Spurs under 18’s 4-4 Leicester City: (match report)
The visit of Leicester City on Saturday morning to the training centre provided an absolute thriller of a game for Scott Parker’s under 18’s, as they drew 4-4 with foxes. It was an absolute belter of a game on a chilly winters morning in Enfield. Now two days later I sat down to reflect and write up my match report on a remarkable game of football even by youth standards, which saw Spurs throw away a three goal lead in a game which must have seen over 50 shots on goal. It was the away side who got the game started, an early penalty shout was waived away from the foxes in a high tempo and lively opening minutes. The early end to end nature of the game which was to last throughout, saw Spurs take an early lead when fullback Jamie Reynolds forced the opener. It was an impressive counter attacking move by Spurs who caught the foxes on the break. Left back Jamie Reynolds burst down the left before sending a nice low cross into the box, which was turned in to his own net by Leicester defender Husnek. A nasty two footed challenge on Reynolds shortly afterwards was very lucky to escape with a red card, as Spurs started to control the game. A bad mis kick from Leicester keeper Rhys Davies gifted Patterson with the ball in a dangerous central area of the pitch, the midfielders crisp pass setting Clarke free down the left. The wingers shot was stopped by Rhys Davies before he once again managed to block Griffiths attempt on the rebound. The game continued to be played at a very fast tempo, both sides only wanted to attack and this resulted in numerous openings for both sides.
Some decisive Spurs defending from both Lyons-Foster and Dinzeyi helped to prevent numerous goal scoring opportunities for the foxes. Then on 17 minutes another nice attacking move resulted in Spurs doubling their advantage. It was another incisive move which was initiated by Patterson, the midfielder cut the ball back to Markanday from the left. The forwards first time effort curled emphatically into the top corner of the helpless Davies’ goal. Leicester now trying to overturn a two goal deficit, were all on the offensive. Another brilliant intervention from Lyons-Foster thwarted a dangerous cross from the visitors, as Spurs continued to look really comfortable and assured in their defending. Parker’s side were showing no signs of lowering their high press and attacking style of play, a promising move resulted in Richards’ effort being blocked just in time. Whilst the influential Rayan Clarke should have had a penalty given to him for a blatant foul in the box. Spurs’ third of the game which came inside just 25 minutes was their best so far. The lively Rodel Richards picked up Dinzeyi’s pass on the half way line before advancing forward on a Messiesque run. The forward continued unopposed to the edge of the Leicester penalty area before sending a lovely low finish past Davies with his weaker right foot. This resulted in a furious exchange between one of Leicester’s defenders and his team mates who were on the verge of capitulating at Spurs’ expense. This had been sheer domination from Parker’s side who had totally overwhelmed a fine Leicester outfit with their quick attacking movement and sharp incisive play.
The rapid Edwards-John (who really impressed me throughout the game!) curled an effort well wide of De Bie’s goal before winning a penalty moments later. The pacy winger managing to get the wrong side of Dinzeyi in the area with the Spurs defenders challenge resulting in him missing the ball and catching the Leicester man. De Bie made a brilliant diving save to deny the Leicester forward from the penalty spot before the alert Brown was there to bury the rebound, 3-1. This was becoming a frustrating spell in the game for Parker’s team. A counter attacking move by Trevor Peake’s side caught Spurs out again a couple of minutes later. Leicester’s Brown went around Dinzeyi before slotting inside the bottom corner of De Bie’s goal. Parker’s side looked to respond, Richards’ effort was blocked whilst Jamie Bowden’s deep swinging free kick dashed just wide at the far post. It should have been 3-3 when Conor Tee’s deep cross was met by Elewa-Irpakwu at the back post who headed it narrowly over on to the roof of the net. The influential Dilan Markanday made a brilliant challenge early on in the second half to stop a Leicester counter attack. Whilst De Bie played Spurs into danger with a sloppy pass in which Tee got to, forcing De Bie into making a good low save. A superb curling effort from the potent Phoenix Patterson forced an excellent diving save out of Davies as Spurs looked to retain their control of the game. Tariq Hinds was then there at the other end to make a crucial block before Tee’s freekick went straight down the throat of the Spurs goalkeeper as Leicester continued to pepper the Spurs goal, in a thrilling end to end game.
Just when it looked as if the foxes were on the verge of finding an equaliser, Spurs made it 4-2! It was a brilliant goal which started with some great skill from Clarke down the left. Reynolds managed to the pick ball up and squirm past a congested defence before picking out Patterson inside the area. The midfielder bending a delicious effort into the far corner of Davies’ net, despite the best efforts of Leicester’s McLeod on the line who managed to make contact with the ball. Maxwell Statham replaced Dinzeyi as Spurs looked to protect their lead with some fresh legs. We were continuing to advance forwards, Patterson sumptuous cross was inches away from being tapped home by Griffiths. Whilst the man of the moment Patterson received the ball inside the area from Griffiths moments after. The Spurs man’s curling effort was stopped only by an excellent save from Davies. Then, Rodel Richards deflected effort flashed narrowly wide of the Welshman’s goal as Spurs looked to be running away with the game, whilst Clarke’s powerful effort was stopped shortly afterwards. However, the foxes still posed a real threat going forward. Rayan Clarke having to make a brilliant last ditch challenge inside the Spurs box to deny a clear chance. It appeared as if our lads were getting a little tired, Richards gave the ball away to 10 who advanced towards the Spurs goal before forcing a top save out of De Bie. The pressure was being piled on us by the visitors, substitute Statham making two important blocks in quick succession as Spurs looked to see out the remainder of the game.
A brilliant surging run from substitute Bennett resulted in the 16 year old whipping in a promising cross into the box. Before Patterson squandered a good goalscoring opportunity on the edge of the box, with a wayward effort. Some incisive passing by the foxes resulted in them pulling a goal back through Connor Tee who slotted home with a smart finish. Before the same player produced the unthinkable deep in stoppage time when he headed home a cross from the right side to deal a bitter late blow to Parker’s side. The final score Spurs 4-4 Leicester. Parkers side go again on Wednesday with an important premier league under 18 cup quarterfinal with Liverpool at hotspur way. Steven Gerrard’s side are yet to lose a game this season! COYS
Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Made some very important stops, distribution was at times a little erratic. But once again the Belgian put in another fine performance.
– Tariq Hinds: Put in a strong and very defensive display, sat deep and made some important interventions.
– Jamie Reynolds: Excellent performance by the 18 year old left back, he was brilliant going forward and managed to chip in with two assists. He is starting to remind me a bit of Ben Davies in the way he gets forward.
– Jamie Bowden: Another good performance from the consistent Spurs anchorman. Tidy, efficient and subtly creative. Much like a young Michael Carrick.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: This was his first start for some time following a frustrating injury. And the powerful centre half really impressed me along with Lyons-Foster. Dinzeyi was strong in the tackle and composed in his overall play what I also like about the 18 year old. Is how he brings the ball out from the back in a very attacking Vertonghenesque way. Felt he was very unlucky with the two opening goals that Leicester scored.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: A superb display from the confident centre half, some of the challenges he made were top class and once again it was his reading of the game which proved so crucial for Spurs. I would be surprised if he wasn’t given another England call up in the spring.
– Rodel Richards: Scored a lovely goal and caused a lot of problems down the left with his weaving runs.
– Phoenix Patterson: My Motm, see below.
– Reo Griffiths: Worked very hard and put in a good shift up top.
– Dilan Markanday: Nice and creative, showed some brilliant skill and ball control. Works very hard. He also scored a lovely goal.
– Rayan Clarke: Very influential in the game with his powerful runs down the left, what I also like about Clarke is his eagerness to track back and get stuck in.
– Maxwell Statham: Made some important blocks.
– J’neil Lloyd-Bennett: Went on some good forward runs.
My man of the match: Attacking midfielder Phoenix Patterson has made the switch from the flanks to the central ‘number 8′ role over the past few weeks, and the 17 year old has excelled. Putting in some really productive performances. Patterson was the main source of Spurs’ creativity against Leicester, he was dare I say it an Özilesque force in the centre of midfield. He brought the ball forward, initiated many openings. And also got an all important goal and assist, I’ve been very impressed with the 17 year old since his been converted into an 8, he is a player with serious ability.
Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Hinds, Reynolds, Bowden, Dinzeyi (Statham 56), Lyons-Foster, Richards (P Maghoma 79), Patterson, Griffiths (Bennett 73), Markanday, Clarke. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Lock.
Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-11
Phoenix Patterson -5
Dilan Markanday- 4
Jamie Bowden- 1
Assists: Phoenix Patterson-6
Matt Lock- 2