Spurs under 18’s 4-0 Reading: (match report)
Our under 18’s put in yet another superb performance for the 4-0 thrashing of Reading at Hotspur Way on Saturday morning. One of their best league games of the season, Parker’s side managed to turn over a tenacious Reading defence. Unlocking them with that fast attacking football, something which I have become so well accustomed to over the course of this season. Spurs’ performance was made all the more impressive by the fact that they played majority of the game with ten men following the sending off of Jonathan Dinzeyi in the first half, if anything this spurred Parker’s side on. And we made Reading look like the team with ten men. Spurs got the game underway on a bitterly cold morning in Enfield, after a quiet opening couple of minutes Spurs initiated a decent move. After some clever little play between Shashoua and Patterson the latter whipped a menacing ball across the face of the Reading goal. The lilywhites got let off a couple of minutes later after Jack Nolan was played through on goal, Lyons-Foster raced to keep up with Nolan whose effort from 10 yards out was well stopped at his near post by Jonathan De Bie. A promising effort from Markanday flew narrowly wide, before the lively Bennett forced a corner after his low effort was spilt by Jokull Andresson (I’ve never seen a keeper as passionate and animated before in youth football!). Spurs continued to impress in the final third, Griffiths forced another save out of Andresson. And after latching onto Bowden’s superb long pass, Griffiths was through on goal as he battled off Josh Brooking. Just as Griffiths had gotten the better of him Brooking brought him down from behind, he was the last man.
I was expecting the referee to bring out his red card, but to the Spurs strikers astonishment the referee waived play on. Reading sat deep and made it hard for Spurs to break them down. And the royals were also dangerous in the final third, in fact they had Spurs under the cosh after a dominant five minute spell. Shamar Moore saw his ambitious effort deflected out for a corner kick, and they managed to carve open the Spurs defence moments later. When Lyons-Foster was caught out with the ball on the half way line. Reading went on a fast counter attack, Samuel-Ayomede Faniyan passed to Nolan down the right hand channel, the forwards effort being thwarted by De Bie. Around 35 minutes into proceedings and after a decent start, the game was turned upside down for Spurs when centre back Jonathan Dinzeyi was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in the space of a couple of minutes. It was an incredibly harsh call from the referee who after rightfully showing Dinzeyi an initial yellow card for a crunching challenge. Had showed no leniency the second time round round after the Spurs man accidentally kicked a royals player. I do wonder if the referee was at all influenced by Reading head coach David Dodds roaring ”that’s the second time ref!” from the touchline. Spurs now had adapt to the situation, the trickery of Readings Khalid Simmo didn’t help matters and the royals winger was troubling us down that left flank.
The visitors ought to have taken the lead from a corner kick when the unmarked Ethan Coleman was picked out in the box. The defenders powerful header was heading into the back of the net but for a superb goal line clearance from Lyons-Foster. But against the odds Parker’s side fought back and as the first half entered its final stages Spurs took an unexpected lead through the prolific Reo Griffiths. It was a brilliantly taken goal by the striker who after being fed in by Markanday down the right channel, embarked on a lung bursting run. Griffiths powered his way towards the penalty area, knocking the ball past helpless Josh Brooking. Griffiths entered the box before cooly slotting the ball underneath the outrushing Andresson to give Spurs the lead. It was an excellent goal of his own making. Reading reacted through Moore whose effort on goal was never going to trouble De Bie, Spurs went into half time on an unexpected high. Even after walking off the pitch Griffiths was still going on about that challenge on him from behind, he was passionately making his case to Bennett. Saying ”why would I go down if I’m through on goal, it’s stupid!” The royals got the game back underway as they went in search of an equaliser. It didn’t take long for Griffiths to make an impact, the striker managing to pounce on a loose ball soon afterwards. Before driving forward into the penalty area he then cut inside his man before firing the ball straight at the keeper.
There were some key tactical changes made at half time which would ultimately help Spurs achieve the victory. Right back Rayan Clarke was brought off for Reynolds who swapped places with Hinds at full back. And midfielder Jamie Bowden slotted in at centre half with Lyons-Foster. Some more good work from Griffiths resulted in him squaring the ball back to substitute Maghoma inside the box, it was a tough chance for the midfielder to convert. And his effort on the half volley ended up heading out for a goal kick. However, we were given a bit of a scare after there was mix up between De Bie and Bowden on the edge of the penalty area but thankfully for the lilywhites, Faniyan didn’t make us pay for our error. The danger wasn’t over for Spurs, Jack Nolan ran the length of the pitch out wide unimpeded. Nolan eventually squared the ball to substitute Conor Lawless inside the box, but he failed to get his shot on target as the Reading players groaned loudly in frustration. Spurs were devastating on the counter attack and soon afterwards Parker’s side doubled their advantage courtesy of Griffiths’ second of the game. It was another well worked goal, Reynolds managed to thread the ball through to Griffiths down the left side of the penalty area. From there Griffiths did all the hard work, cutting inside before taking on a Reading defender and rifling the ball beyond Andresson, 2-0. Paris Maghoma then curled an effort narrowly wide as Spurs continued to dominate possession, playing razor sharp attacking football against a now leggy Reading side.
Ten man Spurs still had to be cautious, Jonathan De Bie managed to tip over Ethan Coleman’s thunderbolt, whilst Lyons-Foster had to make another incredible clearance on the line to stop Coleman’s header. But Spurs minds were put to rest a couple of moments later when J’neil Bennett’s superb strike grabbed their third of the game. It was another excellent incisive move, Reynolds did really well to win the ball and then feed Bennett through on goal down the left hand side. The schoolboy seized his opportunity and emphatically fired the ball past Andresson to put the game beyond doubt, 3-0. Spurs were relentless going forward, Jamie Bowden’s excellent long ball came to Griffiths inside the box but Andresson closed him down to deny him his hat-trick. Spurs were overwhelming the royals with there attacking might. And they managed put the icing on the cake inside the second minute of additional time when Reo Griffiths netted his second hat-trick in seven days to make it 4-0. Once again it was another intricate piece of play, the electric Bennett did most of the hard work down the right hand side. The 16 year old went on a brilliant tricky run managing to travel towards the byline before whipping in a nice low cross to the feet of Griffiths who tapped home from close range to top off both a brilliant display from him and the team. COYS
Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: Solid performance, made two very important saves.
– Rayan Clarke: Only completed the first half owing to Dinzeyi’s dismissal. Looked fairly decent at rb, overlapped Markanday on many occasions.
– Tariq Hinds: I thought Hinds had a great game, his versatility came in useful for us as he made the switch to lb in the second half. He was dominant and decisive.
– Jamie Bowden: Absolutely superb. Bowden was so effective in both the holding midfield role and also at centre half where he slotted in so well for the second half. He was tidy made some really good challenges, but what was most impressive was his intelligence both on and off the ball. His ability to pick a pass was second to none, his passing was wide ranging and deftly accurate. He was also disciplined.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: Dinzeyi actually had a good game up until his harsh sending off. Dominant in the air and strong in the tackle.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: His all round game was top notch, played it out excellently from the back. Made two magnificent goal line clearances.
– Dilan Markanday: Had a decent game plenty of trickery down the right, Markanday did a great job tracking back and getting involved defensively. He is a real grafter.
– Armando Shashoua: Shashoua was one of our most important players, the central midfielder had such a positive impact on the game. He couldn’t have worked any harder covering more ground than anyone else. His passing was deftly accurate and wide ranging, and his sharpness on the ball often caught the Reading midfield by surprise with his clever twists and turns. Think Harry Winks.
– Reo Griffiths; My motm see below.
– Phoenix Patterson: A real driving force behind our attack, Patterson’s swiftness and creativity initiated many a good chance.
– Jamie Reynolds: Made a big impact from the subs bench setting up two of our goals.
– Paris Maghoma: Exciting cameo always leaves the defenders guessing at what he is going to do next, plenty of flare about his performance. Tenacious also.
– J’neil Bennett: The schoolboy was at the heart of our win over the royals, the winger who often switched flanks. Was the main source of our creativity, his mesmeric skill, trickery and guile unsettled the Reading fullbacks. His lighting quick pace and eagerness to run at the opposition (even in the dying moments of the game) reaped its reward. Bennett picked up a goal and an assist.
– Rodel Richards: Too short a cameo to comment on.
My man of the match: Reo Griffiths. Another game for the 17 year old striker and another hat-trick for him to add to his collection. Griffiths was unplayable, putting in the complete centre performance, all three of his goals were executed with great technique. The sheer power and movement of the youngster caused so many problems for the opposition. He was nonstop press, press, press. He maintained that for the whole game, the way he took his first two goals were top class. That’s now 24 goals for the season. I couldn’t be any bigger a fan, the RB Leipzig rumours worry me deeply.
Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Clarke (Reynolds 46), Hinds, Bowden, Dinzeyi, Lyons-Foster, Markanday (P Maghoma 55), A Shashoua, Griffiths, Patterson (Richards 81), Bennett. Substitute (not used): Statham.
Under 18 Goals scored this season: Reo Griffiths- 23
Phoenix Patterson -8
Dilan Markanday- 5
Jamie Bowden- 1
Assists: Phoenix Patterson-9
Matt Lock- 2
Oliver Skipp- 1
Tariq Hinds- 1