Spurs under 18’s 1-1 Southampton: (match report)
Our under 18 side returned to league action when they hosted Southampton at the training centre on Saturday morning. The spoils were shared between both sides in a highly competitive match, Southampton who sat in third place in the league table, were in excellent form of recent. The saints talented pool of youngsters really testing us in the first half, with their well organised defending and tight marking. The high pressing side from the visitors and slick passing managed to create openings, in which the alert centre back pairing of Maxwell Statham and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster had to be alert to. After taking the lead inside 19 minutes, Spurs looked to fight back. Some fine attacking football won them a penalty shortly after the beginning of the second half, from then on we looked the better and more creative side, but despite creating some good chances late on we couldn’t quite break down a resolute Southampton defence, it was still a good point nonetheless against one of the leagues best teams. The visitors got the game underway, some good vision from the prominent Jamie Bowden early on almost played Reo Griffiths through on goal as Spurs looked to attack. But Southampton were seeing more of the ball, Sean Brennan’s cross from the left hand side was flicked straight into the arms of De Bie by Benni Braithwaite. Before wide man Jonathan Afolabi tested the Belgian from close range with a low effort at goal. The game was very much ‘end to end’ both sides passed the ball around well and with pace. A thumping effort from Sean Brennan was tipped over well by De Bie during a dominant ten minute spell for the visitors. Harry Hamblin then glanced a header across goal from the resulting corner. Before the saints took the lead on 19 minutes through an unlikely source.
Right back Kayne Ramsay was quickest to the loose ball after De Bie decided to punch clear the following corner kick. Ramsay executed his finish to perfection, acrobatically pulling off an overhead kick which sailed into the top corner of De Bie’s goal, really catching him by surprise. Southampton went in search of their second straight after the restart, Klarer headed Will Smallbone’s free kick straight at De Bie. The saints defence was extremely tight and this made life hard for the Spurs forwards to break down. Parker’s side felt aggrieved when the referee waived away a penalty claim around the half hour mark. In my eyes it was a blatant penalty, a Southampton defender had taken Bennett clean out inside the box without getting to the ball, Reo Griffiths was vocal in his protests to the ref. The lilywhites showed some good attacking initiative in the following minutes. Bennett was testing Ramsay with his surging runs down the left, whilst Maghoma tried to test the so far uninvolved Adam Parkes with a curling effort from an acute angle. Unfortunately the midfielders attempt sailed well wide of the mark. We then had a slight scare at the back after Jamie Bowden lost possession to Smallbone on the edge of the penalty area. Fortunately the Irishman’s deflected effort was parried to safety by De Bie. The game was quickly gathering pace, Griffiths fired an effort inches wide of Parkes goal. Whilst Bowden’s perfectly timed delivery into the six yard box was only missed by a matter of centimetres from the sliding Richards. Then, moments later Kornelius Hansen forced a good save out of De Bie at the other end of the pitch.
The Belgian was called into action once again on the stroke of half time, comfortably stopping Braithwaite’s effort. A frantic second half ensued, early dominance from Parker’s hungry side reaped it’s rewards early on. When Reo Griffiths won a penalty in the 48th minute of the game. Griffiths done well to win the penalty after being clipped by Klarer with his back to goal, the 17 year old stood up to convert it with a powerful finish straight down the middle. The Southampton goalkeeper Adam Parkes wasn’t at all happy, he shouted ‘lucky’ as soon as the net bulged. After finding the equaliser, Parker’s side really upped their tempo and from there on in, they dictated play. Klarer done well to head wide Patterson’s menacing free kick shortly after the restart. Before a Balesque forward run from Hinds down the right channel almost resulted in us taking the lead. The lively fullback advanced on a surging long run from just inside the Saints half, his blistering pace saw him breeze past a Southampton defender, before entering the penalty area. Hinds’ resulting effort flying inches wide of Parkes far post. Despite putting the visitors under a huge amount of pressure, our open attacking football still left us susceptible to Southampton on the counter. One such instance occurred after Hinds was robbed of the ball by the powerful Jake Vokins. The left back went on a brilliant run, charging forward down the left flank, Vokins cut inside. Only to be stopped by a perfectly timed sliding challenge from Lyons-Foster, who took him clean out.
Reo Griffiths’ continuous moaning at the referee caused him to become annoyed, in what was a quite comical moment in the game. Parker’s team were dictating the central areas, the creative passing of Bowden managing to unlock a rigid Southampton defence. Paris Maghoma curled over Rodel Richards free kick, in what was a good opportunity for Spurs to take the lead. By this time in the game, the rain was now lashing down making things harder for both sets of players. As well as for me, my notebook having been soaked in rain. The decisive Lyons-Foster managed to make a brilliant block, before Will Smallbone drilled the ball across the face of De Bie’s goal. Southampton were mostly trying their luck through long balls and set pieces. De Bie who had had an impressive all round game, managed to deal well with a deep cross from Harry Hamblin. As Spurs looked to run at the opposition down the other end, Phoenix Patterson’s precise cross towards the back post was only narrowly missed by Griffiths. Spurs were almost left to pay for squandering those second half chances when Maxwell Statham had a lucky escape late on in the half. The danger arose through the potent Vokins outwide, his pacy cross was unintentionally nodded goalwards by Statham, leaving De Bie rooted to his spot. It clipped the underneath of the cross bar before bouncing out to substitute Taymar Fleary. Whose first time effort was saved well by the Belgian goalkeeper. Spurs really went for the win in the dying stages of the game, the newly introduced Rayan Clarke caused panic amongst the saints defenders with a good delivery. Whilst the ever attacking Paris Maghoma had a promising effort blocked from inside the area. And there was almost a dramatic ending, when Phoenix Patterson’s thumping effort down the left side of the penalty area was saved by Parkes, but ultimately the game was to finish all square. Another fine attacking performance from Parker’s lads who extend their unbeaten run in the league to four matches. Spurs were probably the better side going forward on the day, but the defensive might of Southampton was extremely tough to break down. I was very happy with the teams performance and it’s encouraging to me ahead of the all important youth cup fifth round tie with Chelsea . Our under 18’s next game is in 12 days time, that all important FA youth cup fifth round tie with Chelsea. COYS
Player reviews: -Jonathan De Bie: Made some really decent stops, was heavily involved during the first half.
– Tariq Hinds: Played excellently at right back, Hinds was defensively sound. Did his job well, really showcasing his offensive qualities. With some lovely runs attacking down the right hand side.
– Jamie Reynolds: So tidy and efficient, looked so composed at left back. Whilst often drifting into central areas.
– Jamie Bowden: My motm, see below.
– Maxwell Statham: I was really impressed with Statham’s performance against Southampton, the centre half had a really solid game. Excellent in the air and strong in the challenge, he imposed himself well on the Southampton forwards, though he was a tad sloppy in his passing and overall decision making.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Excellent as always. In the right place at the right time (think Toby Alderweireld!), the calming presence of Lyons-Foster at centre half really steadied the Spurs back line. I’ve said it many times before, but the ball playing centre half is just so decisive in everything he does. Especially when it comes to making those vital last minute interceptions. One such piece of defending occurred in the second half after we were caught on the counter, Brooklyn timed his sliding challenge to perfection to brilliantly bring the move to an end. I’m going to write a piece on the centre half in the coming weeks.
– Rodel Richards: A little quieter than usual, but still created some magic moments from out left. Worked his socks off tracking back.
– Paris Maghoma: Dominant in the central areas, carried the ball so well. His attacking forays were also impressive.
– Reo Griffiths: Another game, another goal for the inform Reo Griffiths. Had a fine game, despite limited service. Held the ball up well, and did well to win and score our penalty.
– Phoenix Patterson: Creative and tidy performance from central midfield.
– J’neil Bennett: Went on some great runs down the left hand side, switched sides with Richards in the second half.
My man of the match: Slick, efficient and creative. Jamie Bowden was superb for Tottenham in the holding midfield role during our 1-1 draw with Southampton. Bowden initiated countless move for Spurs with his sumptuous long balls, which would often set forwards running through on goal. He was dominant and intelligent in his play, showing great technical ability both on and off the ball. His crisp passing, firm tackling and creativity from deep in midfield was top notch. He showcased the defensive no nonsense approach of somebody like Harry Winks. Whilst also showing that creative side to his game with some defence splitting passes and lofted balls, that was the Jack Wilshere side of his game.
Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths-17
Phoenix Patterson -8
Dilan Markanday- 5
Jamie Bowden- 1
Assists: Phoenix Patterson-9
Matt Lock- 2
Oliver Skipp- 1
Tariq Hinds- 1
Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Hinds, Reynolds, Bowden, Statham, Lyons-Foster, Richards (Clarke 80), P Maghoma, Griffiths, Patterson, Bennett (Markanday 70). Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, A Shashoua, Okedina.