went straight on the attack. Sadly there was just the four minutes difference between our goal and Wimbledon’s second leveller of the night. The goal again coming as the result of a corner kick, as the ball ended up coming to the dons Egli Kaja on the edge of the box. Kaja struck the ball sweetly on the half volley giving Austin no chance as it flew into the back of the net. Wimbledon almost made it 3-2 on the stroke of halftime, when Harry Forrester volleyed narrowly wide of goal, bringing a thrilling first half to an end.

The second half was just as thrilling as the first, fast paced and unpredictable. A misplaced pass by Dinzeyi came to a dons player on the edge of the box shortly after the restart, Forrester’s low drive being met by an alert Austin, who saved well. It was a composed and so far assured start to the half from Burnett’s side, their dangerous attacking football seeing them (unsurprisingly) take the lead for the third time just before the hour mark. The brilliant Keanan Bennetts surged down the left flank leaving the opposition defenders rooted to their spot as he strode towards the penalty area before putting in an excellent low cross, which was bundled home at the far post by Sterling. However, when Spurs were to score the inevitable was to follow, and that occurred moments later as Neil Ardley’s side pegged us level for the third time in the match. A powerful low shot from Sibbick on the edge of the penalty area was seen late by Austin who despite getting down quickly, couldn’t prevent Sibbick’s second of the game. A brilliant reflex save from Austin followed as the game continued to be played at such a hectic and fast pace. It was end to end as chances for both sides followed. The dons target man Lyle Taylor had a late chance when he held off Spurs substitute Lyons-Foster inside the box before laying the ball across to Egan, who thankfully for Spurs skewed inches wide of the goal. There were more golden chances for the home team notably when Forrester’s teasing cross was lifted over the bar by Taylor from point blank range on 83 minutes. Spurs were producing some great openings of their own, as they utilised the electric pace of Bennetts down the wing.

However, the game was to end in heart breaking fashion for our lads, as former Spurs man Dean Parrett bundled home a late stoppage time winner, to leave our battling side pondering what might of been. COYS

Player reviews:
– Brandon Austin: Thought he had a great game, unlucky with the goals conceded. He made a string of brilliant reflex saves, has been excellent this season!
– George Marsh: Tidy and efficient, dealt well with the physicality of the game.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Still only 17, the young centre half had a fine game, looked composed and assured. Made some important interceptions.
– Christian Maghoma: Very good performance from the centre half, lead the defence by example, was dominant in the air and dealt well with the imposing Wimbledon forwards.
– Oliver Skipp: I doubt that there are many 17 year old midfielders who can run the midfield like a seasoned pro. Well that’s what Skipp done the other night, he was everywhere, making some brilliant challenges. And even gliding past players with his strength and footballing nous.
– Keanan Bennetts: My man of the match, see below.
– Joe Pritchard: The skipper produced yet another excellent display in the midfield. Roamed across the pitch filling in for a variety of players. Dictated the tempo of the game.
– Shilow Tracey: Powerful and productive down the wing, took his goal really well.
– Luke Amos: Another player who had an excellent game, Amos was an anchor man in the middle, tenacious and decisive in his play, broke up play really well.
– Samuel Shashoua: If you’ve been reading my reports over the last year, then you’ll know I’m a big fan of Samuel Shashoua. His performance against Wimbledon on Tuesday showcased his remarkable Eriksen like footballing intelligence on the pitch. His vision, creativity and movement were all first class, he also took his goal with such composure.
– Kazaiah Sterling: Pressed high, made some great runs and scored a well earned goal (his sixth of the campaign) a fine display.

 

My man of the match: There were so many excellent performances against the dons, but for me it has to be Keanan Bennetts. A player who had a profound impact on the game from left back, Bennetts was unstoppable down the left flank. His pace, power and Zaha like skill, proved too much for the visitors who resulted in pulling his shirt to stop him on occasions. Two brilliant assists from a player who has been exceptional this season.

 

AFC Wimbledon: McDonnell, Sibbick, Kennedy, Robinson (c), Charles, Egan, Hartigan, Soares (Trotter 46), Kaja, McDonald (Taylor 56), Forrester (Parrett 64). Substitutes (not used): Francomb, Nightingale, Kalambayi, Tzanev (GK).

Spurs U21s: Austin, Marsh, Bennetts, Skipp, C Maghoma, Dinzeyi (Lyons-Foster 71), S Shashoua (Griffiths 89), Amos, Sterling, Pritchard (c), Tracey (Loft 71). Substitutes (not used): P Maghoma, O’Reilly (GK).

Goals: AFC Wimbledon – Sibbick 19, 60, Kaja 38, Parrett 90+2; Spurs – Tracey 16, Shashoua 34, Sterling 59.

Referee: Antony Coggins.

Spurs under 21’s versus AFC Wimbledon: (match preview)

Spurs under 21’s versus AFC Wimbledon: (match preview)

Date: Tuesday 3 October, kick off: 7:45pm
Venue: Kingsmeadow
Referee: N/A

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Wayne Burnett’s development side will make the short trip to southwest London on Tuesday evening to face league one club AFC Wimbledon, in their second Checkatrade trophy game of the season. Following on from a valiantly earned point against Luton on game day one, our youngsters know the importance of achieving another positive result if they are to progress to the knock out stages of the competition, though that will be be far from an easy task. The young lilywhites face a Wimbledon side who have struggled for form so far this season with just two wins from their opening 11 league matches. Neil Ardley’s side currently occupy the relegation zone of the division. As if this isn’t a difficult enough contest for our lads, facing a league one side with a team of teenagers, Burnett also has a clutch of players missing owing to the international break. This does however, give an opportunity for a couple of players who have lacked game time this season to feature. I’m really looking forward to this game and I’m sure our lads are too, they relished the test against Luton and I’m sure they’ll replicate that passion for tomorrows cup match. I would assume that Neil Ardley will field a weakened/youthful side for tomorrows game due to them having a league game this coming Saturday. In fact the dons team includes three former Spurs academy players in Andy Barcham, Dean Parrett and George Francomb. COYS

Team news: With the official Spurs site having not published a list of Spurs players away on international duty, the following players who are unavailable for tomorrows game are only ones that have been confirmed by the FA for England duty: Marcus Edwards, Japhet Tanganga, Tashan Oakley-Boothe and TJ Eyoma. Furthermore, I’m assuming that both Jack Roles and Jonathan De Bie have both been called up by their respective countries and will therefore be absent. Tomorrows game could see an opportunity for a couple of under 18’s to feature, both Matt Lock and Jamie Bowden were absent for the under 18 game at the weekend, they could well be in the squad for the Wimbledon game.

My team prediction: (4-2-3-1) Whiteman, Dinzeyi, C.Maghoma, Marsh, Brown, Skipp, Duncan, S.Shashoua, Pritchard(c), Bennetts, Loft.

My score prediction: 3-2 to Spurs.

One to watch: The dons Montserrat international and striker Lyle Taylor.

 

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.