Spurs under 18’s 1-2 Fulham: (match report)
It was a disappointing day for Scott Parker’s under 18’s on Saturday morning, eager to continue their winning start to the premier league under 18 cup campaign. Parker’s side were to be defeated 2-1 by a familiar foe in London rivals Fulham. Personally I don’t think that Spurs can complain about losing today’s game, it was very similar to the league meeting between these sides just two weeks ago (also finishing in a 2-1 defeat). In the fact that Fulham were the better side who played that same counter attacking football against us, with similar consequences. Parker’s side had an off day they didn’t pose much of a threat to the cottagers, they looked at times leggy and unable to create. It’s worth noting that Parker was without key players Armando Shashoua, Dilan Markanday and Jonathan Dinzeyi. The much rotated Spurs side got proceedings under way at a bitterly cold Hotspur Way, but the game couldn’t have got off to a much worse start for Spurs who conceded inside just four minutes. When a searching long ball from a Fulham defender forced De Bie into rushing to meet Timmy Abraham inside the area. The Belgian managing to palm the ball clear, only for Fulham’s Sonny Hilton to delightfully dink the ball into the empty net. Spurs looked to respond, when Griffiths’ (who was playing on the left flank) effort flew just wide of Ashby-Hammond’s goal. Spurs were trying to find some rhythm in the game, as Fulham continued to try and catch us on the break. Some brilliant early defending from Lyons-Foster including a decisive block managed to stop Fulham doubling their advantage. A teasing cross from Chris Kelly was cleared by under 18 debutant Jubril Okedina, whilst Fulham continued to bother our defence, with Garrido nodding the ball just wide.
Then a piece of individual skill from Abraham saw him swivel around Lyons-Foster inside the box, before dragging a shot across the face of De Bie’s goal. Spurs were struggling to get a hold of the game, with it becoming pretty flat. The versatile Reynolds was Spurs’ main source of creativity with his good runs and promising crosses. But it was Fulham who continued to look the more likely to score, Hilton’s weaving run down the right saw the number 10 feed the ball into Abraham inside the area. His effort from no more than 8 yards out, went high above De Bie’s crossbar much to Spurs’ relief. A wasteful free kick from Patterson at the other end summed up Spurs’ frustrations in front of goal. Left back Tariq Hinds was on hand to make a brilliant last ditch challenge to deny Sonny Hilton a golden opportunity in front of goal. The potent Fulham forward would then force De Bie into making a decent save moments later, as Spurs went into the interval grateful that they were only trailing by one goal. It was a positive start to the second half from Spurs, Jamie Reynolds long range effort being deflected inches wide of the Fulham goal. Then came a great run from Griffiths down the left, the forward testing Ashby-Hammond with a thumping effort. Spurs continued their fine start to the second half with a nice passage of play which saw Maghoma enter the Fulham box only to be denied by a last ditch tackle. The ball then fell for Patterson whose curling low effort was blocked on the line by Spence.
Spurs finally managed to draw level on 57 minutes, and it was a special moment for the newly introduced Rayan Clarke. The pacy winger who had been injured since the summer, was to provide the equaliser. When Reynolds delightful floated cross picked out Clarke at the far post, the winger was there to power home the header, 1-1. The game was wide open, with the away side looking to regain their lead. De Bie had to be alert to deny Kelly’s powerful effort, whilst Richards nodded Tainio’s cross agonisingly wide of Ashby-Hammond’s left post at the other end. But any chance of a Spurs winner was to be ended when the referee pointed to the spot on 63 minutes following Lyons-Foster’s sliding tackle on Tahir (I personally found it harsh). Nicholas Santos Clase stepping up to clinically convert from the spot, with De Bie diving the wrong way. Fulham should have made it 3 moments later, when Hilton met a low cross inside the area. His deflected effort somehow squirming just wide of the Spurs goal, with Spence heading over from the resulting corner kick. Fulham had taken full control of the game as they went in search of another goal. Tahir’s powerful low effort forced De Bie into making a world class reaction save with his feet, the Fulham winger would come close to scoring again, minutes later. Hilton’s long range strike almost caught De Bie by surprise as Fulham comfortably saw out the final moments of the game to dent Spurs’ chances of making the knockout stages of the competition.
Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Another top performance from the skipper made some important saves including an exceptional one with his feet late on.
– Maximus Tainio: Although a defensive midfielder by trade, the young Finnish youth international done a fine job at right back against Fulham.
– Tariq Hinds: Had a good game at left back, made a brilliant tackle in the first half.
– Jamie Bowden: Nice and composed in his play, got stuck in.
– Jubril Okedina: Looked a little nervous on his first under 18 game of the season, but done a fine job along side Lyons-Foster at centre half.
– Phoenix Patterson: Had a quite game, didn’t see much of the ball down the left.
– Paris Maghoma: Was good going forward and looked solid defensively, he carried the ball well in the centre of the park.
– Rodel Richards: Worked incredibly hard but didn’t get many opportunities to convert in front of goal.
– Jamie Reynolds: Switched positions numerous times through out the game but remained Spurs’ most creative player, provided a lovely assist for Clarke’s goal.
– Reo Griffiths: Positive performance, tested Ashby-Hammond on numerous occasions.
– Rayan Clarke: Made an instant impact on the game with a goal soon after coming on, was positive going forward. Really looking forward to seeing more of him over the course of the season.
– Jeremie Mukendi: Put in a good shift at right back.
– Maurizio Pochettino: N/A
My man of the match: Fresh from his brilliant display against Real Madrid under 19’s in midweek, young centre half Brooklyn Lyons-Foster was Spurs’ best player during our 2-1 defeat to Fulham. A calming presence who was brilliant under pressure, Lyons-Foster looked like a player who was an experienced second year scholar. The 16 year old showed maturity beyond his years making a string of brilliant interceptions and blocks, the penalty he conceded was quite harsh by the referee in my opinion. He has a bit of a Toby Alderweireld style to his game, he is so calm and decisive in his play.
Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Tainio (Mukendi 72), Hinds, Bowden (Clarke 56), Okedina, Lyons-Foster, Patterson (Pochettino 77), P Maghoma, Richards, Reynolds, Griffiths. Substitutes (not used): Freeman, Statham.
Under 18’s Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-7
Phoenix Patterson -2
Dilan Markanday- 3
Jamie Bowden- 1
Assists: Phoenix Patterson- 4
Matt Lock- 2