Spurs under 23’s 2-1 Leicester City: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 2-1 Leicester City: (match report)

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Our under 23’s traveled up to the East Midlands on Friday to face Leicester City at Holmes Park, for what was another important PL2 game for Wayne Burnett’s side. It was a night to remember for Burnett’s struggling side, who fought back from going a goal down to beating the ‘ Foxes ‘ 2-1 thanks to a glorious brace from Jack Roles. The young Spurs lads dug deep, battled extremely hard but above all else they played well as a team. And it was that fighting spirit which helped the young Lilywhites to overcome a very well structured, and a very physical Leicester City side. It was an eventful and fast paced game at Leicester’s Holmes Park, and it was a game that had a very competitive edge about it right from the very start. Burnett’s injury hit side made only one change from their 1-1 draw with Chelsea the previous Friday, once again he named a number of under 18’s in the match day squad. With scholars such as Dennis Cirkin, Harvey White and J’Neil Bennett all starting the match. The game was played at a high tempo and there was a competitive edge about it right from kick off. The ‘ Foxes ‘ created a number of good chances, really testing the Spurs defence during the opening stages of the match. Steve Beaglehole’s sides pressure paid off in the 20th minute of the game, after midfielder Khanya Leshabela volleyed an effort past Austin and into the back of the goal, from the edge of the Tottenham penalty area. Burnett’s side tried to respond, Jack Roles replaced Tashan Oakley-Boothe as Spurs switched formation. However, the home side continued to dominate, and the Spurs back four did well to prevent them from extending their lead before the break. The introduction of Jack Roles  around the 30 minute mark of the game had noticeably improved Spurs’ overall play. Burnett’s side played with a lot more energy about them during the second half, and the game started to become a lot more even. It took Spurs less than four minutes to find their leveller in the second half. An excellent surging run from young Dennis Cirkin down the left wing helped to open up the Leicester defence. Cirkin then slipped the ball into the feet of J’Neil Bennett down the left side of the ‘ Foxes ‘ penalty area. Bennett’s low pass was met by the sliding Jack Roles who managed to jab the ball off of the bottom of the right hand post and into the back of the net.

Both sides really went for the win during the remainder of the game, and both teams came close to finding that all important third goal. However, it was Burnett’s battling young men who managed to find the winner. A slick attacking move late on in the game, which started and ended with Jack Roles, helped to secure a massive three points for the club from North London. It was a really classy finish from Roles who managed to turn home Tariq Hinds’ low cross with a clever back heel from inside the Leicester penalty area. The combative Spurs players managed to see out the remaining minutes of what was a very lively game. Leicester ended the match with ten men after Calvin Ughelumba was shown a straight red card in second half stoppage time, for squaring up to Spurs captain George Marsh. However, Burnett’s young side managed to see out the remaining moments of the game to record a hugely important three points. Friday’s win lifts Spurs up to ninth place in the league table, six points clear of the relegation zone. Although it is worth noting that 11th place West Ham do have two games in hand. Wayne Burnett’s side lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation for Friday’s PL2 game in the Leicestershire countryside. Brandon Austin started in goal while a back four consisting of Tariq Hinds, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Jonathan Dinzeyi and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. George Marsh and Harvey White teamed up in the centre park, with wide men Tashan Oakley-Boothe and J’Neil Bennett playing either side of CAM Paris Maghoma who played behind lone centre forward Shilow Tracey. Leicester got the game underway on a cool and wet evening at Holmes Park, and Steve Beaglehole’s side impressed early on in the game with their energy and aggressive pressing. Almost straight from kick off Layton Ndukwu tried his luck on goal after driving forward through the middle of the pitch, before firing a low effort towards goal, which Jonathan Dinzeyi managed to block on the edge of the Spurs box. Shilow Tracey won a free kick in a promising position at the other end of the pitch a couple of minutes later. However, Harvey White curled wide from long range, from the following free kick.

After Brandon Austin had sloppily passed the ball straight to Leicester’s Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall on the edge of the Spurs box, the ‘ Foxes ‘ midfielder slipped the ball into the feet of Ndukwu down the right side of the penalty area. Dennis Cirkin attempted to win the ball off of him by sliding in, but he missed and Ndukwu tried to cut the ball back across goal, but Harvey White was on hand to head it away from danger. Spurs broke forward through J’Neil Bennett who went on a positive driving run down the left flank before cutting inside onto his right foot and dragging an effort wide of Eldin Jakupović’s goal. The game was being played at a high tempo. The alert Brandon Austin did well to tip Lamine Kaba Sherif’s powerful effort from long range, over the crossbar. Steve Beaglehole’s side almost took the lead from the resulting corner kick, after the unmarked Taylor Allen (on trial for Leicester) was picked out at the back post from Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s corner kick. However, Allen decided to head the ball into the ground, and it ended up bouncing harmlessly over Brandon Austin’s crossbar much to the Spurs goalkeepers relief. A couple of minutes later Callum Wright managed to twist and turn his way around Harvey White down the left flank, before entering the Tottenham penalty area. Wright attempted to test Austin with a powerful effort, but Lyons-Foster was in a good position to block his shot. The game continued to be played at a high tempo, a cross from Calvin Ughelumba almost managed to pick out Admiral Muskwe inside the Spurs penalty area however, the brave Dennis Cirkin had managed to get in front of the Leicester striker in the middle of the box, to win a free kick. Shilow Tracey went on a promising attacking foray through the middle of the pitch a couple of minutes later, before blasting the ball over Eldin Jakupović’s crossbar from long range. The ‘ Foxes ‘ continued to put pressure on the young Spurs defence. After Leshabela had shifted the ball out to Callum Wright on the right wing, the wide man whipped a menacing ball into the Spurs box which Lyons-Foster was forced to clear behind for a corner kick. From Dewsbury-Hall’s resulting corner kick the ball ended up coming to Layton Ndukwu inside the penalty area. Ndukwu had two shots on goal blocked by Jonathan Dinzeyi in quick succession.

Tariq Hinds then conceded a free kick right on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area. However, Leicester’s Layton Ndukwu curled his resulting effort high and wide of the Spurs goal. Wayne Burnett’s side tried to respond, Harvey White passed the ball to Cirkin on the left flank. The left back played the ball down the line to Bennett who came inside before having a pop on goal. Bennett’s powerful low effort took a hefty deflection off of Leicester defender Alex Pascanu before going narrowly over Eldin Jakupović’s crossbar. Harvey White managed to pick out Brooklyn Lyons-Foster at the near post from the following corner kick however, the defenders headed effort on goal was blocked by Alex Pascanu who had closed him down well. The Tottenham defence had to be alert at all times against Steve Beaglehole’s well structured side. A dangerous in swinging cross from Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall came to Layton Ndukwu inside the Spurs penalty area. The Leicester City striker sent a looping header towards the Spurs goal, where Calvin Ughelumba ended up heading it up in the air. The ball was eventually cleared, but only to Khanya Leshabela who was waiting on the edge of the penalty area. The Leicester midfielder set himself up well before volleying the ball past Brandon Austin and into the back of the net to give the home side the lead, 0-1. Burnett’s side tried to respond, Dennis Cirkin played a clever pass down the left flank towards Shilow Tracey however, Jakupović came out to claim the ball before the 20 year old could get to it. Jonathan Dinzeyi was on hand at the opposite end of the pitch to clear Calvin Ughelumba’s dangerous cross. However, the 19 year old centre half didn’t deal so comfortably with the same players cross a couple of minutes later. Dinzeyi completely missed the ball while trying to clear Ughelumba’s cross however, he did manage to recover well to clear the ball in time. The impressive Brooklyn Lyons-Foster did well to cut out Khanya Leshabela’s intended through ball to Layton Ndukwu as the ‘ Foxes ‘ maintained their high tempo. 

After Ughelumba had done well to find Taylor Allen down the right hand side of the Spurs penalty area the winger tried to get a shot away quickly however, J’Neil Bennett had tracked back well to close him down and block his resulting effort. Leicester continued to dominate the match, after Ndukwu had received Kaba Sherif’s pass down the right wing he advanced forward, beating Cirkin for pace before whipping the ball into the danger zone towards Ughelumba at the back post. Fortunately for Spurs, Tashan Oakley-Boothe was there to knock the ball behind for a corner kick. After being allowed to run unopposed through the middle of the pitch Layton Ndukwu forced a comfortable save out of Brandon Austin to deny his powerful low effort on goal. With a little over ten minutes of the first half remaining Wayne Burnett decided to make a substitution. He brought off Tashan Oakley-Boothe for Jack Roles who would play up top, with Shilow Tracey switching out on to the right flank as Spurs played in a 4-3-3 formation. J’Neil Bennett had a cross cleared away by Leicester captain Sam Hughes, before George Marsh managed to clear Kaba Sherif’s cross at the other end of the pitch. Spurs went on a good attack shortly afterwards, Cirkin passed the ball to Bennett who then passed it to Roles. The Cyprus under 21 international gave the ball to Tracey who then passed to Bennett on the edged of the Leicester penalty area. The wingers resulting effort on goal was blocked by Lamine Kaba Sherif. After receiving Jack Roles’ pass midfielder Harvey White fired a hopeful low effort wide of the Leicester goal, from long range. The game continued to excite, after doing well to meet Alex Pascanu’s low cross on the edge of the Tottenham box, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall fired a first time effort over Brandon Austin’s crossbar to waste a great chance for the home side. The Spurs goalkeeper was called into action a couple of minutes later to keep out Taylor Allen’s powerful effort after he had received Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s pass down the left wing before Callum Wright fired an effort over Austin’s goal. Harvey White’s corner kick in first half stoppage time did cause quite a bit of panic inside the Leicester City penalty area. Eldin Jakupović resorted to punching White’s delivery into the air, Kaba Sherif managed to head the ball away from the goal but only towards Maghoma on the edge of the box. Where the Spurs midfielder volleyed the ball wide of the relieved Jakupović’s goal. Bringing to an end a difficult first half for Wayne Burnett’s young side.

Spurs got the second half underway but once again it was Leicester who managed to create the first decent chance of the half. Callum Wright managed to pick out Sam Hughes inside the Spurs box from his free kick. However, Hughes’ powerful low header was tipped behind for a corner kick by Austin who made another impressive reflex save. Thanks mainly to a wonderful surging run from Dennis Cirkin, Burnett’s side managed to net a surprise equaliser less than three minutes into the second half. The adventurous left back picked the ball up down the left flank before going on an excellent surging run. Cirkin sprinted past both Lamine Kaba Sherif and Layton Ndukwu as he brought the ball forward before passing the ball into the feet of Bennett who made a run down the left side of the Leicester box. The speedy winger tried to cut the ball back to Roles in the centre of the box. His pass deflected off of Alex Pascanu before the alert Roles came sliding in to poke the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, courtesy of it coming off the bottom of the post on its way in, 1-1. Jack Roles went in search of a penalty kick shortly after the restart, when his effort on goal appeared to strike the hand of Layton Ndukwu inside the Leicester box. Spurs were playing a lot better during the beginning of the second half and they continued to create chances. After receiving Lyons-Foster’s pass, Shilow Tracey attempted to slip Jack Roles through on goal with an ambitious pass, but Jakupović came rushing off his line to claim it before Roles could get to it. Incidentally Jack Roles came close to playing Tracey through on goal a couple of minutes later. Dennis Cirkin did well to block Lamine Kaba Sherif’s low drive at the other end of the pitch, after the ‘ Foxes ‘ fullback had pounced on Lyons-Foster’s sloppy pass out from the back. J’Neil Bennett was given a yellow card for a late challenge on Sam Hughes, before Cirkin did well to head Calvin Ughelumba’s dangerous in swinging cross away from danger, at Brandon Austin’s back post. After managing to latch onto Kaba Sherif’s pass down the right side of the Spurs box Layton Ndukwu attempted to catch Austin by surprise with a quick effort. However, the attentive Lyons-Foster managed to block his effort behind for a corner kick.

After White had passed the ball to Maghoma the Tottenham midfielder decided to have a pop on goal from just over 20 yards out. Maghoma’s effort deflected off of Alex Pascanu and it almost ran through to Marsh inside the penalty area, but Jakupović managed to smother the ball in the nick of time. Dennis Cirkin made an excellent sliding challenge on Layton Ndukwu to win the ball off of the Leicester forward down the left channel, before Tariq Hinds managed to block Callum Wright’s effort on goal. The game was anybody’s to win as we entered the final stages of the second half. J’Neil Bennett whipped an excellent cross into the Leicester penalty area but it was cleared behind for a corner by Sam Hughes. Beaglehole’s side came close to regaining their lead after Wright managed to pick out Ndukwu in the centre of the Spurs box with a clever pass. However, the Leicester striker couldn’t convert from close range and he somehow ended up jabbing the ball over Brandon Austin’s crossbar. Burnett’s battling young men then went on an attack down the opposite end of the pitch and it would end in Jack Roles netting what turned out to be the winner in the 82nd minute of time. After Roles had done well to win the ball with his back to goal, on the edge of the Leicester penalty area, he passed the ball to Marsh. The Spurs captain shifted the ball out to Hinds down the right flank. The fullback spotted Roles who had made a run into the penalty area, before sending in a low cross towards the makeshift centre forward. The intelligent playmaker managed to flick Hinds’ pass underneath Jakupović and into the back of the net, courtesy of a clever, improvised back heel to net the winner, 2-1. Paris Maghoma was replaced by Dylan Duncan shortly afterwards as Spurs switched to a more defensive formation. Shilow Tracey got booked for time wasting before Jonathan Dinzeyi did well to clear Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s cross. Khanya Leshabela had an effort on goal blocked by Lyons-Foster before Austin comfortably gathered the ball. Spurs made their last substitution deep in second half stoppage time when they brought off J’Neil Bennett for 16 year old centre half Malachi Walcott.

Brandon Austin did well to claim Kaba Sherif’s late cross before there was a late confrontation between Alex Pascanu and Shilow Tracey. There was to be another more serious confrontation a matter of moments later, this time it involved Calvin Ughelumba and George Marsh. After not liking a challenge that the Spurs captain had made on him, Ughelumba squared up to Marsh and the two put their heads together with Marsh ending up throwing himself on the floor, claiming that Ughelumba had head butted him. The Spurs captain had milked the situation and the Leicester City full back was shown a slightly harsh straight red card, before the referee Peter Gibbins showed Marsh a yellow card. The Tottenham captain did well to clear Callum Wright’s late free kick as Burnett’s combative side held on to record a hugely important three points. It was an excellent second half performance from the considerably younger team (Spurs) and it was a good all round performance from the lads who really needed to record a win on Friday. Spurs’ next PL2 game is not until Monday the eighth of April when they host Blackburn Rovers at our brand new 62,000 seater stadium. We are now in a good position to avoid the drop into division two.

Player reviews: 

  • Brandon Austin: The Tottenham goalkeeper made five saves on Friday evening as he helped Spurs to record their first PL2 win of 2019. As always, Austin put in an assured performance, dealing well with crosses and set pieces. He also made a number of smart stops which proved to be very important on the night. The 20 year old will be hoping to be included in the England under 20 squad for the upcoming international break. 
  • Tariq Hinds: It was another solid performance from the 18 year old right back who dealt well with the threat that Leicester’s left winger Taylor Allen posed. Hinds protected his side of the pitch well, and he made a couple of important blocks and interceptions.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Operating at RCB the second year scholar put in another very solid performance for our under 23’s on Friday evening. The classy ball playing centre half formed a particularly strong partnership with his former under 18 teammate Jonathan Dinzeyi. He was dominant in the air, he also made some good passes and some important interceptions. However, it was the the 18 year olds almost impeccable positioning and ability to be in the right place at the right time, which impressed me the most on the night. I lost count at the number of blocks that Lyons-Foster made against Leicester.
  • Jonathan Dinzeyi: The 19 year old made his first start for Burnett’s side of 2019 on Friday. Dinzeyi put in a very assured defensive performance alongside Lyons-Foster. He read the game well and he really grew in to the game as it went on. The Islington born defender made some really important defensive interventions, and throughout the game he performed his role diligently and to great effect. Dinzeyi was excellent in the air and I thought that he did a good job at bringing the ball out from the back.
  • Dennis Cirkin: My motm, see below.
  • Harvey White: The star of the following Friday’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea, put in yet another impressive performance in central midfield for Burnett’s side on the Friday just gone. It was a more combative performance from White who did a good job at breaking up play and recycling possession. The 17 year old made some brilliant crunching challenges, and he asserted himself well on the game.
  • George Marsh: Playing in a slightly more advanced role against Leicester, Spurs captain George Marsh put in a tidy performance in central midfield alongside Harvey White. The hardworking and motivational midfielder was involved in the build up play to our late winner.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Once again the Under 17 World Cup winner started out on the right wing. However, the 19 year old only completed 34 minutes of Friday’s match before being replaced by Jack Roles. Oakley-Boothe saw very little of the ball during his time on the pitch however, he could well have been carrying an injury.
  • Paris Maghoma: The England under 18 international started the game as a CAM although he would later drop back to play in a midfield three. It was a tireless performance from the North Londoner who always made himself available to receive the ball and attempt to create chances for his teammates by going on driving forward runs. Maghoma’s surging run through the middle of the pitch contributed to us netting our late winner.
  • J’Neil Bennett: This was another very good performance from the tricky winger out on the left flank. Bennett’s direct style of play caused problems for Leicester right back Lamine Kaba Sherif. The Camden born forward created a number of good chances for Spurs on the night, he also tracked back well to help out the defence, once again linking up well with left back Dennis Cirkin. Bennett got the assist for Jack Roles’ first goal, the 17 year old has now made ten appearances for Wayne Burnett’s side so far this season.
  • Shilow Tracey: The 20 year old started the game as an out and out striker although he would later play out on the right wing following the introduction of Jack Roles. Tracey worked exceptionally hard throughout the match, using the ball intelligently, and going on many purposeful, lung bursting forward runs.
  • Jack Roles: It was a quite magnificent from the first half substitute who totally transformed Friday evenings game after he was introduced in the 34th minute of the match. It was a seriously intelligent performance from Roles who put in a great shift as a number nine. He linked up play well and he played with a real confidence about him. Constantly getting himself into good positions and managing to link up well with the likes of Bennett, Tracey and Maghoma. Roles scored both of our goals, the first was a poachers finish to turn home J’Neil Bennett’s cut back from inside the penalty area. His second started and ended with the 20 year old who managed to convert Tariq Hinds’ low cross with a classy back heel from close range. Roles has now scored ten goals for our development side this season!
  • Dylan Duncan: The 20 year old helped to bolster the midfield during the late stages of the game. It was a good cameo from Duncan who pressed the Leicester players well during his time on the pitch.
  • Malachi Walcott: The 16 year old PL2 debutant helped out the Spurs defence after coming on in second half stoppage time.

My man of the match: Dennis Cirkin put in yet another assured and highly efficient performance at left back for Burnett’s side, in their 2-1 win over Leicester City on Friday. Cirkin put in a typically faultless performance where he was intelligent, dominant, aggressive and decisive. Cirkin defended extremely well against Leicester’s Callum Wright and he made numerous interceptions, blocks, challenges and clearances. What I liked about the England under 17 internationals performance was that he always wanted to be first to every ball, and it’s that Rose-esque aggressiveness which is one of his greatest attributes. Cirkin played a massive part in our opening goal after he went on a superb surging run down the left flank, before passing the ball to J’Neil Bennett inside the Leicester penalty area. I couldn’t sing the first years scholars praises high enough. He is a special young talent and the fact that he is England under 17’s first choice left back says a lot. Offensively, he reminds me a lot of our former Academy player Nick Tsaroulla who was another favourite of mine.

Leicester City: Jakupovic, Sherif, Ughelumba, Dewsbury-Hall, Hughes (c), Pascanu, Wright, Leshabela, Muskwe, Ndukwu (Loft 80), Allen (Shade 76). Substitutes (not used): Heaven, Johansson, Tavares.

Spurs: Austin, Hinds, Cirkin, White, Lyons-Foster, Dinzeyi, Oakley-Boothe (Roles 34), Marsh (c), Tracey, Maghoma (Duncan 84), Bennett (Walcott 90+2). Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Markanday.

Goals: Leicester – Leshabela 20; Spurs – Roles 49, 82.

Yellow cards: Leicester – Ndukwu 69; Spurs – Bennett 61, Tracey 90.

Red card: Leicester – Ughelumba 90+4.

Referee: Peter Gibbins.

Venue: Holmes Park, Leicester.

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

Goals scored: Jack Roles – 10

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

J’Neil Bennett – 3

Paris Maghoma – 2

Jaden Brown – 2

Tariq Hinds – 2

Troy Parrott – 1

Shayon Harrison – 1

Oliver Skipp – 1

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 1

Dylan Duncan – 1

Jamie Bowden – 1

George Marsh – 1

Anthony Georgiou – 1

Shilow Tracey – 1

Dennis Cirkin – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

Spurs under 18’s versus Southampton: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus Southampton: (match preview)

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Matt Wells’ under 18 side recorded an emphatic 5-3 league victory over London rivals West Ham last Saturday. It was a victory which was made even more impressive by the fact that Spurs were missing so many players for the game. Most interesting of all was the inclusion of Notts County striker Kion Etete in Matt Wells’ side for the London Derby against West Ham. Etete (17) has already featured for Notts County’s first team on a number of occasions this season but the highly rated centre forward is currently on trial at Spurs and he could well featured for our under 18’s again on Friday. Unfortunately I and so many others were unable to attend last Saturday’s match due to being at the North London Derby, at Wembley on the same day. I did hear that our under 18’s put in another impressive performance against West Ham particularly during the first half when they managed to score four goals, it was another dominant performance from Wells’ side. A win against the ‘ Saints ‘ on Friday morning would see Spurs go back to the top of the under 18 Premier League South, providing that Arsenal don’t win on the same day. This match was supposed to be played last month however, it fell foul to the weather. Friday’s rearranged match will be a difficult one for Spurs to win considering all of the injury problems that they currently have. Paul Hardyman’s Southampton side have been doing quite well lately. They sit in fifth place in the league table, and from their last five league games they have picked up ten points. They have a squad which is brimming with attacking talent and while we did beat them 5-2 in the reverse fixture back in September, Hardyman’s side showed their attacking quality during that game. With pacy forward and former Spurs schoolboy Rio Glean impressing along with tricky Irish winger Will Ferry. Technically speaking Southampton’s under 18’s have been one of the best in England over the last five or so years, and they are never afraid to attack teams.

The ‘ Saints ‘ have a number of players who I like, of which include Irish fullback Kameron Ledwidge, French centre half Allan Tchaptchet and Southampton’s top scorer this season with nine league goals, Christian Norton. It’s difficult to predict what side Matt Wells will field on Friday however, I would imagine that we will see a number of schoolboys feature once again. I am very confident that Spurs will continue their excellent league form by beating Paul Hardyman’s side. I would like to wish the lads all the very best of luck for the game and I look forward to reporting on it.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Kurylowicz, Clarke, Statham, Okedina, Binks, Pedder, Bowden (c), Pochettino, Cooper, Markanday, Etete.

Subs from: Lo-Tutala, John, Patterson, Asante.

Injured/unavailable: Jeremie Mukendi, Maximus Tainio, Troy Parrott 

Doubtful: Joshua Oluwayemi, Jamie Bowden, Rodel Richards, Elliott Thorpe, Enoch Asante.

Previous meeting: Spurs 5-2.

My score prediction: Spurs

My one to watch: Ireland under 19 international Will Ferry is a young man who possesses outstanding skill and balance. Ferry is a winger who primarily operates out on the left flank. The Bury born second year scholar has tremendous dribbling and crossing ability and he has found the back of the net on seven occasions for Paul Hardyman’s side this season.

Spurs under 23’s versus Leicester City: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Leicester City: (match preview)

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After putting in a heroic performance against Chelsea last Friday evening to record a 1-1 draw despite playing with ten men for the majority of the game, Wayne Burnett’s side will be hoping to go one step further on Friday when they travel to the East Midlands to face Leicester City. Our match against the ‘ Foxes ‘ at Holmes Park is the first of four cup finals for our under 23’s who will be hoping to secure their first division status before their final league game against Derby County in April. Steve Beaglehole’s Leicester City side occupy fourth spot in the league table, ten points off of league leaders Everton. Beaglehole’s side have lost their last three PL2 matches but they will be hopeful that they can return to winning ways against Spurs. Leicester’s home form has been good this season, and the 2017/18 PL2 title contenders have won an impressive five of their nine home league matches this campaign. Spurs on the other hand have the worst away form in the league. The reverse league fixture back in October was one of our under 23’s best performances this season. They overcame a Leicester side which fielded both Andy King and Danny Simpson, the young Lilywhites put in a superb defensive performance that day. One player who struggled to make an impact against our defence in that match, was former Spurs player Ryan Loft. Many of you will remember the burly centre forward from his time in our under 18’s side. Loft is yet to find the back of the net for the ‘ Foxes ‘ in the PL2 since making the move from North London last summer. The former Ebbsfleet schoolboy has made 16 league appearances for Beaglehole’s side so far this season, and his aerial presence will make like difficult for the young Spurs defenders on Friday. Some of the ‘ Foxes ‘ other danger men include attacking midfielder Layton Ndukwu who has scored three goals from six league games this campaign. 18 year old winger Tyrese Shade is another player to keep an eye on, as are defenders Calvin Ughelumba and Alexandru Pascanu.

Over recent seasons Leicester’s development side have had a very strong defence and they have been historically difficult to break down. Last season Beaglehole’s side defeated us 6-1 at Holmes Park, in a game which Spurs ended playing with nine men following the second half dismissals of Oliver Skipp and George Marsh. Wayne Burnett’s side will most likely include a number of players from the under 18 squad on Friday, with first year scholars J’Neil Bennett, Harvey White and Dennis Cirkin all likely to play. All three of those players were excellent against Chelsea in our last match. I will be heading off to to Holmes Park on Friday afternoon straight from Hotspur Way, as I will be reporting on our under 18’s league game against Southampton in the morning. I would like to wish Wayne Burnett’s side all the very best of luck for this important league match.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Hinds, Lyons-Foster, Dinzeyi, Cirkin, White, Marsh (c), Oakley-Boothe, Maghoma, Bennett, Tracey.

Subs from: Glover, Walcott, A.Shashoua, Duncan.

Injured/unavailable: Luke Amos, Jamie Reynolds, Japhet Tanganga (suspended), Troy Parrott, Phoenix Patterson, Maximus Tainio.

Doubtful: Alfie Whiteman, TJ Eyoma, Jack Roles, Jamie Bowden, Rodel Richards.

Previous meeting: Spurs 1-0 

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: The ‘ Foxes ‘ target man and former Spurs Academy player Ryan Loft. The 21 year old will be eager to impress against his old club on Friday, and his physicality and aerial presence will cause problems for the Spurs defence in the absence of the suspended Japhet Tanganga.

Some notes on Spurs loanee Anthony Georgiou’s performance against CD Castellón:

Some notes on Spurs loanee Anthony Georgiou’s performance against CD Castellón:

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Spurs loanee Anthony Georgiou was in action for Spanish third division side Atlético Levante on Sunday afternoon when the ‘ Granotas ‘ B team faced local rivals CD Castellón at a packed out Nou Estadi Castàlia. The Cyprus international started Sunday’s league game out on the left wing in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Georgiou would complete 64 minutes of the match. This was a difficult game for Luis Tevenet’s Levante side, who came up against a very well structured and solid Castellón defence who did their best to nullify the wide men. This made Georgiou’s task that little bit more difficult and it meant that he couldn’t really express himself out on the left flank. The home side were the better team for large periods of the game and after they took the lead in the first half through Rubén Díez they looked as if they were going to win the game however, Levante battled well and they were able to net an equaliser late on in the game to gain a vital point. There was a good atmosphere for Sunday’s Derby match at the Nou Estadi Castàlia, this would have been one of the best atmospheres that young Anthony Georgiou would ever have experienced. The 22 year old caught the eye during the opening stages of the match with his tracking back and defensive work to help out Levante left back Rulo. Georgiou’s first real attacking involvement in the game occurred after the winger exchanged passes with Pepelu down the left channel before laying the ball off to Eneko on the edge of the Castellón penalty area, but the ‘ Granotas ‘ striker fired wide of Campos‘ goal. Georgiou made his first important defensive intervention of the game around five minute later. The deep lying winger did well to cut out Rubén Díez’s pass through to César Díaz down the the right flank. It’s a good job that Georgiou was there to make their interception as Díaz would have had a clean route through to goal, if he had received the pass. Despite a fairly even start to the game it was the home side who took the lead through Rubén Díez after his deflected effort on goal had managed to creep past Levante goalkeeper Cárdenas and into the back of the net.

It had been difficult for Georgiou to influence the game from an attacking perspective during the first half as Levante weren’t playing with much width about them. After a free kick for Luis Tevenet’s side had amounted to nothing, the ball came to Pepelu on the edge of the Castellón penalty area. The Levante midfielder teed the ball off to Georgiou who struck the ball first time on his left foot. However, his powerful low drive went wide of the Castellón goal. A couple of moments later Georgiou received the ball from Pepelu out on the left wing, he continued forward before pumping the ball into the danger zone in an attempt to pick out Levante centre forward Eneko. However, the youngsters cross ended up going straight down the throat of Castellón goalkeeper Campos, who claimed the ball. I noticed that Georgiou’s English speaking teammate Shaq Moore gave him some advice after a break in play, a couple of minutes later. Georgiou was the victim of some cynical fouls from the Castellón defenders who were intent on stopping the pacy winger from going on surging forward runs down the left wing. His movement during the opening stages of the game had been good and he had been doing well to keep up with the pace of the game. A corner kick which was whipped in by Joan, managed to find its way to Georgiou down the right wing after he had won the ball off of Satrústegui. The skilful Cyprus international managed to hold off the Castellón defender before sending a low cross into the penalty area, however, it was cleared behind for a corner kick by Gálvez. Less then a minute after the resulting corner kick was taken, Georgiou could be seen defending down the opposite end of the pitch, the referee blew his whistle for time a couple of moments later. Blesa came close to finding an equaliser from a free kick, shortly after the restart. After Joan had managed to win a free kick out on the right flank, Georgiou elected to take it. He whipped an excellent pacy ball into the danger zone, managing to pick out Genís whose looping header on goal was saved relatively comfortably by Campos. Georgiou delivered a decent corner kick into the box shortly afterwards but it was cleared away from danger by Castellón defender Muguruza.

Georgiou was working hard, to try and create chances for his struggling teammates down the left hand channel. After Genís had shifted the ball out to the Lewisham born winger down the left flank, Georgiou managed to dart past Muguruza as he powered forward. However, the Castellón fullback caught the Spurs man from behind, but he was able to keep his balance and eventually whip the ball into the danger zone. Eneko almost managed to meet it at Campos’ back post. Georgiou was enjoying a decent spell in the game and after he had managed to make a good run down the left side of the Castellón penalty area he received Joan’s pass. Georgiou took a touch before blazing an effort over Campos‘ crossbar, it was to be his final involvement in the game as he was replaced by Joel straight afterwards. Anthony looked disappointed to have been brought off so early on in the second half, but despite the circumstances of the game and the solidity of the oppositions defence, Georgiou should be able to hold his head high after putting in another battling performance for the Spanish club, on only his third appearance for them. Georgiou did very well considering that he was essentially living off of scraps down the left hand side of the pitch. From a defensive perspective I thought that the 22 year old had a very good game. He really helped out Levante’s left back Rulo by making some important defensive contributions throughout the match. Georgiou’s willingness to track and stay deep frustrated Castellón winger César Díaz. And from an offensive point of view I was proud of how he was constantly getting himself into good spaces and positions out wide, and making some good forward runs. Georgiou pumped some good crosses into the danger zone, and he was involved in a number of good attacks for Luis Tevenet’s side. His high work rate, tigerish pressing and willingness to get stuck in were all positive things which I noticed from Anthony’s performance. The ‘ Granotas ‘ B teams next match is on Sunday when they host Alcoyano at the Ciudad Deportiva de Buñol. With an international break coming up towards the end of the month, I would be very surprised if Anthony wasn’t called up to the Cyprus senior team for any international friendlies that they might play.

Anthony Georgiou for Atlético Levante this season:

Appearances: 3

Goals: 1

Assists: 0

Spurs under 23’s 1-1 Chelsea: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 1-1 Chelsea: (match report)

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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.

Player reviews:

  • 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

Spurs under 18’s versus West Ham United: (match preview)

Spurs under 18’s versus West Ham United: (match preview)

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Our under 18’s host London rivals West Ham United at Hotspur Way on Saturday morning. Matt Wells’ side will be hoping to record their sixth consecutive league win in a row tomorrow, although it is worth noting that the ‘ Hammers ‘ have improved since we thrashed them 9-0, in the reverse fixture back in September, at Little Heath. After doing so well to beat Reading 2-0 with such a young and inexperienced team, in the last match, Spurs will be hoping that they can put in a similar performance against Mark Phillips side tomorrow morning. The East London club occupy fourth spot in the table after winning more than half of their league games this campaign. However, the ‘ Hammers ‘ have only managed to win three league games on the road all season.  Some of West Ham’s most important players include their captain and commanding centre half Joshua Okotcha, tricky right winger Bernardo Rosa, left winger and their top scorer in the league this season Vernon Parkes, and last but not least the ‘ Hammers ‘ goalkeeper Serine Sanneh. Tomorrow’s game will be a very competitive London Derby and I’m sure that it will be a game which is played at a high tempo. For Matt Wells‘ injury hit side their objective will to be win the game by playing their usual passing game. Sadly I will be unable to report on tomorrow’s important league (kick off is at 10:30 AM) game as it clashes with our first teams massive North London Derby at Wembley. I would like to wish our under 18’s all the very best of luck for their very own important London Derby.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Oluwayemi, Tainio, Walcott, Binks, Okedina, Pedder, A.Shashoua(c), Pochettino, Cooper, Markanday, Whittaker.

Subs from: Kurylowicz, Statham, Matthew Craig, Asante.

Injured/unavailable: Jeremie Mukendi, Jamie Bowden, Phoenix Patterson, Troy Parrott.

Doubtful: Rodel Richards, Elliot Thorpe.

Previous meeting: Spurs 9-0.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: Predominantly a left winger, West Ham’s top scorer at under 18 level this season is Vernon Parkes who has netted seven goals so far this campaign.

Spurs under 23’s versus Chelsea: (match preview)

Spurs under 23’s versus Chelsea: (match preview)

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Our under 23’s have a London Derby to look forward to on Friday evening when they host rivals Chelsea at the Lamex Stadium, in the PL2. This is a crucial league game for Wayne Burnett’s side who will be desperate to return to winning ways and set a bit of distance between themselves and the relegation zone. Returning to winning ways will be far from easy for Burnett’s side who continue to be without a number of their most important players due to injury. After being eliminated from the Premier League International Cup on Tuesday after suffering a 1-0 defeat to NK Dinamo Zagreb 2, Wayne Burnett’s side have the perfect opportunity on Friday to respond to recent disappointments. The ‘ Blues ‘ who are managed by Joe Edwards, sit comfortably in sixth place in the division one table after picking up 24 points from their 17 matches. Furthermore, our London rivals have the best away form in the league, winning six of their eight games on the road, this season. We contested a very tight 1-1 draw with Chelsea, in the reverse fixture back in November. While I don’t believe that Chelsea’s development side have been particularly entertaining during recent seasons, one thing that Chelsea always have been is well structured. Their possession based football right down from under 18 level continues to make them such a difficult team to beat. Some players to watch out for on Friday evening are Chelsea’s top scorer this campaign Charlie Brown, classy midfielder Billy Gilmour, centre forward Ike Ugbo and speedy Dutch winger Juan Familio-Castillo, who always seems to have very good games against us. Today’s game will be a very tough game for Burnett’s side but it is definitely a game that they can win. My in-depth match report will be out on Saturday. I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for this important London Derby. Apologise for such a short preview!

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Austin, Hinds, Dinzeyi, Tanganga (c), Cirkin, Marsh, White, Oakley-Boothe, Maghoma, Roles, Tracey.

Subs from: Glover, Lyons-Foster, Duncan, A.Shashoua, Bennett.

Injured/unavailable: Luke Amos, Jamie Reynolds, Jonathan De Bie (international duty with Belgium under 19’s), Troy Parrott, Phoenix Patterson, Jamie Bowden.

Doubtful: Alfie Whiteman, TJ Eyoma, Jack Roles, Shilow Tracey (possible suspension), Rodel Richards.

Previous meeting: 1-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Wales international Ethan Ampadu has made just six appearances for Chelsea’s development side so far this season. However, if the tough tackling defensive midfielder is involved on Friday then the‘ Blues ‘ will be massively bolstered. Ampadu’s reading of the game is second to none.