Spurs under 21’s 4-0 Gillingham: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 4-0 Gillingham: (match report)

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Despite the fact that Wayne Burnett’s development side was somewhat depleted due to the ongoing international break, and the fact that they were missing several key players to injury. Spurs’ under 21 side put in a heroic, remarkably controlled and downright impressive performance to overcome league one side Gillingham 4-0, in their second group game of this seasons Checkatrade trophy, on Tuesday evening. Played at the Valley (Charlton Athletics ground) due to essential pitch work at Gillingham’s Priestfield stadium, Tuesday nights game had a bit of an odd feel to it. A rather low number of 308 spectators attended the game at the Valley but for those that did make the trip to south London they got to witness a more hungry, energetic and technical Spurs side play league one Gillingham off the park. Our young side which included the likes of Rodel Richards, Jamie Bowden and Paris Maghoma in the starting eleven, totally humiliated the Gills to move up to second place in the group. To put our win into context, Gillingham fielded a strong side which wasn’t that different to the one that had beaten Portsmouth 2-0 in league one, at the weekend. Burnett’s side went into Tuesday’s game with one point to their name, and a win in normal time against Gillingham was essential if they wanted to strengthen their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages. Our youngsters started the game positively much like they had done in the previous fixture against Crawley. We passed the ball around well and managed to hold our own against an experienced Gills side which included the likes of Max Ehmer and Tom Eaves in Steve Lovell’s starting eleven. After contesting a fairly close first half which had seen Burnett’s side have the better chances. His youngsters took the lead right on the stroke of half time courtesy of a goal from the ever impressive Jack Roles, following an incisive attacking move from the Spurs youngsters. Our back three of Jonathan Dinzeyi, Japhet Tanganga and George Marsh defended superbly well to thwart a Gillingham fight back at the beginning of the second half.

Burnett’s side doubled their lead in the 57th minute of time through Paris Maghoma after the 17 year old had played a clever one – two with Roles on the edge of the Gillingham box, before firing home from inside the penalty area with  a really composed finish. Spurs controlled the game for the final half an hour or so of proceedings. They humiliated what could only be described as a lacklustre Gillingham side which exhibited a serious lack of desire to mount a fight back against Spurs. Burnett’s teenagers made it 3-0 in the 82nd minute courtesy of a well deserved goal from left back Jaden Brown. And Spurs put the icing on the cake in the 93rd minute after substitute Dylan Duncan won a spot kick which he duly converted to round off a hugely impressive 4-0 victory for our development side. And in doing so they had created a bit of club history by becoming the first Spurs team to win a game in the Checkatrade trophy since its inception. The young Spurs lads from Bulls Cross now have the chance to qualify into the knockout stages of the competition in their final group game against Portsmouth. A win against the league one leaders next month would also result in them winning the group. Burnett was missing the likes of Luke Amos, Anthony Georgiou and Shayon Harrison for the trip to the Valley this resulted in him fielding a host of players from the clubs under 18 side. Alfie Whiteman returned to the development side to start in goal following his time with the first team. Burnett and Bracewell opted to go for the 3-5-2 formation for the Checkatrade trophy game against Gillingham. Although this would later revert into a 5-3-2 formation during the second half, the back five of Hinds, Marsh, Tanganga, Dinzeyi and Brown lined up in front of the Tottenham goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman. Whilst the central midfield trio of Paris Maghoma, captain Oliver Skipp and Jamie Bowden lined up in the centre of the park. And whilst the inform Jack Roles was more of a shadow striker, Spurs lined up with two out and out strikers in the Cypriot youth international and second year scholar Rodel Richards who made his first appearance for the development side.

The so called home side got the game underway at the Valley in front of the 308 enthusiastic supporters who had made the trip to the home of Gillingham’s arch rivals. After some good early passing moves by Burnett’s side, both teams were scrapping for possession in the opening stages of the game. However, the young Lilywhites looked the sharper of the two sides in the early periods of the game, and the ever present Oliver Skipp managed to play a perfectly weighted through ball to set Richards racing through on goal. However, the 18 year old was adjudged to have been in an offside position when the pass was made, by the linesman on the near side. Paris Maghoma volleyed wide shortly afterwards from inside the Gillingham box after his following corner kick had been headed away by a Gillingham defender. Elliot List poked wide Max Ehmer’s inviting cross narrowly ajar of the Tottenham goal at the near post shortly afterwards, as the Gills threatened the Spurs defence for the first time in the game. Alfie Whiteman then gathered Luke O’Neills fierce strike from range as both sides attempted to get a foothold on the game. The game had been played at quite a high tempo from both sides during the opening 15 or so minutes. Burnett’s 

lads then created two good chances in quick succession, first through left back Jaden Brown after he received Roles’ pass out on the left wing, before cutting inside and dragging an effort narrowly wide of Tom Hadler’s goal. And then through Jack Roles himself after the midfielder squandered a glorious chance for Spurs. Paris Maghoma shifted the ball out to Brown on the left wing and the Tottenham fullback whipped the ball into the danger zone. However, his cross was headed away by Gills defender Ben Chapman, but only into the path of Roles on the edge of the penalty area. Roles caught the ball on the half volley, and whilst he would usually gobble up chances of that nature, Roles hadn’t caught the ball as cleanly as he would have liked to, and it ended flashing narrowly wide of Hadler’s left hand post much to the Tottenham midfielders bewilderment.

Jamie Bowden curled an effort over from range a couple of moments later as Spurs continued to ask questions of the Gillingham defence. Alfie Whiteman dealt comfortably with Chapman’s ambitious volley from long range at the other end, as Spurs continued to control the flow of the game. Burnett’s side were seeing a lot more of the ball. The fast paced nature of the game continued, Maghoma almost managed to set Richards through on goal with a nicely weighted defence splitting pass before O’Neill fired an effort wide from long range a couple of moments after Gillingham captain Max Ehmer had caused a bit of panic amongst the Spurs defence with a menacing cross into the Spurs box. Thankfully Jaden Brown was on hand to clear the ball out for a corner kick. Brown had been exploiting Gillingham’s defensive weaknesses down the left flank and the potent teenager managed to cause more problems for their defence when he pumped a dangerous ball into the penalty area. Unable to clear it out properly the ball came out to Roles in the centre of the six yard box however, the 19 year old pulled out of taking a shot at the last moments, amidst a sea of Gillingham defenders. Roles was taken out from behind by a sliding challenge from Chapman a couple of minutes later which resulted in the Gillingham player going into the referees book. Rodel Richards did well to win a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the oppositions penalty area, right on the stroke of half time. Paris Maghoma’s resulting effort flew into the bottom of the Gillingham wall but the ball came back out to the 17 year old, whose following effort at goal was blocked by Ben Chapman. Burnett’s side finished the half strongly and a matter of moments after Maghoma had almost managed to pick out Richards inside the box, Spurs took a well deserved lead right on the stroke of halftime through Jack Roles. It was a sharp incisive move from the Spurs youngsters which had managed to carve open the Gillingham defence with such ease. A clever one – two between Maghoma and Richards resulted in the former travelling with the ball down the right hand side of the box. Despite the run of Roles who was ghosting in at the far post, the midfielder opted to go for goal.

Maghoma’s powerfully struck low effort stung the palms of the diving Hadler who was unable to get a hold of the ball. The razor sharp Roles was quickest to the loose ball and the alert midfielder managed to get to it before Hadler, to chip the ball into the roof of the goal. It was a really smart finish from the 19 year old, 1-0. Gillingham responded through Elliot List who met Luke O’Neills cross inside the Spurs box, but the centre forward ended up volleying the ball well wide of Whiteman’s goal, to bring to an end an extremely positive first half for Burnett’s side. Spurs got the second half back underway at the Valley as they looked to protect their slender 1-0 advantage over the league one side. Steve Lovell’s Gillingham started the half well and it didn’t take them long to test the Spurs defence. List forced Whiteman to tip his header over the crossbar after the Gillingham forward had connected with O’Neill’s cross in the six yard box. Japhet Tanganga made an important clearance at the back post to deal with another testing delivery from the Gillingham fullback a couple of minutes later before Marsh blocked Garmston’s cross, the former West Brom man then fired wide from the edge of the penalty area. Despite the home sides good start to the half, Burnett’s sharper and more incisive side were never far away from hurting the Gills. And that’s exactly what Burnett’s side managed to do in the 57th of minute of time through their most influential player on the park, Paris Maghoma. The goal had come from Tom Hadler’s long kick up field which Tanganga had won in the centre of the park. The Spurs defender headed the ball to Roles on the edge of the penalty area. Roles smartly swivelled round before unselfishly slipping the ball into Maghoma down the left side of the penalty area. Maghoma took a touch before calmly stepping inside and firing an unstoppable low effort past the Gillingham goalkeeper, and into the middle of the goal to make it 2-0 the young Lilywhites. 

Burnett’s side were in full control of the game and after doubling their advantage they seemed to grow in confidence. We produced another attacking move shortly after the restart when Hinds found Roles in the centre of midfield. Roles played a clever pass through to Richards who managed to trick his way into the penalty area before Tucker came across him to intercept the ball. Navid Nasseri responded for Gillingham by dragging an effort across the face of Whiteman’s goal. And the Tottenham goalkeeper who had, had very little to do during the game came out of his goal to get to the ball before substitute Brandon Hanlon could get to it, a couple of minutes later. Spurs had dropped deeper and the likes of Bowden and Maghoma were now playing in more defensive positions. The tireless George Marsh made a vital defensive intervention to prevent Eaves from being played through on goal down the left side of the penalty area. J’Neil Bennett replaced the highly influential Jack Roles shortly afterwards as Spurs continued to control the flow of the game. Whiteman made an easy save from Eaves deflected effort before Spurs caught the Kent club at the other end to make it 3-0. It was another well worked passing move from Burnett’s side which started with Maghoma inside Spurs’ own half after he passed the ball out to Marsh on the right wing. Marsh passed the ball to Skipp who travelled forwards with the ball before poking it through to the newly introduced J’Neil Bennett who had only the goalkeeper to beat. However, the 16 year olds tame effort was hit straight at Hadler who could only parry it into the feet of Brown down the left side of the penalty area. Brown took a touch before calmly slotting the ball past Hadler who had to managed to get back on his line in time, 3-0. Luis Binks came onto replace Jonathan Dinzeyi shortly afterwards to play against his boyhood club in what must have been an incredibly special occasion for the 17 year old and his family. Dylan Duncan also entered the frame when he replaced Tariq Hinds in the 85th minute. Nasseri flashed an effort wide of goal a couple of minutes later as Gillingham started to fade into the background as we entered the final stages of the game.

Paris Maghoma went on a good attacking foray into the Gillingham penalty area before being intercepted by a defender after he had latched onto Binks pass. And deep in stoppage time Spurs put the icing on the cake when they made it 4-0, the goal came from a penalty kick which had been won by Duncan after he had darted into the box to receive Bennett’s pass before being brought down by the sliding Jack Tucker. Without any hesitation the referee Antony Coggins pointed straight to the spot. Duncan elected to take the penalty and the 19 year old duly obliged by cooly tucking the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal as Hadler went the wrong way, 4-0. That was the final piece of action from a remarkable and hugely impressive game from Spurs’ perspective. Burnett’s team of teenagers managed to control the game against the league one side from start to finish, it was such a mature and well measured performance from our young lads. Our emphatic win over the Gills on Tuesday evening has now put us in an excellent position of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Checkatrade trophy. Our final group game will be against already qualified Portsmouth at Fratton Park, next month. Meanwhile, our under 23’s next PL2 game is against Leicester City on Friday the 19th of October.

Player reviews:

  • Alfie Whiteman: Whiteman returned to action for Burnett’s side to put in a solid performance at the Valley on Tuesday evening. Whilst he didn’t have an awful lot to do, Whiteman produced some good saves and made some important decisions throughout the game.
  • George Marsh: Marsh was the beating heart of the Spurs defence in our Checkatrade trophy game against Gillingham. Marsh operated on the right hand side of the Tottenham back three, and the 19 year old put in a commanding performance and helped to neutralise the threat of Gillingham centre forward Tom Eaves. Marsh read the game well and made some hugely important defensive interventions and clearances.
  • Japhet Tanganga: Tanganga lined up in the centre of the Tottenham defence and like his teammate George Marsh, the 19 year old put in a really effective and mature performance. Dominant in the air and strong in the challenge, the centre half was rock solid for Spurs. He maintained good positioning throughout the game and he didn’t put a foot wrong as far as I could see. Tanganga also played a part in our second goal of the game.
  • Jonathan Dinzeyi: The 18 year old played on the left side of our ‘ back three ‘ and once again Dinzeyi looked really composed and made a positive contribution to the game. Dinzeyi made a number of important challenges and blocks and he helped to play it out from the back well.
  • Tariq Hinds: The right back was solid and did a good job at protecting that side of the pitch even though Gillingham didn’t play with a lot of width about their game. Hinds read the game well and defended tightly under pressure whilst also going on some nice attacking forays down the right wing.
  • Jamie Bowden: Once again the 17 year old central midfielder took like a duck to water to playing against men. Bowden played on the right side of our midfield three and his calming presence really helped Spurs out defensively. Naturally deep lying, Bowden operated in a very Winks-esque manner. He helped to dictate play from deep, Bowden scrapped for every ball that came within five meters of him and his hard work at breaking up play and recycling possession helped the likes of Maghoma and Skipp to express themselves going forwards. Because of his skinny frame the Gillingham players tried to rough him up and they went in quite hard on him on numerous occasions, but it didn’t unsettle him in the slightest. Bowden often got into good pockets of space and his deftly accurate passing was so, so good. He is such a wonderful midfielder who is well ahead of his years.
  • Oliver Skipp: Young Oliver Skipp put in a masterful midfield performance against Gillingham. Operating in the centre of a midfield three, Skipp was so influential to the way in which Spurs played. He was everywhere across the middle of the park. He controlled the game and put in a real shift at both ends of the pitch. He read the game to perfection and he dominated  in the centre of the park. His passing and vision were superb and I really liked how advanced a role he played against Gillingham particularly towards the latter stages of the game when he was essentially playing as a number ten.  Skipp would often go on driving runs through the middle.
  • Paris Maghoma: My motm, see below.
  • Jaden Brown: Brown put in an excellent shift at left back both defensively and offensively. Brown’s pace and many good crosses caused the Gillingham defence a whole host of problems. The 19 year old also got on the scoresheet courtesy of a really clinical finish towards the end of the game.
  • Jack Roles: It is little coincidence that our development sides best performances this season have all come with Roles on the pitch. The Cyprus under 21 international put in an outstanding performance against the Gills. Playing as a shadow striker to Rodel Richards, Roles’ guile, creativity and high work rate were all hugely impressive on the night. He opened the scoring for us with a typical poachers finish from close range before assisting Maghoma for the second after some great skill on the edge of the six yard box. He was so influential and his movement and razor sharp instincts could have resulted in him getting a couple of more goals on another day. Hopefully he will continue to start for Burnett’s side over the coming games.
  • Rodel Richards: The 18 year old made an impressive debut at this level, he lead the line well. Worked incredibly hard and tracked back in order to help out his teammates at the other end of the pitch. His movement in and behind the Gillingham defence was top class.
  • J’Neil Bennett: He put in a lively late cameo and went on some promising surging runs. The 16 year old also got the assist for Brown’s late goal.
  • Luis Binks: Binks replaced Dinzeyi at lcb late on in the game and in doing so he got to play against his boyhood club. Binks made some nice passes and won the vast majority of his aerial duels.
  • Dylan Duncan: It was an influential late cameo from the 19 year old central midfielder, who won a penalty in stoppage time which he cooly converted from the spot.

My man of the match: Paris Maghoma. Showcasing his midfield versatility throughout the game, Maghoma put in another match winning performance for Burnett’s side. Maghoma started the game off on the left side of our midfield trio. The 17 year old who astonishingly hasn’t been called up for England at youth level during the current international break, was immense against Gillingham. He was so hungry and determined to win the ball in the middle of the park and he often tracked back in order to help out our back three particularly towards the end of the game, when he was playing a much deeper role alongside Bowden. The 17 year old read the game so well against fully grown men, his passing was nice and slick and he constantly looked around whenever he had the ball at his feet. But for me the ever improving central midfielder reminded me a lot of Dele Alli in how he played in that central midfield role. Maghoma’s movement and desire to get into good positions in and around the six yard box was great to see. And it paid off once again with the teenager being directly involved in two of our four goals. His assist for Roles’ opener came about purely because he showed the intent to drive at the Gillingham defence after playing a quick one – two with Richards. Whilst his goal in the second half was taken really well and with such composure too after he had been played in by Roles inside the penalty area. He managed to combine flair and creativity with sheer grit and determination to win every ball which came his way, he was so mature and disciplined. Maghoma has now been directly involved in eight goals for Spurs this season.

Gillingham: Hadler, O’Neill, Ehmer (c), Tucker, Garmston, Parrett (Reilly 46), Rees, Chapman (Byrne 46), Nasseri, Eaves, List (Hanlan 66). Substitutes (not used): Holy, Huckle, Simpson, Stevenson.

Spurs: Whiteman, Hinds (Duncan 85), Brown, Marsh, Tanganga, Dinzeyi (Binks 83), Maghoma, Bowden, Roles (Bennett 76), Skipp (c), Richards. Substitutes (not used): Austin, Lyons-Foster.

Goals: Spurs – Roles 44, Maghoma 57, Brown 82, Duncan 90+3.

Yellow cards: Gillingham – Chapman 40, Byrne 62, Ehmer 89.

Referee: Antony Coggins.

Venue: The Valley, Charlton.

Attendance: 308.

Spurs under 21/23’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Shayon Harrison – 5

Paris Maghoma – 3

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Jack Roles – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

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