Spurs under 18’s 1-1 Fulham: (match report)
Our under 18’s faced their biggest test of the domestic season on Saturday afternoon, when they took on Fulham in a league game at their Motspur Park training ground. Matt Wells side were top of the southern league going into this game however, after recording a 1-1 draw with their London rivals. Wells side have now been leapfrogged in the table by Arsenal who beat Swansea on the same day. Our encounter with Fulham was an intriguing one to say the very least, it was a game of two contrasting halves. The first half was controlled by Matt Wells side who dominated possession against Colin Omogbehin’s defensive side, which included talented schoolboy Harvey Elliott in their starting 11. Fulham approached the game in a really negative way and their defensive lineup really frustrated Mart Wells’ attacking side in the first half, who were unable to make their possession count. Both wide men Dilan Markanday and Rodel Richards had been neutralised by the Fulham fullbacks and were unable to make their usual impact on the game. Whilst the first half had few clear cut chances in it, the second half was a completely different story. Fulham came out of their shell and started to play their own brand of fast paced attacking football, and this caught the Tottenham defence by surprise. Chances were aplenty at both ends of the pitch in what was an enthralling half of football. After threatening during the opening stages of the half, the home side took the lead in the 53rd minute through centre forward Timmy Abraham (brother of Tammy). However, Spurs equalised through Phoenix Patterson’s fine low strike less than 12 minutes later. Fulham had the far better chances during the remaining 25 minutes of the game. After Luis Binks conceded a penalty and was dismissed with a straight red card on 88 minutes, Fulham had the chance to win the game. However, Harvey Elliot’s penalty was excellently saved by Joshua Oluwayemi who would go onto make an equally important save a matter of moments later to ensure that Spurs’ unbeaten record stands for another week at least.
Matt Wells side lined up in the 4-2-3-1 formation with Joshua Oluwayemi starting in goal, whilst a back four of Lyons-Foster, Walcott, Binks and Cirkin lined up in front of him. Harvey White and captain Armando Shashoua started in central midfield, as the attacking trio of Markanday, Patterson and Richards stood behind Jeremie Mukendi who made only his sixth appearance of the season. Both sets of players and spectators observed a minutes silence prior to kick off for the victims of the tragic Leicester helicopter crash, in addition both sets of players wore black armbands. Spurs got the game underway on a cool Saturday morning at Motspur Park, Wells side knocked the ball around the park in the opening minutes of the game before they initiated their first decent chance of the game. A good run from Shashoua down the right flank resulted in the Spurs skipper crossing the ball for Richards inside the Fulham box, but the forward was unable to get the ball under control and as a result he was unable to get a shot away. Joshua Oluwayemi did well to gather Cody Drameh’s cross a couple of minutes later, before Jeremie Mukendi poked an effort across the face of the Fulham goal after picking up the ball down the left hand side of the Fulham penalty area. Phoenix Patterson fired over from long range a couple of minutes later after receiving Shashoua’s pass as Spurs continued to hog possession. Patterson then curled an effort over Toni Stahl’s crossbar after receiving Markanday’s pass on the edge of the Fulham penalty area. Wells side worked another good attacking a couple of moments later, after a good passing move saw Shashoua pick up the ball from Lyons-Foster before he played in Patterson inside the box. However, just as the Spurs forward was about to pull the trigger Richards came across him and was unable to make significant contact on the ball to test Stahl. Dilan Markanday won a free kick in a promising position shortly after. Harvey White’s resulting effort was headed over the Fulham crossbar by Drameh.
And the Tottenham midfielder almost managed to set Mukendi through on goal with a lovely lofted pass over the Fulham defence a couple of moments later. Dilan Markanday had a promising shot blocked by Sylvester Jasper on the edge of the penalty area shortly afterwards, as Spurs continued to test the Fulham defence before the Spurs winger curled over from the edge of the penalty area. Rodel Richards then had an effort on goal blocked by Tristan Cover a couple of moments later, as Spurs continued to threaten the Fulham defence. Fulham were defending very well and they weren’t allowing the Tottenham players much space to get a shot away. The hardworking Richards had an effort defected wide of the mark by Ben Davis a matter of seconds after he had been crowded out inside the Fulham box by opposition defenders. A long in-swinging cross from White a matter of minutes later, was gathered by Stahl as Spurs continued to struggle to break down the ‘Cottagers’ defence. Markanday then had an effort on goal blocked by Zico Asare inside the Fulham box after he had the ball slipped slipped into him by the adventurous Cirkin down the left. Spurs then had a goal ruled out for offside right on the stroke of halftime. After Patterson had passed the ball to Richards, he slotted the ball through to Mukendi who managed to clip home from inside the Fulham box. However, the linesman on the near side had adjudged him to have been in an offside position. Colin Omogbehin’s side got the second half underway but it was Spurs who would have the first real chance of the half. After Patterson passed the ball to Shashoua, the Spurs captain fed the ball into Markanday who darted down the right side of the Fulham box. Markanday then cut inside onto his left foot before curling an effort narrowly over Stahl’s crossbar from close range. The Fulham goalkeeper was forced into making an excellent save a couple of minutes later to prevent Phoenix Patterson’s low curler from nestling into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, after he had received Cirkin’s pass on the edge of the box.
However, a matter of minutes later Oluwayemi found himself fishing the ball out of the back of the Spurs goal, after Fulham had taken a surprise lead. Omogbehin’s side had caught us on the break with an incisive move through the middle of the pitch which saw Fabio Carvalho slip the ball into Abraham who was through on goal. The Fulham centre forward got away from Walcott inside the box before curling the ball into the bottom right hand corner of Oluwayemi’s goal, 0-1. Rayan Clarke replaced fullback Brooklyn Lyons-Foster shortly afterwards as Wells looked to add some fire power to his side. And the wide man made an instant impact for Spurs after he assisted Phoenix Patterson’s equaliser a matter of moments after coming on. It was the response that the Spurs coaches would have been looking for as Clarke passed the ball to Patterson on the edge pf the Fulham penalty area, from the left wing. Patterson showed good feet as he shimmied his way past a Fulham defender before firing an unstoppable effort into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 1-1. Joshua Oluwayemi produced an excellent save at his near post straight after the restart to prevent Harvey Elliott’s powerful effort from close range, after he had received Carvalho’s pass down the left side of the Spurs box. And the home side came desperately close to regaining their lead a couple of minutes later, after Jasper sent a looping pass over the Spurs defence to set Abraham one on one with Oluwayemi. However, the Fulham centre forward slipped at the vital moment just as he was about to round the helpless Tottenham goalkeeper, as the game developed into a really end to end encounter. Markanday had a decent chance at the other end of the park shortly afterwards, following Shashoua’s pass into him inside the box. However, Markanday forced a comfortable save out of Stahl with his tame toe poke. Shashoua was unhappy with Markanday and he had roared at him to hold the ball. Fulham then went straight down the other end and in all honesty they should have regained their lead.
After Cover had blatantly handled the ball as he sprinted down the left wing, the Fulham fullback skinned Binks before darting into the penalty area, and jinking inside White before firing over from close range. Spurs then advanced down the other end as Clarke passed to Markanday and then Shashoua who slipped the ball into Mukendi inside the box. However, the forwards powerful effort on goal was blocked on the line by Fulham’s Sonny Hilton. Harvey White blocked Harvey Elliot’s effort from long range a couple of minutes later, before centre forward Jeremie Mukendi was replaced for defender Jubril Okedina who slotted in at right back. The impressive Oluwayemi then did a good job at holding Carvalho’s powerful low cross, before White found Shashoua with a pacy long ball inside the Fulham box at the other end. However, the Spurs captain was crowded out by white shirts and was unable to square the ball for Markanday out on the right. Although Markanday did have an effort blocked by a Fulham defender shortly afterwards from close range. The courageous Dennis Cirkin who had protected that left hand side so effectively throughout the game, ended up clashing heads with Cody Drameh. Despite the Spurs coaches having Elliot Thorpe all ready to come on, the heavily bandaged Cirkin battled on to play the remainder of the game. The tenacious Luis Binks then made an important block from the newly introduced Terry Ablade shortly after the restart. Before Oluwayemi frantically tipped a cross from Hilton over his crossbar moments later. Rodel Richards then saw his deflected cross fly right across the face of the Fulham goal, as both sides went in search of a late winner. Then came a significant moment in the game, as centre back Luis Binks was sent off for denying Davis a clear goalscoring opportunity. A powerful break down the left wing resulted in the ball coming to substitute Terry Ablade who quickly played the ball into Ben Davis who managed to get away from Binks inside the Tottenham penalty area, before being blatantly tugged back by the young centre half. The referee had no choice but to give Binks a straight red card and to point to the penalty spot.
The resulting penalty kick was taken by schoolboy Harvey Elliott whose powerful low effort towards the bottom left hand corner of the goal, was excellently saved by the diving Oluwayemi before it was cleared. This sparked jubilant scenes of celebration amongst the Spurs players who all rushed over to congratulate Oluwayemi. The Tottenham goalkeeper spilt Drameh’s cross moments later before Fulham had another golden opportunity to net a late winner. A wonderful passing move from the home side resulted in the ball being worked out to Elliott on the right wing, the England youth international shimmied his way past Patterson before playing a lovely pass into Ablade with the outside of his boot. This sent Ablade through on goal with only Oluwayemi to beat however, his powerful low effort was excellently stopped by the left boot of the 17 year old goalkeeper, to the astonishment of the spectators. Rayan Clarke had a hopeful late shot blocked before the referee brought a dramatic game of football to an end much to the relief of the Tottenham Hotspur players and officials, as their extraordinary unbeaten run from April continues thanks to as superb display from Oluwayemi. Up next for our under 18’s is a home game against Swansea in the premier league cup, next Saturday afternoon.
- Joshua Oluwayemi: Making four saves in total (three of which were top class), Oluwayemi’s excellent performance against Fulham ensured that Spurs’ unbeaten record still stands. Oluwayemi was the difference between us picking up a point against Fulham or going home empty handed. The 17 year olds all round game was good but it was the three excellent saves that he made in particular (especially the penalty save) which defined the game. He demonstrated outstanding reflexes and even though Elliott’s penalty was well taken Oluwayemi got down so quickly to make the save.
- Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Playing at right back Lyons-Foster completed 62 minutes of Saturdays game after he returned from a minor injury that he picked up during our 6-1 win over Aston Villa. Lyons-Foster defended well down that side of the pitch, and his sheer presence helped to prevent Sylvester Jasper from enjoying much luck out wide. Lyons-Foster was solid and didn’t put a foot wrong.
- Malachi Walcott: It was an impressive performance from the 16 year old centre half who operated at rcb. Walcott made a couple of really important defensive contributions and his strong defending alongside Binks helped to quell the threat of the potent Timmy Abraham for the majority of the game.
- Luis Binks: First of all I think that young Luis was incredibly brave and unselfish to tug Ben Davis’s shirt after he was one on one with Oluwayemi, knowing full well what the repercussions would be. And Binks decision prevented a certain goal and winner for Fulham. I thought Binks alongside his defensive partner Walcott had a really solid game on Saturday morning, he anticipated danger well and was never caught out of position. The Scotland youth international also made a number of lovely long passes out to Markanday on the right wing. Unfortunately Binks will be suspended for our premier league cup tie with Swansea next Saturday as he serves a one game ban.
- Dennis Cirkin: The left back had an excellent game against Fulham, and his tireless performance down the left flank certainly didn’t go unnoticed. Cirkin (16) defended impeccably against the talented Harvey Elliott and he rarely let the 15 year old beat him down that side of the pitch. Cirkin made some important interventions and managed to get up and down the left flank well. The England under 17 international was also very impressive on the ball and he carried it well. Cirkin bravely played the last five minutes of the game with a bandage on his head after he clashed with Fulham’s Cody Drameh.
- Harvey White: White was the midfield anchorman for our game against Fulham on Saturday. Playing a slightly more defensive role than usual, the 17 year old provided the back four with an all important barrier. White’s passing was as impressive as ever and the midfielder came close to playing Mukendi through on goal in the first half, after making a lovely lofted pass over the Fulham defence. As both sides went in search of a late winner, the teenager would often drift out onto the wing to pick the ball up, and he whipped some really inviting crosses into the danger zone.
- Armando Shashoua: My motm, see below.
- Dilan Markanday: The right winger worked hard down the right flank to try and influence the game and he was positive throughout. However, Fulham’s left back Tristan Cover kept him in check throughout the game. Markanday did come close to scoring a goal at the beginning of the second half. Markanday linked up well with Shashoua down the right channel.
- Phoenix Patterson: The attacking midfielder was prominent in the final third and he was heavily involved in the majority of Spurs’ attacks. Patterson used the ball well and the way in which he took his goal in the second half was very impressive.
- Rodel Richards: Like Markanday, Richards struggled to get the better of his fullback and was therefore unable to influence the game in his usual way. He did however, cut inside a lot of the time and did his best to try and make things happen.
- Jeremie Mukendi: The lone striker had very few goalscoring opportunities during his time on the pitch. The tenacious Fulham defence made Mukendi’s job a difficult one, and despite making many well timed runs through the middle he just didn’t get the rub of the green.
- Rayan Clarke: Clarke added power and pace to the side following his introduction in the 62nd minute of the game. The left winger got the assist for Patterson’s goal and the 17 year old went on some good runs down the flank.
- Jubril Okedina: Okedina put in a solid shift at right back after he came on to replace Mukendi in the 77th minute.
My man of the match: For the second consecutive game it goes to Armando Shashoua. The captain put in another masterful performance in the centre of midfield for Matt Wells side. Shashoua who turned 18 last week was our most creative and effective player on the day, he was the creative spark with in the side. As always his movement was excellent, as was his constant shape shifting and change of direction, but the west Londoner also worked so tirelessly to create chances for his teammates. Shashoua played in a slightly more advanced role than usual and this resulted in him linking up well with Markanday on the right wing whilst also making some clever runs in and behind the Fulham defence. The teenagers passing was accurate and although he didn’t have a shot on goal, he did create many a fine chance for other players. He pressed aggressively and took the odd kick from Fulham players on the chin, and despite his height he was one of our strongest players on the ball. Coming to think of it I have actually never seen Armando have a bad game!
Spurs: Oluwayemi, Lyons-Foster (Clarke 62), Cirkin, Binks (sent off 88), Walcott, White, Markanday, A.Shashoua (c), Patterson, Mukendi (Okedina 77), Richards.
Unused substitutes: Kacper Kurylowicz, Elliot Thorpe.
Goals: Timmy Abraham (53), Phoenix Patterson (65).
Venue: Motspur Park, London.
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 – 2
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
Rayan Clarke – 2
Paris Maghoma – 1
Maurizio Pochettino – 1
Malachi Walcott – 1
Luis Binks – 1
Rodel Richards – 1
Dennis Cirkin – 1
Rafferty Pedder – 1
Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 3