Spurs under 23’s 1-1 Chelsea: (match report)
Our under 23’s took on London rivals Chelsea on Friday evening at the Lamex Stadium, in the PL2. Wayne Burnett’s side put in a fantastic performance against the ‘ Blues ‘ under testing circumstances, after our captain Japhet Tanganga was sent off towards the end of the first half. Once again Burnett’s side had to turn to their under 18 squad, as they were without a whole host of their most important and experienced players for Friday’s match. A total of five scholars were involved against Joe Edwards‘ Chelsea side. It was a fast paced London Derby in which Spurs started well. J’Neil Bennett came close to giving Spurs an early lead, while the visitors did manage to create some promising chances down the other end of the pitch, before the deadlock was broken in the 17th minute of the game. A sharp and incisive attacking move from Spurs resulted in the majestic Harvey White shifting the ball out to Dennis Cirkin on the left flank. The 16 year old left back managed to skip past Wales international Ethan Ampadu before whipping the ball across the face of the Chelsea goal. The ball took a cruel deflection off of the ‘ Blues ‘ skipper Richard Nartey who ended up turning the ball into his own net to give Spurs the lead. After going ahead Spurs continued to play some nice attacking football as they looked to extend their lead. Although they did come close to doubling their advantage on a couple of occasions throughout the first half, it was to end in disappointment for Burnett’s hardworking side after Japhet Tanganga was sent off in the 41st minute. The Tottenham captain had failed to deal with a long ball from Chelsea’s Marc Guehi, which ended up looping over the Spurs defence before setting the speedy Daishawn Redan through on goal. The former AJAX schoolboy easily managed to get around Tanganga and dart into the Tottenham penalty area. However, Tanganga lost his composure and he panicked, blatantly catching Redan from behind to concede a penalty. The referee Sam Allison showed the 19 year old his second yellow card of the game. Billy Gilmour converted from the spot to draw Chelsea level, and for the rest of the game Spurs would have to compete with ten men.
The young Lilywhites battled hard during the second period and some heroic defending from the likes of Marsh and Lyons-Foster, as well as a number of crucial saves from Brandon Austin helped Spurs to cling on, to record a hugely important point. It was a very impressive performance from a very young and inexperienced Spurs side, against a Chelsea team who had some very good players out on the pitch. Spurs played some really good attacking football on Friday evening, but it was their togetherness and solidity at the back which proved to be most important of all. Wayne Burnett’s side lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation for their league game against mid table Chelsea. Brandon Austin retained his place in goal, while a back four of Hinds, Lyons-Foster, the captain Japhet Tanganga and Cirkin lined up in front of him. First year scholar Harvey White started alongside second year pro George Marsh in central midfield, while Tashan Oakley-Boothe and J’Neil Bennett started out wide, either side of Paris Maghoma who operated as a CAM. 20 year old forward Shilow Tracey led the line for Spurs in the absence of Troy Parrott. Spurs got the game underway at the Lamex Stadium, and it was the home side who started the game brightly. After cutting inside from the left flank, the lively J’Neil Bennett curled an effort narrowly wide of Jamie Cumming’s goal from 25 yards out. A couple of minutes later Paris Maghoma cleared Tariq Uwakwe’s corner away from the danger zone, but only into the path of Conor Gallagher who fired an effort wide of Brandon Austin’s goal on the half volley. Juan Castillo came close to picking out Martell Taylor-Crossdale after whipping an inviting ball towards Austin’s back post however, Taylor-Crossdale was unable to get to the ball before it went out of play. Chelsea went on a dangerous attack shortly afterwards, defender Ian Maatsen went on a driving run through the middle of the pitch before passing the ball to Taylor-Crossdale down the left flank, right on the edge of the Tottenham box. However, the Chelsea forward set himself up wrong for the shot, and his first time curling effort ended up going into the car park behind the stadium.
The match was being played at a high tempo during the opening stages of the half, and it meant that both defences had to be alert. After Ethan Ampadu played the ball down the right flank to Castillo, the alert Brandon Austin was quickly on the scene. The 20 year old had come rushing out of his box clear the ball before the speedy Dutchman could get to it. A couple of moments later Conor Gallagher shifted the ball out to Castillo on the right flank. The Chelsea winger traveled forward with the ball before cutting inside onto his left foot and testing Austin with a curling effort, which the Tottenham goalkeeper was able to hold. Spurs went on a promising attack down the opposite end of the pitch, after Harvey White had passed the ball to Tashan Oakley-Boothe down the right flank. The former England under 18 international passed the ball to Marsh on the edge of the penalty area but, the Spurs midfielder was intercepted by Ampadu just before he was about to have a pop on goal. The Welshman then cleared the ball away from the danger zone. Wayne Burnett’s side took the lead in the 17th minute of the game thanks to some good work from young Dennis Cirkin down the left wing. A good passing move from Spurs resulted in the ever present Harvey White picking out Cirkin on the left flank. The England under 17 international travelled forward with the ball at speed, darting past Ethan Ampadu before whipping a dangerous low cross into the Chelsea box. Chelsea captain Richard Nartey attempted to clear Cirkin’s cross however, the ‘ Blues ‘ defender ended up turning the ball past Cumming and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 1-0. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster received the first yellow card of the game in the 20th minute after fouling Conor Gallagher. Burnett’s side continued to play some really good football as the half progressed. After the alert Paris Maghoma managed to intercept Ian Maatsen’s pass, the Tottenham midfielder went on a mazy forward run through the middle of the pitch. Maghoma then passed the ball to Bennett who had made a run down the left side of the Chelsea box. The winger took a couple of touches before curling an effort towards the far corner of Jamie Cumming’s goal, but the Chelsea goalkeeper managed to somehow, tip the ball behind for a corner kick.
The resulting corner kick was whipped in by set piece specialist Harvey White, the 17 year olds dangerous delivery caused some confusion amongst the Chelsea defence before Tariq Uwakwe managed to frantically clear the ball in time. After doing well to pounce on a loose ball, the lively J’Neil Bennett darted forward before bending a delightful effort narrowly wide of Cumming’s goal, from just over 20 yards out. Chelsea then went on a promising attack down the opposite end of the pitch. Gallagher did well to thread a pass through to the so far uninvolved Daishawn Redan down the left side of the Spurs box. However, the Dutchman’s attempted shot was blocked by Lyons-Foster before being gobbled up by Brandon Austin. A couple of of minutes later Paris Maghoma received the ball from George Marsh, he then went on a surging run through the middle of the pitch. The silky midfielder managed to gracefully skip around Billy Gilmour before passing the ball to Shilow Tracey down the left side of the Chelsea penalty area. However, the makeshift centre forward was closed down well by Richard Nartey who managed to block his resulting effort on goal. However, just a matter of moments later the game was turned on its head after Spurs were reduced to ten men, after skipper Japhet Tanganga gave away a penalty. A long searching pass from Marc Guehi looped over the top of the Tottenham defence, this set the pacy Daishawn Redan through on goal after he had managed to get around Tanganga before entering the Tottenham penalty area. It was there that the Netherlands youth international was cynically caught from behind by Tanganga to prevent him from getting his shot away. The referee Sam Allison immediately to the spot, he then pondered for a moment before showing Tanganga a yellow card (his second of the game) before pulling out a red card much to the Spurs captains surprise. Scotland under 21 international Billy Gilmour stood up to take the penalty, before clinically curling the ball past the outstretched Brandon Austin and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 1-1.
Joe Edwards’ side tried to pull off the same trick a couple of minutes after the restart, after Gilmour attempted to set Redan through on goal once again, with another long pass. However, the composed Lyons-Foster was on hand to cut out Gilmour’s pass. Brandon Austin did well a couple of moments later to claim Juan Castillo’s dangerous, in swinging cross before Taylor-Crossdale could get to the ball. A disappointing end to the first half could have been even worse after Shilow Tracey conceded a free kick right on the edge of the Spurs penalty area as the ‘ Blues ‘ begun to dominate the game. Conor Gallagher’s resulting curling effort, managed to get up and over the Spurs wall before flashing narrowly wide of goal, much to the relief of the diving Austin. That was the final piece of action from the first half. The visitors got the second half underway against a Tottenham side who had changed to a 4-4-1 formation. George Marsh who was now filling in at centre half, did well to clear Juan Castillo’s cross into the Spurs box. A heavily deflected cross from the same player a couple of moments later managed to come to Ian Maatsen down the right side of the Tottenham penalty area. Maatsen then managed to pick out Taylor-Crossdale in the centre of the box with a lofted pass however, the Chelsea teenagers header on goal was saved relatively comfortably by Austin. George Marsh did well to clear another dangerous cross from Tariq Uwakwe a couple of moments later. Connor Gallagher fired an effort narrowly wide of Austin’s goal from long range as the ‘ Blues ‘ continued to dominate possession. After Tracey passed the ball to Bennett down the left wing, the 17 year old played the ball through to Maghoma. However, the midfielder didn’t have anybody in support and he was forced to take the ball into the Chelsea penalty area and cut inside before having a shot at goal, but his curling attempt was blocked behind for a corner kick by Richard Nartey. Spurs had a penalty shout waived away by the referee a couple of minutes later. After Cirkin had shifted the ball out to White down the left flank the midfielder whipped a promising cross into the box where he managed to pick out Shilow Tracey. However, the forwards header came straight off of Ampadu, possibly striking the 18 year olds arm.
After receiving Marc Guehi’s pass out on the left flank Chelsea substitute Luke McCormick whipped the ball across the face of the Spurs goal. Tariq Uwakwe then pumped the ball into the danger zone from the right wing, but the attentive Lyons-Foster managed to clear the ball to Gallagher on the edge of the penalty area. The Chelsea midfielder fired the ball past the helpless Austin and into the back of the goal however, the linesman on the far side had ruled it out for offside. Shilow Tracey went into the book a couple of minutes later for a foul on Gilmour. Marc Guehi saw his powerful low drive on goal deflect behind for a corner kick off of Marsh as the visitors continued to cause us problems. After Juan Castillo had managed to beat Tariq Hinds for pace down the left flank, the wide man whipped the ball into the Tottenham box. Lyons-Foster managed to head the ball away but only back into the feet of Castillo on the left flank. However, the Dutchman ended up curling the ball well wide of Brandon Austin’s goal. Chelsea continued to attack our defence, after Gallagher had passed the ball to Uwakwe down the right flank the ‘ Blues ‘ midfielder managed to race past Dennis Cirkin before crossing the ball for McCormick who had made a run into the Spurs box. The Chelsea substitute caught Uwakwe’s cross on the half volley, but he could only fire wide. A couple of minutes later George Marsh did well to cut out Ian Maatsen’s through ball before it reached Daishawn Redan. The Tottenham players had been doing a superb job in defence despite only having ten men on the field. Brandon Austin came out to authoritatively claim a corner kick from Billy Gilmour, before then doing well to gather Conor Gallagher’s powerful low effort from the edge of the Spurs penalty area. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster then managed to clear Juan Castillo’s resulting corner kick away from danger. After Paris Maghoma had done well to win a free kick out on the right flank, Harvey White delivered the ball into the Chelsea penalty area, forcing Ethan Ampadu to nod the ball behind for a corner kick. Shilow Tracey then conceded a free kick in a dangerous position, at the opposite end of the pitch. However, Conor Gallagher curled his resulting effort over Brandon Austin’s crossbar.
The ever threatening Paris Maghoma went on an excellent surging forward run through the middle of the pitch after picking the ball up in central midfield. The Chelsea players couldn’t touch the skilful midfielder who took the ball to the edge of the Chelsea box before firing an effort narrowly over Jamie Cumming’s crossbar. After Gallagher received McCormick’s pass on the edge of the Spurs penalty area the Chelsea midfielder had a pop on goal, but his powerful effort was headed away by the alert George Marsh. Shortly afterwards Martell Taylor-Crossdale nodded over from Tariq Uwakwe’s cross. Wayne Burnett made two changes when he brought off J’Neil Bennett for Dylan Duncan, before then introducing centre half Jonathan Dinzeyi in the place of Shilow Tracey. Interestingly the 19 year old defender would play up top as a number nine. Chelsea continued to put our defence under pressure as the second half progressed. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster did well to clear Luke McCormick’s cross into the Spurs penalty area a matter of moments before Chelsea came close to taking the lead, for the first time in the game. After picking the ball up on the edge of the Spurs box, Tariq Uwakwe opened up his body before curling a spectacular effort off the underside of Austin’s crossbar. The ball bounced off the line and back into the air. Taylor-Crossdale left the ball for Castillo but the left winger wastefully blazed the ball over the bar, much to Taylor-Crossdale’s disbelief, and our relief. Chelsea came close to taking the lead again, a matter of moments later. After Uwakwe passed the ball to McCormick down the right hand side of the Spurs box the Chelsea player forced a good save out of Austin from his powerful low effort. Purposeful attacks were becoming few and far between for Burnett’s side who continued to focus their efforts on defending. Tashan Oakley-Boothe whipped a promising ball into the Chelsea box from the right flank, but the diving Jonathan Dinzeyi couldn’t get to the ball despite his best efforts. Young Dennis Cirkin was harshly booked for simulation after Ampadu won the ball off of him in the Chelsea penalty area. The Dubliner could then be seen sprinting down the other end of the pitch to make a crucial block to prevent Tariq Uwakwe from crossing the ball into the Spurs box.
Ian Maatsen silenced the stadium after he managed to set Luke McCormick through on goal with a sublime pass to McCormick down the right side of the Spurs penalty area. The Chelsea youngster had only Brandon Austin to beat, but the Spurs goalkeeper spread himself well and he somehow managed to keep out McCormick’s thumping effort on goal, by making a superb reflex save at his near post. However, the danger wasn’t over there and the ball ended up coming back to McCormick whose powerful low drive was blocked on the line in the most incredible way, by the sliding George Marsh. Chelsea continued to put pressure on the Spurs defence, after McCormick sprayed the ball out to Castillo on the left flank, the Dutchman cushioned the ball down for Conor Gallagher on the edge of the Tottenham box. However, Gallagher’s powerful effort on the half volley was held well by Austin who made another important save. The Tottenham goalkeeper then did well to claim first Conor Gallagher’s corner kick, and then Luke McCormick’s cross. Spurs made their final substitution in the fourth minute of stoppage time after they brought off Paris Maghoma for Armando Shashoua for the final seconds of the game. A late cross from Juan Castillo into the Spurs box forced Jonathan Dinzeyi into heading the ball away. However, it came down for substitute George McEachran at the back post but Austin bravely managed to come out and claim McEachran’s lofted pass. The referee sounded his whistle for full time a couple of seconds later, rarely will a point have felt so sweet and deserved for Burnett’s defensively heroic side then it did on Friday night. That point could prove to be crucial for Burnett’s side come the end of the season. Up next for our under 23’s is a trip to the East Midlands to face Leicester City next Friday evening, that is also a PL2 game.
- Brandon Austin: The talented shot stopper made some crucial saves against his former club on Friday evening. Austin put in a fantastic performance, making six saves in total against the ‘ Blues ‘. The most important one was his excellent reflex save to deny Luke McCormick who was one on one with Austin in the penalty area, late on in the game. This was a very good performance from the 20 year old who although he was unlucky at times with his distribution, he dealt with crosses, set pieces and general play to great effect.
- Tariq Hinds: The right back put in another solid performance for Wayne Burnett’s side where he defended his side of the pitch well against the speedy Juan Castillo. Hinds maintained good positioning throughout the match and he needed to against the tricky Castillo.
- Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: The second year scholar operated at RCB against Chelsea and it was there that the classy defender put in an outstanding performance. Faultless from start to finish, Lyons-Foster rose to the occasion following the dismissal of Tanganga. The Islington born defender was superb in the air, winning the vast majority of his aerial duels. Lyons-Foster also made some crucial interceptions, challenges and clearances which saved Spurs on more than one occasion against their London rivals. The 18 year old read the game well and he cut out a couple of very dangerous passes. It was a very solid performance from Brooklyn.
- Japhet Tanganga: It was a night to forget for the skipper Japhet Tanganga on Friday. Although the 19 year old centre back put in a solid performance for the majority of his 41 minutes on the pitch, a single rash decision to block Daishawn Redan a clear goal scoring chance ended in his untimely dismissal, and his absence put Spurs under great pressure.
- Dennis Cirkin: Once again the tigerish left back put in a sterling performance for Wayne Burnett’s development side. Cirkin (16) performed diligently down the left side of the pitch, managing to keep Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher in check for large periods of the game. The Dublin born defender made some vital defensive contributions, of which included last ditch challenges, blocks and interceptions. Cirkin’s hard work, determination and willingness to help out his teammates at both ends of the pitch, was priceless. The first year scholar was classy on the ball and he used his dribbling ability to great effect, going on some good surging runs down the left flank, and getting into some good positions to receive the ball in the first place. The England under 17 international created our goal after going on a good darting run down the left wing before whipping a quality cross into the danger zone, which was turned into the back of the Chelsea goal by Richard Nartey. Cirkin has been directly involved in five goals for Spurs this season.
- Harvey White: My motm, see below.
- George Marsh: After doing a good job in central midfield during the first half, it was after the dismissal of Tanganga which forced Marsh to slot into the back four, where he operated at LCB. While in that position Marsh was absolutely outstanding. He formed a particularly strong partnership and understanding with Lyons-Foster at centre back. The Pembury born teenager made some heroic challenges, blocks and clearances. His sliding block to deny Luke McCormick late on in the game was breathtaking!
- Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The 19 year old completed the entirety of the game out on the right wing where he worked hard to try and make an impact on the game. Oakley-Boothe went on some good attacking forays and delivered some nice crosses into the Chelsea box. He also tracked back well after him.
- Paris Maghoma: The silky central midfielder started the game as a CAM but he would revert back to CM for the beginning of the second half. This was a very good performance from the 17 year old who impressed both in his defending, and in in his attacking play where he was a constant pain for the Chelsea defence. Maghoma’s many driving and mazy runs through the middle of the pitch helped to open up the oppositions defence and he caused Chelsea a number of problems on the night. The central midfielder came close to finding the back of the net after going on one such surging run during the second half. Maghoma’s work rate and off the ball work was top class. He also impressed with his passing and his positioning.
- J’Neil Bennett: Another player who had a really good game for Burnett’s side, the 17 year old had a lively game on the left flank. On another day Bennett could have had a hat-trick inside the first half. The winger looked very sharp against Chelsea and with his skill and pace he really worked Ethan Ampadu down the left side of the pitch. Bennett had a couple of very good attempts on goal, he also linked up well with left back Dennis Cirkin.
- Shilow Tracey: The 20 year old put in a good shift up top as a number nine. Tracey completed 83 minutes of the match. He held the ball up well and brought others into the game while getting himself into some good positions inside the danger zone.
- Dylan Duncan: The second half substitute had a lively cameo in central midfield. Duncan was involved in a couple of good counter attacks.
- Jonathan Dinzeyi: The centre half replaced Shilow Tracey with less than seven minutes left on the clock. For the second time this season Wayne Burnett sent Dinzeyi on as a centre forward. The Islington born defender held the ball up well during the final moments of the game and his aerial presence helped us to defend corner kicks and set pieces.
- Armando Shashoua: The 18 year old only came on in the dying seconds of the game, but he showed good energy during his short time on the pitch.
My man of the match: First year scholar Harvey White appears to have taken to under 23 football like a duck to water since making his debut back in November. On Friday, White made his third competitive appearance at this level and it was the 17 year olds best performance yet, for Wayne Burnett’s side. Operating as a CDM alongside both Marsh and Maghoma through different stages of the game, the classy midfielder stamped his authority on the game from the very start. He put in a dominant performance in central midfield as both an anchorman and as a midfield technician. White was so composed on the ball and he moved it around the pitch well, never holding on to it for too long at any given time. His passing was crisp and accurate, and apart from being involved in the build up play to our goal, the Maidstone born midfielder created a number of good chances for the attacking players. With his set pieces and crosses all spot on, on the night. As well as being nice and tidy in central midfield, White was also a shield in front of the back four. Mopping up well and breaking up play, Harvey White could be seen everywhere in Chelsea’s final third. Anticipating danger well and making some important defensive interventions throughout the game. This was another very mature performance from the young man who pulled the strings from midfield on Friday evening.
Spurs: Austin (c), Hinds, Cirkin, White, Tanganga (c), Lyons-Foster, Oakley-Boothe, Marsh, Tracey (Dinzeyi 83), Maghoma (A Shashoua 90+4), Bennett (Duncan 81). Substitute (not used): Glover.
Chelsea: Cumming, Ampadu, Nartey (c), Guehi, Maatsen (McCormick 60), Gilmour, Gallagher, Uwakwe (Colley 90), Redan (McEachran 75), Taylor-Crossdale, Castillo. Substitute (not used): Ziger.
Goals: Spurs – Nartey (OG) 17; Chelsea – Gilmour 42 (pen).
Yellow cards: Spurs – Lyons-Foster 20, Tanganga 25, 41, Tracey 64, Maghoma 83, Cirkin 88; Chelsea – Ampadu 89.
Red card: Spurs – Tanganga 41.
Referee: Sam Allison.
Venue: Lamex Stadium, Stevenage.
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
Dennis Cirkin – 1
Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2
Alfie Whiteman – 1