Spurs under 18’s 6-4 Brighton: (match report)
Our under 18’s got the new season underway with a bang on Saturday morning as they managed to beat Brighton 6-4 in their opening league game of the new season, in what was one of the most pulsating games of football you’ll ever see. Played on a gloriously sunny day at Hotspur Way, new head coach Matt Wells took charge of the under 18’s for the first time in domestic competition as Spurs hosted the seagulls. With it being the first game of the season it was always going to be interesting to see which new first year scholars would link up with the second years. Wells opted to go for the 3-3-3-1 formation with Jonathan De Bie (the skipper) playing in goal as an overage goalkeeper whilst two first years Luis Binks and Harvey White formed a back three alongside Tainio. In front of them stood the lively trio of Paris Maghoma, Armando Shashoua (more advanced) and Jamie Bowden. Whilst wide men J’Neil Bennett and Dilan Markanday played on the flanks with Phoenix Patterson playing as a number 10 behind Troy Parrott who lead the Tottenham line on only his fourth appearance at this level. It was a pulsating game of football with so many twists and turns. After a bright start Wells side fell behind against the run of play to Jayden Onen’s goal in the ninth minute of proceedings. Despite enjoying the bulk of possession Tottenham’s back three was being punished on the counter attack, and the seagulls doubled their lead through Onen less than 20 minutes later as the youngster bagged his second of the game. Matt Wells’ side responded through defender Luis Binks as he pulled a goal back for the young Lilywhites on 34 minutes. However, the seagulls took less then two minutes before restoring their two goal cushion through Stefan Vukoje’s unstoppable strike.
But Spurs managed to respond once more and they finished the half in spectacular style as Troy Parrott’s quick fire brace on the stroke of half time, meant that the scores were level going into the second half. After a bit of a disjointed first half performance Wells side started the second half with a real intensity about their game and it caught Mark Beard’s seagulls by surprise. A spectacular solo goal from Paris Maghoma on 53 minutes saw Spurs go ahead for the first time in the game. From there the young Lilywhites controlled the game substitute Brooklyn Lyons-Foster came on to make it 5-3 for Spurs. Before the potent J’Neil Bennett scored a wonderful goal of his own to make it 6-3 a couple of moments later. Brighton did manage to pull a goal back through Onen who secured his hat-trick but Spurs continued to out play the visitors throughout the remainder of the game. Knocking the ball about for fun, Matt Wells’ side played some beautiful attacking football as they held onto the ball. On another day they could have hit ten! It was a superb start to the season for our under 18’s, they showed real character and resilience to not only bounce back from being two goals down. But also to totally change the game and carve open what had been a pretty solid Brighton defence. They played with a real panache about their game, they were unstoppable during that second half. Wells youthful side put in an excellent team performance and it was so enjoyable to experience it first hand.
The visitors got the game underway at a sun kissed Hotspur Way for our under 18’s first league game of the 2018/19 season. Wells’ side looked lively in the opening couple of minutes, none more so than Dilan Markanday who robbed the ball off of Tanimowo out on the right flank early on. The typically energetic forward sped towards the Brighton penalty area before having a pop at goal. His effort was well blocked by Clarke-Eden, a player who would go onto have a brilliant game for the seagulls. Spurs’ high energy start was beginning to cause a few problems for the Brighton defence. Fresh from his first team debut the previous Saturday, Jamie Bowden managed to pick out Parrott inside the box with a well weighted cross. But it was a difficult chance for the Dubliner to convert due to the angles he had to aim at, the 16 year old sent his header well wide of the goal. Matt Wells side continued their bright start to the game when Bennett embarked on a galavanting run down the left. The 16 year old ran at the Brighton fullback, beating two defenders in the process as he continued towards the edge of the Brighton box, before forcing a decent stop out of Bentley with a low effort at goal. The young Lilywhites had started the game really well, they were moving the ball around with pace and were forcing the Brighton defenders into making mistakes due to their high pressing. They did however, struggle to carve through the very much defensive minded opposition who were sitting deep a lot of the time. A sloppy pass from Tainio presented Mark Beard’s side with their first real chance of the game but first year scholar Luis Binks was on hand to make a crucial interception on the edge of the box to win the ball off of Onen. And only a couple of minutes later Beard’s side took a surprise lead courtesy of a strike from the very same player. Totally stunned by the Brighton front lie we had been caught on the counter. Ayo Tanimowo saw a weakness down our left hand side.
The fullback surged forwards to the byline before whipping the ball into the danger zone. Not picked up by White or Binks inside the penalty area, Tanimowo’s cross was met by Jayden Onen who had a headed attempt brilliantly saved by De Bie from close range. Fortunately the ball spilled back out to the Brighton forward who managed to bundle the ball home from less then four yards out, 0-1. Brighton had taken the lead against the run of play. After the seagulls had taken a surprise lead in only the ninth minute of the game, the match began to develop into an end to and game as we tried to draw level. The impressive Paris Maghoma fired over from long range whilst his midfield partner Jamie Bowden was given a warning by the referee only a couple of minutes later. Bowden was forced into making a cynical foul to prevent yet another dangerous Brighton counter attack. The lively Markanday had an effort blocked by the alert Clarke-Eden whilst Marc Leonard sliced a long range effort wide, at the other end. It was a becoming an increasingly frustrating time for Matt Wells youngsters who looked vulnerable whenever they had to deal with a Brighton attack. After being picked out by Jayden Onen inside the Tottenham penalty area, Danny Cashman tried to test De Bie with a powerful low effort which was blocked by White. However, Cashman had been allowed far too much room inside the Tottenham penalty area. The potent J’Neil Bennett who was often finding himself in a lot of space out on the left wing, threatened the Brighton defence when he tricked his way into the box. Attempting to get past Shihab the Tottenham winger fired over from an acute angle. Spurs were dealt another blow on 25 minutes when Jayden Onen managed to net his and Brighton’s second goal of the game. A defence splitting through ball from Vukotje had managed to set Onen racing through on goal down the right hand side.
The forward battled it out with Harvey White as he powered his way into the danger zone before tucking the ball into the far left hand corner of De Bie’s goal, wrapping his foot around the ball as he did so, 0-2. Once again Matt Wells side were caught out on the break. The young Spurs lads knew that thy had to respond before halftime. A scuffed effort by Patterson from long range was easily gathered by the Brighton goalkeeper George Bentley. Whilst the continuously dangerous looking Bennett had a venomous shot blocked by Clarke-Eden a couple of moments later. The ball came out to Patterson on the edge of the box, the playmaker attempted to pick out Parrott inside the area but the Irishman’s header towards goal was deflected over the crossbar and out for a corner kick (Spurs had 22 corners in the game!). The 16 year old was working incredibly hard up top up and was often tracking back and getting stuck in, in the centre of the park. Brighton skipper Danny Cashman claimed a penalty kick after being brought down by White inside the Tottenham box. And Wells’ side had the right to claim one themselves after some pulling from Clarke-Eden was spotted at the other end only a couple of minutes later. J’Neil Bennett had went to meet Harvey White’s inviting cross at the back post, the wide man contested the ball with Clarke-Eden but could be seen having the bottom of his shirt pulled as he missed out on making any contact with the ball. However, Spurs managed to pull an important goal back through Luis Binks in the 34th minute. After Phoenix Patterson had whipped a menacing cross into the danger zone the centre half who somehow found himself so high up pitch, was at the back post to meet the ball. His powerful header was saved by Bentley and a defender quickly cleared the ball to safety. Everybody in the crowd suspected nothing of it (including the players) until the linesman on the far sided deemed it to have crossed the line, 1-2.
After pulling a somewhat fortuitous goal back Wells side looked to reestablish their control on the game. However, a little under two minutes later the seagulls regained their two goal cushion courtesy of an unstoppable strike from Vukotje. After receiving a crisp pass from Onen around 25 yards out from goal the Brighton winger continued unchallenged through the middle, before firing an effort at goal from the edge of the penalty area. His powerful swerving effort crashed onto the underside of De Bie’s crossbar before then bouncing off the line and into up the roof of De Bie’s goal. The wingers unstoppable strike gave the Belgian no time to react, 1-3. Spurs responded straight from the restart through Jamie Bowden who fired an effort narrowly over from range. Trying desperately hard to get themselves back into the game, Spurs were attacking the Brighton defence as if the game was about to end, towards the closing stages of the half. Troy Parrott should have been awarded a stonewall penalty after pouncing on a loose ball on the edge of the penalty area. Surging into the box the centre forward was taken clean out by Shihab who went sliding in totally missing the ball in the process. Parrott was stunned and exclaimed ’ how? ’ to the referee Shaun Barry. Parrott’s bemusement was soon turned to joy after he pulled a goal back for Spurs in the 42nd minute. After some lovely dribbling from the tireless Shashoua on the edge of the penalty area, the midfielder passed the ball to Maghoma who charged into the penalty area showing good feet as he did so. After being crowded out by green shirts inside the box the midfielder took a heavy touch which rolled right on through to the alert Parrott who swept home from close range, into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 2-3. After racing back to the halfway line Spurs continued to look for an equaliser as we entered stoppage time. After really piling on the pressure Matt Wells side came desperately close to getting an equaliser. When Maghoma’s attempted cross from the left wing came rattling off of the top of Bentley’s left hand post. The ball was eventually worked out to Harvey White who took no time in whipping a cross into the danger zone.
Lurking in the middle of the goal was Parrott who managed to just glance his header past Bentley to make it 3-3, in what was the final action of an extraordinary first half. Spurs got the game back underway as Matt Wells side looked to continue the second half where they left off the first. It was clear from the opening couple of minutes of the half that Spurs were showing some ridiculously high energy levels as they moved the ball about in the final third. J’Neil Bennett had Spurs’ first chance of the half after he went on an attacking foray down the left. The tricky wide man then cut inside onto his right before firing an effort at goal. His powerful attempt was deflected off of a Brighton defender inside the box, this caused a bit of panic amongst their defence as they tried desperately hard to clear the ball before it rolled out to Markanday at the back post. Spurs were dominating possession and were testing the visitors with numerous attacking forays. One player who was playing a much more advanced role in this half was Paris Maghoma. After whipping a menacing cross into the box which only just evaded Dilan Markanday at the back post. The England youth international produced a moment of sheer genius to put Spurs ahead for the first time in the game only a couple of moments later. Maghoma’s incredible solo goal started after he received a pass some 25 yards out from goal. The 17 year old then managed to work his way around two Brighton defenders with the most sublime pieces of skill. Like peak Paul Pogba he continued to stride towards the penalty area evading more Brighton defenders before unleashing a rocket of a shot from the edge of the box. Which slammed high into the centre of the goal, leaving George Bentley rooted to his spot, 4-3! Spurs were now on top and their wonderful high intensity, attacking football was making the seagulls struggle to keep up. The hardworking Patterson saw his low effort from 20 yards out saved by the feet of the Brighton goalkeeper.
Before a well worked short corner almost made it 5-3 to the Lilywhites. After Shashoua decided to take the corner kick short to Patterson who then rolled the ball out to Bowden, the midfielders first time strike was blocked by Clarke-Eden. The ball came back out to Patterson who picked Parrott out in the centre of the penalty area. The centre forward controlled the ball before trying to sort his feet out whilst being hounded by two Brighton defenders. Parrott ignored Maghoma who was in space to his left and instead sent the ball trickling wide of the left post. Spurs continued to pepper the Brighton goal when Shashoua embarked on an excellent surging run towards goal. The midfielder squared the ball for Markanday in the centre of the box. Markanday’s effort was blocked brilliantly by Clarke-Eden who once again had put his body on the line. Spurs made their first substitution shortly afterwards as centre half Brooklyn Lyons-Foster entered the fold in place of Phoenix Patterson. Spurs were showing no signs of lowering their tempo. J’Neil Bennett curled a deflected effort narrowly over from range before Spurs got that all important fifth goal. Armando Shashoua passed the ball to Harvey White out on the right wing, the makeshift centre half sent another peach of a cross inside the danger zone. Amongst a sea of bodies the newly introduced Lyons-Foster rose to guide the ball into the far corner of Bentley’s goal, as it managed to creep in, 5-3. At times mesmeric with his wide ranging skillset and galavanting runs down the left wing, J’Neil Bennett deserved a goal. And after seeing his shot blocked by Clarke-Eden only a couple of moments later, the Tottenham winger put the icing on the cake with a spectacular sixth goal for Spurs on 63 minutes. After receiving a pass from Shashoua some 25 yards out from goal, Bennett curled a wonderful effort inside the top right hand corner of Bentley’s goal sparking scenes of elation from the Tottenham players, 6-3.
Spurs’ wonderful intricate attacking football had played the seagulls off the park and they weren’t done yet! Keen to get on the scoresheet himself Jamie Bowden had a promising effort blocked by Tanimowo. Whilst the impressive Luis Binks managed to make an important block to thwart Onen’s effort at the other end. However, an absurd decision from the referee on 68 minutes allowed Brighton to pull a goal back through Onen, who secured his hat-trick. Lyons-Foster was clearly tripped from behind by Onen as he attempted to play the ball out from the back all the players paused presuming a free kick has been awarded. But to everyone’s surprise the referee waived play on as Onen raced inside the penalty area, De Bie came rushing off of his line and made a good stop to deny the Brighton forward. However, the ball rolled back out to Onen on the edge of the penalty area and he made no mistakes this time round as he calmly slotted into the back of the net, 6-4. However, this didn’t affect Spurs in the slightest they continued to dominate possession and were knocking the ball around for fun. Maghoma had a shot blocked by Roberts before Parrott forced an easy stop out of Bentley after getting on the end of Bowden’s cross. The newly introduced Mukendi made a brilliant crunching challenge which brought rapturous applause from the spectators, as Spurs continued to press Brighton ridiculously high up the pitch. Continuing to create, Harvey White could have had a hat-trick of assists had Binks have been able to convert his cross which was gathered by Bentley. Onen fired narrowly over at the other end before Binks made a magnificent block to deny the same player, as Brighton tried to get back into the game but it wasn’t working. Our lads almost hit seven when Bennett embarked on yet another promising run down the left hand side. Bennett’s run ended in him smashing the ball agonisingly across the face of the goal. The former QPR schoolboy went close again a couple of minutes later after powering his way down the wing he came across onto his right before firing a low effort a fraction wide of the Brighton goal.
Spurs continued to create a flurry of late chances, as the game began to draw to a close. A well worked move saw Bowden pass the ball to Maghoma the latter surged forwards before shifting the ball out to Bennett on the left side of the penalty area. Bennett turned his man before firing over, failing to register Maghoma who had created a good pocket of space on the edge of the penalty area. The final score Spurs 6-4 Brighton, a most extraordinary game of football on day one of the new season sees Matt Wells’ side pick up three points against a good Brighton team. It was a performance of great character and resilience from Spurs particularly in the second half where they put in an unstoppable attacking display. Up next for our under 18’s is a trip to South Wales where they will face Swansea at their Landore training centre, next Saturday morning.
Player reviews: – Jonathan De Bie: I must admit I was a little surprised to see the Belgian start against Brighton. The overage goalkeeper had a good game against the seagulls as he took the captains armband once again at this level. There was nothing he could of done to prevent any of Brighton’s goals, De Bie made some good saves throughout the game and put in a good strong performance. The 18 year old also ordered his defence well whenever they had to defend a set piece.
– Maximus Tainio: On the whole it was a decent performance from the young Finn who slotted into a back three for our win against Brighton on Saturday. Although he was caught out for pace on a coupe of occasions Tainio put in a strong and commanding performance before shifting out to his more natural position of right back towards the end of the game.
– Luis Binks: It was a memorable day for young Luis Binks, the England u17 international put in a really impressive display at centre half. Making many crucial interceptions and blocks, like Lyons-Foster Binks loves to play out from the back and he did so a lot against the seagulls. He showed good composure and made some nice forward passes. He topped it all of with his first goal at this level.
– Harvey White: A player who I am a big fan of, the cdm dropped back to form our incredibly young back three. Solid and composed throughout the game White put in a really strong defensive performance. However, it was his excellent crossing ability which won the plaudits against Brighton as he bagged two assists against the seagulls.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Really good cameo from the ball playing centre half. The 17 year old put in a strong performance and really bolstered our defence after coming on and didn’t put a foot wrong. Lyons-Foster also managed to score his first goal at this level!
– Dennis Cirkin: He looked solid during his 14 minutes on the field. Cirkin stayed deep.
– Jamie Bowden: The deepest of our midfield trio Bowden swept up well in the centre of the park. Asserting himself well on the game, Jamie really grew into the game and made many clever choices. He was particularly impressive during the second half where he got forward a lot more.
– Paris Maghoma: My motm, see below.
– Armando Shashoua: Like a bee buzzing around in the faces of the Brighton defenders. The technically brilliant midfielder was a thorn in Brighton’s side throughout the game, playing such a pivotal role in our win. His trademark pressing and constant bombardment of the Brighton defence forced them into making numerous errors during our 6-4 win. Not only that but the slick midfield technician recycled possession well, and initiated many moves in the final third with his crisp and accurate passing. The 17 year old was also very good on the ball, his dribbling really worked the Brighton defenders. It was an excellent performance from the 17 year old who managed to register two assists on game one of the new season. He was so key to Spurs breaking Brighton down.
– Dilan Markanday: Constantly getting into good pockets of space out on the right flank. Markanday who it’s worth remembering is still only 16, put in a really impressive performance. With his many weaving runs and lovely well weighted passes into the danger zone, he remained a threat throughout.
– Phoenix Patterson: The number 10 really took the game by the scruff of the neck and would go onto make a positive impression on the game. He was heavily involved in so many of our attacks, Patterson was tricky and astute. Often driving at the opposition, he was at the forefront of so many of our attacking forays. The 17 year old also managed to set up Luis Binks goal with a well weighted cross.
– Jeremie Mukendi: Mukendi looked promising during his late cameo as he embarked on a couple of fruitful runs down the right. His well timed crunching challenge shortly after coming on drew praise from the audience.
– J’Neil Bennett: A player who you’ll all know I’m a big fan of, the 16 year old left winger put in a superb performance against Brighton on Saturday. The Zaha like showman took players on for fun, galavanting down the left wing as if he was freestyler. However, Bennett was hugely productive throughout the game and created many chances from that left hand side. The trickster wrapped up a superb performance with a glorious goal from long range. He is going to be such an important player for Wells’ side this season.
– Troy Parrott: After spending the majority of pre-season away with our development side it was good to see the 16 year old centre forward back playing at this level. Extremely hard working throughout the entirety of the game, not only did Parrott press high he also involved himself much deeper in the pitch. Winning the ball in the centre of the park and driving forwards. Hugely deserving of his two goals of which were typical poachers finishes, Parrott had a great game all round and could even appear on the bench for our next under 23 game. It’s also worth mentioning that there was a scout from the FAI in attendance.
My man of the match: Paris Maghoma. Energetic, box to box and extremely influential to the way in which Spurs played, Paris Maghoma was hands down my man of the match yesterday. He did his role so well in the centre of midfield, like a young Paul Pogba he was effective at both ends of the pitch. In the first half he was much deeper and added real steel and tenacity to the side, bossing the central areas and dictating play. Maghoma also did well to set up Parrott for his first goal of the game. In the second half the 17 year old was quite simply unplayable, he got further up the pitch much more often. And was constantly linking up with the likes of Parrott and Bennett. The scorer of one of the most sumptuous goal I’ve ever seen at this level. Young Paris put in the complete midfield performance, his driving runs and multiple key passes helped us to unravel the Brighton defence. Another thing I noticed about his game was how often he was able to find himself in little pockets around the six yard box. A superb game for the teenager who I’m sure will be heavily involved with the development squad this season.
Spurs: De Bie (c), Tainio, Binks, Bowden, White, Maghoma, Markanday (Mukendi 73), A Shashoua (Cirkin 80), Parrott, Patterson (Lyons-Foster 59), Bennett. Substitute (not used): Oluwayemi, Walcott.
Referee: Shaun Barry.
Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19:
Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 2
Luis Binks – 1
Paris Maghoma – 1
Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 1
J’Neil Bennett -1
Assists: Harvey White – 2
Armando Shashoua – 2
Phoenix Patterson -1
Paris Maghoma – 1