Spurs under 23’s 0-3 Blackburn Rovers: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 0-3 Blackburn Rovers: (match report)


Our under 23’s returned to PL2 action on Monday evening when they hosted Blackburn Rovers at the Lamex Stadium, in a game which had been dubbed as a relegation six pointer. Wayne Burnett’s side simply didn’t turn up for Monday’s big game and to be quite truthful the ‘ Rovers ‘ out played them. Spurs were too slow on the ball and the team seemed quite disjointed from very early on in the game. The opposition were considerably more energetic than us and they played some good attacking football. Whereas for us, all of our huff and puff counted for very little in the end. Spurs were unable to pose much of a threat going forward and they were unable to create sufficient chances for the false nine Jack Roles to put away. Damien Johnson’s Blackburn side minus their three most important players started the game positively. After just three minutes of the game the Lancashire club took the lead through Jack Vale after the striker managed to nod home Stefan Mols’ cross from inside the Tottenham penalty area. Following on from their opener Blackburn began to grow in confidence and their incisive attacking football was causing the Spurs defence huge problems during the opening stages of the game. Things got worse for Burnett’s side after first year scholar Harvey White gave away a penalty on 13 minutes. Daniel Butterworth was able to convert the following spot kick to double the ‘ Rovers ‘ advantage. Although Spurs did manages to create some half decent chances, Blackburn came close on numerous occasions to extending their lead during the first half. Although Burnett did alter the formation on a couple of occasions throughout the game Spurs didn’t make any changes for the beginning of the second half. Despite Spurs’ best efforts they were simply unable to work their way past what was a very well structured Blackburn defence and for the majority of the second half our attacking players were ineffective. The late introduction of centre forward Troy Parrott did have a positive impact on Spurs’ game and the Dubliner came close to finding the back of the net on two separate occasions however, it wasn’t enough.

Blackburn sealed the victory seven minutes before the end thanks to a lovely curling strike from the highly rated Joseph Rankin-Costello. It was a very flat performance from our under 23’s on Monday evening, and they allowed the visitors to play their own brand of football to great effect. 11th placed Spurs have two remaining PL2 games starting with a trip to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea City next Monday. However, Burnett’s struggling side are going to have to return to winning ways if they want to avoid being relegated to division two. Wayne Burnett’s side lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation on Monday evening. Brandon Austin started in goal while a back four of Tariq Hinds, Jonathan Dinzeyi, captain George Marsh and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Harvey White and Tashan Oakley-Boothe partnered up in central midfield while Paris Maghoma played in the hole either side of wingers Shilow Tracey and J’Neil Bennett. 20 year old Cyprus under 21 international Jack Roles led the line for Burnett’s side as Parrott was unable to start the game following his recent return from a toe injury. Spurs got the game underway at the Lamex Stadium and they started the first two or so minutes of the game relatively brightly. After Tariq Hinds passed the ball to Oakley-Boothe inside the Blackburn penalty area the 19 year old spun around before attempting to pass the ball to Roles in the middle of the box, but the ball was cut out by Blackburn’s Jacob Davenport. Paris Maghoma had an effort on goal blocked by the same player a couple of moments later, on the edge of the Blackburn penalty area. Although Spurs had started the game relatively well they were about to get a shock in the third minute of time, after the visitors took a surprise lead. After Joseph Rankin-Costello had passed the ball to Stefan Mols out on the right flank, the Spaniard attempted to pick out Jack Vale inside the Tottenham penalty area with a first time cross. Spurs goalkeeper Brandon Austin chose not to come out and punch the ball clear and Vale was able to get in between both Marsh and Dinzeyi before nodding the ball past Austin from close range, and into the the back of the net, 0-1.

Austin tried his best to motivate the Spurs players in the aftermath of Jack Vale’s goal. Following their opener the ‘ Rovers ‘ started to attack the Tottenham defence with more confidence, and after Mols passed the ball to Rankin-Costello down the right side of the Spurs penalty area we looked as if we were going to concede a second. However, J’Neil Bennett had tracked back well after him to block Rankin-Costello’s attempted pass towards Vale in the centre of the box, behind for a corner kick. Jacob Davenport’s resulting corner kick was whipped dangerously into the box and it ended up striking Tariq Hinds at the near post, before it went behind for another corner. Davenport’s resulting corner was cleared away from danger by George Marsh. Paris Maghoma was on hand to clear yet another corner kick from Davenport a couple of minutes later, as Burnett’s side struggled to get out of their own half. The ‘ Rovers ‘ continued to threaten the Spurs defence and after Charley Doyle managed to send a lofted pass over Marsh to set Jack Vale through on goal, Spurs found themselves in real trouble. Vale managed to latch onto Doyle’s pass before surging forward towards the edge of the Spurs box where he attempted to beat Austin who had come rushing off his line, with a powerful low effort. However, the Spurs goalkeeper managed to make a smart stop with his feet to prevent Blackburn from doubling their lead. Burnett’s struggling side were dealt a further blow after young Harvey White gave away a penalty a couple of minutes later. After Daniel Butterworth received Rankin-Costello’s pass in the middle of the Tottenham penalty area, Harvey White made a reactionary sliding challenge on the Blackburn man. The Tottenham midfielder completely missed the ball and he ended up taking Butterworth out right in front of the referee David Rock, who pointed straight to the spot. Daniel Butterworth stood up to take the resulting spot kick and he made no mistake from seven yards out. Butterworth clinically fired the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal to beat Austin who had dived the right way, 0-2. Shortly after the restart Harvey White managed to win a free kick out on the right flank however, his resulting delivery was cleared by Tyler Magloire and the ball came to Oakley-Boothe down the right side of the Blackburn box. The Spurs midfielder saw his resulting effort blocked by the sliding Hayden Carter. 

After Harvey White had shifted the ball out to J’Neil Bennett on the left wing the 17 year old pumped the ball into the Blackburn box where it was cleared by Carter.  Spurs tried hard to respond and after Maghoma had won a free kick in a promising position, Harvey White elected to take it. However, his delivery into the danger zone was gathered comfortably by Blackburn goalkeeper Charlie Albinson. Spurs captain George Marsh did well to clear Lewis Thompson’s teasing low cross at the opposite end of the pitch, before Harvey White did well to block a shot from Daniel Butterworth on the edge of the Spurs box, as Blackburn continued to play fast attacking football. Jonathan Dinzeyi did well to clear a dangerous low cross from Joseph Rankin-Costello before Spurs managed to test the Blackburn goalkeeper for the first time in the game. A good move resulted in Roles passing the ball to Maghoma who gave the ball to Cirkin down the left flank. The Spurs left back brought the ball forward before stinging the palms of Blackburn goalkeeper Charlie Albinson with a fizzing effort from the edge of the Blackburn penalty area. Cirkin’s shot was too hot to handle and Albinson could only tip the ball behind for a corner kick. Jonathan Dinzeyi came close to scoring from the resulting corner kick after he arrowed a header narrowly over Albinson’s crossbar, after meeting Harvey White’s delivery. Damien Johnson’s Blackburn side should have extended their lead after the unmarked Jack Vale was able to meet Joseph Rankin-Costello’s cross from the right flank inside the Tottenham penalty area. However, the ‘ Rovers ‘ striker ended up heading the ball into the ground, and it bounced narrowly over Brandon Austin’s crossbar. After giving the ball to Daniel Butterworth on the edge of Spurs penalty area shortly afterwards, defender Jonathan Dinzeyi managed to make an important recovery challenge before Butterworth was able to test Austin. A couple of minutes later a powerful low drive from Jacob Davenport deflected off of George Marsh before going narrowly wide of Brandon Austin’s goal. 

The Tottenham goalkeeper Brandon Austin did well to punch a free kick from John Buckley away from danger shortly after Tashan Oakley-Boothe had conceded a free kick out on the left flank. Wayne Burnett had instructed J’Neil Bennett and Shilow Tracey to switch flanks while Harvey White had dropped back to partner Dinzeyi in central defence as Marsh came into central midfield. The alert Dennis Cirkin did well to clear a menacing cross from Joseph Rankin-Costello a couple of moments before Harvey White managed to clear Daniel Butterworth’s cross. The referee David Rock blew for halftime a couple of minutes later to bring an end to a hugely disappointing half from Wayne Burnett’s sides perspective. The ‘ Rovers ‘ got the second half underway and after Buckley managed to slip Jack Vale through on goal early on in the half Spurs thought they were in real trouble. And even though the linesman on the near side had raised his flag for offside Brandon Austin wasn’t aware and he made a really good save with his legs to keep out Vale’s powerful low effort. Jack Roles had a penalty shout waived away by David Rock after ‘ Rovers ‘ John Buckley had made a strong challenge on him inside the Blackburn penalty area. Blackburn came close to extending their lead at the other end of the pitch after Dennis Cirkin’s clearance from Lewis Thompson’s cross came to Daniel Butterworth on the edge of the Spurs box. Butterworth’s resulting effort on goal deflected off of Jonathan Dinzeyi before hitting Brandon Austin’s crossbar, and eventually being cleared away by Harvey White. A promising attacking foray from Dennis Cirkin down the left flank ended in him being completely taken out by Blackburn’s John Buckley who was never going to catch him. Jonathan Dinzeyi had a volleyed effort on goal blocked by Hayden Carter, a couple of moments before J’Neil Bennett whipped a dangerous ball across the face of Charlie Albinson’s goal. After picking up Lewis Thompson’s pass on the left flank Jacob Davenport whipped an inviting cross into the Spurs box where he managed to pick out Jack Vale whose headed effort on goal was headed behind for a corner by Harvey White who was standing on the goal line. 

Daniel Butterworth’s resulting corner kick was met by Hayden Carter who headed the ball straight into the arms of the grateful Brandon Austin. Jack Roles was shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Charley Doyle a couple of minutes later as Burnett’s side continued to struggle to keep up with the pace of the visitors. A good surging run through the middle of the pitch from Daniel Butterworth ended in him forcing a decent save out of Brandon Austin from his powerful low effort from long range. George Marsh did well to block a shot from George Marsh inside the Spurs box shortly afterwards before managing to clear the ball away from the danger zone and behind for a corner kick. Tyler Magloire headed John Buckley’s resulting corner to Jacob Davenport on the flank. The former Manchester City player continued forward down the flank before passing the ball to Stefan Mols inside the penalty area. However, Harvey White did well to slide in front of the Blackburn winger before putting the ball behind for a corner. Wayne Burnett a double substitution after he brought off both Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Shilow Tracey and Dilan Markanday and Troy Parrott. A couple of minutes later our best player Dennis Cirkin was replaced by Brooklyn Lyons Foster who went to centre back, while White filled in for Cirkin at left back. Soon after coming on Troy Parrott nodded a corner kick from Harvey White a fraction wide of Charlie Albinson’s goal. Then in the 83rd minute of the game Damien Johnson’s side put the game to bed after Joseph Rankin-Costello made it 3-0 the visitors. After Jacob Davenport had passed the ball to Rankin-Costello on the right flank the skilful Blackburn winger came inside onto his left foot, before curling a lovely effort across the helpless Brandon Austin and into the far left hand corner of the goal from the edge of the Spurs box, 0-3. Spurs launched a hopeful late attack after Brooklyn Lyons-Foster played the ball down the left flank to J’Neil Bennett who slipped the ball through to Parrott on the edge of the Blackburn box. However, the Dubliner’s powerful low side footed effort was well saved by Charlie Albinson, who managed to hold onto the ball. John Buckley blazed an ambitious effort wide of Brandon Austin’s goal at the other end of the pitch, in what turned out to be the final piece of action of the game.

This was a very disappointing performance from Spurs who allowed Blackburn to dominate the game from start to finish. Not only were Burnett’s side quite poor defensively, they also offered virtually nothing going forward. Spurs are now in serious danger of being relegated to division two unless they can beat Swansea City next Monday evening at the Liberty Stadium in what is now a must win game for Wayne Burnett’s young side. 

Player reviews:

  • Brandon Austin: I thought that the Spurs goalkeeper had a good game for us on Monday evening. Austin had a solid game and he made three saves including an excellent one to deny ‘ Rovers ‘ centre forward from a one on one early on in the game. Austin also dealt authoritatively with crosses and set pieces.
  • Tariq Hinds: The right back put in a decent performance for Wayne Burnett’s side on Monday, particularly from a defensive point of view. Hinds stayed deep throughout the match and he defended reasonably well against Blackburn winger Stefan Mols.
  • Jonathan Dinzeyi: The 19 year old operated at RCB and I personally felt that he put in quite a strong performance for our under 23’s yesterday. Although his passing was somewhat sloppy on occasions, Dinzeyi was good in the air and he made some good recovery challenges, and blocks and interceptions. 
  • George Marsh: The Spurs captain started the game at LCB although he would later slot into central midfield. It was by no means the 20 year olds best game and he did struggle to keep up with the pace of the Blackburn players despite all his very best efforts and hard work. 
  • Dennis Cirkin: My motm, see below.
  • Harvey White: I thought that the first year scholar was one of Wayne Burnett’s sides best players on the day. White would start the game in central midfield before going onto play in central defence, and later at left back. Wherever the 17 year old played he was able to look competent and solid. Furthermore, the Maidstone born midfielders all round game and versatility impressed me on the day. Apart from giving away an early penalty White made numerous important defensive interventions and his passing was also very good.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The 19 year old was never really able to impose himself on Monday’s game despite his best efforts. Operating in his favoured position of central midfield Oakley-Boothe did impress me with his passing and his movement however, he just wasn’t able to influence the game in the way in which he would have liked to. 
  • Shilow Tracey: The 20 year old completed 72 minutes of Monday’s PL2 game. Although he started the game on the right wing Tracey would later switch flanks with J’Neil Bennett. The former Ebbsfleet United man was unable to trouble ‘ Rovers ‘ on the night although he did do some excellent defensive work. 
  • Paris Maghoma: It was a frustrating night for Maghoma (17) who often found himself isolated playing as a CAM. The second year scholar battled hard to try and make an impression on the game however, the well structured Blackburn defence managed to quell the threat of the hardworking Tottenham midfielder, but he did give a good account of himself.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The first year scholar completed the entirety of last nights match but he would divide his time playing on both the left and right flank. Hardworking and willing to make positive runs down the channels, the 17 year old tracked back excellently after himself on the night and offensively  I thought that he did quite a good job.
  • Jack Roles: Operating once again as a false nine the 20 year old led the line for Burnett’s side against Blackburn. However, Roles was unable to impact the game even after he dropped deeper following the second half introduction of Troy Parrott. 
  • Troy Parrott: It was a positive cameo from the Dubliner who came close to finding the back of the net on two separate occasions. Parrott’s movement was sharp and he made some good runs through the middle of the park.
  • Dilan Markanday: The 17 year old worked hard to make an impact on the game down the right flank, after replacing Shilow Tracey in the 72nd minute of the game.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: It was a solid albeit brief cameo at LCB from the 18 year old. 

My man of the match: Left back Dennis Cirkin (17) was without question our under 23’s best player on Monday night. The Dubliner who had only just returned from a short spell on the sidelines, put in a very strong performance at left back and he defended really well against Blackburn’s skilful right winger Joseph Rankin-Costello who he managed to deal with efficiently during his 76 minutes on the pitch. Cirkin was commanding and his strength and aggression helped him to assert himself on the game. The first year scholar made some good strong challenges, and apart from putting in a good defensive shift, the attacking fullback was also very good going forwards. Cirkin played with his head up and he was constantly looking to drive at Blackburn’s right back Charley Doyle who he often managed to get the better of for both pace and skill. Cirkin also came close to finding the back of the net after he tested Blackburn goalkeeper Charlie Albinson with a fizzing effort shortly before halftime. It was a very well rounded performance from the attacking left back.

Spurs: Austin, Hinds, Cirkin (Lyons-Foster 76), White, Dinzeyi, Marsh (c), Tracey (Parrott 72), Oakley-Boothe (Markanday 72), Roles, Maghoma, Bennett.

Substitutes (not used) De Bie, Duncan.

Blackburn Rovers: Albinson, Doyle, Thompson, Davenport, Magloire (c, Annesley 90+1), Carter, Rankin-Costello (Pike 90+2), Buckley, Vale, Butterworth (Whitehall 86), Mols. Substitutes (not used): Eastham, Saadi.

Goals: Blackburn – Vale 3, Butterworth 14 (pen), Rankin-Costello 83.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Roles 63; Blackburn – Butterworth 16, Magloire 53, Buckley 64, Doyle 69.

Referee: David Rock.

Venue: Lamex Stadium, Stevenage.

Attendance: 476.

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

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