Spurs under 18’s 6-1 Aston Villa: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 6-1 Aston Villa: (match report)

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Our under 18’s made it seven wins from their opening eight league games by thrashing Aston Villa 6-1 at Hotspur Way on Saturday afternoon, to carry on the trend of winning games by at least five goals to consolidate their place at the top of the under 18 southern division. Matt Wells side went into this encounter with Villa in high spirits and with the attacking talent we had on display you would have expected us to beat the Villains, with the likes of Troy Parrott, Dilan Markanday and Rodel Richards all starting for Wells side. On one of the other pitches at the training centre a Spurs under 17/18 team were taking on Crystal Palace so I think it’s safe to assume that the likes of Pochettino and Okedina were some of our other under 18’s who were involved in that game. Although we started the game slowly we were sparked into life after Aston Villa took the lead in the 25th minute from the speedy Colin Odutayo. That was the wake up call that Wells side needed and going a goal down resulted in the young Lilywhites upping their tempo. They equalised less than two minutes later through Troy Parrott, before taking the lead for the first time in the game a couple of minutes later through Armando Shashoua. From that moment on Spurs controlled the game, the excellent Dilan Markanday made it 3-1 before halftime. And the second half like so many of our game at this level felt like a training session. We rang rings around David Hughes’s crumbling Villa side. And a late three goal blitz from Shashoua, Parrott and Binks saw Spurs record a 6-1 win over the Villa who became our sides latest victim. It was a pleasure to watch the game but I was extremely impressed with how we turned up the tempo during important stages in the game. The likes of Shashoua, Markanday and Parrott were unplayable but it’s worth mentioning that Binks and Walcott had very strong games at the back for Wells side. The players were watched on by Matt Wells grandfather, the legendary Cliff Jones who I’m sure would have been greatly impressed with the young Spurs lads performance. 

Wells opted to go for the 4-2-3-1 formation for the visit of Aston Villa. Oluwayemi retained his place in goal whilst a back four of Lyons-Foster, Walcott, Binks and White lined up in front of him. Captain Armando Shashoua (the more advanced of the two central midfielders) and Phoenix Patterson started in central midfielder, as the attacking trio of Markanday, Richards and Bennett sat behind Irishman Troy Parrott who led the line. Interestingly first year scholar Rafferty Pedder (16) started on the bench for the first time for the under 18’s. There was a poignant minutes silence held in memory of former Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis prior to kick off. Matt Wells side got the game underway as the sun shone down on the players at Hotspur Way. The first real attacking move of the game was orchestrated by Spurs following a nice passing move. It was an incisive attack which saw Patterson pass to Parrott who then passed to Richards. Richards spotted the run of Shashoua down the left side of the penalty area before quickly slipping the ball into the Spurs skipper. However, Shashoua’s resulting low effort was saved by Viljami Sinisalo who had managed to close Shashoua’s angles down. The lively Bennett curled an effort wide after cutting in from the left after receiving White’s pass a couple of moments later, before Richards took a painful clattering off of Aston Villa defender Luke Ige. Spurs goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi was let off the hook shortly afterwards when he passed the ball straight to Aaron Pressley on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area. Pressley had an effort on goal which was blocked first by Walcott and then by White on the follow up. Spurs got caught out after playing it out from the back once again after Lyons-Foster gave the ball to Michael Tait a matter of seconds later. Tait slipped the ball into Odutayo who surged forward down the left before rifling an effort against the outside of Oluwayemi’s right hand post. Jacob Ramsey then dragged an effort well wide of the Spurs goal as the Villains started to find their feet going forwards.

And Oluwayemi was forced into making a diving save to get to Indiana Vassilev’s low effort a couple of minutes later, after Odutayo had passed the ball to him on the edge of the penalty area. Spurs responded to Villa’s attacking onslaught with a slick passing move which saw Shashoua pass to Parrott and then to Bennett out on the left wing. Bennett cut inside onto his right before finding Markanday down the right side of the box. The 17 year old tried to beat Sinisalo at his near post but his effort was deflected wide for a Tottenham corner kick. Shashoua played a quick short corner to Parrott whose low shot at goal was blocked by Ethan Patterson. Unfortunately Lyons-Foster went down injured a couple of minutes later and he was swiftly replaced by Dennis Cirkin who went to left back, whilst White switched to the other side to fill in for Lyons-Foster. Bennett went on a surging run down the left wing shortly after the restart, after being fed in by Parrott. However, the wingers shot was blocked by Bradley Burton inside the Villa box. Michael Tait poked an effort narrowly wide of the Spurs goal at the other end, after getting on the end of Burton’s low cross. The game was very much an end to end affair, although Spurs did have the upper hand over the visitors. Another well worked move from Wells side saw White ping the ball out to Markanday on the right wing. The tricky winger eventually worked the ball out to Richards who was on the edge of the penalty area down the opposite side. Richards came close to opening the scoring for Spurs but his first time side footed effort flew narrowly wide of Sinisalo’s right post. A lovely move from the young Lilywhites followed as Parrott and Bennett played a clever one two which the former tried to convert from inside the box. However, the 16 year olds first time effort was stopped by the feet of the diving Sinisalo. The major turning point in the game then occurred in the 25th minute of the game after David Hughes side caught us cold down the right flank. 

Aston Villa caught us on the counter attack after they managed to work the ball out to the speedy Colin Odutayo who left White and the rest of the Spurs defenders in his wake, as he sped down the left. Odutayo continued with the ball into the Tottenham penalty area where he was met by the outrushing Oluwayemi however, the Villa winger calmly tucked the ball inside the top right hand comer of the goal, 0-1. However, the Aston Villa players had barely finished celebrating when Sinisalo was forced into picking the ball out of his own net. It was a near immediate response from Spurs. Dilan Markanday played a clever one – two with Shashoua down the right flank before the Spurs winger looked up and played a first time pass into Parrott who was in the centre of the box. And the Dubliner clinically side footed the ball past Sinisalo and into the right hand side of the goal with an excellent first time strike from seven yards out, 1-1. And things got even better for Wells side who took the lead for the first time in the game less than two minutes later through Shashoua. The move came about moments after Harvey White had tested Sinisalo with an effort from long range. J’Neil Bennett had picked the ball up on the left wing before driving forward and whipping a low cross into the danger zone which was intended for Markanday. However, Markanday failed to connect with the ball and it ended up rolling out to Shashoua who fired the ball emphatically into the top left hand corner of the goal, despite the best efforts of Sinisalo who did manage to get a hand on the ball, 2-1. Spurs were now in full control of the game and after upping their tempo they looked rejuvenated as they knocked the ball about freely. Harvey White did well to clear Vassilev’s free kick shortly after the restart, before Spurs came close to extending their lead.

Markanday’s pass across the Aston Villa goal from the right managed to pick out Cirkin who had made a run down the left side of the six yard box. However, the left backs powerful strike was well saved by Sinisalo low down. Dilan Markanday pulled off a couple more of his George Best like tricks a couple of moments later, which drew gasps from the audience as he carried the ball through the middle before shifting it out to Shashoua on the right wing. The Spurs captain looked up before picking out Richards in the box with a decent delivery but the Spurs forward nodded the ball wide of Sinisalo’s goal. Wells side had a penalty shout waived away a couple of moments later after Parrott was brought down from behind by Luke Ige in the box, after he had latched onto Markanday’s through ball. Tottenham’s attacking intensity was causing the Aston Villa defence major problems. And after Troy Parrot volleyed an effort straight down the throat of the Villa goalkeeper Sinisalo after meeting Bennett’s cross, Spurs extended their lead through the influential Markanday. It was a superb goal from the inform 17 year old who had been picked out down the right flank by a nice lofted pass from Shashoua. Markanday cut inside his man as he tricked his way towards the edge of the penalty area before unleashing an unstoppable low thunderbolt into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 3-1. Troy Parrott got taken out by Ige before firing an effort wide from distance shortly afterwards. After exchanging passes with Markanday down the right side of the pitch, Aston Villa could not deal with the explosiveness of the Spurs attack. The tenacious Malachi Walcott then made an important defensive intervention right on the stroke of half time to intercept Odutayo, after the winger had received Pressley’s pass on the edge of the penalty area. Following the Villa centre forwards weaving run around both White and Cirkin.

The visitors got the second half underway and Aston Villa started it positively and almost pulled a goal back immediately after the restart. After Vassilev had skinned White down the left wing, the American whipped a teasing ball into the Spurs box which was almost bundled into his own goal by Cirkin but for a smart stop from the alert Oluwayemi. Wells side then went straight on the offensive and came close to catching the Villa defence out, after Richards embarked on a surging low run through the middle, before passing the ball to Parrott on the edge of the box. Parrott turned his man well before giving the ball back to Richards who could only poke it wide of the mark. Tait’s menacing cross just deceived Pressley inside the Tottenham penalty area moments later, as the game started to pick up even more pace as Villa started to attack more. The razor sharp Troy Parrott came very close to putting the game to bed a couple of minutes later, after a well worked move from the young Lilywhites which started off with Bennett out on the left wing. Bennett passed to Shashoua who picked out Markanday on the right wing with a nice crisp pass. Markanday crossed for Parrott in the Spurs box, but the Irishman’s first time effort was jabbed onto Sinisalo’s left hand post, before Parrott had a penalty claim dismissed seconds later, after being brought down from behind by a Villa defender. Parrott came close to scoring again five minutes later after he was picked out by Bennett in the six yard box. Parrott swivelled around Ethan Patterson before forcing a save out of Sinisalo at his near post. The 16 year old centre forward was getting really involved in the game during the second half.  Harvey White blazed an effort into orbit on the half volley moments later before Richards forced a stunning save out of Sinisalo after latching onto Shashoua’s cross at the back post however, the Spurs forward was flagged offside. Pressley then tested Oluwayemi at the other end with a powerful low effort after having cut inside onto his left foot from the right flank. 

The frantic pace of the game continued and after Harvey White was able to find Bennett at the far post inside the Aston Villa box. The Tottenham winger nodded narrowly wide of goal as Spurs continued to push for a fourth goal to really put the game to bed. Aston Villa came close to pulling a goal back a mere minute after Bennett had headed wide. After Cirkin lost possession to Ramsey the midfielder fed the ball into Odutayo down the right side of the penalty area. The winger sped forwards before clipping the outside of Oluwayemi’s near post thanks to a vital block from Binks. And the Tottenham defender was involved at the other end after Bennett had won a free kick on the edge of the Aston Villa penalty area. Patterson’s resulting delivery was met by Binks who had made a terrific leap before powering a header over the bar. Then in the 71st minute of time Matt Wells side finally ended any hope of an Aston Villa comeback by netting their fourth goal of the game. The goal came from another excellent attacking move which started with Cirkin who passed to Shashoua and then to Markanday and to Bennett. Bennett slipped the ball into Richards whose shot was blocked in the box. However, Shashoua managed to pick the ball up before weaving his way around two Villa defenders and rifling the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 4-1. Rafferty Pedder came off the bench shortly afterwards to make his under 18 debut when he replaced Richards. The 16 year old had a decent cross cleared by Charlie McConnachie seconds after entering the pitch, before J’Neil Bennett had a deflected effort saved by Sinisalo. Ramsey did White for pace down the left a couple of minutes later before finding Odutayo down the right hand side of the box. Odutayo controlled the ball before firing it into the side netting of Oluwayemi’s goal. Troy Parrott then had a low effort saved by Sinisalo after receiving Shashoua’s pass down the right side of the penalty area, before Bennett was replaced by Rayan Clarke with 11 minutes of normal time remaining.

Markanday drew a low save from Sinisalo after being found by Shashoua on the edge of the Aston Villa box, before Clarke fired an effort into the side netting after being played in by Pedder through the middle. Unsurprisingly Spurs netted their fifth goal shortly after, which started straight from the back after Binks found Clarke who quickly released the ball into the path of the newly introduced Pedder. The Maidstone born midfielder went on a jinking forward run down the left side of the box before firing an effort straight at Sinisalo. The ball came back up in the air to Parrot who sent a clever looping header over the helpless Aston Villa goalkeeper and into the back of the net, 5-1. The potent midfielder then forced Patterson to clear his dangerous cross shortly after the restart. And the Lilywhites wrapped the game up with a sixth goal in the 89th minute of time. After Patterson had whipped a corner in from the left there was a lot of scrapping going on inside the box. However, the ball was eventually picked up by Shashoua down the left side of the box. The Spurs skipper looked up before chipping the ball across to the unmarked Binks who powered a header past Sinisalo from the centre of the box, 6-1. Matt Wells sides sheer class had totally overwhelmed the Aston Villa defence and this had caused some of their players to get frustrated during the latter stages of the game. Ireland youth international Tyreik Wright had clearly let the score line get to his head and after inflicting a nasty late challenge on White, he claimed his innocence to the referee before inflicting a similarly nasty challenge on Shashoua moments later as he tried to wind up the pair by claiming that he hadn’t touched them! However, the final whistle was sounded a couple of seconds later by the referee to bring an end to another brilliant game of football involving this richly talented Spurs side. Top of the table Tottenham Hotspur don’t play again until the third of November, when they travel to New Malden for a London derby against Fulham.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The 17 year old didn’t have an awful lot to deal with on the day. However, he did make two decent stops and impressed me with his leadership skills and ability to deal so comfortably with set pieces.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Despite looking nice and assured at right back during the opening stages of the game, sadly the 17 year old went off with what appeared to be an ankle injury early on in the first half. I really do hope that it was only precautionary.
  • Malachi Walcott: Walcott returned from injury to put in a strong performance at right centre half. The 16 year old was very solid and composed under pressure and like his slightly older teammate Binks he read the game to perfection, and was dominant in the air against a decent Aston Villa attack.
  • Luis Binks: Like Walcott, Binks had a very solid game at centre half. He was both assured and composed, and he anticipated danger well. The Scotland youth international was also dominant in the air and once again he put in a very impressive performance at centre half. Luis capped off a fine performance with a late goal which was his second of the season.
  • Harvey White: The inform and versatile midfielder started the game off at left back, but after Lyons-Foster was forced off through injury early on in the first half, White was forced to switch to right back following the introduction of Cirkin. The 17 year olds versatility and adaptability to the full back role meant that he slotted in seamlessly. And although he did get done for pace by the speedy Colin Odutayo on quite a few occasions, I thought that he did a very good job on the whole. He was solid and impressed me with his Ogilvie-esque one on one defending. In addition, White would often drift into the centre of the park to help both Patterson and Shashoua out defensively. The teenager from Maidstone also made some nice accurate passes down the lines and whilst it be may seem funny to say, I thought that we missed his excellent passing range from the central areas of the pitch. It’s also worth noting that White did ever so well to keep his cool with Tyreik Wright during the latter stages of the game after his nasty and painful challenge on the Spurs man, and his later irritating comments.
  • Phoenix Patterson: It was quite strange to watch Patterson essentially operate as a holding midfielder in the game against Aston Villa. I had seen him play in central midfield before but he was a lot more advanced. Whereas, on Saturday he was essentially doing Jamie Bowden’s job in the holding midfield role. His quick feet and agility helped him out on quite a few occasions, but all in all I thought that he slotted in well to that position and did a sterling job.
  • Armando Shashoua: My motm, see below.
  • Dilan Markanday: The tricky right winger had another excellent game for Matt Wells side and the 17 year old was directly involved in two of our goals. With his many jinking runs down the right flank (particularly after the 35th minute) and dazzling skills, Markanday gave McConnachie a really tricky game with his unpredictable running style. Markanday’s goal right on the stroke of halftime was a thing of beauty and was executed with such class. Surely it cannot be long until he is plying his trade regularly with the development side. 
  • Rodel Richards: After making a short cameo against Leicester’s under 23 side the previous afternoon. Richards started against Aston Villa as a number ten and he had a decent game against the Villains, particularly in the first half. His movement in and behind Parrott was very good and he could often be seen lurking on the edge of the six yard box. The 18 year old came close to finding the back of a net on a couple of occasions during the first half.
  • J’Neil Bennett: It was by no means his best game out on the left wing however, the 16 year olds positive running and eagerness to run at Aston Villa right back Bradley Burton helped to create numerous openings for Spurs. He wasn’t as electric as he has been in recent games but I thought he did well out on that left side. Bennett got the assist for Armando Shashoua’s first goal of the game.
  • Troy Parrott: The Dubliner has adapted to life in the under 18’s with real ease since joining the club full time in the summer. And the teenager from Summerhill, Dublin topped off another excellent performance for Wells side by netting a well deserved brace. Extremely hardworking and more then willing to drop deep and help out his teammates at the back, Parrott was a constant goal threat and his razor sharp movement in the box and well timed runs through the middle made life easier for the likes of Bennett and Markanday. Parrott’s first of the game was a really clinical finish whilst his second was more of an instinctive poachers goal. I noticed that Burnett went over to the Dubliner at the end of the game and put his arm around him to congratulate him on his performance. The 16 year old is now our under 18’s top scorer this season with seven goals from just four games. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him included in the under 23 side which faces Derby at Pride Park on Sunday.
  • Dennis Cirkin: Cirkin entered the game early on in the first half after replacing the injured Lyons-Foster. Cirkin did a good job at left back and defended solidly against Vassilev. 
  • Rafferty Pedder: The first year scholar had an exciting late cameo after coming on in the 74th minute to replace Richards in the number ten role. Pedder injected real energy into the game and he was the creative spark which Wells side needed in order to see off the game. The speedy Pedder went on some nice runs through the middle and whipped some good crosses into the danger zone. He also got the assist for Parrott’s second of the game after he forced a save out of Sinisalo. I look forward to seeing more of him over the coming games.
  • Rayan Clarke: It was only a fleeting cameo for the left winger who did manage to have two shots on goal during his short time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Armando Shashoua. Our under 18’s captain fantastic, was instrumental in our 6-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon. The 17 year old ran the show from the centre of midfield, he was our most creative and influential player on the day. Shashoua’s superb performance resulted in him getting two goals and assists to his name, to carry on his rich vein of form for Matt Wells side. His movement and reading of the game was second to none, he was the main orchestrator within the Spurs side. With his deftly accurate passing (I cannot recall a single misplaced pass!) and vision, Shashoua roamed around the park like a young David Silva. He carried the ball so well and looked so strong and composed with it at his feet. He dribbled extremely well and was able to link defence with attack throughout the game. The hardworking midfielders first goal of the game was a clinical finish from eight yards out, whilst his second came about after he picked the ball up on the edge of the box before wonderfully weaving his way around two Villa defenders and firing into the back of the net. The 17 year olds two assists were equally impressive particularly the one to set up Binks for our sixth of the game. He was such a joy to watch, and as always I paid a close eye on his off the ball movement and I was impressed with his many intelligent runs off the shoulders of Aston Villa defenders. It’s also worth noting that he was a real leader within the team and never let the Villa players wind him up. Shashoua has now been directly involved in 11 of our under 18’s goals this season.

Spurs: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Lyons-Foster (Cirkin 17), White, Patterson, Walcott, Binks, Markanday, A Shashoua (c), Parrott, Richards (Pedder 74), Bennett (Clarke 79). Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Thorpe.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 7

J’Neil Bennett – 5

Dilan Markanday – 5

Rayan Clarke – 4

Armando Shashoua – 4

Harvey White – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Luis Binks – 2

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Assists: Armando Shashoua – 7

Harvey White – 7

Jamie Bowden – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

Troy Parrott – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Dilan Markanday – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Paris Maghoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Rodel Richards – 1

Rayan Clarke – 1

Dennis Cirkin – 1

Rafferty Pedder – 1

Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 3

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