Spurs under 23’s 2-1 Enfield Town: (match report)
Our under 23’s were involved in their first competitive game of pre-season on Monday evening as they made the short trip to Donkey Lane to face non league club Enfield Town. A crowd of over 700 fitted into the Queen Elizabeth II stadium to watch Wayne Burnett’s side take on the Ryman league club, owing to our first teams tour of the states many of our regular development squad players such as TJ Eyoma, George Marsh and Kazaiah Sterling were all missing. Meaning that Burnett was forced into giving many second year scholars their debut at this level, quite a step up from playing u18 football physically speaking. Burnett opted for the familiar 4-2-3-1 set up with Charlie Freeman starting off in goal. With the back four consisting of Hinds, Dinzeyi, Statham and our captain Connor Ogilvie. The more defensive Dylan Duncan and Jack Roles sat in front of the back four whilst the attacking trio of Edwards, Harrison and Samuel Shashoua stood behind makeshift centre forward Shilow Tracey who led the line. Spurs dominated large periods of the game, they were evidently the more skilful and better structured side. They played their usual passing game and enjoyed playing it out from the back, where as Enfield opted for a more direct approach to try and unsettle our young defenders. Spurs controlled the first half with little threat of a meaningful Enfield attack, and it took the young Lilywhites only 18 minutes before they took the lead through Marcus Edwards who won and converted a penalty kick. Spurs doubled their advantage shortly before the hour mark in almost identical circumstances, as Edwards won and converted his second penalty kick of the game.
The introduction of so many u18 players at half time unsettled us a little bit and we weren’t as dominant in the second half, this ultimately allowed Enfield a way back into the game. Brandon Adams pulled a glorious goal back for the hosts but despite a late flurry of attacks the young Spurs lads managed to hold on, to record a well earned victory. Enfield got the game underway on a ridiculously warm summers evening in north London, a menacing cross from Remi Sutton forced Tottenham goalkeeper Charlie Freeman into gathering the ball inside the opening couple of minutes. Spurs then created a decent move at the other end after Edwards found Shilow Tracey. The 20 year old powered forwards before slipping the ball into Harrison inside the box, the forward showed great feet but the Enfield keeper Joe Wright managed to smother the ball amidst a sea of defenders. Tracey won a free kick in a promising position a couple of moments later but Harrison’s resulting effort flew well over the crossbar. Burnett’s side were enjoying the lions share of possession, passing it around for fun in the middle of the park. The prominent Connor Ogilvie who had been excellent during the early stages of the game, did well to stop Bricknell from getting away from him on the right flank, early on. Spurs continued to dominate and the Tottenham players felt hard done by after the referee waved away a penalty claim from Shilow Tracey. Some lovey play from Spurs resulted in Duncan threading the ball into the makeshift centre forward inside the penalty area. The former Ebbsfleet man went flying to the ground after the most minimal of contact from an Enfield defender, without hesitation the referee waved away the Spurs man’s protests.
Spurs were playing some intricate tiki taka football but were lacking a bit of decisiveness in the final third. Spurs created a nice little opening when Duncan played a lovely pass into Shashoua on the left wing. The forward darted into the Enfield penalty area, playing a quick one – two with Roles before pulling off a sublime bit of skill inside the area which resulted in him being brought down by a town defender. He had a fair claim for a penalty! Spurs were slowly building up to that decisive attack, after all our defenders were not being tested in the slightest. That attack came from Marcus Edwards who took it on himself to run at the Enfield defence. Edwards the great penalty winner went on a tricky little run into the box showing nice feet and balance, before being brought down by Remi Sutton. Edwards stood up confidently to tuck the resulting spot kick into the bottom left hand corner of the net as Wright dived the wrong way, 1-0. Spurs were now growing in confidence and were eager to double their advantage. After Shashoua fed the ball into Ogilvie on the left wing the 22 year old sent an inch perfect cross into the box which frustratingly saw nobody in a blue shirt there to meet it, as Wright comfortably gobbled up the ball. It was all Spurs, and you could tell from their body language that they were extremely confident and relaxed playing against the non league side. Despite working hard up top Shilow Tracey kept on finding himself offside, the forward also had another penalty shout waived away on the half hour mark. Limited only to ambitious efforts from long range, Enfield were growing frustrated, Dan Rumens had a hopeful shot blocked by a Spurs defender. Whilst Matt Johnson let the heat get to him and decided to give the skilful Shashoua a little kick whilst on the floor after he couldn’t get the ball off of him.
Tottenham were temporarily troubled when a rare Enfield break down the left from Ryan Blackman resulted in the winger lashing the ball into the side netting of Freeman’s goal. After a short cooling break Spurs looked to catch Enfield out with a quick free kick from Marcus Edwards. The Londoner playing a quick pass to Tracey who darted into the Enfield box before passing the ball across to Shashoua on the edge of the box. However, the Tottenham wingers attempt was blocked by the body of an Enfield defender before it could trouble the goalkeeper. Charlie Freeman did well after being put under pressure by Tariq Hinds back pass, to smother the ball before Bricknell could get to it inside the area. The Essex born goalkeeper did well again a couple of moments later when he plucked Josh Davison’s pacy cross inside the Tottenham box. This late flurry of half chances for the home side continued when an Enfield player attempted to play Bricknell through on goal but for a good sliding challenge from Dinzeyi to prevent it. Spurs responded down the other end through Shashoua who did well after receiving Roles’ pass inside the box. He shimmied past an Enfield defender before unleashing a thumping effort which was deflected off of an Enfield defender and into the arms of Joe Wright. Billy Bricknell blazed an effort over the bar at the other end as the non league club struggled to match Tottenham’s high work rate. Spurs were look to exploit Enfield through the crossing ability of Ogilvie out on the left wing. After receiving a crisp pass from Shashoua Ogilvie whipped in a peach of a cross into the danger zone only narrowly evading Tracey who was diving in at the back post. Shortly afterwards Enfield came their closest yet to scoring, Matt Johnson’s well struck effort flying narrowly over from range.
A late corner kick caused a bit of mayhem in the Spurs box but a good piece of defending from Roles on the line, ensured that Spurs went into the interval with their lead intact, it had been a very comfortable half of football for Spurs. A plethora of changes occurred on half time as a whole host of younger players were brought into the frame. Players such as Bowden, Maghoma, Markanday and De Bie all came on, this forced Statham into playing at right back. Spurs started the second half the same way they had finished the first, with real attacking intent. Shortly after the game had got back underway the potent Shashoua caused the Enfield defence a bit of bother with another lovely bit of skill, but once again Taofiq Olomowewe got in front of him to block his attempt on goal. Spurs were continuing to dominate proceedings and they came close to doubling their advantage when Edwards slipped the ball into Maghoma on the right side of the penalty area. The midfielders powerfully struck effort was well saved by Wright who made a fine reflex save. However, Wright undone all that good work when he gave away a penalty on 57 minutes. Edwards had done well to win his second penalty of the game, after Markanday initiated the counter attack from Spurs, sprinting forwards down the middle. The 16 year old played in the advancing Edwards who managed to trick his way past a couple of Enfield defenders and into the box, only to be brought down by the outrushing Wright who took him out. Totally missing the ball in the process, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Edwards stepped up once again to cooly slot the ball straight down the middle of the goal, Spurs were playing some really intricate attacking football, 2-0.
However, Burnett’s side had a bit of an unnerving moment shortly after the restart when Dinzeyi misjudged a long ball, heading it back to Enfield’s Billy Bricknell who cut inside onto his right foot. The one time Spurs schoolboy fired an effort at goal from an acute angle, forcing a good save from the feet of De Bie. The Belgian made a comfortable save a couple of moments later to gather Olomowewe’s headed attempt at goal, meanwhile Dinzeyi had appeared to pick up an injury and was spotted limping about the park. 16 year old Irishman Troy Parrott replaced the somewhat ineffective Tracey on 64 minutes to add fresh legs to Spurs’ game. The presence and movement of 17 year Tottenham midfielder Jamie Bowden in the centre park was mightily impressive, and he was breaking up play really well. Spurs substitute Paris Maghoma was given the first yellow card of the game on 68 minutes after conceding a foul in a dangerous position, and then deciding to kick the ball away in anger. Fortunately Billy Bricknell’s resulting free kick flew straight into the Tottenham wall. By this time Enfield were now gambling with their defence by coming forward a lot more, after Dinzeyi made an important block to thwart Bricknell’s effort, the home side pulled a goal back through Brandon Adams. It was a goal from the substitute, an Enfield trialist passed the ball to Adams on the edge of the penalty area. Adams curled a wonderful first time effort into the top right hand corner of De Bie’s goal leaving the Belgian with no chance. Adams effort had dip, curl and pace on it, it was an excellent goal.
After Enfield pulled a goal back Burnett’s side appeared to drop their intensity and seemed to drop deeper in the process, preferring to pass the ball around the midfield. However, a fruitful attack from Edwards almost wrapped the game up in style for Spurs after he went on a brilliant attacking foray. Edwards cut inside onto his left foot before smashing an effort from about 20 yards out, onto the frame of the Enfield crossbar. A couple of minutes later a golden chance fell to Troy Parrott after a long ball was headed into the path of the Dubliner by an Enfield defender. Cool and composed as he darted into the penalty area I expected the net to bulge, but the Dubliners placed effort instead squirmed inches wide of the mark. Maghoma was then gifted with a chance after receiving the ball on the edge of the box, but his hurried effort ended up flying across the face of the goal and out for a goal kick. This late flurry of attacks from Burnett’s side was showing no signs of stopping. A well executed move saw Edwards pass to Parrott, the Ireland u17 international quickly shifted the ball into the feet of Markanday inside the penalty area. The winger forcing a good save from the goalkeeper low down. Parrott continued to make good runs off the shoulders of the Enfield defenders and once again he came desperately close to getting on the scoresheet. After Shashoua had picked up the ball in the centre of the park, he decided to drive forwards through the middle. The forward darted towards the penalty area, before passing the ball to Parrott on the left side of the area. Parrott’s powerful low effort flew inches wide of the goal much to the Enfield goalkeepers relief.
Spurs had a late scare in stoppage time after Ogilvie was caught out by an Enfield substitute (name unknown). Fortunately for Burnett’s side the trialist’s effort was spectacularly saved from close range by De Bie, as Spurs held onto record an impressive 2-1 victory over their local neighbours. It was a good first test of the season for Wayne Burnett’s side before they head off to Ploufragan for the Tournoi Europeen later in the week. It was a good performance from an incredibly young Spurs side, it exposed them to some good physical battles against a senior team. But it also gave them a taste of what men’s football is like and I think it was hugely beneficial for so many of them to experience that. Up next for Burnett’s side is a trip to Brittany in France, to defend the Tournoi Europeen which starts on Friday. I will be traveling down to France on Thursday to report on the three day youth tournament. Our first game kicks off at 12:15 (GBM) this Friday and it is against French giants PSG. Meanwhile, the PL2 fixtures are expected to be announced by the premier league later in the week. A talking point from last nights game was the absence of Reo Griffiths, unless he is injured then I fear he may too be on the way out sometime this transfer window, but let’s wait and see.
Player reviews: – Charlie Freeman: The 18 year old played the first half of last nights game and despite enduring a quiet 45 minutes of football, I felt he had a good game. Enfield didn’t manage to get an effort on target in the first half, but it was Freeman’s confidence and composure at dealing with set pieces and crosses which were so impressive. He didn’t put a foot wrong.
– Tariq Hinds: An excellent performance from Tottenham’s versatile right back. Hinds played the whole of the first half before being brought back on towards the dying stages of the game. He read the game well and was more than adept at coping with Enfield’s Ryan Blackman out on the left wing, not once did Blackman get the better of Hinds who defended with such ease. It’s such a shame that the Goodmayes born teenager isn’t out in America with the first team.
– Connor Ogilvie: My motm, see below.
– Dylan Duncan: It was an excellent performance from the deep lying central midfielder who played the first half. Duncan stayed further back then his midfield partner Roles but he had a positive effect on the game. Often filling in at centre half, the 19 year old kept things ticking and protected our young defenders. He was also extremely good on the ball almost Dembele like, I really hope he stays clear of injuries this season as he is a top player.
– Maxwell Statham: It was a good showing from the 17 year old defender against Enfield on Monday evening. He clocked up 74 minutes of playing time, starting out as a centre half before being switched to fullback at half time, I thought Statham did well overall. He made some important blocks and headed clearances.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: On the whole it was a good performance from the young centre half. Dinzeyi imposed himself well on the game and after a mostly comfortable first half which saw him make a couple of important interventions. The 18 year old got even more stuck in, in the second half and made some important challenges and blocks.
– Marcus Edwards: His days in north London might be numbered but Edwards would have left a positive impression on any scouts who were attending Monday nights game. Although quiet for large spells, Edwards was the difference between the two teams. He singlehandedly created and scored both of our goals, and was desperately unlucky not to cap that off with a spectacular solo effort late in the game. Whilst he did go missing for periods of the match you couldn’t question his influence on it.
– Jack Roles: Kept things simple and mopped up well after him, the Cypriot youth international had a calming presence on the first half which included an important goal line clearance. He gave a good account himself.
– Shilow Tracey: Tracey was hardworking but ultimately ineffective during his 64 minute spell on the pitch. The 20 year old who played as a make shift centre forward, put in plenty of graft and pressed the defenders well. However, his movement and timing of his runs was a bit erratic and he was caught offside on many an occasion.
– Shayon Harrison: The 21 year old played well as a CAM threading some nice passes into Tracey, but he would have wanted to be on the end of those passes himself. Altogether I think it was a frustrating evening for the forward as he struggled to really influence the game. Hopefully he’ll be used as a centre forward in the Tournoi Europeen later this week.
– Samuel Shashoua: The artist gave a really good account of himself out on the left wing. He worked incredibly hard to create space, he was slso skilful and productive. Initiating some clever moves with the forwards he remained one of our main attacking outlets. Shashoua also tracked back and committed himself defensively!
– Jonathan De Bie: Coming onto replace Freeman at half time, De Bie had an excellent game inbetween the sticks. Making a string of fine match winning saves, the 18 year old also dealt well with crosses and set pieces. It was a very impressive showing from the young man.
– Jubril Okedina: Okedina put in a good second half performance, he remained solid and composed throughout.
– Jamie Bowden: Still only 17 the young midfielder who entered the frame at half time, had a remarkable influence on the game. He put in a really mature and assured performance in the centre of the park. He made great movement and managed to find himself in space a lot of the time. But it was his tenacity and ability to break up play so well which was his most impressive quality. The second year scholar also made some fine passes throughout the second half.
– Paris Maghoma: Imposed himself well on the game after being introduced at half time. He gave was a good attacking outlet for Burnett’s side and he continuously found himself in good positions in and around the six yard box. Linking up well with the lively Marcus Edwards on several occasions, Maghoma was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself.
– Troy Parrott: The 16 year old had a good cameo up top after replacing Shilow Tracey in the 64th minute. Parrott made some excellent runs off the shoulders of defenders and he also timed those runs to perfection. He was desperately unlucky not to convert one of the two clear cut chances that came his way.
– Dilan Markanday: It was a good positive performance from Markanday in the number 10 role. He was productive and embarked on some fruitful runs through the middle.
My man of the match: Connor Ogilvie. By far our best player on the night, 22 year old fullback Connor Ogilvie put in an excellent shift at left back. The skipper was superb throughout, he read the game to perfection and put in a really assured defensive performance. He also impressed going forwards (particularly in the first half) and he went on some brilliant galavanting runs down the left wing, whipping in many positive crosses in the process. He kept Enfield’s danger man Billy Bricknell at bay and only one occasion did he get caught out on that left side. Ogilvie was terrifically consistent and I’m still holding out hope that Pochettino will recognise what a good left back he is.
Enfield Town: Wright, Purcell, Sutton, Johnson, Olomowewe, Rumens, Blackman (c), Taaffe, Bricknell, Davisnon, Sayoud. Substitutes: Jones, Youngs, Hope, Hockney, Mubiayi, Chaney, Empson, Adams, Tunbridge, Mclean, Gallagher.
Spurs U23s: Freeman (De Bie 46), Hinds (Okedina 46), Ogilvie (c), Duncan (Bowden 46), Statham (Hinds 74), Dinzeyi, Edwards, Roles (Maghoma 46), Tracey (Parrott 64), Harrison (Markanday 46), S Shashoua. Substitute (not used): Oluwayemi.
Goals: Enfield Town – Adams 79; Edwards 18 (pen), 57 (pen).
Yellow card: Spurs – Maghoma 68.
Referee: Chris Bodell.