Spurs under 21’s 2-3 Portsmouth: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 2-3 Portsmouth: (match report)

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Wayne Burnett’s development side albeit it without a whole of host of regular players due to the current international break, traveled down to the south coast on Tuesday evening to face Portsmouth at Fratton Park. It was his sides final Checkatrade trophy group game of the campaign, and a win against high flying ‘ Pompey ’ would have seen Spurs progress to the knockout stages as group winners. It was undoubtedly our developments sides biggest game of the season so far, and after putting in highly commendable performances against both Crawley Town and Gillingham. Burnett’s side were in with a fighting chance of making the knockout stages if they could get a result against Portsmouth. Burnett’s youngsters did exceptionally well to adapt to the high pressure situation that they found themselves right in the middle of. League one leaders Portsmouth had already qualified for the knockout stages but they still brought a decent home following to Fratton Park. The ‘ Pompey ’ supporters were loud throughout the game, and the presence of the famous John Portsmouth up in the Fratton end, could be heard all across the ground as he rang his bell loudly for the full 90 minutes of the game. Kenny Jackett made eleven changes from Portsmouth’s FA cup tie with Maidenhead at the weekend, this resulted in him fielding a squad of fringe players. Meanwhile, Burnett’s side was severely depleted and this resulted in the Spurs head coach fielding a selection of player from their under 18 side. Not only were our lads competitive but they were fearless in the way that they played and approached the game. Spurs started the game well and after a bright start to proceedings they took the lead through Phoenix Patterson, after Jamie Bowden had played the winger through on goal with a glorious pass. Burnett’s young lads did well to prevent Portsmouth netting an equaliser for the remainder of the half, and Spurs went into halftime ahead of Portsmouth, in first place in the group with seven points. However, Kenny Jackett’s side started the second half in much more positive fashion and it didn’t take them long to draw level.

Andre Green poked home a scrappy goal from a Portsmouth free kick in the 50th minute, before substitute Gareth Evans (one of three made by Jackett in the 66th minute) put Portsmouth in front after scoring from a free kick in the 69th minute of time. Portsmouth had now taken full control of the game and their experience had really started to show, and after Oli Hawkins put the south coast club 3-1 up in the 81’st minute, any hope of a Spurs comeback was virtually extinguished. 17 year old Harvey White did manage to pull a goal back in stoppage time after catching former Spurs goalkeeper Luke McGee out with a delicious free kick from the edge of the Portsmouth penalty area, to cap off an excellent night for the teenager from Maidstone, on his debut for the development side. Despite losing to Portsmouth on Tuesday night Spurs still progress to knockout stages of the competition, thanks to Gillingham who came from a goal down to beat Crawley 2-1 in the other group game on Tuesday night. Thankfully that means that Spurs ended up finishing the group in second place, one point ahead of Crawley on four points. Our youngsters will find out who they will get in the next round on Friday when the draw takes place. Spurs will face one of the clubs from the southern region who have won their group, we will play away from home in the next round. With so many players absent from the development squad, Burnett had to make wholesale changes from our development sides last game against Swansea. This meant that a number of players from our under 18’s travelled down with the squad to Portsmouth. Wayne Burnett opted to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with Alfie Whiteman starting in goal for Spurs. A back four of Lyons-Foster, Tanganga, Marsh (the skipper) and Brown lined up in front of him. Whilst 17 year olds Jamie Bowden and Harvey White started in the centre of the park. Dylan Duncan played out on the right wing, with Phoenix Patterson starting out on the left, either side of Tashan Oakley-Boothe who played as a ten. Kazaiah Sterling led the line for Spurs on only his third appearance of this season.

Spurs got the game underway at Fratton Park but it was the home side who had the first real chance of the game. After Andre Green received Haji Mnonga’s pass down the left the side of the Tottenham penalty area, the winger had a shot with his left foot but Lyons-Foster was able to block it behind for a corner kick. Harvey White was able to clear Brandon Haunstrup’s resulting corner kick as Spurs got the ball away from the danger zone. Japhet Tanganga headed clear a dangerous cross from Haunstrup a couple of minutes later before Bowden was on hand to clear Andre Green’s cross. Andre Green then forced Whiteman into making the first save of the game, after the 20 year old cut inside from the left wing before testing Whiteman with a powerful effort from the edge of the penalty area. Portsmouth had been the more threatening side during the opening 20 minutes of the game that’s why it came as a pleasant to surprise to me when Spurs took the lead in the 20th minute after scoring a well crafted goal. After picking up the ball in the middle of the park the ever elegant Jamie Bowden pondered before making a perfectly weighted pass which paralysed the Portsmouth defence before picking out Patterson who latched onto the ball down the left side of the Portsmouth penalty area. McGee came rushing out to meet Patterson whose initial effort was parried by McGee however, the ball came back off Patterson and over McGee’s head and the Scotland youth international was able to race around him to tap home from a tight angle, before the ball went out of play. The Spurs players all huddled around Patterson right in front of the Fratton end to celebrate his goal, 1-0. After taking the lead Spurs started to play with more confidence although this wasn’t without risk. George Marsh passed the ball straight to Bradley Lethbridge inside the Spurs box but luckily for Marsh, Harvey White was on hand to block Lethbridge’s resulting effort on goal to bail his teammate out. An inviting cross from Jaden Brown was headed away by Portsmouth captain Christian Burgess, before Marsh made up for his previous error by blocking Brandon Haunstrup’s effort on the edge of the penalty area.

Burnett’s side came close to doubling their lead a couple of minutes later after Sterling received Jaden Brown’s pass out on the left wing, before going around Christian Burgess and darting inside the penalty area. However, Burgess recovered well and was able to make a sliding challenge on Sterling to put the ball out for a corner kick at the vital moment. Phoenix Patterson’s resulting corner kick was flicked on by Sterling as Bowden picked the ball up out on the right flank before finding Marsh inside the box with a cross. Marsh’s header was met by Duncan who fired the ball across the face of McGee’s goal on the volley, from the right side of the penalty area. Young Jamie Bowden got caught in possession shorty afterwards when Ben Close nicked the ball off of him in the middle of the park, before driving through the middle and firing an effort over Whiteman’s crossbar. Lyons-Foster managed to get a vital head on David Wheeler’s cross a couple of moments later as the fast pace of the game showed no signs of slowing down. Close glanced a header wide of Whiteman’s goal from the resulting corner kick, before Jaden Brown won a free kick in a promising position down the other end of the pitch. Patterson’s delivery into the box was punched away by McGee and ‘ Pompey ’  went on a dangerous counter attack which was only thwarted at the final moments by the Spurs defence. Christian Burgess then forced a comfortable save from Whiteman with a tame header after meeting Danny Rose’ cross inside the box. Lyons-Foster gave the ball away to Louis Dennis a couple of minutes later and Dennis passed the ball to David Wheeler out on the right flank. However, Lyons-Foster did extremely well to get back and clear Wheeler’s resulting low cross, bringing an enthralling half of football to an end.

Portsmouth got the second half underway but it was Burnett’s youngsters who worked the first decent move of the half. After Oakley-Boothe received Patterson’s pass he found Brown down the left wing. However, the fullback’s whipped cross was well cleared by the alert Burgess. Former Spurs man Anton Walkes almost scored an excellent solo goal a couple of minutes later after he embarked on a long jinking run through the middle of the park, beating a number of Spurs players before firing an effort narrowly wide of Whiteman’s goal, courtesy of an important deflection off of Brown. Japhet Tanganga did well to clear the resulting corner kick but the Spurs defender could do nothing to prevent Portsmouth from taking the lead from a corner kick a couple of minutes later. Louis Dennis’ menacing delivery caused panic amongst the Spurs defence. Duncan tried to clear the ball before Tanganga did but neither player could manage to do so and Andre Green was able to poke home from close range, 1-1. Phoenix Patterson forced a good save out of McGee soon afterwards as Burnett’s side looked to regain the lead. Patterson picked the ball up in the middle of the park before advancing on a surging run towards the Portsmouth penalty area, before testing McGee with a thumping effort from range which the former Spurs goalkeeper pushed behind for a corner. Spurs skipper George Marsh flicked an effort wide from Patterson’s resulting corner kick as Portsmouth broke down the other end. A dangerous move from the home side forced Jade Brown into making an inch perfect sliding challenge to the win the ball off of Ben Close inside the Spurs penalty area. However, the ball rolled out to Ben Close the edge of box but his deflected strike was held comfortably by Whiteman in the Spurs goal. Kenny Jackett’s side had upped their tempo during the second half and it was starting to cause Spurs some real problems.

The ever attentive Brooklyn Lyons-Foster produced an important interception on Andre Green inside the Spurs box before White made an excellent block to thwart a powerful effort on goal from Louis Dennis. The Portsmouth man had another shot blocked by Lyons-Foster moments later as Spurs continued to prevent Portsmouth from taking the lead. A well worked move from Spurs which resulted in Brown receiving Patterson’s pass before playing in Sterling inside the Portsmouth box, only ended in the Spurs striker being slide challenged by Burgess at the final moment. Jackett made a triple substitution shortly afterwards which saw experienced striker Oli Hawkins enter the frame. However, for all of our defensive might and huff and puff, our luck ran out in the 69th minute of time after left back Jaden Brown gave away a free kick right on the edge of the Spurs penalty area after fouling Louis Dennis. The newly introduced Gareth Evans stood up confidently before bending a powerful low effort around the Spurs wall and into the bottom right hand corner of Whiteman’s goal, much to the Spurs goalkeepers frustration, 1-2. Andre Green fired an effort over Whiteman’s crossbar shortly afterwards as Portsmouth started to take full control of the game in front of their vocal home fans. Gareth Evans blazed over from long range before Jamie Bowden almost managed to set Sterling through on goal with a clever pass at the other end. The frantic tempo of the game continued, Oli Hawkins dragged an effort across the face of Whiteman’s goal before Andre Green had an effort on goal blocked by the head of Lyons-Foster after Whiteman had flapped awkwardly at a Portsmouth corner kick. In between both of those chances Dylan Duncan had been replaced by forward Rodel Richards as Burnett looked to add some fire power up top. Then in the 81st minute of time came Portsmouth’s third goal of the game. It was a well worked goal from ‘ Pompey ’ which started with Green out on the left wing before he passed the ball to Ben Thompson inside the box. Thompson squared the ball for substitute Ollie Hawkins to tap home from close range to put the game to bed, in the process of trying to defend Thompson’s cross Japhet Tanganga had injured himself, 1-3. 

Evans fired an effort wide from range before George Marsh blocked Louis Dennis’ effort on goal seconds later. Jaden Brown was replaced by striker Troy Parrott who almost managed to latch onto White’s through ball inside the Spurs box however, the Dubliner ended up clattering into Luke McGee. A couple of moments later Parrott won a free kick right on the edge of the Portsmouth penalty area. Harvey White and Phoenix Patterson stood up on the edge of the box but it was the free kick specialist White who elected to take it. The 17 year old capped off an excellent debut performance for Burnett’s side by curling a delicious effort over the Portsmouth wall, and into the top right hand corner of McGee’s goal, 2-3. It was a wonderful goal which capped off both a brilliant game and performance from Wayne Burnett’s side against the league one leaders. I couldn’t have been more proud of how expressive our young lads were against Kenny Jackett’s team. We contested three really competitive games in the group stages, and after Gillingham’s win over Crawley on Tuesday night our lads have deservedly qualified for the knockout stages of the competition. The draw of which will take place on Friday afternoon in Portsmouth of all places. Meanwhile our under 23’s next PL2 game is against Chelsea on Friday the 24th of November, in Aldershot.

Player reviews:

  • Alfie Whiteman: I felt that Whiteman had a good game under was what was difficult circumstances, against a very physical and powerful Portsmouth side. Making four saves in total, the 20 year old made some decent stops on the night and apart from a couple of difficult set pieces I thought that he put in a really mature performance. Whiteman demonstrated good leadership and he marshalled his defence well, and he was constantly reminding them to stay high up the pitch.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: It was an excellent performance from the classy ball playing centre half, who started at right back for our game against Portsmouth. Lyons-Foster read the game really well and he managed to defend superbly against Portsmouth winger David Wheeler. The 17 year old made a couple of hugely important blocks and interceptions, he also made an excellent recovery to get back and clear a cross towards the end of the first half.
  • Japhet Tanganga: Operating at rcb, Tanganga was the domineering force in the Spurs defence. He won absolutely everything in the air and he maintained good positioning throughout the game. The courageous 19 year old formed a strong defensive partnership with Marsh, and neither player could have done anything to stop any of Portsmouth’s three goals. 
  • George Marsh: Starting alongside Tanganga, Marsh had a good game, particularly in the first half. Despite his height and stature he did well in the air and never shied away from making a challenge. The skipper made a number of impressive blocks and interceptions.
  • Jaden Brown: The left back didn’t get forward as much as he usually does down the left flank. Brown stayed deep and defended well against the speedy Andre Green down that side of the pitch. Brown read the game well and put in a sound defensive performance. The teenager from Lewisham made an excellent sliding challenge on Ben Close to win the ball of the Portsmouth man inside the Spurs penalty area.
  • Harvey White: It was a night to remember for the first year scholar who put in an excellent debut performance for the development side in the middle of the park. White who has played in all but one of our under 18’s matches this season, put in a really mature performance alongside Bowden in the centre of the park. The slightly deeper of the two midfielders the teenager from Maidstone looked very good on the ball. And in a very Dier-esque way he kept things ticking with his cautious and well timed short passes. White made a couple of excellent blocks and interceptions, but what really impressed me was the first year scholars stamina and constant chasing down of the opposition players. An excellent night at Fratton Park was capped off with an excellent curling free kick from the expert free kick taker in stoppage time of the second half. White’s goal was so good that it even had the Portsmouth supporters on their feet applauding him.
  • Jamie Bowden: A player who has been instrumental in us making the knockout stages of this competition. The classy central midfielder from Tottenham had another really good game against Portsmouth. He was tigerish out of possession and always managed to get in good positions, and pockets of spaces as he helped to break up play and initiate chances. Bowden used the ball intelligently and his pass to set up Patterson’s goal in the first half was a work of art. The timing and the weight of the pass was second to none and it ended up taking a number of Portsmouth players out of the game. The 17 year old also made a similarly impressive pass in the second half which almost managed to set Sterling through on goal. The Irish Londoner now has nine assists this season, more than anybody else in the academy (u18 and u23).
  • Dylan Duncan: The 19 year old put in a real shift out on the right wing and he worked hard at both ends of the pitch. Duncan pressed well and made some nice crisp passes. The West Londoner came close to scoring a volley in the first half. Duncan also made a number of well timed runs during the first half.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Oakley-Boothe played as a ten for our game against Portsmouth and he always looked good on the ball. The 18 year old went on some impressive jinking runs through the middle.
  • Phoenix Patterson: My motm, see below.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: It was a typically hardworking performance from Sterling who led the line against Portsmouth. Sterling pressed aggressively and held the ball up well despite a lack of openings against a strong Portsmouth defence.
  • Rodel Richards: Richards replaced Duncan in the 75th minute and despite his best efforts he was unable to get many touches of the ball out on the right wing.
  • Troy Parrott: It was a very brief cameo from the Dubliner who did manage to win the free kick which Harvey White converted in stoppage time.
  • Armando Shashoua: It was only a very brief cameo from the 18 year old on his debut for the development side. However, he looked as energetic as always. I couldn’t have been more pleased for him!

My man of the match: Phoenix Patterson. The 18 year old had a superb game for Burnett’s team on his full debut for the development side. Patterson was electric out on the left wing and his energy and unpredictably with the ball at his feet made him very hard to defend. The Scotland under 19 international went on some excellent jinking runs down the left wing and through the middle of the pitch. Patterson beat the Portsmouth players with his skill and short spurts of pace, but it was his positivity and willingness to drive at the Portsmouth defence which impressed me the most. Patterson made a good run for his goal before finishing well from a tight angle after rounding Luke McGee. The second year scholar also forced a good save out of the former Spurs goalkeeper at the beginning of the second half. He was by far our most creative and potent attacking player on the day and his non stopping running and constant tracking back after him combined with his many excellently timed runs, rounded off an excellent performance from the teenager who showed a real confidence about his game.

Portsmouth: McGee, Mnoga (Evans 66), Walkes, Burgess (c), Haunstrup, Close, Rose, Wheeler, Dennis, Green (Clarke 66), Lethbridge (Hawkins 66). Substitutes (not used): MacGillivray, Brown.

Spurs: Whiteman, Lyons-Foster, Tanganga, Marsh (c), Brown, White, Bowden (A Shashoua 89), Oakley-Boothe (Parrott 86), Duncan (Richards 75), Patterson, Sterling. Substitutes (not used): Glover, Markanday.

Goals: Portsmouth – Green 50, Evans 69, Hawkins 81; Spurs – Patterson 19; White 90.

Referee: James Linington.

Venue: Fratton Park, Portsmouth.

Attendance: 3,138.

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

Goals scored: Shayon Harrison – 5

Paris Maghoma – 4

Jack Roles – 2

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Harvey White – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

Jamie Bowden – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

Spurs under 21’s 2-3 Portsmouth: (match report)

Wayne Burnett’s development side albeit it without a whole of host of regular players due to the current international break, traveled down to the south coast on Tuesday evening to face Portsmouth at Fratton Park. It was his sides final Checkatrade trophy group game of the campaign, and a win against high flying ‘ Pompey ’ would have seen Spurs progress to the knockout stages as group winners. It was undoubtedly our developments sides biggest game of the season so far, and after putting in highly commendable performances against both Crawley Town and Gillingham. Burnett’s side were in with a fighting chance of making the knockout stages if they could get a result against Portsmouth. Burnett’s youngsters did exceptionally well to adapt to the high pressure situation that they found themselves right in the middle of. League one leaders Portsmouth had already qualified for the knockout stages but they still brought a decent home following to Fratton Park. The ‘ Pompey ’ supporters were loud throughout the game, and the presence of the famous John Portsmouth up in the Fratton end, could be heard all across the ground as he rang his bell loudly for the full 90 minutes of the game. Kenny Jackett made eleven changes from Portsmouth’s FA cup tie with Maidenhead at the weekend, this resulted in him fielding a squad of fringe players. Meanwhile, Burnett’s side was severely depleted and this resulted in the Spurs head coach fielding a selection of player from their under 18 side. Not only were our lads competitive but they were fearless in the way that they played and approached the game. Spurs started the game well and after a bright start to proceedings they took the lead through Phoenix Patterson, after Jamie Bowden had played the winger through on goal with a glorious pass. Burnett’s young lads did well to prevent Portsmouth netting an equaliser for the remainder of the half, and Spurs went into halftime ahead of Portsmouth, in first place in the group with seven points. However, Kenny Jackett’s side started the second half in much more positive fashion and it didn’t take them long to draw level.

Andre Green poked home a scrappy goal from a Portsmouth free kick in the 50th minute, before substitute Gareth Evans (one of three made by Jackett in the 66th minute) put Portsmouth in front after scoring from a free kick in the 69th minute of time. Portsmouth had now taken full control of the game and their experience had really started to show, and after Oli Hawkins put the south coast club 3-1 up in the 81’st minute, any hope of a Spurs comeback was virtually extinguished. 17 year old Harvey White did manage to pull a goal back in stoppage time after catching former Spurs goalkeeper Luke McGee out with a delicious free kick from the edge of the Portsmouth penalty area, to cap off an excellent night for the teenager from Maidstone, on his debut for the development side. Despite losing to Portsmouth on Tuesday night Spurs still progress to knockout stages of the competition, thanks to Gillingham who came from a goal down to beat Crawley 2-1 in the other group game on Tuesday night. Thankfully that means that Spurs ended up finishing the group in second place, one point ahead of Crawley on four points. Our youngsters will find out who they will get in the next round on Friday when the draw takes place. Spurs will face one of the clubs from the southern region who have won their group, we will play away from home in the next round. With so many players absent from the development squad, Burnett had to make wholesale changes from our development sides last game against Swansea. This meant that a number of players from our under 18’s travelled down with the squad to Portsmouth. Wayne Burnett opted to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with Alfie Whiteman starting in goal for Spurs. A back four of Lyons-Foster, Tanganga, Marsh (the skipper) and Brown lined up in front of him. Whilst 17 year olds Jamie Bowden and Harvey White started in the centre of the park. Dylan Duncan played out on the right wing, with Phoenix Patterson starting out on the left, either side of Tashan Oakley-Boothe who played as a ten. Kazaiah Sterling led the line for Spurs on only his third appearance of this season.

Spurs got the game underway at Fratton Park but it was the home side who had the first real chance of the game. After Andre Green received Haji Mnonga’s pass down the left the side of the Tottenham penalty area, the winger had a shot with his left foot but Lyons-Foster was able to block it behind for a corner kick. Harvey White was able to clear Brandon Haunstrup’s resulting corner kick as Spurs got the ball away from the danger zone. Japhet Tanganga headed clear a dangerous cross from Haunstrup a couple of minutes later before Bowden was on hand to clear Andre Green’s cross. Andre Green then forced Whiteman into making the first save of the game, after the 20 year old cut inside from the left wing before testing Whiteman with a powerful effort from the edge of the penalty area. Portsmouth had been the more threatening side during the opening 20 minutes of the game that’s why it came as a pleasant to surprise to me when Spurs took the lead in the 20th minute after scoring a well crafted goal. After picking up the ball in the middle of the park the ever elegant Jamie Bowden pondered before making a perfectly weighted pass which paralysed the Portsmouth defence before picking out Patterson who latched onto the ball down the left side of the Portsmouth penalty area. McGee came rushing out to meet Patterson whose initial effort was parried by McGee however, the ball came back off Patterson and over McGee’s head and the Scotland youth international was able to race around him to tap home from a tight angle, before the ball went out of play. The Spurs players all huddled around Patterson right in front of the Fratton end to celebrate his goal, 1-0. After taking the lead Spurs started to play with more confidence although this wasn’t without risk. George Marsh passed the ball straight to Bradley Lethbridge inside the Spurs box but luckily for Marsh, Harvey White was on hand to block Lethbridge’s resulting effort on goal to bail his teammate out. An inviting cross from Jaden Brown was headed away by Portsmouth captain Christian Burgess, before Marsh made up for his previous error by blocking Brandon Haunstrup’s effort on the edge of the penalty area.

Burnett’s side came close to doubling their lead a couple of minutes later after Sterling received Jaden Brown’s pass out on the left wing, before going around Christian Burgess and darting inside the penalty area. However, Burgess recovered well and was able to make a sliding challenge on Sterling to put the ball out for a corner kick at the vital moment. Phoenix Patterson’s resulting corner kick was flicked on by Sterling as Bowden picked the ball up out on the right flank before finding Marsh inside the box with a cross. Marsh’s header was met by Duncan who fired the ball across the face of McGee’s goal on the volley, from the right side of the penalty area. Young Jamie Bowden got caught in possession shorty afterwards when Ben Close nicked the ball off of him in the middle of the park, before driving through the middle and firing an effort over Whiteman’s crossbar. Lyons-Foster managed to get a vital head on David Wheeler’s cross a couple of moments later as the fast pace of the game showed no signs of slowing down. Close glanced a header wide of Whiteman’s goal from the resulting corner kick, before Jaden Brown won a free kick in a promising position down the other end of the pitch. Patterson’s delivery into the box was punched away by McGee and ‘ Pompey ’  went on a dangerous counter attack which was only thwarted at the final moments by the Spurs defence. Christian Burgess then forced a comfortable save from Whiteman with a tame header after meeting Danny Rose’ cross inside the box. Lyons-Foster gave the ball away to Louis Dennis a couple of minutes later and Dennis passed the ball to David Wheeler out on the right flank. However, Lyons-Foster did extremely well to get back and clear Wheeler’s resulting low cross, bringing an enthralling half of football to an end.

Portsmouth got the second half underway but it was Burnett’s youngsters who worked the first decent move of the half. After Oakley-Boothe received Patterson’s pass he found Brown down the left wing. However, the fullback’s whipped cross was well cleared by the alert Burgess. Former Spurs man Anton Walkes almost scored an excellent solo goal a couple of minutes later after he embarked on a long jinking run through the middle of the park, beating a number of Spurs players before firing an effort narrowly wide of Whiteman’s goal, courtesy of an important deflection off of Brown. Japhet Tanganga did well to clear the resulting corner kick but the Spurs defender could do nothing to prevent Portsmouth from taking the lead from a corner kick a couple of minutes later. Louis Dennis’ menacing delivery caused panic amongst the Spurs defence. Duncan tried to clear the ball before Tanganga did but neither player could manage to do so and Andre Green was able to poke home from close range, 1-1. Phoenix Patterson forced a good save out of McGee soon afterwards as Burnett’s side looked to regain the lead. Patterson picked the ball up in the middle of the park before advancing on a surging run towards the Portsmouth penalty area, before testing McGee with a thumping effort from range which the former Spurs goalkeeper pushed behind for a corner. Spurs skipper George Marsh flicked an effort wide from Patterson’s resulting corner kick as Portsmouth broke down the other end. A dangerous move from the home side forced Jade Brown into making an inch perfect sliding challenge to the win the ball off of Ben Close inside the Spurs penalty area. However, the ball rolled out to Ben Close the edge of box but his deflected strike was held comfortably by Whiteman in the Spurs goal. Kenny Jackett’s side had upped their tempo during the second half and it was starting to cause Spurs some real problems.

The ever attentive Brooklyn Lyons-Foster produced an important interception on Andre Green inside the Spurs box before White made an excellent block to thwart a powerful effort on goal from Louis Dennis. The Portsmouth man had another shot blocked by Lyons-Foster moments later as Spurs continued to prevent Portsmouth from taking the lead. A well worked move from Spurs which resulted in Brown receiving Patterson’s pass before playing in Sterling inside the Portsmouth box, only ended in the Spurs striker being slide challenged by Burgess at the final moment. Jackett made a triple substitution shortly afterwards which saw experienced striker Oli Hawkins enter the frame. However, for all of our defensive might and huff and puff, our luck ran out in the 69th minute of time after left back Jaden Brown gave away a free kick right on the edge of the Spurs penalty area after fouling Louis Dennis. The newly introduced Gareth Evans stood up confidently before bending a powerful low effort around the Spurs wall and into the bottom right hand corner of Whiteman’s goal, much to the Spurs goalkeepers frustration, 1-2. Andre Green fired an effort over Whiteman’s crossbar shortly afterwards as Portsmouth started to take full control of the game in front of their vocal home fans. Gareth Evans blazed over from long range before Jamie Bowden almost managed to set Sterling through on goal with a clever pass at the other end. The frantic tempo of the game continued, Oli Hawkins dragged an effort across the face of Whiteman’s goal before Andre Green had an effort on goal blocked by the head of Lyons-Foster after Whiteman had flapped awkwardly at a Portsmouth corner kick. In between both of those chances Dylan Duncan had been replaced by forward Rodel Richards as Burnett looked to add some fire power up top. Then in the 81st minute of time came Portsmouth’s third goal of the game. It was a well worked goal from ‘ Pompey ’ which started with Green out on the left wing before he passed the ball to Ben Thompson inside the box. Thompson squared the ball for substitute Ollie Hawkins to tap home from close range to put the game to bed, in the process of trying to defend Thompson’s cross Japhet Tanganga had injured himself, 1-3. 

Evans fired an effort wide from range before George Marsh blocked Louis Dennis’ effort on goal seconds later. Jaden Brown was replaced by striker Troy Parrott who almost managed to latch onto White’s through ball inside the Spurs box however, the Dubliner ended up clattering into Luke McGee. A couple of moments later Parrott won a free kick right on the edge of the Portsmouth penalty area. Harvey White and Phoenix Patterson stood up on the edge of the box but it was the free kick specialist White who elected to take it. The 17 year old capped off an excellent debut performance for Burnett’s side by curling a delicious effort over the Portsmouth wall, and into the top right hand corner of McGee’s goal, 2-3. It was a wonderful goal which capped off both a brilliant game and performance from Wayne Burnett’s side against the league one leaders. I couldn’t have been more proud of how expressive our young lads were against Kenny Jackett’s team. We contested three really competitive games in the group stages, and after Gillingham’s win over Crawley on Tuesday night our lads have deservedly qualified for the knockout stages of the competition. The draw of which will take place on Friday afternoon in Portsmouth of all places. Meanwhile our under 23’s next PL2 game is against Chelsea on Friday the 24th of November, in Aldershot.

Player reviews:

  • Alfie Whiteman: I felt that Whiteman had a good game under was what was difficult circumstances, against a very physical and powerful Portsmouth side. Making four saves in total, the 20 year old made some decent stops on the night and apart from a couple of difficult set pieces I thought that he put in a really mature performance. Whiteman demonstrated good leadership and he marshalled his defence well, and he was constantly reminding them to stay high up the pitch.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: It was an excellent performance from the classy ball playing centre half, who started at right back for our game against Portsmouth. Lyons-Foster read the game really well and he managed to defend superbly against Portsmouth winger David Wheeler. The 17 year old made a couple of hugely important blocks and interceptions, he also made an excellent recovery to get back and clear a cross towards the end of the first half.
  • Japhet Tanganga: Operating at rcb, Tanganga was the domineering force in the Spurs defence. He won absolutely everything in the air and he maintained good positioning throughout the game. The courageous 19 year old formed a strong defensive partnership with Marsh, and neither player could have done anything to stop any of Portsmouth’s three goals. 
  • George Marsh: Starting alongside Tanganga, Marsh had a good game, particularly in the first half. Despite his height and stature he did well in the air and never shied away from making a challenge. The skipper made a number of impressive blocks and interceptions.
  • Jaden Brown: The left back didn’t get forward as much as he usually does down the left flank. Brown stayed deep and defended well against the speedy Andre Green down that side of the pitch. Brown read the game well and put in a sound defensive performance. The teenager from Lewisham made an excellent sliding challenge on Ben Close to win the ball of the Portsmouth man inside the Spurs penalty area.
  • Harvey White: It was a night to remember for the first year scholar who put in an excellent debut performance for the development side in the middle of the park. White who has played in all but one of our under 18’s matches this season, put in a really mature performance alongside Bowden in the centre of the park. The slightly deeper of the two midfielders the teenager from Maidstone looked very good on the ball. And in a very Dier-esque way he kept things ticking with his cautious and well timed short passes. White made a couple of excellent blocks and interceptions, but what really impressed me was the first year scholars stamina and constant chasing down of the opposition players. An excellent night at Fratton Park was capped off with an excellent curling free kick from the expert free kick taker in stoppage time of the second half. White’s goal was so good that it even had the Portsmouth supporters on their feet applauding him.
  • Jamie Bowden: A player who has been instrumental in us making the knockout stages of this competition. The classy central midfielder from Tottenham had another really good game against Portsmouth. He was tigerish out of possession and always managed to get in good positions, and pockets of spaces as he helped to break up play and initiate chances. Bowden used the ball intelligently and his pass to set up Patterson’s goal in the first half was a work of art. The timing and the weight of the pass was second to none and it ended up taking a number of Portsmouth players out of the game. The 17 year old also made a similarly impressive pass in the second half which almost managed to set Sterling through on goal. The Irish Londoner now has nine assists this season, more than anybody else in the academy (u18 and u23).
  • Dylan Duncan: The 19 year old put in a real shift out on the right wing and he worked hard at both ends of the pitch. Duncan pressed well and made some nice crisp passes. The West Londoner came close to scoring a volley in the first half. Duncan also made a number of well timed runs during the first half.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Oakley-Boothe played as a ten for our game against Portsmouth and he always looked good on the ball. The 18 year old went on some impressive jinking runs through the middle.
  • Phoenix Patterson: My motm, see below.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: It was a typically hardworking performance from Sterling who led the line against Portsmouth. Sterling pressed aggressively and held the ball up well despite a lack of openings against a strong Portsmouth defence.
  • Rodel Richards: Richards replaced Duncan in the 75th minute and despite his best efforts he was unable to get many touches of the ball out on the right wing.
  • Troy Parrott: It was a very brief cameo from the Dubliner who did manage to win the free kick which Harvey White converted in stoppage time.
  • Armando Shashoua: It was only a very brief cameo from the 18 year old on his debut for the development side. However, he looked as energetic as always. I couldn’t have been more pleased for him!

My man of the match: Phoenix Patterson. The 18 year old had a superb game for Burnett’s team on his full debut for the development side. Patterson was electric out on the left wing and his energy and unpredictably with the ball at his feet made him very hard to defend. The Scotland under 19 international went on some excellent jinking runs down the left wing and through the middle of the pitch. Patterson beat the Portsmouth players with his skill and short spurts of pace, but it was his positivity and willingness to drive at the Portsmouth defence which impressed me the most. Patterson made a good run for his goal before finishing well from a tight angle after rounding Luke McGee. The second year scholar also forced a good save out of the former Spurs goalkeeper at the beginning of the second half. He was by far our most creative and potent attacking player on the day and his non stopping running and constant tracking back after him combined with his many excellently timed runs, rounded off an excellent performance from the teenager who showed a real confidence about his game.

Portsmouth: McGee, Mnoga (Evans 66), Walkes, Burgess (c), Haunstrup, Close, Rose, Wheeler, Dennis, Green (Clarke 66), Lethbridge (Hawkins 66). Substitutes (not used): MacGillivray, Brown.

Spurs: Whiteman, Lyons-Foster, Tanganga, Marsh (c), Brown, White, Bowden (A Shashoua 89), Oakley-Boothe (Parrott 86), Duncan (Richards 75), Patterson, Sterling. Substitutes (not used): Glover, Markanday.

Goals: Portsmouth – Green 50, Evans 69, Hawkins 81; Spurs – Patterson 19; White 90.

Referee: James Linington.

Venue: Fratton Park, Portsmouth.

Attendance: 3,138.

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

Goals scored: Shayon Harrison – 5

Paris Maghoma – 4

Jack Roles – 2

Jaden Brown – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Harvey White – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Jaden Brown – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

Jamie Bowden – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

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