Spurs under 18’s 4-0 Leicester City: (match report)
Our under 18’s took on Leicester City at their Belvoir Drive training ground on Saturday morning, as Matt Wells unbeaten side looked to strengthen their place at the top of the under 18 southern division. And strengthen it they did, as Matt Wells side put in another hugely impressive performance to beat Leicester 4-0 courtesy of a 12 minute goal blitz at the beginning of the second half. Spurs had to be patient with Leicester sitting deep for the vast majority of the game. And it was after a quiet first half for Wells side that things began to change. We upped our tempo for the second half against a very negative and defensive Leicester team. After seeing a lot more of the ball during the early stages of the half we took the lead in the 54th minute courtesy of a fine first time strike from Troy Parrott, on the edge of the Leicester penalty area. Dilan Markanday tapped home close range shortly afterwards to make it 2-0 to the Lilywhites, before Harvey White made it 3-0 a couple of minutes later from the penalty spot after Dennis Cirkin had been fouled inside the area. Then in the 62nd minute of the game Spurs netted their fourth and final goal of the game through Troy Parrott to cap off an excellent 12 minute spell from Matt Wells side. Spurs controlled the remainder of the game, playing some classy attacking football as they did so. After conceding a late penalty kick Joshua Oluwayemi made amends by superbly stopping Luke Thomas’ spot kick. That was Oluwayemi’s fourth penalty save of this season. Leicester tried their luck towards the end of the half by pumping a lot of balls into the Spurs box. However, the Spurs defence of which included Luis Binks and Maxwell Statham was resolute, and they would not be broken. It was another superb performance from this superb Spurs side, we have now reached the halfway point of the league season and Matt Wells side remain unbeaten as they continue to sit at the top of the table.
Matt Wells opted to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation for the trip to Leicester, with Joshua Oluwayemi starting in goal. A back four of Mukendi, Okedina, Binks and Cirkin lined up in from of him. Whilst captain Armando Shashoua and Harvey White started in the middle of the park, with Markanday, Richards and Clarke starting behind Troy Parrott who led the line for the Lilywhites. Spurs got the game underway on what was another wet and windy morning. The ‘ Foxes ’ started the game brightly and after Dennis Gyamfi went on a dangerous run down the right flank, the Leicester fullback picked out Shane Flynn inside the Tottenham penalty area with a low cross. However, the Irishman who was in space inside the Spurs box ended up side footing the ball over Oluwayemi’s crossbar, squandering a great chance for the home side. Jubril Okedina cleared Leicester captains Luke Thomas’ cross a couple of moments later, before Matt Wells side were dealt an early blow after Mukendi went down in agony after being fouled by the Leicester skipper out on the left flank. Mukendi was swiftly replaced by Maxwell Statham and unfortunately the 18 year old had to be stretchered off the pitch after receiving treatment. Harvey White’s delivery from the resulting free kick was gathered comfortably by Leicester goalkeeper Oliver Bosworth. Leicester midfielder Ed Elewa-Ikpakwu almost caught Bosworth out with an over hit back pass shortly afterwards, which the Leicester City goalkeeper managed to frantically clear before it crept into the goal. A good move from Matt Wells side saw Binks pass the ball to Richards who almost managed to slip Parrott through on goal inside the Leicester penalty area. Moments later Statham received Dilan Markanday’s ball out on the right wing, Statham whipped a dangerous ball into the box which Bosworth just did enough to manage to hold. Rodel Richards won a free kick on the edge of the Leicester box shortly afterwards. Tottenham midfielder Harvey White’s delivery ended up hitting Luis Binks in the chest before it went out of play for a Leicester goal kick.
Spurs were enjoying the lions share of possession as Leicester sat deep and tried to catch us out by pumping the ball into our box. There was a quiet spell in the game before the next chance for either side was to occur. After receiving Markanday’s pass down the left flank, Rayan Clarke attempted to get past Gyamfi. Clarke managed to travel towards the byline before seeing his scuffed shot saved by Bosworth. Spurs were playing more freely as the half progressed, the adventurous Dennis Cirkin advanced down the left wing before playing a clever one-two with Richards before picking the ball up in the box, and then dragging the ball across Bosworth’s goal. Oluwayemi got fortunate at the other end after he flapped and missed Shane Flynn’s cross before the ball found its way out to Gyamfi on the right flank. The Leicester fullback whipped the ball back into the box but this time it was cleared by Luis Binks. Leicester threatened our defence again a couple of minutes later after Liam Loughlin picked out Terell Pennant at the back post. However, the Leicester winger mistimed his effort and ended up blazing over from close range, on the half volley. Loughlin then passed the ball to Flynn out on the left wing but his cross was blocked by Binks before Oluwayemi gathered the ball. Maxwell Statham blocked Shane Flynn’s effort on goal shortly afterwards on the edge of the box after Loughlin had passed the ball to the Leicester winger. Leicester came desperately close to taking the lead a matter of minutes later through their most potent attacking player, Shane Flynn. After Sidnel Tavares passed the ball to Flynn on the left flank the Irishman fired the ball narrowly wide of Oluwayemi’s near post with a fizzing first time strike. Jubril Okedina blocked Will Russ’ effort shortly afterwards, before Statham did well to block Liam Loughlin’s powerful effort on goal. The referee Ben Cooke was then winded by Troy Parrott’s pass after it struck him right in the chest, bringing to an end a close first half.
Trevor Peake’s Leicester City side got the second half underway as Spurs started the half with a different energy about their game. Dennis Cirkin had a cross blocked by Luke Thomas before Luis Binks’ long searching pass came close to setting the tigerish Troy Parrott through on goal. Spurs continued to dominate the game, Rodel Richards had an effort on goal blocked by Elewa-Ikpakwu. Before Spurs’ opener duly arrived in the 54th minute of the game, courtesy of an excellent finish from the potent Troy Parrott. It was a wonderfully worked goal from Matt Wells side which started with captain Shashoua who picked out Markanday down the right flank with a clever lofted pass, before picking the ball up on the edge of the penalty area after Markanday gave the ball back to him. Shashoua then passed the ball to Parrott on the edge of the box. The Dubliner set himself up well before wrapping his foot around the ball to send his curling first time effort into the top right hand corner of Oliver Bosworth’s goal, 1-0. It was a great strike from Parrott which left the Leicester goalkeeper with no chance of getting to the ball. Spurs continued their excellent start to the second half, and less than two minutes later they doubled their lead through Dilan Markanday. Spurs were sharp and incisive in possession, Parrott managed to shift the ball out to Clarke on the left flank. The wingers powerful low effort from the edge of the penalty area was stopped superbly by the diving Bosworth, but he couldn’t hold onto the ball and it trickled out to Markanday who tapped home from close range, 2-0. Spurs had upped their tempo and the sheer energy which they were producing was something which the Leicester defence just couldn’t deal with. Spurs won the ball back shortly after the restart and Parrott managed to slip the ball into Cirkin down the left hand side of the Leicester penalty area. The Dubliner was brought down by Bright Arrey-Mbi and Ben Cooke pointed straight to the spot. Dead ball specialist Harvey White stood up to slot the ball down the left side of the goal as Bosworth dived the opposite way, to net Spurs’ third goal in just five minutes, 3-0.
Spurs were playing some wonderful quick attacking football and Matt Wells side made it 4-0 a couple of minutes later. The move started with Cirkin who passed the ball to Richards who embarked on a promising jinking run through the middle before passing the ball to Clarke on the left wing. Clarke skipped past Gyamfi before squaring for Parrott to tap home from the middle of the box, 4-0. Matt Wells made a double substitution shortly after Parrott’s goal, bringing off Harvey White and Dilan Markanday in place of Elliot Thorpe and Maurizio Pochettino. The newly introduced Elliot Thorpe curled an effort over Bosworth’s crossbar after the ball came out to him on the edge of the Leicester box. Trevor Peake’s side did however, manage to win a penalty after Liam Loughlin’s defence splitting pass set Will Russ through on goal down the left side of the penalty area. Oluwayemi came rushing off of his line to meet Russ and he managed to dive in front of the Leicester player to get a hand to the ball. However, the referee didn’t see it that way and he pointed to the spot much to Oluwayemi’s disbelief, as he protested his innocence. The resulting penalty kick was taken by Leicester captain Luke Thomas whose powerful low effort was spectacularly saved at his left by Oluwayemi, to make his fourth penalty save in under a month to keep his clean sheet intact before he cleared the ball. The Tottenham goalkeeper then did well to claim Shane Flynn’s in swinging delivery a couple of moments later from a free kick out on the left wing. Peake’s side were really pushing for a late goal during the final moments of the game. Dennis Cirkin conceded a free kick on the edge of the box a couple of minutes later. Luke Thomas’ resulting dipping free kick cannoned off of Oluwayemi’s cross bar before coming down and being cleared away by Okedina. Luke Thomas blazed over from an improbable angle shortly afterwards before Shane Flynn tested Oluwayemi from a tight angle. Loughlin slipped the ball into Flynn down the left side of the Leicester box, Flynn cut inside before firing the ball straight at Oluwayemi just as Luis Binks came sliding across him.
Dennis Gyamfi’s resulting corner kick was palmed away by Oluwayemi before it crept into the back of the net. Oluwayemi ended up clattering into the post and he fell to the floor in pain after being winded. Kacper Kurylowicz came running onto the pitch to hand his shirt to Luis Binks as Spurs had already made their three substitutions. However, Oluwayemi bravely soldiered on and was able to complete the final seconds of the game. Luke Thomas’ resulting corner kick caused the Spurs defence a bit of trouble after Binks had been brought to the floor by Will Russ, but Oluwayemi managed to get to it in the end. Binks was unhappy with the force that had been used by the Leicester teenager and this resulted in a bit of a skirmish between both sets of players, but captain Shashoua stepped in to calm the situation down. That brought to an end an excellent game from Spurs’ point of view and it ensures that they will finish the year at the top of the southern division. Whilst our under 18’s don’t have any more league game this year, we still have two important cup games to contest before Christmas. Our under 18’s next game is against Millwall in the third round of this seasons FA youth cup. That is a game in which I and so many other Spurs supporters will be looking forward to.
- Joshua Oluwayemi: The 17 year old goalkeeper had another fine game for Matt Wells side on Saturday. Oluwayemi made three saves in total against Leicester including a wonderful diving save to deny Luke Thomas from the spot, after the Spurs goalkeeper had wrongly been penalised for giving away the penalty. Oluwayemi was confident and assertive inside his box and he did a good job at dealing with the many balls that were pumped into the Tottenham penalty area. The diving save in which Oluwayemi made to deny Luke Thomas from the penalty spot was class and the penalty saving specialists other two saves weren’t bad either.
- Jeremie Mukendi: Sadly the makeshift right back only played nine minutes of yesterday’s 4-0 win. After being challenged by Luke Thomas Mukendi sustained what appeared to be a knee injury and he had to be stretcherd off the pitch. Mukendi could later be seen walking around on crutches, I wish him a speedy recovery.
- Jubril Okedina: The 18 year old who operated at rcb formed a really strong defensive partnership with Luis Binks. Okedina read the game well and he was able to anticipate danger with precision. Composed and cool as he played out from the back, the centre half was good in the air and in the challenge. The second year scholar also made a number of important blocks and vital clearances throughout the game. He has been playing so well this season after enduring an injury hit first year of scholarship during the 2017/18 campaign.
- Luis Binks: If I were to describe the England under 18 internationals performance in one word, that word would be flawless. Playing at lcb, Binks had yet another outstanding game for our under 18’s, he was a pleasure to watch play. Binks was everywhere across the back line and the 17 year old in a very Alderweireld-esque way helped to thwart the threat which was posed by the Leicester forwards. It was a really well rounded performance from Binks whose timing was second to none. He made some excellent blocks, clearances, interceptions and defensive interventions against the ‘ Foxes ’ but he also showed his class by the way in which he played out from the back. His Dawson-esque cross field passes were on display throughout the game. But it was Binks’ passing in general which was so, so good. A classy player who did a great job at stepping in front of his man at all times, the Gillingham born Binks was so composed and influential in our 4-0 win.
- Dennis Cirkin: The left back had a superb game at Belvoir Drive, once again putting in a real shift at both ends of the pitch. Cirkin travelled with the ball so well down the left flank and he really asked questions of the Leicester fullback Dennis Gyamfi. As I have said before the way in which Cirkin runs with the ball and dribbles really reminds me of how Nick Tsaroulla used to play for our under 18’s. And it was Cirkin’s willingness to run and take on the Leicester defence which helped to open them up. The Dubliner who won our penalty in the second half also showed good defensive discipline, and he was able to keep the pacy Terell Pennant in check for the entirety of the match. I really like how well balanced Cirkin was in his play against the ‘ Foxes ’ and he has now been directly involved in four of our under 18’s goals this season.
- Harvey White: The defensive midfielder completed 63 minutes of yesterday’s game and he had the unusual experience of being followed around by Leicester’s Sidnel Tavares who was essentially man marking him during his time on the pitch. White broke up play well in the central areas of the park and he protected the back four on several occasions. White calmly tucked home his second half penalty to net his fourth goal of the campaign. I wouldn’t be surprised if White was on the bench for our under 23’s game against Wolfsburg II tomorrow. The 17 year old kept things ticking in the centre of the park against Leicester and helped Spurs to control the game (Spurs had 70% of possession against Leicester).
- Armando Shashoua: The Spurs skipper had another influential game from central midfield and he helped Spurs to control that area of the pitch. Shashoua (18) was so good on the ball and his movement, passing accuracy and ball retention rate helped Spurs to victory. The Londoner was heavily involved in our opening goal of the game, a move from which he started and then set up Troy Parrott for his goal. Shashoua led by example and he impressed when he managed to defuse the late skirmish which involved both sets of players. Shashoua has now been directly involved in 13 of our under 18’s goals this season.
- Dilan Markanday: After struggling to impact the game in the first half Markanday began to ask real questions of Leicester fullback Luke Thomas during the second half. Markanday was involved in our opener before he got our second of the game after tapping home from close range. As always the 17 year old impressed with his many runs, tracking back and willingness to take on and beat players successfully. Markanday is another player who I wouldn’t be surprised to see appear on the bench against Wolfsburg II tomorrow.
- Rodel Richards: The forward played as a number ten against Leicester and he had a good game against the ‘ Foxes ’ helping Spurs to break down Leicester in the final third. The skilful forward was involved in some good moves for Spurs and his long driving run through the middle played a big part in us creating our third goal of the game. Richards pressed well throughout yesterday’s game.
- Rayan Clarke: It was another influential performance from the left winger on Saturday as he set up two goals in our 4-0 win over Leicester. Clarke had a tough first half and the impressive Dennis Gyamfi prevented him from beating him. However, Clarke did manage to get the better of the Leicester fullback in the second half and the powerful 17 year old played a massive part in us breaking down the ‘ Foxes ’ defence. Clarke’s two assists came as a result of going on good runs down the left flank.
- Troy Parrott: My motm, see below.
- Maxwell Statham: Statham was forced to come off the bench after just nine minutes to replace the injured Jeremie Mukendi. And the 18 year old filled in superbly at right back for the injured Mukendi. Statham read the game excellently and he managed to keep Leicester’s best player on the day in Shane Flynn on check throughout the match. The tricky Flynn was prevented from getting as many of his dangerous crosses into the box as he would have liked to because of the Spurs man. Statham made some superb blocks and interceptions against the ‘ Foxes ’ as well as being dominant in the air, and I felt that he was a real force in the Tottenham defence. The second year scholar also impressed me with his accurate passing.
- Elliot Thorpe: The Wales under 19 international replaced Harvey White during the second half and I thought that he played with a real flair about his game when he came on. He made some clever passes particularly through balls which were aimed at Parrott, and Thorpe managed to link up well with the Dubliner as well as the wide men.
- Maurizio Pochettino: The 17 year old replaced Markanday in the second half and he put in a positive performance out on the right wing. Impressing with his many sharp twists and turns.
My man of the match: Troy Parrott. For the second time in a week the Dubliner has been my man of the match for his excellent performance against Leicester on Saturday. Parrott led the line by example and if you were to take his two goals away from him then I would still have been greatly impressed by his performance against the ‘ Foxes ’ as he put in a very Kane-esque shift up top. Parrott’s movement and well timed runs through the middle of the Leicester defence weren’t picked up on many occasions during the first half. However, the 16 year was a lot more involved in play in the final third during the second half. Bagging a brace, Parrott’s first goal was a wonderful curling first time effort on the edge of the penalty area. His second was a slightly more routine tap in from Clarke’s square ball. The potent centre forward made some really intelligent runs and his darting movement off of the shoulders of defenders caused Leicester problems. The Dubliner worked exceptionally hard for Matt Wells side and like he did against Inter Milan in midweek he would often come deep in order to pick up the ball and drive forward. Showing good hold up play against the ‘ Foxes ’ Parrott showed a real hunger to chase down players and drop deep in order to help out the defenders down the flanks. During the second half Parrott darted 20 yards into Leicester’s half in order to win the ball of a Leicester player, before superbly powering his way past two more and recycling the ball. That was just one of so many examples that I could use. The first year scholar has been directly involved in 18 goals from the 18 appearances that he has made for Spurs at all levels this season.
Oluwayemi: Mukendi (Statham 9), Cirkin, White (Thorpe 63), Okedina, Binks, Markanday ( Pochettino 63), A.Shashoua (c), Parrott, Richards, Clarke.
Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Cooper.
Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19:
Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 10
Dilan Markanday – 7
Rayan Clarke – 6
J’Neil Bennett – 5
Armando Shashoua – 4
Harvey White – 4
Luis Binks – 3
Paris Maghoma – 2
Dennis Cirkin – 2
Jeremie Mukendi – 2
Rodel Richards – 2
Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2
Phoenix Patterson – 2
Maurizio Pochettino – 1
Jubril Okedina – 1
Assists: Harvey White – 9
Armando Shashoua – 9
Jamie Bowden – 5
Phoenix Patterson – 4
Rayan Clarke – 4
Troy Parrott – 3
Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2
Dennis Cirkin – 2
Dilan Markanday – 2
J’Neil Bennett – 2
Rodel Richards – 2
Paris Maghoma – 1
Maurizio Pochettino – 1
Malachi Walcott – 1
Luis Binks – 1
Rafferty Pedder – 1
Maxwell Statham – 1
Jeremie Mukendi – 1
Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 4