Spurs under 23’s 2-2 Everton: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 2-2 Everton: (match report)

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Our under 23’s took on high flying Everton in the PL2 on Friday afternoon at Hotspur Way, as Wayne Burnett’s side looked to build on their impressive win over Wolfsburg II earlier in the week. David Unsworth’s Everton side came to Enfield in good form and a win against Spurs would have lifted them up to the top of division one. It was a closely fought game in many ways, with both teams having dominant spells in the game. Spurs had more of the ball and they created more chances than the visitors but once again they didn’t kill the game off when they had the chance to. Burnett’s side were the better team, they were the sharper of the two sides and they moved the ball around the park well. After a closely contested opening 30 minutes Spurs took the lead from a corner kick through Jack Roles who was able to turn Kazaiah Sterling’s header into the back of the net. Then less than two minutes later Spurs doubled their lead as Roles turned provider by setting up Sterling who clinically slotted past Everton goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt to give Burnett’s side a healthy two goal lead. However, they undid all of their good work by letting Everton pull a goal back right on the stroke of halftime through Bassala Sambou. Our lads controlled the majority of the second half and they played some really good football as they created numerous chances. However, they were punished in the end for not putting away any of those second half chances and we were dealt a cruel blow when substitute Anthony Gordon drew level in the 86th minute to rescue a point for the traveling ‘ Toffees ’ whose direct style of play frustrated Spurs at times. Despite the fact that we gave away a two goal lead I came away from the training centre feeling very buoyant after Friday afternoons performance. Apart from the two goals that we conceded I thought that we had an excellent game, we moved the ball around well and we used it intelligently. We defended well for large periods of the game but we were also very potent in the final third. Anthony Georgiou who continues to make his way back from injury had an excellent game out on the left wing. And our two goal scorers Jack Roles and Kazaiah Sterling linked up well with each other throughout the match. 

Spurs lined up in the usual 4-2-3-1 formation with Brandon Austin starting in goal for Burnett’s side once again. A back four of Hinds, the captain Tanganga, Eyoma and Brown sat in front of him, as George Marsh and Dylan Duncan started in the middle of the park. Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Anthony Georgiou started out on the flanks with Jack Roles playing in between them in the hole. While 20 year old centre forward Kazaiah Sterling led the line for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway at a wet and windy Hotspur Way. Burnett’s side had a bit of an early scare after TJ Eyoma gave the ball away to Nathan Broadhead inside his own half. Broadhead drove forwards through the middle before passing the ball to Josh Bowler down the left flank. Bowler then crossed for Bassala Sambou inside the box but the former Coventry youth team player ended up flicking the ball wide of Austin’s goal. George Marsh attempted to play Sterling through on goal a couple of minutes later. However, the midfielders ambitious long pass was snuffed out by Everton’s skipper Morgan Feeney. Young TJ Eyoma had yet another nervy moment when he passed the ball straight to Josh Bowler right on the edge of the Spurs penalty area. Bowler burst into the box but luckily for Eyoma, Japhet Tanganga was on hand to make a crucial interception to bail his teammate out. Both sides were struggling to find their feet in the game during the early periods. Morgan Feeney cleared Jaden Brown’s menacing free kick before Spurs worked a good passing move which saw Georgiou pass the ball to Sterling on the edge of the Everton penalty area. However, Sterling’s powerful low effort on goal was blocked by Everton defender Tyias Browning. Then at the other end of the pitch Anthony Georgiou made a headed clearance from an Everton corner kick which set Spurs on the break. 

Oakley-Boothe picked the ball up and exchanged passes with Roles as the pair advanced forwards into the Everton box, before Roles had an effort on goal which was stopped by Mateusz Hewelt who had closed him down well. Sterling got caught under Roles’ feet and this unbalanced the Tottenham midfielder before he got his shot away. Japhet Tanganga glanced Brown’s resulting corner kick wide as Burnett’s side started to grow into the game. After losing possession in their own half Tariq Hinds was forced into blocking Con Ouzounidis’ cross after the young Aussie had broken forward down that side of the pitch. Some more sloppy defending followed as Tanganga gave the ball straight to Sambou on the edge of the Spurs penalty area however, his teammate TJ Eyoma was on hand to make a crucial interception. The rain had started to gush down in North London as the half progressed. Tyias Browning headed clear Dylan Duncan’s corner kick before the Spurs players then went in search of a penalty from the referee Jack Morgan after they had felt that Kazaiah Sterling had been obstructed by Everton defender Morgan Feeney. After Sterling had raced to meet Jack Roles’ searching pass inside the Everton penalty area where he was seemingly obstructed by the Everton captain. The lively Bassala Sambou then came desperately close to nodding home Antony Evans’ dangerous cross, but the Everton forward just couldn’t make contact with the ball despite his best efforts. Josh Bowler then whipped a dangerous low cross into the box which was dealt with well by Tanganga who got it clear. The ‘ Toffees ’ almost took the lead from Nathan Broadhead’s resulting corner kick, but Tyias Browning’s bullet header was spectacularly cleared on the line by George Marsh. TJ Eyoma headed behind Nathan Broadhead’s free kick delivery a couple of minutes later as the Tottenham defence continued to hold. Spurs goalkeeper Brandon Austin was then forced into making his first save of the game. After receiving Ouzounidis’ pass on the edge of the penalty area Dennis Adeniran tested Austin with a fizzing low effort at goal, which the diving Spurs goalkeeper was able to tip behind for a corner kick.

The Spurs goalkeeper who had, had very little to do during the opening stages of the game then did well to confidently claim Antony Evans’ cross. Spurs went on a promising attack at the other end as Duncan shifted the ball out to Jack Roles on the right flank. Roles then slipped the ball into Sterling inside the box but the centre forward couldn’t control the ball and it ended up coming out to Georgiou who fired over from 13 yards out on his weaker right foot. Spurs went on another promising attack a couple of minutes later which ended in Oakley-Boothe’s blocked cross coming out to Hinds on the edge of the Everton penalty area. However, the Tottenham fullback fired wide of Hewelt’s goal with a powerful first time strike. The Merseyside club played a quick free kick at the other end when Bowler passed the ball to Harry Charsley inside the Spurs box but the alert Eyoma was able to get in front of the Irishman to win the ball off of him. George Marsh managed to find Sterling inside the oppositions penalty area shortly afterwards. Sterling passed the ball to Brown who then laid it off for Roles to strike, but the Cyprus under 21 internationals effort on the turn was deflected behind for a Spurs corner. And it was from that corner which Burnett’s side took the lead from. Jaden Brown whipped the ball into the box and it was met by Sterling who made a good leap before powering his header on goal. Sterling’s header was flicked onto the underside of the crossbar by the reactive Jack Roles before going in, 1-0. Merely two minutes later Spurs doubled their lead through Kazaiah Sterling as Spurs caught the Everton defence out cold. Eyoma passed the ball to Roles who threaded a perfectly weighted through ball to Sterling who was able to power his way past Browning, before entering the penalty area and slotting the ball past Hewelt and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 2-0. Everton looked to respond, Sambou passed the ball to Bowler on the edge of the Spurs box but the winger fired over. Oakley-Boothe then went on a promising run down the other end as he skipped past Charsley down the right flank before seeing his cross cleared by Feeney.

Frustratingly for Spurs Everton pulled a goal back right on the stroke of halftime through Bassala Sambou. After receiving Charsley’s pass down the left wing Everton winger Antony Evans sent a menacing low cross into the penalty area. The Everton mans cross came all the way to the lunging Sambou who was able to turn it home at the back post despite the best efforts of both Eyoma and Austin, 2-1. And the visitors almost drew level before the half was up, Adeniran won the ball off of Marsh in the middle of the park with a crunching challenge. The former Fulham player then passed the ball to Bowler who burst forward before testing Austin with a fizzing effort which the Tottenham goalkeeper did ever so well to stop at full stretch, bringing an end to an eventful first half. During the break I noticed that Oxford United manager Karl Robinson was in attendance, no doubt checking our lads out before we face the league two side in the Checkatrade trophy later this month. David Unsworth’s Everton side got the second half underway and after a quiet start it was Spurs who had the first real chance of the half. After receiving Roles’ pass out on the left flank, Georgiou managed to beat Ouzounidis before finding Duncan on the edge of the Everton penalty area. However, Duncan’s first time effort was blocked heroically by the sliding Tyias Browning. Burnett’s side were moving the ball around the park well as they looked to regain their two goal lead. Anthony Georgiou whipped a menacing ball into the box which ended up coming off Sterling and out to Oakley-Boothe down the right side of the penalty area. The wide man teed the ball off for Sterling whose effort was blocked by Feeney, before Jaden Brown curled an effort wide a couple of moments later. TJ Eyoma was on hand at the other end to put Antony Evans’ cross out for a corner kick. Bowler’s resulting ball in was met by Evans who glanced a header narrowly wide of Austin’s goal. Tyias Browning headed clear Dennis Adeniran’s free kick shortly afterwards, before the same player headed Ouzounidis’ corner kick over Austin’s crossbar.  

The sliding Anthony Georgiou only just missed Kazaiah Sterling’s low cross at the back post after a good move from Burnett’s side. Dylan Duncan then had an effort on goal saved by Hewelt from close range after latching onto Tariq Hinds’ cross inside the Everton the penalty area. Everton’s young Polish goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt had limited Duncan’s angles by coming out and closing him down. Instead of shooting Duncan should have passed to Roles who was in acres of space inside the penalty area. 17 year old Dilan Markanday came onto replace Anthony Georgiou out on the left wing in the 76th minute. Tanganga did well to block Nathan Broadhead’s shot on the edge of the penalty area, before Josh Bowler picked up the ball down right side of the box before firing narrowly over. Japhet Tanganga went on a good jinking forward run as he brought the ball out from the back. The 19 year old beat a couple of Everton players before passing the ball to Duncan out on the right flank. Duncan crossed for Sterling but the ball ended up falling for Roles whose powerful effort was blocked by Con Ouzounidis. However, Spurs were dealt a cruel blow in the 87th minute of time when the ‘ Toffees ’ scored a late equaliser through Josh Bowler. The goal stemmed from a misplaced pass by Dylan Duncan in the centre of the park. Duncan had attempted to pass the ball to Hinds out on the right flank but it was intercepted by the newly introduced Manasse Mampala who drove down the left wing before whipping the ball towards Bowler at the back post. And the one time QPR under 18 player was able to tap home unopposed at the back post, 2-2. Duncan was given a yellow card shortly afterwards for a foul on Adeniran as Spurs desperately tried to regain their lead during the final moments of the game. Spurs launched one last attack as Roles passed the ball out to Markanday on the left flank. The winger picked out Sterling in the box but the strikers effort on the turn was blocked by Morgan Feeney. George Marsh then glanced Oakley-Boothe’s corner across the face of the Everton goal, but that was to be the final bit of action from the game and the referee sounded for full time shortly afterwards.

It was in many a ways a very frustrating result for Wayne Burnett’s side who let their two healthy two goal lead go to waste. We were the better team on Friday and I think that’s what will frustrate our lads the most. However, it was a very good performance from Spurs and there were plenty of positives to take away from the game. Our under 23’s will face Manchester City at their Academy stadium next Saturday in their next PL2 game. Unfortunately for the first time this season I will miss a game and I’ll be unable to report on how our lads get on due to the fact that it is being played behind closed doors. I will however, be at Wembley that day watching our first team take on Burnley so I wouldn’t have been able to make the game even if it had been open to the public.

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: The 19 year old goalkeeper didn’t have an awful lot to do against Everton on Friday. Austin made two saves in total one of which was a very good one to deny a fizzing strike from Josh Bowler towards the end of the first half. Austin dealt with crosses and set pieces well and he was commanding throughout the game. There is nothing that Austin could have done to prevent either of Everton’s two goals from going in.
  • Tariq Hinds: The right back had a good game on Friday and I thought that he defended his side of the pitch well. Hinds got up and down the flank well but he was disciplined throughout. Although Hinds couldn’t get back in time to get to Manasee Mampala for Everton’s second goal, the 18 year old made an excellent crunching challenge to win the ball off of Mampala just a couple of minutes before that goal. 
  • Japhet Tanganga: The skipper worked well alongside his defensive partner TJ Eyoma and he put in a good performance at RCB. Tanganga marshalled the defence well and he made a number of important interventions of his own. Good in the air and strong in the challenge, you really couldn’t fault Tanganga’s performance in any way. The 19 year old kept good positioning throughout the game and he also played the ball out well from the back.
  • TJ Eyoma: Apart from a couple of early sloppy passes which put us under pressure I thought that the England under 19 international had a really good game at LCB. Eyoma read the game well and him and Tanganga formed a strong defensive partnership which quelled the threat of attacking players such as Bassala Sambou and Nathan Broadhead. The 18 year old impressed me with his crisp short passing and his awareness. Eyoma also did well to get in front of his man on numerous occasions inside the danger zone. Him and Tanganga had a great game against the Merseyside club.
  • Jaden Brown: It was a decent performance from the left back who stayed deeper than usual against Everton due to the presence of Anthony Georgiou in front of him. Brown maintained good positioning throughout Friday’s 2-2 draw, and he also timed his challenges well.
  • George Marsh: I thought that the 19 year old put in another good performance for Burnett’s side as a holding midfielder. Marsh won everything that came his way and the tireless midfield anchor man scrapped for every ball in the middle of the park. He pressed relentlessly throughout the game but he also protected the back four and he would often fill in for defenders who were higher up the pitch. Marsh made a terrific goal saving block to deny Tyias Browning’s header in the first half.
  • Dylan Duncan: Like Marsh the 19 year old had a really good game in central midfield. Duncan was commanding and combative in the middle of the park, he got around the pitch well and he also managed to make a positive impact at both ends of it. He won a lot of balls in the middle of the park but he also dropped deep and this saw him make a number of important interceptions. The teenager worked really hard against Everton and he showed a real desire to influence the game. From a defensive point of view Duncan had an excellent game. However, I also thought that he linked defence with attack extremely well. Duncan went on some good driving runs through the middle of the park, and he also got into some good goalscoring positions in and around the six yard box. He also impressed me with his passing. Yes it was the 19 year olds misplaced pass which led to Everton’s equaliser however, those things happens to the very best players.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: It was another start for Oakley-Boothe on the right wing in our 2-2 draw with Everton. And Oakley-Boothe put in another impressive performance in that position. He was creative and hardworking, he also linked up well with both Roles and Sterling and the trio went on some good attacking forays. The 18 year old was tricky and direct and he made Irish left back Harry Charsley work hard throughout the game. Oakley-Boothe beat his man on several occasions and he would often drift inside and go on surging runs through the middle.
  • Jack Roles: My motm, see below.
  • Anthony Georgiou: This was the Cyprus internationals first start at this level since August, and after coming off the bench in midweek to make his long awaited return from injury in our 2-1 win over Wolfsburg II, Georgiou got more vital minutes under his belt on Friday. The 21 year old started the game on the left wing and he did his job so well out on that left hand side. Georgiou managed to get the better of Everton’s strong right back Con Ouzounidis and he beat his man on numerous occasions throughout the game. The speedy winger was tricky and direct, he whipped some lovely crosses into the box during the second half and he was very unselfish in possession. I was keeping a really close eye on Georgiou who completed 76 minutes of Friday’s 2-2 draw. During the game he made some superb runs down the left flank, he also did very well at creating space for himself down the left channel. Being the most senior player in the team, Georgiou was vocal and encouraging to his teammates, and he demonstrated good leadership skills. The Lewisham born youngster also made it clear to them when he wanted the ball down the left wing, something which frustratingly wasn’t picked up on enough during  the first half. In addition to his duties as a winger Georgiou also made sure that he helped out Jaden Brown in defence. I thought that he had an excellent game and after he was replaced late on in the game his absence really showed.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: The 20 year old striker found the net for the second time in a week on Friday. Sterling put in another excellent shift up top, he made some forceful and well timed runs. He also made life difficult for the defenders as he would often play with his back towards goal. Sterling looked sharp and really up for the visit of the ‘ Toffees ’ and his hard work reaped it’s rewards. After getting the assist for Jack Roles’ opener, Sterling was played in by the 19 year old a couple of minutes later. He showed off his strength and speed in order to get past his man and in the end it was a very cool finish from the Spurs forward who has always been very good at finishing when he is one on one with the goalkeeper.
  • Dilan Markanday: The second year scholar came off the bench to make his second appearance at this level on Friday when he replaced Georgiou out on the left wing. Markanday put in a shift for the team and the 17 year old tracked back well after him during his short time on the pitch. Markanday also went on some promising attacking forays down the left channel and he was positive in possession.

My man of the match: Jack Roles is a young man who isn’t afraid to express himself on the football pitch and express himself he did during Friday’s 2-2 draw. The in form Cyprus under 21 international had a magnificent game for Wayne Burnett’s side. Roles played the game in the hole as opposed to playing out wide as he has been doing during recent games. The 19 year old was superb as a number ten. Chipping in with another goal and assist, the youngsters goal was a typical poachers finish to turn home Kazaiah Sterling’s header. His assist on the other hand was a perfectly weighted pass to set Sterling through on goal. The North Londoner was the best player on the park on Friday, he oozed class. He worked his socks off in order to influence the game. He would drop deep to receive the ball and start an attack. He was so clever in the way he went about the game, with his sharp twists and turns and ability to create space for himself in the most congested areas of the pitch. Every time Spurs went on an attack Roles was always involved in the thick of it and on another day he could have had a hat-trick if other players had have spotted him inside the danger zone. I will be writing an in-depth piece on Jack Roles later in the month.

Spurs: Austin, Hinds, Brown, Marsh, Tanganga (c), Eyoma, Oakley-Boothe, Duncan, Sterling, Roles, Georgiou (Markanday 76). Substitutes (not used): Glover, Reynolds, White, Richards.

Everton: Hewelt, Ouzounidis, Charsley, Iversen, Browning, Feeney (c), Evans (Gordon 74), Adeniran, Sambou (Mampala 61), Broadhead (Simms 61), Bowler. Substitutes (not used): Hilton, Astley.

Goals: Spurs – Roles 34, Sterling 36; Everton – Sambou 42, Gordon 86.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Duncan 87; Everton – Charsley 43, Bowler 76, Iversen 79, Simms 83.

Referee: Jack Morgan.

Venue: Hotspur Way, Enfield.

Attendance: 135.

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

Goals scored: Jack Roles – 5

Shayon Harrison – 5

Paris Maghoma – 4

Jaden Brown – 2

Kazaiah Sterling – 2

Samuel Shashoua – 1

Marcus Edwards – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Harvey White – 1

Assists: Jack Roles – 5

Paris Maghoma – 2

J’Neil Bennett – 2

Jaden Brown – 2

Kazaiah Sterling – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Jamie Bowden – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

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