Spurs under 18’s 5-0 Preston North End: (match report)
Much to my delight I managed to attend today’s FA youth cup third round tie at the training centre despite there being no fans allowed in (due to the late change of venue). I was thankfully granted access by the press office, meaning that I could report on the game. And what a game it was, as a strong Spurs side managed to sweep aside last seasons surprise package Preston with a wonderful attacking performance. The visitors tried to contain us early on but it was never going to work, our lads were too strong and incisive in their play for the lilywhites. They dictated the tempo of the game and managed to break through their defence early on despite their defensive stance, it was in all truth a victory that Spurs coasted to. Due to the amounts of snow on other pitches, the game was played on a pitch which the seniors use to train on at the back of the main reception. Spurs kicked the game off in what would have been tough conditions for the youngsters owing to the bitterly cold weather. Spurs showed early signs of confidence, passing the ball around well. De Bie dealt well with a Preston cross early on, whilst the presence of centre backs Eyoma and Lyons-Foster would have put his mind at ease. The visitors were sitting deep, desperate to not let Spurs break forward. Spurs upped their pace on 15 minutes and it almost paid off. After Richards found Patterson inside the box, though Patterson could only shin the ball wide. Soon afterwards Spurs took the lead following a lovely passage of play.
The move started with the prominent Lloyd-Bennett who surged forward down the left flank beating his man in the process. The young winger delivered a low cross into the area which was met first time by the advancing Maghoma, to cooly pass the ball beyond Cottam, 1-0. Adam O’Reilly tested De Bie soon after the restart before O’Neil rounded Skipp on the edge of the area, before forcing another decent save out of De Bie. Preston appeared to be upping their game. But Spurs soon reestablished their dominance on the game, Reo Griffiths having a penalty shout waved away before Richards flashed an effort wide of goal. Spurs then came desperately close to extending their lead, when Paris Maghoma’s brilliant dipping long range effort, came crashing off the crossbar. The game had gathered at a frantic pace it had really opened up, Jamie Reynolds was forced into making an important interception back in the Spurs end, whilst Spurs looked to catch Preston on the counter, it was a recurring theme. The lively Rodel Richards showed good foot work inside the box before forcing Cottam into making a fine save, Richards was involved again moments later. The young forward cutting inside from the right before laying the ball off to Patterson whose goal bound effort was blocked.
Parker’s side knew that they had to get that second goal, and the warning signs were there. Most notably when Oscar O’Neils effort flew just wide for the visitors. Spurs were piling the pressure on to the championship club as the half neared an end, Patterson seeing his flying volley blocked by a Preston defender. Before a key moment in the game occurred, when Spurs deservedly doubled their lead at the perfect time. It was another well worked move which led to the goal, instigated by Paris Maghoma. Who slid the ball down the right channel to Griffiths, the striker looked up at goal before whipping a low cross into the danger area. Rodel Richards was alert to it, managing to get to the ball before his opposite number, the 16 year old prodded the ball home, 2-0. Spurs almost added to their lead on the stroke of halftime, after Skipp embarked on a brilliant forward run, the experienced development squad player played a pass through to Griffiths inside the box. Though the strikers low effort was saved by the feet of Cottam. The first chance of the second half came to the visitors, Jonathan De Bie being called into action to deal with a thumping effort from distance. Preston’s resurgence wasn’t to last long, Oliver Skipp embarked on another great forward run shortly before Phoenix Patterson’s low effort was saved by James Cottam.
Spurs’ dominance on the game was duly rewarded on 52 minutes as Scott Parker’s team grabbed their third of the game. It was yet another lovely attacking move, it started off with Reynolds who clipped a low cross into the box which resulted in Griffith’s receiving the ball, his close range effort being well blocked by Cottam. With the loose ball being picked up by Patterson on the edge of the area, the midfielder showed great composure to calmly curl the ball home despite being hounded by Preston defenders, Preston were unable to cope with the pace of the game. Preston were gifted a rare chance on the hour mark after Eyoma conceded a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box. Michael Howards excellent free kick flying narrowly over De Bie’s crossbar. Spurs put the game to bed a couple of minutes later, the influential Lloyd-Bennett once again playing a big part in the goal. After some good build up play Lloyd-Bennett picked the ball up down the left before charging forward clipping in a nice cross to the far post, which was nodded home by Richards, 4-0. Parker’s side were being allowed time on the ball as the visitors tired it was all looking a bit too easy for his team. However they would have pulled a goal back through Adam O’Reilly were it not for the heroics of De Bie, who spectacularly saved the forwards dipping long range effort, which seemed certain to go inside the top corner.
Lloyd-Bennett forced a good stop out of Cottam soon after, before Spurs managed to put the icing on top of the cake with their fifth goal of the game. It was a goal to cherish from the hat trick hero, starting in midfield with Maghoma who produced a lovely pass to find substitute Markanday down the right. Markanday rolled the ball across to Richards inside the box, he then pulled of a series of Villaesque dribbles evading the defenders in the process. Before finally tucking the ball past Cottam and into the back of the net, 5-0! Markanday almost pulled off a late wonder goal after embarking on a jinking run, but Spurs would have just been happy with the five goals and a place in the fourth round. Where an away tie with Bournemouth awaits the lads. COYS
Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Not too involved, due to our dominance on the game, but he was sound throughout especially in dealing with corners and set pieces, made a world class save during the second half.
– Tariq Hinds: Solid and good going forward, didn’t put a foot wrong.
– Jamie Reynolds: Another excellent performance from Reynolds at left back, made some important interceptions/clearances. As well as producing some really good passes and crosses. Very tidy player.
– Oliver Skipp: What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this young man! Dropping back down to the 18’s, Skipp’s exposure to the development squad was plain to see. He was an engine in the midfield, he also done very well going forward.
– TJ Eyoma: Another who dropped down a level today, Eyoma didn’t give the Preston forwards a sniff throughout the game. He was rock solid and decisive when it mattered. Also dominant in the air.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Similarly excellent, Lyons-Foster was cool and composed throughout. Decisive and intelligent in his play I don’t remember him making a single mistake.
– Rodel Richards: My motm (see below).
– P.Maghoma: Terrific display from the exciting midfielder, played a big part in three of our goals including his own well taken finish. He was excellent on the ball, his weight of pass second to none.
– Reo Griffiths: The Preston defenders couldn’t handle the Spurs strikers power and pace. He gave them a torrid time all game, held the ball up really well, looked sharp and made good runs in between the defenders. Also laid off two goals.
– J’neil Lloyd Bennett: Another start for the schoolboy and yet another terrific performance by the winger. He just wanted to run at the fullbacks, and quite simply they couldn’t cope with him. Created two of our goals. Beginning to look like a special talent.
– Phoenix Patterson: Put in a great shift in midfield, nimble footed and creative. Patterson carried the ball well and capped off a fine display with a well taken goal.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Great to see him back following a lay off with injury, impressed during his cameo.
– Dilan Markanday: Another player whose returning from injury, Markanday made a brilliant impression on the game during his short time on the pitch, showed excellent ball control, went on many weaving runs and also managed to set up Richards for his hat-trick. His late solo effort was top class.
My man of the match: Rodel Richards was once again unstoppable down the right flank, quickly making a name for himself amongst Spurs fans. The 16 year old forward put in another motm performance this afternoon, sharp and creative down the flank. Richards provided plenty of flare down the wing with his excellent close ballcontrol and skill. Constantly tracked back, looked to make space and most importantly of all he was clinical in front of goal. Bagging his second hat trick of the season, his last goal was truly special!
Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-11
Dilan Markanday- 3
Jamie Bowden- 1
Assists: Phoenix Patterson- 5
Matt Lock- 2
Interesting stat: Schoolboy J’neil Lloyd Bennett has now featured 5 times for the under 18’s this campaign, playing a direct part in five goals!
Spurs: De Bie (c), Hinds (Dinzeyi 72), Reynolds, Skipp (Bowden 81), Eyoma, Lyons-Foster, Richards, P Maghoma, Griffiths, Patterson (Markanday 66), Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, A Shashoua.
Preston North End: Cottam, Fensome (c), Campbell, Baxter, Stead, Lyons, Smart (Wood 56), O’Neil, Garstang (Walker 56), O’Reilly, Howard (Brannigan 81). Substitutes (not used): Lenton, Armer.
Goals: Spurs – Maghoma 19, Richards 39, 64, 84, Patterson 52.
Yellow cards: Preston – Lyons 63.
Referee: Ivan Gelov.