Spurs under 18’s 4-1 Brighton & Hove Albion: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 4-1 Brighton & Hove Albion: (match report)

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For game week 13 of the under 18 league season Matt Wells unbeaten side traveled down to Lancing on the south coast, to face Brighton and Hove Albion at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre. Saturday mornings match was a lively affair and it certainly wasn’t a game without incident. Matt Wells side dominated the match and they ran out comfortable 4-1 winners over the ‘ Seagulls ‘ who posed a significant threat on the counter. Spurs played their usual passing game against Brighton and it proved to be effective. Paris Maghoma and Harvey White controlled the midfield and they were able to create chances for the forwards while also maintaining good defensive discipline. While the presence and leadership of Troy Parrott up top provided our wingers with a focal point which they made the most of. Matt Wells selected a strong side for the trip down to Lancing with the likes of Troy Parrott, Paris Maghoma and Rodel Richards all included in the starting 11. Although it was a fairly even start to the game Spurs took the lead after just nine minutes through Troy Parrott after the 16 year old headed home from Harvey White’s inviting cross. Brighton had a couple of chances to equalise and they managed to do so through Stefan Vukoje on 24 minutes. However, Matt Wells‘ high pressing side regained their lead shortly after the restart through Rodel Richards. Spurs controlled the game during the second half as Mark Beard’s side tired. J’Neil Bennett made it 3-1 on 64 minutes before Harvey White missed a penalty. Both sides ended the game with ten men after Julian Carre was shown a straight red card for a late sliding challenge on Dilan Markanday. Carre had injured Markanday and he was unable to continue, and with Matt Wells having already made all three of his substitutions, Spurs had to play the final minutes of the game with ten men. However, that didn’t affect Spurs who grabbed a fourth goal before the end through Troy Parrott to stay at the top of the under 18 southern league, two points above Arsenal who also won on Saturday.

Matt Wells went for the familiar 4-2-3–1 formation for our game against Brighton on Saturday morning. Joshua Oluwayemi started in goal while a back four of Tainio, Okedina, Lyons-Foster and Cirkin lined up in front of him. Harvey White and Paris Maghoma lined up in central midfield with Dilan Markanday and J’Neil Bennett playing either side of Rodel Richards, who played in the hole. Troy Parrott led the line for Spurs, and he started the game as captain for the first time at this level before returning the captains armband to Armando Shashoua after he came on just before halftime. The home side got the game underway on a chilly winters morning down by the south coast, and it didn’t take long before the game came to life. An early attack from the ‘ Seagulls ‘ resulted in midfielder Jack Spong passing the ball to Danny Cashman down the left side of the Tottenham penalty area. However, Cashman ended up blazing an effort well wide of Joshua Oluwayemi’s goal. Dennis Cirkin did well to clear a dangerous cross from the same player shortly afterwards, before Brooklyn Lyons-Foster managed to deal with Julian Carre’s whipped cross a couple of moments later as the ‘ Seagulls ‘ started to put some pressure on the Spurs defence. However, our lads responded well by taking the lead in fine fashion in the ninth minute of the game through Troy Parrott. It was a nicely worked move which started with Maghoma passing the ball to Harvey White on the left flank. After receiving the ball the midfielder looked up before picking out the unmarked Parrott inside the Brighton penalty area with a deftly accurate cross. It was still a difficult chance to convert for the 16 year, old but the young Dubliner made it look easy by getting into space and just glancing a header past the helpless Carl Rushworth, and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 1-0. Shortly after the restart Danny Cashman was able to pick out Stefan Vukoje down the left side of the Tottenham penalty area however, Vukoje’s attempt on goal was excellently blocked by the sliding Jubril Okedina. Joshua Oluwayemi didn’t deal well with Ben Wilson’s resulting corner kick.

The Northern Ireland youth internationals corner ended up coming to Laurent Tolaj whose header was blocked by Parrott, the ball then came out to Cashman whose shot was blocked by Okedina, the Brighton captains effort on the follow up was cleared off the line by Cirkin as Spurs somehow managed to survive. After Maximus Tainio passed the ball to Markanday down the right side of the Brighton box you fancied the Spurs winger to score but he took a heavy touch and Rushworth was able to get to the ball in the nick of time. Spurs were in control of the game but they desperately needed to get that second goal to take the game away from the home side. After Markanday won a free kick out on the right flank dead ball specialist Harvey White looked to deliver another promising ball into the danger zone. However, the 17 year olds curling delivery was well claimed by Rushworth who managed to hold the ball. However, a beautiful long range strike from the ‘ Seagulls ‘ Stefan Vukoje stunned Spurs in the 24th minute of time. After Danny Cashman had passed the ball out to Vukoje on the left flank the referee had let play go on after Rodel Richards had fouled the Brighton captain. Vukoje brought the ball inside onto his right foot before letting fly from 24 yards out from goal. The Brighton forwards powerful effort had plenty of dip and spin on it, and it totally caught Oluwayemi by surprise as it moved in the air and ended up nestling inside the top right hand corner of the Spurs goal, 1-1. However, Brighton’s celebrations didn’t last long and less than two minutes later Spurs had regained the lead. It was an instant response from Matt Wells‘ side whose sharp passing and quick movement had helped to carve open the Brighton defence. After Dennis Cirkin had played the ball down the line to the speedy J’Neil Bennett on the left wing. The 17 year old darted away from Brighton fullback Ayo Taminowo before whipping the ball into the danger zone. Bennett’s cross managed to pick out Richards who had made a run towards the back post before managing to acrobatically volley the ball into the back of the empty net, 2-1. A couple of minutes later Paris Maghoma’s excellent cross towards Dilan Markanday at the back post of Rushworth’s goal, was well cut out by the alert Luka Cocoracchio.

Spurs ended the half well, the potent J’Neil Bennett curled an effort narrowly wide from long range after receiving Dilan Markanday’s pass. Then at the opposite end of the pitch Dennis Cirkin had to be on hand to clear Cameron Tutt’s menacing cross, before Ben Wilson could convert at the back post. Markanday gave away a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the Spurs penalty area shortly afterwards. Danny Cashman managed to get his resulting effort up and over the Spurs wall before forcing Oluwayemi into palming the ball away from the goal at full stretch. The half picked up pace as it neared an end. After Markanday gave the ball to the influential Harvey White on the edge of the Brighton box the Spurs midfielder fired an effort narrowly wide of Carl Rushworth’s goal. However, Spurs were dealt quite a bad blow just before the end of the half when Rodel Richards picked up a nasty looking injury following a collision with Stefan Vukoje. Richards injury forced the 18 year old off the pitch and he was swiftly replaced by captain Armando Shashoua. Dennis Cirkin did well to clear Danny Cashman’s free kick after Tainio had conceded a foul out on the left flank, in what was the final piece of action from an action packed first half. Matt Wells side restarted the game and they looked to start the second half in positive fashion. After Lyons-Foster passed the ball up field to J’Neil Bennett the wide man ended up blazing an effort well wide of Rushworth’s goal from long range, Harvey White then had a free kick cleared by Cocoracchio. The ‘ Seagulls ‘ had started the half with a different energy about them and their high pressing was forcing Spurs to move the ball about quicker. Spurs continued to push for that all important third goal, after Markanday had won a free kick on the edge of the Brighton box Harvey White curled an effort over Rushworth’s crossbar. A couple of minutes later the ‘ Seagulls ‘ came desperately close to drawing level through Laurent Tolaj. Brighton had broke down the right flank through the pacy Tanimowo who darted forward after receiving Cashman’s pass. The Brighton fullback continued forward down the flank before squaring the ball to Tolaj who had made a good run into the middle of the Spurs box. The Brighton strikers first touch was good and you expected the net to bulge as Oluwayemi came rushing out of his goal to close Tolaj down. However, Spurs were let off the hook after the Swiss striker somehow ended up curling the ball wide of Oluwayemi’s goal from just eight yards out. 

After creating a couple of good little passages of play, midfielder Paris Maghoma had a powerful effort on goal blocked by Jack Spong on the edge of the Brighton box. Spurs went on another good move soon afterwards, Bennett passed the ball to Maghoma who passed it to Shashoua, who then gave it back to Bennett who ended up curling an effort wide of the Brighton goal. The Tottenham winger was given a yellow card shortly afterwards by the referee for a challenge on Tanimowo. Paris Maghoma had a powerful low effort saved by Rushworth after receiving Markanday’s pass down the right side of the Brighton box. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster then made a crucial defensive intervention at the other end. After Ben Wilson passed the ball to Tolaj on the right wing the Brighton striker surged forward as he beat Tainio before darting into the Tottenham penalty area. However, Lyons-Foster had read the situation well and the 18 year old managed to get across Tolaj inside the box to poke the ball away from him. The Brighton players looked for a penalty after Tolaj had went to ground but the referee was having none of it. Joshua Oluwayemi punched Jack Spong’s resulting corner kick away. The Brighton midfielder then had a second corner kick blocked by Cirkin, with the Brighton players going in search of a penalty once again but to no such success. Spurs had managed to put some distance between themselves and Brighton after J’Neil Bennett made it 3-1 in the 64th minute. It was another good passing move from Spurs which started with Armando Shashoua’s pass into Parrott down the right side of the Brighton penalty area. Parrott’s first touch was good and he was able to sort his feet out before firing a low effort towards the far corner of Rushworth’s goal. However, the Brighton goalkeeper managed to get down in time to make an excellent diving save at full stretch, but he could only parry the ball into the feet of Bennett who was ghosting in at far post. And the alert winger made no mistake from close range and he clinically fired the ball home, 3-1.

The brave Troy Parrott did well to shrug off Carre’s reckless challenge shortly after the restart. The Irishman then won us a penalty a matter of minutes later after being pulled by Luka Cocoracchio inside the penalty area. It was another well worked move from Spurs which saw Okedina play a nice pass over the top of the Brighton defence to Markanday down the right side of the Brighton box. The tricky winger pulled a clever pass back to Parrott who had made the run into the middle of the box. However, the centre forward had his shirt cynically pulled by Cocoracchio before he could get his shot away, leaving the referee with no other option than to point to the spot. The usually prolific Harvey White was unable to extend Spurs’ lead from the spot and the 17 year olds curling effort towards the bottom left hand corner of the goal lacked power, and it was a relatively comfortable save for the diving Rushworth to make to deny the teenager his fifth goal of the season. England under 17 international Malachi Walcott replaced Maximus Tainio shortly afterwards to make his return from injury. Harvey White did well to clear Danny Cashman’s free kick at the other end. Before J’Neil Bennett came a matter of centre meters away from being able to turn home Troy Parrott’s curling effort from close range as it flew just wide of the Brighton goal. Spurs made their third and final change when they brought off Brooklyn Lyons-Foster for Luis Binks in the 75th minute this meant that Okedina had to move out to right back while Binks and Walcott operated as the two central defenders. Brighton were starting to run out of energy and Matt Wells super fit side were beginning to overwhelm them. Joshua Oluwayemi did well to catch Jack Spong’s free kick after it had been conceded by Bennett. After Jubril Okedina played another one of his passes over the top of the Brighton defence to Markanday down the right flank the tricky winger was able to work his way into the penalty area. The goalkeeper slipped just as Markanday squared the ball to who he thought was Troy Parrott in the middle of the penalty area, but no one in a Spurs shirt was there to meet it, and the ball ended up rolling across the face of the Brighton goal.

French teenager Julian Carre ended up receiving his marching orders after he was shown a straight red card for a sliding challenge on Dilan Markanday in the middle of the park, in the 83rd minute of the game. After receiving treatment from the Tottenham medical staff it was clear that Markanday would be unable to see out the final minutes of the game, and after Spurs had already made all three of their substitutions it meant that both teams would play the remainder of the game with ten men. However, Spurs’ dominance and urge to extend their lead resulted in them making it 4-1 in the 87th minute, and in some style too. A lovely passing move from the young Lilywhites resulted in Troy Parrott bagging his second goal of the game. Armando Shashoua played a clever one two with Maghoma on the edge of the Brighton penalty area before the Spurs captain managed to flick the ball onto Parrott who had made a run down the left side of the penalty area. The inform Dubliner steadied himself before dragging the ball across Rushworth and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 4-1. Paris Maghoma almost made it 5-1 shortly afterwards but Rushworth was able to make an excellent diving save to deny Maghoma’s powerful strike from the edge of the penalty area, after he had played a quick one two with Parrott. The Brighton goalkeeper then produced another fine stop, this time to save J’Neil Bennett’s powerful low shot across goal from out on the right side of the Brighton box. Spurs then had a penalty claim waved away after Kaspar Lopata looked to have obstructed the Irishman inside the Brighton box. Parrott was denied his hat-trick a couple of moments later after the same Brighton defender blocked his effort on goal on the edge of the penalty area. Harvey White almost managed to set J’Neil Bennett through on goal with a lovely lofted pass over the Brighton defence right at the end, but Sam Packham was able to cut the midfielders pass out. That was to be the final piece of action from what had been a pretty eventful game of football. Once again Matt Wells side played the opposition off the park with their own brand of sparkling attacking football. It was a good performance from the Spurs youngsters who worked so well as a team to overcome Mark Beard’s side. Up next for Spurs is a hugely important FA youth cup fourth round tie against Arsenal on Thursday. For so many of our scholars that game will be one of the biggest that they have been involved in so far in their short careers. Arsenal will also be extremely difficult to overcome.

Player reviews: 

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The 17 year old goalkeeper had a solid game in between the sticks for Spurs on Saturday. Oluwayemi made one save against the ‘ Seagulls ‘ which was an impressive one to deny Danny Cashman’s free kick during the first half. The second year scholar did a really good job at dealing with set pieces and crosses and he led his defence well throughout the match.
  • Maximus Tainio: The Finland under 19 international defended well against tricky Brighton winger Stefan Vukoje for the majority of the match. The right back completed 71 minutes of our 4-1 win over Brighton and he protected his side of the pitch well.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: The 18 year old completed 75 minutes of the match where he played at LCB. Lyons-Foster put in a really strong performance alongside Jubril Okedina, and he made numerous important interceptions, blocks and clearances. Lyons-Foster made one particularly important and brave interception on Laurent Tolaj during the second half to end a dangerous Brighton attack. The North Londoner read the game well and he was always on hand to fill in for other Spurs defenders if they had strayed out of position. Lyons-Foster’s passing out from the back also impressed me.
  • Jubril Okedina: Like Lyons-Foster, Okedina had a really strong game at centre back on his tenth appearance of the season for Matt Wells’ side. The 18 year old defended extremely well and he timed his challenges to perfection. Apart from making some really important blocks and interceptions Okedina also played several clever passes over the top of the Brighton defence to set Markanday free down the right flank. He was good on the ball and he showed good awareness throughout the game. Okedina also filled in at right back for the latter stages of the match.
  • Dennis Cirkin: Cirkin was another player who I thought had a really strong game for Spurs. The Dublin born left back defended really well against Brighton winger Ben Wilson, and the 16 year old always seemed to be in the right place at the right time against Brighton. Cirkin made a fantastic goal line clearance early on in the game, and the disciplined fullback was excellent in the air and he always managed to pick up Wilson at the far post. 
  • Harvey White: I personally thought that the 17 year old had an excellent game in the middle of the park for Matt Wells side. White was the midfield orchestrator and it was lovely to see him spray the ball around the park with such precision. Good at breaking up play and filling in for the defenders, Harvey’s all round game helped Spurs out a lot and it allowed them to play their passing game to such great effect. White got the assist for Troy Parrott’s opener after picking the Irishman out in the danger zone with a pin point cross. And the first year scholar created many more good chances during the remainder of the game. He was strong in the challenge and good at tracking back after him.
  • Paris Maghoma: I thought that the England under 18 international played more of a combative role in Saturday’s 4-1 win. Maghoma played the entirety of the game in central midfield and the 17 year old did a good job at linking the defence with the attack. Maghoma stayed deeper than usual but he still made just as big of an impact on the game as he did against Swansea the previous week. He did the nitty gritty side of the game well and like White he did a good job at breaking up play and recycling possession. The silky midfielders passing was good and he created some good chances for the likes of Parrott and Bennett. As the game went on Paris seemed to play more of an advanced role and he got forward a lot more, and he made some good runs through the middle. He played some lovely one and two touch football with Parrott and Shashoua in particular and he played a big part in our final goal of the game. Maghoma also came close to finding the back of the net himself on a couple of occasions.
  • Dilan Markanday: The right winger grew into the game as it went on and he always looked dangerous when he was in possession. Impressing with his ball retention and work rate, the skilful winger caused problems for Brighton fullback Cameron Tutt with his jinking runs down the flank. He was unselfish and he created some good little chances for Spurs before being forced off late in the game due to injury.
  • Rodel Richards: Sadly Richards only completed 43 minutes of the game after he picked up a nasty looking injury following a collision with a Brighton player just before halftime. Richards had a good game as a CAM and he did well to find the back of the net from J’Neil Bennett’s cross midway through the first half. Unfortunately Richards could be seen using crutches after the final whistle, I wish him a speedy recovery.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The 17 year old had a good game out on the left wing and he chipped in with a goal and an assist. He was nice and direct in his play and although he was up against a good defender in Tanimowo Bennett’s skill and speed asked questions of him. Bennett did well to set up Rodel Richards goal during the first half before going onto find the back of the net himself.
  • Troy Parrott: My motm, see below.
  • Armando Shashoua: Our under 18’s captain fantastic came onto replace the injured Rodel Richards at the end of the first half, and the 18 year old did a superb job as a CAM during his time on the pitch. Energetic, hardworking and very good on the ball Shashoua’s intricate passing and clever attacking forays through the middle helped out Troy Parrott and he managed to set up the centre forwards second goal of the game.
  • Malachi Walcott: The 16 year old made his return from injury after coming on in the 71st minute, and he helped to bolster the Spurs defence.
  • Luis Binks: Like Walcott, Binks only made a fleeting cameo but he did a good job in central defence.

My man of the match: After yesterday’s match 16 year old centre forward Troy Parrott has now been directly involved in 23 goals from 22 appearances for Spurs at youth level this season. Parrott played a big part in our 4-1 win over Brighton on Saturday and he chipped in with a goal and an assist. The inform striker did well to get into space and to glance home Harvey White’s cross early on in the game. Parrott also got the assist for Bennett’s goal before netting his second of the game right at the end of the second half. Parrott was superb and everything from his work rate and coming deep to receive the ball to influence play, to his ability to create space for himself inside the box was top class. He also held the ball up extremely well and both of his finishes were smartly taken.  He is such a clever young man and once again on Saturday he was clinical in front of goal while also influencing the game in so many other ways.

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Tainio (Walcott 71), Cirkin, White, Okedina, Lyons-Foster (Binks 75), Markanday, Maghoma, Parrott (c), Richards (A.Shashoua 43), Bennett.

Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Clarke.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Troy Parrott – 12

Dilan Markanday – 7

Rayan Clarke – 7

J’Neil Bennett – 7

Rodel Richards – 5

Armando Shashoua – 4

Harvey White – 4

Luis Binks – 3

Paris Maghoma – 3

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Jeremie Mukendi – 2

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Phoenix Patterson – 2

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Jubril Okedina – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 11

Armando Shashoua – 10

Jamie Bowden – 5

Troy Parrott – 5

Phoenix Patterson – 4

Rayan Clarke – 4

Dilan Markanday – 3

Rodel Richards – 3

J’Neil Bennett – 3

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Paris Maghoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Malachi Walcott – 1

Luis Binks – 1

Rafferty Pedder – 1

Maxwell Statham – 1

Jeremie Mukendi – 1

Elliot Thorpe – 1

Clean sheets: Joshua Oluwayemi – 5

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