Spurs under 23’s 0-2 Brighton & Hove Albion: (match report)
Our under 23’s returned to league action on Sunday when they faced Brighton & Hove Albion in the PL2, at the ‘ Seagulls ‘ American Express Elite Football Performance Centre in Lancing, Sussex. Wayne Burnett’s side had a new look about it for the encounter with Brighton following the loaning out of three our most experienced under 23 players during the January transfer window. This meant that some of Matt Wells‘ under 18 side had to make the step up on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately for Spurs they didn’t have their best game against Brighton whose tight defending and well structured back line was able to quell the threat of attacking talents such as Jack Roles and Troy Parrott, for much of Sunday’s game. It was very similar to the reverse fixture which was played back in August, Brighton were defensive and they were constantly looking to catch us out on the counter attack and from set pieces. Wayne Burnett’s Tottenham side lacked a cutting edge on the day and their intricate, attacking game was thwarted by Simon Rusk’s extremely well organised Brighton side. It wasn’t a game that had many clear cut chances and after a quiet start to the first half it was the ‘ Seagulls ‘ who took the lead from a corner kick on 20 minutes. After dominating possession during the opening stages of the game, Spurs had been undone from a simple corner kick. Peter Gwargis‘ deflected corner ended up falling kindly for Serbian striker Bojan Radulovic at Austin’s near post, and he was able to stroke the ball past the Tottenham goalkeeper to give the home side the lead. Spurs did have an excellent chance to respond before halftime through Troy Parrott however, the Dubliner was denied by a fine save from goalkeeper Hugo Keto. Simon Rusk’s side were the better team during the second half and after creating a couple of good chances the ‘ Seagulls ‘ doubled their advantage through Radulovic, who netted his second of the game in the 61st minute. The centre forward had managed to finish off a really well worked Brighton counter attack to slot home from inside Spurs’ penalty area. Despite Wayne Burnett’s sides best efforts and all the effort that they put into the game, they never really looked like they were ever going to respond. Jack Roles and substitute Rayan Clarke seemed the most likely of our players to score but they just couldn’t break down the brick wall which was the Brighton defence.
Wayne Burnett’s new look side lined up in the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with Brandon Austin starting in goal for Spurs. A back four of Okedina, captain Tanganga, Lyons-Foster and Hinds lined up in front of Austin, while George Marsh and Tashan Oakley-Boothe partnered up in the centre of the park. Shilow Tracey started the game out on the right wing and first year scholar J’Neil Bennett started on the opposite flank, either side of Jack Roles who played in the hole. Centre forward Troy Parrott led the line for Wayne Burnett’s side for the first time this year. Spurs got the game underway on a cold but gloriously sunny afternoon in Sussex. After both sides started to move the ball around well during the opening couple of minutes of the game Brighton captain Max Sanders delivered a dangerous low cross into the Tottenham penalty area, which was cleared by Tanganga at the near post. Spurs responded down the opposite end of the pitch through George Marsh, who after receiving Shilow Tracey’s pass on the edge of the Brighton box forced a comfortable save out of Hugo Keto from his tame low, first time effort. Brighton’s Danny Cashman had a curling effort on goal blocked by Okedina on the edge of the Spurs box, after receiving Bojan Radulovic’s pass. Both sides were being restricted only to hopeful efforts on goal during the early periods of the game and after Tracey gave the ball to Okedina on the edge of the Brighton box the defender fired a low effort on goal, but it was cleared away by Warren O’Hora. Shortly afterwards Jack Roles had a corner kick headed away by Alex Cochrane but the ball came to Tariq Hinds on the edge of the penalty area. However, the full back blazed an effort high over Hugo Keto’s crossbar on the half volley. Although it had been a fairly even start to the game, Spurs had seen a lot more of the ball. After intercepting Tashan Oakley-Boothe on the edge of the Tottenham box Hayden Roberts fired an effort straight at Tanganga, Lyons-Foster was then able to clear Archie Davies‘ cross. However, it was the ever threatening ‘ Seagulls ‘ who broke the deadlock in the 20th minute of the game from a corner kick. Peter Gwargis‘ delivery bounced straight off Hayden Roberts inside the Spurs box, before falling kindly to Bojan Radulovic who was closest to it. The Serbian was then able to stroke the ball past Brandon Austin at his near post and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 0-1.
Brighton had a chance to double their lead shortly after the restart when Austin passed the ball straight to Peter Gwargis on the edge of the Spurs penalty area. However, the Australian youngsters effort on goal was well blocked by Lyons-Foster. Spurs were trying hard to find a leveller and after Parrott passed the ball to Roles the Cyprus under 21 international tested Keto with a powerful effort from range, but the Finnish youngster was able to hold Roles’ effort. A couple of minutes later Lyons-Foster passed the ball to Oakley-Boothe who managed to slip the ball into the feet of Parrott down the right side of the Brighton penalty area. However, the striker had an initial effort on goal blocked by Leo Ostigard before then whipping the ball across the face of the Brighton goal, in an attempt to pick out J’Neil Bennett at the back post, but the winger couldn’t control the ball and Keto was able to gather it. After Max Sanders ran across the edge of the Tottenham penalty area he tested Austin who managed to hold his low effort on goal. Then at the other end of the pitch young Troy Parrott was gifted a fantastic opportunity to draw Spurs level. After the towering Warren O’Hora had attempted to clear the ball away from the Brighton penalty area his clearance ended up rebounding off of Tracey, and straight into the feet of Parrott who went darting down the right side of the penalty area. However, the Dubliner couldn’t beat Keto and his powerful, low curling effort was well saved by the Brighton goalkeeper. At the opposite end of the pitch, Peter Gwargis had an effort on goal blocked by Tanganga inside the Spurs penalty area. A couple of minutes later Jack Spong’s low cross found its way to Max Sanders on the edge of the penalty area, but the midfielders shot on goal was blocked superbly by the sliding George Marsh. Jack Roles then picked up a yellow card for a foul on Peter Gwargis in what was to be the final meaningful piece of action from the first half. A half from which Wayne Burnett’s side were unable to make all of their possession count.
Brighton got the second half underway and it was the ‘ Seagulls ‘ who were first to threaten our goal. After Archie Davies pumped the ball into the Spurs box Warren O’Hora rose highest to get to it, but his headed effort on goal lacked power and it was comfortably saved by Austin. Another long ball from Davies shortly afterwards caused more problems for the Spurs defence after it managed to run through to Radulovic inside the penalty area. However, the attentive Tariq Hinds managed to get in front of the Brighton forward and he ended up clattering into the out rushing Austin, and this forced the referee to stop the game. Spurs‘ first meaningful attack of the second half was a well worked move which resulted in Parrott passing the ball to Roles who managed to play in Tracey down the right side of the Brighton box, but the wingers effort on goal was blocked by Alex Cochrane. A couple of moments later J’Neil Bennett cut inside from the left wing before curling an effort wide of Hugo Keto’s goal. Wayne Burnett’s side continued their bright spell in the game and after George Marsh passed the ball to Oakley-Boothe down the left side of the Brighton box, the midfielder cut inside and tried to beat Keto at his near post but his effort on goal was blocked by Leo Ostigard. However, in the 61st minute of the game Brighton’s Bojan Radulovic severely dented Spurs‘ hopes of getting anything from the game, when he netted his and Brighton’s second goal of the match. After Peter Gwargis had robbed the ball off of Tariq Hinds deep inside his own half, the Brighton winger advanced forward before slipping the ball into the feet of Danny Cashman down the right flank. Lyons-Foster attempted to make a challenge but missed, and Cashman was able to surge past him before squaring for Radulovic in the middle of the penalty area. Austin had come rushing out to try and close down the Serbian strikers angles, but the Brighton man kept his cool and slotted past Austin, and despite the sliding Lyons-Foster’s best efforts on the line the centre half couldn’t prevent Radulovic’s effort from going in, 0-2.
Spurs tried to respond, J’Neil Bennett cut inside from the left wing before having an effort on goal blocked by Warren O’Hora, Bennett was replaced shortly afterwards by Rayan Clarke. After Roles had passed the ball to Parrott he gave it back to Roles on the edge of the Brighton box before letting fly, but his effort on goal took a significant deflection off of Ostigard before being saved by Keto. Troy Parrott was replaced by Dylan Duncan in the 68th minute as Wayne Burnett moved Shilow Tracey up top. Okedina almost managed to pick out the makeshift striker at Keto’s back post but Ostigard was able to clear the ball before Tracey could tap home. Jack Roles initiated a good move a couple of minutes later, after picking the ball up from deep he darted forward through the middle of the pitch before playing a clever one two with Tracey on the edge of the penalty area, and forcing a decent save out of Keto who managed to keep out Roles‘ low curling effort. After Shilow Tracey had received Dylan Duncan’s pass on the left wing, the 20 year old cut inside before having an effort on goal headed behind for a corner kick by Ostigard. Rayan Clarke picked up a yellow card shortly afterwards for a pull on Archie Davies. Substitute Soufyan Ahannach fired a powerful effort straight into the chest of Dylan Duncan before forcing a good low save out of Austin from his effort on the follow up on the edge of the penalty area. After dispossessing Dylan Duncan Jack Spong slipped the ball into the feet of Peter Gwargis on the left wing, he then cut inside Lyons-Foster before curling an effort narrowly wide of Brandon Austin’s left hand post. Japhet Tanganga whipped a promising ball into the penalty area at the opposite end of the pitch but his cross was claimed by Hugo Keto. Spurs did have one more effort on goal before the referee blew the final whistle. After Shilow Tracey had latched onto Japhet Tanganga’s long ball, the forward came inside from the left flank before curling an effort well wide of Hugo Keto’s goal.
It was a difficult game for Wayne Burnett’s side on Sunday and it was quite evident that we lacked the experience of players such as Anthony Georgiou and Shayon Harrison who had left on loan. Simon Rusk’s side had one of the best defences that we have come up against this season and they prevented us from playing our intricate one and two touch football to effect despite their very best efforts. Burnett’s sides next game is not until Friday the 15th of January when we host bitter rivals Arsenal at the Lamex stadium, in the PL2. In case you hadn’t already heard, our development side have been drawn against Croatian side NK Dinamo Zagreb 2 in the quarter finals of the Premier League International Cup. A date for that game hasn’t been set.
- Brandon Austin: The 20 year old goalkeeper made his 20th competitive appearance of the season for Spurs on Sunday afternoon, and the Hemel Hempstead born shot stopper had another solid game in between the sticks. Austin made a couple of smart stops and he commanded his penalty area well, while also doing a good job with his distribution. He couldn’t have done anything to prevent the ‘ Seagulls ‘ two goals. Brandon made three saves in total.
- Jubril Okedina: The second year scholar made his PL2 debut for Wayne Burnett’s side against Brighton when he slotted in at right back. The defender from Greenwich in South London, did a good job at keeping Brighton Jack Spong in check throughput the match and he made some important defensive interventions.
- Japhet Tanganga: The skipper imposed himself well on the game and he formed a strong partnership with Lyons-Foster who was operating at LCB. Tanganga made a couple of really important blocks and interceptions, and the Tottenham captain was dominant in the air, winning the majority of his aerial duels. The 19 year old was commanding at the back and he led his teammates well.
- Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: My motm, see below.
- Tariq Hinds: The fullback operated at left back on Sunday and apart from his error which led to Brighton’s second goal, Hinds put in a strong defensive performance and he was busy all afternoon against the potent Peter Gwargis who was a constant thorn in the Tottenham defences side.
- George Marsh: The tough tackling midfielder kept things ticking in the middle of the park and he did a good job at breaking up play. Marsh did particularly well to block Max Sanders effort on goal in the first half.
- Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Like Marsh, Oakley-Boothe moved the ball about well in the central areas of the pitch. The Lambeth born teenager played the latter part of the game out on the right wing.
- Shilow Tracey: The 20 year old started the game on the right wing where he tried to work Brighton fullback Archie Davies with his direct and purposeful runs. However, after Parrott was replaced shortly after the hour mark, Tracey moved up top. And while it was difficult for him to influence the game he did manage to get a couple of shots away. The winger who has only recently returned from injury, held the ball up well against Brighton and he did some good work off the ball.
- Jack Roles: The inform midfielder played in the hole against Brighton and Jack Roles was by far our most potent attacking player on Sunday. Roles dropped deep in order to receive the ball and initiate chances, he also played some clever one and two touch football on the edge of the penalty area. Roles was unlucky with a couple of his efforts on goal but he always used the ball positively.
- J’Neil Bennett: The 17 year old made his first appearance of 2019 for Wayne Burnett’s side when he started on the left wing against Brighton on Sunday. The first year scholar tried his best to find a way through the tenacious Brighton defence and he would often cut inside onto his right foot and try to test Hugo Keto. Bennett tracked back well after him and he held onto the ball very well during his 63 minutes on the pitch.
- Troy Parrott: The centre forward completed 68 minutes of Sunday’s match and although Parrott was up against a very good defence, the young Irishman handled himself well against central defenders Leo Ostigard and Warren O’Hora. The Ireland under 19 international linked up well with Jack Roles, and he was unlucky not to put away his good chance towards the end of the first half.
- Rayan Clarke: The substitute worked hard to try and create chances for centre forward Shilow Tracey. He went on some good surging runs down the left flank and he pumped some good balls into the box.
- Dylan Duncan: He helped to keep things ticking in the middle of the park during his late cameo.
My man of the match: On only his third appearance of the season for our development side, centre half Brooklyn Lyons-Foster was my man of the match on Sunday after putting in a very assured performance. Operating at LCB in a back four, the 18 year old really impressed me under such testing circumstances. The centre half showed good awareness and positioning throughout the game, he also played the ball out well from the back and his distribution was good. The former England under 17 international made a couple of really important defensive interventions against the ‘ Seagulls ‘ and it was his overall reading of the game which enabled him to do so, to such effect. The centre back made a fantastic challenge on the pacy Peter Gwargis right on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area during the first half, to break up a dangerous Brighton attack. Lyons-Foster also recovered well for Brighton’s second goal and he almost managed to block Bojan Radulovic‘s effort on the goal line. Despite his slim frame the young defender defended well against the bullish centre forward and for me he was our best player on the day.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Keto, A Davies, Cochrane, Sanders (c), Ostigard, O’Hora, Spong, Roberts, Radulovic (Longman 72), Cashman (Moore 88), Gwargis (Ahannach 61). Substitutes (not used): Collings, Tomlinson.
Spurs: Austin, Okedina, Hinds, Marsh, Tanganga (c), Lyons-Foster, Tracey, Oakley-Boothe, Parrott (Duncan 68), Roles, Bennett (Clarke 63). Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Walcott.
Goals: Brighton – Radulovic 20, 61.
Yellow cards: Brighton – A Davies 90+1; Spurs – Roles 45, Clarke 81.
Referee: Carl Brook.
Venue: American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, Lancing.
Spurs under 21/23’s statistics 2018/19:
Goals scored: Jack Roles – 8
Shayon Harrison – 5
Kazaiah Sterling – 5
Paris Maghoma – 4
Jaden Brown – 2
Vincent Janssen – 2
Samuel Shashoua – 1
Marcus Edwards – 1
Dylan Duncan – 1
Phoenix Patterson – 1
Harvey White – 1
Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1
Shilow Tracey – 1
Anthony Georgiou – 1
Assists: Jack Roles – 6
Kazaiah Sterling – 3
Vincent Janssen – 3
Paris Maghoma – 2
J’Neil Bennett – 2
Jaden Brown – 2
Troy Parrott – 1
Shayon Harrison – 1
Oliver Skipp – 1
Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1
Dylan Duncan – 1
Jamie Bowden – 1
George Marsh – 1
Tariq Hinds – 1
Anthony Georgiou – 1
Shilow Tracey – 1
Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2
Alfie Whiteman – 1