Spurs under 21’s 2-1 SM Caen: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 2-1 SM Caen: (match report)

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Our development sides second group game at the Tournoi Europeen saw them take on SM Caen with Wayne Burnett’s side knowing that nothing other than a win would give them a realistic chance of topping group B. It was a good attacking performance from Spurs on a humid morning in Ploufragan as Burnett’s side tested the Caen defence well throughout the game. Spurs started the match well and soon into the game they took the lead through new signing Kion Etete. However, Caen fought back and they managed to draw level  through Nicholas Gioacchini. A fiercely contested second half ensued as both Spurs and Caen went for the win. However, it was substitute Kazaiah Sterling who netted the winner for Spurs late on in the game and it was a deserved winner for Burnett’s side who played some really good attacking football. Spurs lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation on Saturday morning as Joshua Oluwayemi started in goal, while a back four consisting of Maxwell Statham, captain TJ Eyoma, Luis Binks and Tariq Hinds sat in front of him. Tashan Oakley-Boothe and Armando Shashoua anchored the midfield as Shilow Tracey and Rodel Richards operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Elliot Thorpe. New signing Kion Etete led the line. Spurs got the game underway and the young ‘ Lilywhites ‘ started the game well. Spurs took the lead from their first purposeful attack of the game through striker Kion Etete. After Armando Shashoua passed the ball to Elliot Thorpe the Wales under 19 international threaded a perfectly weighted pass through ball to Shilow Tracey who surged forward before going down the right side of the Caen penalty area and having a pop on goal. Tracey’s effort deflected off of Caen defender Allan Bidard before it hit the near post. The ball then rebounded into the path of Kion Etete who managed to tap the ball into the back of the net despite the best efforts of Jad Mouaddib on the line, 1-0. Shortly afterwards Shilow Tracey whipped two dangerous crosses into the Caen penalty area in quick succession but they were both cleared away. Then at the other end of the pitch Tariq Hinds was on hand to head away Aloys Fouda’s cross before Luis Binks bravely blocked a long range effort from Pierrick Mouniama.

Despite starting the game well Spurs allowed the opposition to come back into the game and a mistimed back pass from Armando Shashoua to Joshua Oluwayemi laid the ball on a plate for Nicholas Gioacchini inside the Spurs box and the Caen striker was able to latch onto the ball and round Oluwayemi before firing the ball past TJ Eyoma on the line, and into the back of the net, 1-1. Spurs came close to reestablishing their lead shortly afterwards through an incisive bit of attacking play. Elliot Thorpe gave the ball to Shilow Tracey on the right flank and he surged into the Caen box before squaring the ball back for Thorpe who had made a run into the centre of the box. However, Thorpe’s low first time effort was saved by the legs of Caen goalkeeper Pean Sullivan. The ball then came to Rodel Richards whose effort was blocked and then cleared on the line by Allan Bidard. Thomas Oalletts cleared a cross from Shilow Tracey behind for a corner kick. A couple of minutes later Shashoua gave the ball to Rodel Richards on the left wing.  He sent a low cross into the box for Kion Etete but the striker could only poke the ball wide of Pean Sullivan’s goal. The game continued to be played at a fast pace. Andreas Hountondji fired an effort from long range right into the face of Shilow Tracey who somehow managed to recover twice to make two important challenges down the left flank. Pierrick Mouniama’s resulting corner kick was nodded on by Andreas Hountondji for Nicholas Gioacchini who fired an effort on goal however, his effort was saved excellently by the chest of Oluwayemi before being cleared away by Tariq Hinds. Luis Binks cleared Jad Mouaddib’s cross shortly afterwards in what turned out to be the final piece of action from a close first half. SM Caen got the second half underway. Shilow Tracey was told shortly after the restart by the referee to get off the pitch and change his shirt because it had no number on it. The first chance of the second half came to Caen after Tony Villeray played a free kick short to Godson Kyeremh in the Spurs box but he blazed the ball over Oluwayemi’s crossbar.

Caen continued their fine start to the second half when Tony Villeray whipped in a free kick into the Tottenham danger zone where it was nodded on by Nicholas Gioacchini for Allan Bidard at the back post. However, the defenders effort was saved well by Oluwayemi who managed to react quickly. Spurs made a double change when Burnett brought on Kazaiah Sterling and Dilan Markanday for Kion Etete and Elliot Thorpe. Spurs continued to try hard to find a winner and it paid off in the end. After Armando Shashoua played a lovely lofted pass with back spin on it over the top of the Caen defence to set Kazaiah Sterling surging through on goal. Sterling steadied himself in the penalty area before skilfully jinking his way around Caen defender Luca Boudonnet and slotting the ball into the bottom right hand corner of Pean Sullivan’s goal, 2-1. Wayne Burnett made two more changes when he brought on Rayan Clarke and Paris Maghoma for Rodel Richards and Tashan Oakley-Boothe. Joshua Oluwayemi did well to beat away substitute Robin Legendre’s shot down the right hand side of the Spurs box before Tariq Hinds managed to block Theo Barre’s shot down the same side of the penalty area. Late in the game Armando Shashoua conceded a free kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the Spurs penalty area. However, Tony Villeray fortunately whipped his free kick wide of the outstretched Oluwayemi’s goal as Spurs clung onto record all three points. Spurs’ next game is against RC Strasbourg this evening.

Player reviews: 

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: It was another very good performance from the Spurs goalkeeper who made three impressive saves in total on Saturday morning. Oluwayemi’s distribution was excellent on the day and he showed strong hands to make three important stops. It was a very good performance from the 18 year old on the day that his brother Tobi signed for Celtic.
  • Maxwell Statham: It was a solid showing at right back from the 18 year old who made some really good challenges. I thought that Statham read the game well and he liked to stay deep. 
  • TJ Eyoma: The 19 year old made his first start since February after recovering from injury and what a performance it was from the RCB who formed a really strong defensive partnership alongside Luis Binks. Eyoma had some really good moments during the game and he made some impressive interceptions and challenges. Furthermore the Londoner was also good in the air and he brought the ball out well from the back.
  • Luis Binks: It was another very mature performance from young Luis Binks who put in a towering performance at the back. He marshalled the defence alongside Eyoma well and he played some lovely passes, and he was also commanding in the air.
  • Tariq Hinds: It was a very good defensive performance from Tariq Hinds who stayed deep and managed to keep his man in check for the entirety of the game.
  • Armando Shashoua: My man of the match, see below.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The central midfielder went on some good surging forward runs through the middle of the park. He also kept possession well and he made a string of nice, positive passes.
  • Shilow Tracey: It was a good performance from the right winger who embarked on some powerful runs down the right flank. Tracey got the assist for Kion Etete’s goal and he also whipped in some nice crosses into the danger zone. The 21 year old former Ebbsfleet youngster also tracked back excellently after himself to help Maxwell Statham at the back.
  • Elliot Thorpe: Once again I was really impressed by the quality of the attacking midfielders performance. Thorpe’s movement was terrific throughout his time on the pitch and he made some perfectly weighted forward passes. The 18 year old was unlucky not to get on the score sheet.
  • Rodel Richards: The skilful left winger tested the Caen right back well throughout his time on the pitch and he went on some good forward runs. Like Thorpe, Richards also came close to finding the back of the net.
  • Kion Etete: It was a very good debut performance at the tournament from the centre forward who was solid, had some good touches and he was also in a good position for his goal. Etete also held the ball up well during his time on the pitch. 
  • Kazaiah Sterling: It was a highly influential late cameo from the centre forward who took his late goal excellently. Sterling was strong on the ball and he too held it up well.
  • Dilan Markanday: He went on some good attacking forays and he also made some good challenges.
  • Rayan Clarke: The winger impressed with his dribbling and willingness to take players on.
  • Paris Maghoma: The midfielder had some nice touches of the ball during his short time on the pitch.

My man of the match: The central midfielder recovered really well from his mistake in the first half to put in another excellent performance in the heart of the Tottenham midfield. Shashoua poached the ball well in central midfield and his passing and vision was top class on the day. The silky dribbler also tracked back continuously to help out the Spurs defence. An excellent performance was capped off by an excellent assist to set up Kazaiah Sterling’s late goal.

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