Spurs under 18’s 7-0 Norwich City: (match report)
It was just another day at the office for Matt Wells sparkling under 18 side on Saturday morning, when they overcame bottom of the table Norwich City 7-0 at Hotspur Way, to strengthen their place at the top of the southern division. Sharp, incisive and often shifting shape, Wells high flying side had to do without the likes of J’Neil Bennett, Jamie Bowden and Rodel Richards who were presumably being rested for Wednesdays Checkatrade trophy game against Gillingham in mind. However, we still started with a strong side of which included the likes of Troy Parrott, Dilan Markanday and Luis Binks in the starting eleven. Spurs’ attacking high intensity football blew what was an incredibly lacklustre Norwich side apart. Wells side bossed the game from start to finish against a canaries side who offered virtually nothing going forwards. David Wright’s side were woeful but we made them look that way. We didn’t even have to play at full capacity to tear the visitors apart with our exciting brand of attacking football. It was all one way traffic at Hotspur Way, and after starting the game brightly we took the lead in the 12th minute courtesy of a glorious free kick from Harvey White. From that moment onwards we dominated the game with our fluent attacking football, constant shape shifting and deftness in and around the six yard box. Rayan Clarke made it 2-0 on the half hour mark with an unstoppable strike before captain Armando Shashoua made it 3-0 on the stroke of half time. The second half was like men against boys, and as David Wright’s side tired we appeared to up our game. A four goal blitz in a high tempo second half saw goals from Markanday, Clarke, Parrott and Pochettino complete a stunning 7-0 win over Norwich. And we could so easily have hit double figures, such was our dominance on the game. Matt Wells decided to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with Oluwayemi keeping his place in goal behind a strong back four which consisted of Tainio, Statham, Binks and Cirkin. A quick word of warning, my notepad got absolutely saturated in the pouring rain at Hotspur Way yesterday so if this report appears not to be as in-depth as the others I can only apologise!
Harvey White and the captain Armando Shashoua manned the centre of the park whilst the attacking trio of Markanday, Patterson and Clarke lined up behind Troy Parrott, who led the line for the third time this season for our under 18’s. The visitors got the game underway at a bitterly cold and cloudy Hotspur Way, which contained an interesting sea of advertising hoardings in Portuguese, around the pitch that the game was being played on. I believe that this was in preparation for the Brazil national team training here over the forthcoming international break. After starting the game well it took Wells side less than a couple of minutes before they created their first real chance of the game, which came from a corner kick. Shashoua decided to play it short to Patterson who picked the ball up on the right flank before cutting inside onto his left foot, and then firing a low effort wide of Daniel Barden’s near post, from the edge of the penalty area. Harvey White then made an important piece of defending to win the ball off of Aaron Ekumah, who went speeding dangerously down the right wing at the other end. But our very own Dilan Markanday went on an even better attacking foray a couple of moments later which caused him to unbalance several Norwich players, after he went on an excellent weaving run from the right flank. The 17 year old glided past several Norwich defenders like a young George Best before ignoring the likes of Patterson and Clarke as he tried to take the ball into the penalty area where he was intercepted by Denzelle Olopade. Phoenix Patterson then clipped the ball across the face of the Norwich goal after latching onto Clarke’s cross inside the box, a couple of moments after Markanday’s chance. And the early pressure which had been applied by Wells side paid off, when the young Lilywhites took the lead inside the 12th minute of the game. The goal came from a free kick which was excellently dispatched by the inform Harvey White after he stepped up to take it, after Armando Shashoua had won the free kick right on the edge of the Norwich penalty area.
The set piece specialist stood up confidently before bending the ball over the Norwich wall and into the top right hand side of the goal, leaving Daniel Barden helpless as he tried to get to the ball. It was a glorious effort from White which had such curl on the ball to get it over the Norwich wall from such close range, 1-0. The lively Phoenix Patterson had an effort on goal blocked by Andrew Omobamidele shortly after the restart as Spurs went in search of their second of the game. However, Norwich almost drew level after catching us on the break but for a superb goal line clearance by Maxwell Statham. The move from the so far quiet canaries had caught us by surprise after Ekumah threaded the ball through to Isak Thorvaldsson down the right. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Oluwayemi came rushing off of his goal line as Thorvaldsson entered the penalty area. However, the Norwich forward managed to jink past the Tottenham goalkeeper before then trying to clip the ball home from an acute angle, but Statham had done superbly well to get back to make an excellent sliding block on the line to keep Spurs’ 1-0 lead intact. And the 18 year old centre half made another important defensive contribution to the game a couple of minutes later when he cleared Thorvaldsson’s menacing cross inside the penalty area before Tyrese Omotoye could get to the ball. After going on a good powerful run at the other end Rayan Clarke had a cross gathered by Daniel Barden a couple of moments before Wells side hit the woodwork through the potent Shashoua. The Tottenham captain was lurking down the right hand side of the penalty area when Dennis Cirkin’s low deflected cross managed to trickle through to him. Shashoua looked up before smashing the ball against the crossbar from close range with a venemous effort. However, the linesman on the near side had raised his flag for offside. But none of that was to matter, as Rayan Clarke netted our second of the game a matter of minutes later and right on the half hour mark.
Clarke was picked out by a superb long pass from White to the the winger out on the left wing. And Clarke only had one thing on his mind after he cut inside onto his right foot on the edge of the penalty area before rifling an unstoppable Townsend-esque effort into the top right hand corner of Barden’s goal, 2-0. Joshua Oluwayemi made his first save of the game a couple of minutes later to deny former Spur Anis Mehmeti’s deflected low effort. Wells side maintained their high work rate and their creativity towards the end of the half was starting to really wear down the Norwich defence. After the energetic Dilan Markanday had won the ball off of Norwich’s Louis Lomas inside his own half, the Tottenham forward quickly fed the ball into the so far uninvolved Parrott down the right. Parrott tried to square the ball for Patterson inside the penalty area but he couldn’t quite pull it off. However, Spurs made it 3-0 on the 39th minute through Armando Shashoua. It was another very fast move from Spurs as Patterson passed the ball out to Cirkin on the left wing. The fullbacks low cross took a deflection off of Ekumah but the ball managed to squirm out to Shashoua down the right side of the penalty area. And the Tottenham captain made no mistake from close range as he managed to slot the ball past Barden and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. That was despite the fact that the Norwich goalkeeper had tried his best to close down the goal for Shashoua by spreading his body well, 3-0. A lively final couple of minutes to the half ensued, Patterson had a promising cross cleared by Omobamidele before Troy Parrott had his first shot on goal of the game. The 16 year old tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the penalty area, but his effort took a hefty deflection off of Lomas before Barden gathered the ball. Maximus Tainio then made an important block at the other end to thwart Matt Richardson’s effort to bring to an end, an excellent half of football from Matt Wells side.
Spurs got the second half underway as the gushing rain started to come down onto the pitch. And we started the half exceptionally well, Rayan Clarke came desperately close to scoring his second goal of the game after receiving the ball out on the left wing, before cutting inside and rattling Barden’s near hand post with a thumping effort on goal. And a couple of minutes later the 17 year old was involved in our fourth goal of the game after he found Patterson out on the right wing. The 18 year old sent a low cross into the penalty area which found Markanday in the centre of the box. The forward sorted his feet out quickly before forcing a good stop out of Barden. However, Markanday made no mistakes on the follow up as he got to the ball before the Norwich goalkeeper before slotting the ball home, 4-0. Harvey White did well to clear Louis Lomas’s cross shortly after the restart as Spurs looked to build out from the back and extend their already impressive lead. Norwich goalkeeper Daniel Barden did well to thwart Troy Parrott’s side footed effort from 20 yards out before the Dubliner came so close to meeting fellow Dubliner Dennis Cirkin’s cross inside the box a couple of moments later. However, Parrott finally managed to get on the scoresheet in the 60th minute courtesy of a wonderful pass from White. The midfielder managed to pick Parrott out in the centre of the box with a wonderfully weighted cross from the right wing. Parrott attacked it first time and the ball ended up hitting the post off of his knee, but the striker managed to get to the loose ball before Barden to tap home from close range, 5-0. Spurs were playing the game at a phenomenal speed and they managed to make it 6-0 less than a minute after Parrott’s goal. Another fluent passing move saw the Irishman shift the ball to Shashoua on the edge of the penalty area. The Spurs captain quickly released the ball to Clarke down the left side of the penalty area and the wide man clinically drilled the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal to make it 6-0 to Spurs.
Spurs continued to dominate the game and they had a chance to make it 7-0 after Dennis Cirkin had been brought down from behind down the left side of the penalty area by Denzelle Olopade, this resulted in the referee Stephen Bates pointing straight to the spot. The usual penalty taker Harvey White let Rayan Clarke take the penalty as he was on a hat-trick. However, Patterson went over to Clarke and clearly persuaded him to hand over the ball to him, but his powerful low spot kick was well saved to his left by the diving Barden. This didn’t effect Spurs in the slightest and they were back attacking the Norwich defence a matter of seconds later after Parrott played in Markanday down the right wing. The tricky winger cut inside onto his left before firing the ball onto the crossbar with a venomous effort from the edge of the penalty area. Phoenix Patterson and Dilan Markanday left the field shortly afterwards in place of Thorpe and Pochettino for the remaining 25 minutes of the game. And centre half Jubril Okedina entered the frame a couple of minutes later when he replaced Luis Binks at centre half. Troy Parrot had a volley from close range excellently blocked by Lomas after he went to meet Tainio’s cross inside the box before Joshua Oluwayemi made a comfortable catch to deal with Atli Barkarson’s cross. Spurs were still pushing for more goals and we came close to extending our lead after the newly introduced Elliot Thorpe played in Shashoua through the middle. The midfielder saw his initial effort saved by Barden before racing to meet the loose ball and then poking it onto the left post. And the influential captain made a defence splitting a couple of minutes later to set Parrott galavanting down the left side, with only Barden to beat. However, it seemed as if the young Irishman had too much time to think about where he was going to put the ball, and in the end he hit a rather tame low effort which was well saved by the feet of the Norwich goalkeeper.
The young centre forward made amends for his miss when he assisted Maurizio Pochettino for our seventh and final goal of the game in the 79th minute. Parrott played a nicely weighted pass through to Pochettino down the right hand side of the box. The Barcelona born winger steadied himself before finishing the move off with an excellent finish into the roof of the Norwich goal, 7-0. A flurry of late chances came the young Lilywhites way as they managed to maintain their high intensity after Oluwayemi made a decent save to stop substitute Jaden Thompson-Brissett’s effort from range. The electric Rayan Clarke fired narrowly wide for Wells side after Thorpe had picked him out on the left wing. Elliot Thorpe then forced an excellent save out of Barden with a thumping effort from close range before Clarke fired an effort wide of goal, but it was Troy Parrott who had the best late chance of the game. Once again it was Shashoua who played the striker through on goal with a clever pass, but Parrott lacked the composure needed to beat Barden and his effort was straight at the Norwich goalkeeper. Rayan Clarke blazed an effort wide deep in stoppage time in what was the final notable piece of action of the game, as Matt Wells free scoring side inflicted a humiliating 7-0 defeat over what was a very poor Norwich side on the day, but then again we seem to make every team that we face look poor. Our under 18’s next league game comes against Aston Villa on the 20th of October.
- Joshua Oluwayemi: Oluwayemi was a spectator for the vast majority of the game and the 17 year old had the great pleasure of watching his teammates tear apart the Norwich defence. Oluwayemi made two saves throughout the whole game, both of which were incredibly routine saves. Nevertheless, Oluwayemi managed to record his third clean sheet of the season.
- Maximus Tainio: The right back anticipated danger well and he put in a strong and very solid performance against Norwich’s Atil Barkarson, and he managed to keep the Norwich man in check. Tainio made a significant sliding block towards the end of the first half.
- Maxwell Statham: The commanding centre back put in another excellent performance for Matt Wells side albeit against a not very threatening Norwich attack. Statham was so assured and composed in his defending and the 18 year old read the game exceptionally well. His passing was good, as was his positioning and aerial dominance. However, it was Statham’s superb goal saving block early on in the game from Thorvaldsson’s effort, which proved to be so important. He made a couple of good interceptions during that half and he certainly made the Norwich forwards aware of his presence. The centre half’s decision making was excellent on the day.
- Luis Binks: Like his teammate Maxwell Statham, Luis Binks didn’t put a foot wrong at centre half. The 17 year old who was recently called up for Scotland under 18’s has started the season superbly. Even though the canaries were really poor going forwards, Binks impressed me with his decision making and positioning. In addition his trademark cross field diagonal balls were sublime once again. He was so mature in his play that it’s easy to forget that he’s still only a first year scholar. I would expect him to be involved against Gillingham in midweek.
- Dennis Cirkin: The left back put in an excellent performance on Saturday morning, both defensively and offensively speaking. He read the game well and defended impeccably against his old teammate Anis Mehmeti. Cirkin maintained excellent balance throughout the game and he defended that side of the pitch tightly. He was also a real threat going forwards and he would often link up well with Clarke down the flank. Often overlapping his man, the 16 year old whipped some nice balls into the box and he managed to set up Shashoua’s goal on the stroke of halftime.
- Harvey White: My motm, see below.
- Armando Shashoua: The skipper was a real live wire in the centre of midfield and he was one of our most creative players. Excellent at going forwards, Armando’s excellent link up play with the likes of Parrott and Patterson, and his movement in the six yard box was just superb. Shashoua scored a well taken goal in the first half and the 17 year old could have had a couple more. The creative midfielder was so good on the ball and during the second half alone he managed to put Parrott through on goal on two separate occasions. Shashoua has now been directly involved in seven of our league goals this season.
- Dilan Markanday: With his many weaving runs, high work rate and dazzling skills. The ever impressive winger danced around the park like a young George Best. His movement against the canaries was incredible and his ability to drive at the Norwich defence caused so many problems. The 17 year old was so creative down the right wing and his many menacing attacking forays (some of which were incredible to witness!) helped to create so many chances. Markanday scored a well taken goal in the second half and he went on to hit the woodwork later on in the game.
- Phoenix Patterson: Patterson operated as a 10 for the Norwich game and all in all I thought he gave a good impression. He was involved in a lot of our attacking moves and he got an assist during the second half before he was brought off in place of Pochettino.
- Rayan Clarke: The powerful left winger had a terrific game and he caused Norwich fullback Matt Richardson so many problems down that side of the pitch. Linking up well with teammate Dennis Cirkin down the left wing, Clarke posed a constant threat with his direct runs. And the 17 year old continued his fine start to the season by scoring a well deserved brace. It was a very Townsend-esque performance from the wide man who would often cut inside onto his right before testing the keeper with a typically powerful effort. Clarke took his two goals extremely well and on another day he could have added to that tally. Although at times he was a bit blinkered in the final third and instead of squaring for players in the box he would opt to go for glory himself. However, he was excellent throughout the game.
- Troy Parrott: It was by no means the best game he’s ever had, the hardworking centre forward found himself slightly isolated for large periods of the game (particularly in the first half). Having said that he did chip in with another goal and assist and made many good runs through the middle, but he easily could have had a hat-trick against a really poor Norwich defence. The Dubliner missed two one on ones against the canaries. Parrott now heads off to Ireland for the international break and will be unable to play against Gillingham in midweek.
- Elliot Thorpe: It was a really positive second half cameo from the superbly technical Welshman, who played just behind Parrott. His passing was crisp and he went on some nice little runs and came close to getting on the scoresheet but for an excellent save from Barden.
- Maurizio Pochettino: The gaffers son had a lively cameo, and he topped of a good display with an excellently taken finish towards the end of the game.
- Jubril Okedina: He slotted in seamlessly into the back four after replacing Binks and put in an assured performance.
My man of the match: Harvey White. For the second time in our last two under 18 matches, midfield anchorman Harvey White has had a profound impact on the way in which Matt Wells side have played. The central midfielder ran the show against Norwich with his creativity from deep. The 17 year old bossed the midfield against an incredibly lacklustre Norwich side and he could often be seen breaking up play and making important defensive interventions. Furthermore, the inform first year scholar had a hand in three of our seven goals. The scorer of a wonderfully taken free kick to open the scoring, White laid off a further two assists for his teammates. The first was a superb long diagonal pass to pick out Clarke on the left flank, and the second was an inch perfect cross to find Parrott inside the danger zone. His passing and vision is so good for such a young player, quite Shelvey-esque in many ways. He showed off his passing range with both feet against the canaries. Like Bowden, he scrapped for every ball and always looked so composed in what ever he did.
Spurs: Oluwayemi, Tainio, Cirkin, White, Statham, Binks (Okedina 70), Markanday (Pochettino 64), A Shashoua (c), Parrott, Patterson (Thorpe 64), Clarke. Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Mukendi.
Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19
Goals scored: J’Neil Bennett – 5
Troy Parrott – 5
Rayan Clarke – 4
Dilan Markanday – 4
Harvey White – 3
Paris Maghoma – 2
Dennis Cirkin – 2
Jeremie Mukendi – 2
Rodel Richards – 2
Armando Shashoua – 2
Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2
Luis Binks – 1
Phoenix Patterson – 1
Maurizio Pochettino – 1
Assists: Harvey White – 7
Jamie Bowden – 5
Armando Shashoua – 5
Phoenix Patterson – 4
Troy Parrott – 3
Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2
Paris Maghoma – 1
Maurizio Pochettino – 1
J’Neil Bennett – 1
Malachi Walcott – 1
Luis Binks – 1
Rodel Richards – 1
Dilan Markanday -1
Rayan Clarke – 1
Dennis Cirkin – 1
Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 3