Spurs XI 0-2 Enfield Town: (match report)
Our development sides final pre-season friendly of the 2019/20 campaign saw them take on local neighbours and BetVictor Isthmian league side Enfield Town, at the Queen Elizabeth II stadium. It was a good test for a very young Spurs team which included a number of first year scholars in the starting 11. Despite playing some good possession based football the young Spurs defence struggled to deal with the physicality of the Enfield attacking line and in the end two first half goals from the home side left Spurs unable to respond and in the end the ‘ Town ‘ ran out 2-0 winners despite a dominant second half performance from the young ‘ Lilywhites ‘. Spurs lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation as Brandon Austin started in goal while a back four of Kallum Cesay, Jubril Okedina, Marqes Muir and Maxwell Statham lined up in front of him. Armando Shashoua and Michael Craig partnered up in central midfield while Shilow Tracey and Tarrell Whittaker operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Elliot Thorpe. Spurs captain Kazaiah Sterling led the line. Enfield Town got the game underway on a warm evening in North London. However, Spurs started the game well and they moved the ball around the park with pace. After receiving Armando Shashoua’s pass out on the right flank, Kallum Cesay whipped a cross into the Enfield box but it was cleared away by Dan Rumens. The referee Alex Kyriacou had to temporarily leave the field shortly afterwards to put on a yellow bib after he realised that his black shirt clashed with Spurs’ navy blue away kit. After receiving Tarrell Whittaker’s pass on the edge of the Enfield penalty area, Elliot Thorpe curled an effort over Nathan McDonald’s goal as Spurs’ passing game began to stifle the home side. However, in the 12th minute of the game the ‘ Town ‘ took a surprising lead through the unmarked Billy Bricknell. The former Spurs schoolboy latched onto Sam Hatton’s throw in down the right hand side of the Tottenham penalty area before he fired a powerful low effort past the helpless Brandon Austin and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 0-1.
Ken Charles went on a dangerous surging run down the left flank before pumping the ball into the Tottenham penalty area however, it was cleared away by Marqes Muir. Jubril Okedina then pinged a lovely pass out to Maxwell Statham on the left flank but the left backs resulting cross into the Enfield box had far too much pace on it and it went out for a throw in. A couple of minutes later Spurs goalkeeper Brandon Austin came out to sweep up Enfield captain Marc Weatherstone’s long pass before the sprinting Ken Charles could get to the ball. Maxwell Statham had a cross cleared by Dan Rumens before Enfield doubled their advantage through Joe Payne. Sam Youngs’ free kick came to Payne down the left hand side of the Tottenham penalty area and the Enfield left back fired the ball past Austin on the half volley and into the back of the net, 0-2. Brandon Austin managed to gather Lewis Taafe’s free kick shortly afterwards after Kallum Cesay had conceded it out on the left flank. Tarrell Whittaker nodded a cross from Michael Craig wide inside the Enfield box, before Jubril Okedina blazed an effort over Nathan McDonald’s crossbar from long range. After receiving Armando Shashoua’s pass on the edge of the Enfield penalty area Kazaiah Sterling dragged an effort wide of Nathan McDonald’s goal on the turn. Then at the other end of the pitch James Potton fired an effort over Brandon Austin’s goal after Michael Craig had failed to deal with Lewis Taafe’s cross inside the Spurs box. After Shashoua had picked out Tarrell Whittaker inside the Enfield box the 16 year old forward forced a save out of McDonald from his header. After nutmegging Jubril Okedina on the left flank Scott Thomas came inside onto his right foot before curling an effort over Brandon Austin’s crossbar as the game continued to be played at a good pace. At the other end of the pitch Kazaiah Sterling passed the ball to Shilow Tracey down the right side of the Enfield box. Tracey pulled the ball back to Thorpe in the centre of the box after he had managed to hold off Joe Payne. However, Thorpe’s powerfully struck first time effort was excellently saved by the razor sharp reflexes of Nathan McDonald.
Spurs were now enjoying a good spell of possession in the game. Armando Shashoua came close to playing Shilow Tracey through on goal but Nathan McDonald managed to cut it out, that turned out to be the final piece of action from the first half. Spurs got the second half underway and they started the half really well. Armando Shashoua came desperately close to setting Elliot Thorpe through on goal with a clever lofted pass, as Spurs started to play with more attacking freedom. After picking the ball up on the edge of the edge of the Enfield penalty area Kazaiah Sterling dragged an effort narrowly wide of the mark. A good move resulted in Michael Craig passing the ball to Shashoua who played a one two with Thorpe on the edge of the Enfield box before testing Nathan McDonald with a low effort on goal. Spurs were now playing with more urgency. After Michael Craig threaded a lovely pass through to Elliot Thorpe to set the young Welshman through on goal, he seemed destined to score. However, Thorpe slotted the ball a matter of inches wide of Nathan McDonald’s left hand post. A triallist blocked an effort from Tarrell Whittaker on the edge of the Enfield box before James Potton came close to connecting with a triallist’s cross at Brandon Austin’s back post. After Elliot Thorpe passed the ball to Shilow Tracey down the right flank the winger whipped a dangerous cross across the face of Nathan McDonald’s goal. Another good Spurs move resulted in Whittaker passing the ball to Thorpe, who slipped it into Sterling inside the Enfield box however, the Tottenham striker went down in the box after he felt that he had been clipped by McDonald but the referee told him to get back up and no penalty kick was awarded. Spurs then made a triple change as Elliot Thorpe, Tarrell Whittaker and Kazaiah Sterling all left the field for Eddie Carrington, Dane Scamette and Romaine Mundle. Marqes Muir did well to stop a triallist’s low cross before an Enfield triallist blazed over from the edge of the Spurs penalty area.
Shilow Tracey came in from the left flank before entering the Enfield box and having a shot blocked by Dan Rumens before Rumens blocked a shot from Armando Shashoua on the edge of the penalty area. An Enfield triallist surged forward down the left flank before clipping an effort just wide of Brandon Austin’s goal. Michael Craig was then replaced by his twin brother Matthew as we entered the final stages of the game. Marqes Muir cleared a cross from Lewis Taafe before Michael Craig blocked an effort from the same player. After receiving Jubril Okedina’s pass Armando Shashoua managed to jink away from Marc Weatherstone before slipping the ball into the Enfield box for Dane Scamette whose quickly taken effort was saved by Nathan McDonald. Spurs then made another sub as Jeremy Kyezu came onto replace Kallum Cesay as Maxwell Statham swapped over to right back. Eddie Carrington poked wide a cross from Armando Shashoua before Maxwell Statham did well to clear Junior Mubiayi’s cross at the other end of the pitch. Sam Bantick surged forward through the middle before firing an effort over Brandon Austin’s crossbar before Dane Scamette fired an effort over Nathan McDonald’s crossbar on the turn, after he had received Armando Shashoua’s pass on the edge of the Enfield box. The referee sounded his whistle for full time a couple of moments later to bring an end to what could only be described as quite a flat game of football.
- Brandon Austin: Although he didn’t make a single save on the night Austin did have a good game and he had some impressive moments. Vocal and commanding throughout the match Austin turned sweeper keeper on two occasions. He also dealt well with crosses and set pieces, and he led the defence well.
- Kallum Cesay: The young right back was defensively sound and good going forwards. Cesay looked very comfortable on the ball.
- Jubril Okedina: The 18 year old made some nice passes and like Cesay he was comfortable at the back. Okedina was also good in the air.
- Marqes Muir: The 16 year old brought the ball out well from the back and he also made some important interceptions and clearances.
- Maxwell Statham: Operating at left back for the majority of the game before later switching to right back, Statham had one of the best performances out of our defenders. Statham went on some good surging runs down the left flank but he remained defensively disciplined. It was a good all round performance from the versatile defender.
- Michael Craig: A calming presence in central midfield, the 16 year old made some impressive and well weighted passes. Furthermore, Craig was nice and tidy with the ball.
- Armando Shashoua: My man of the match, see below.
- Shilow Tracey: Although he had a bit of a quiet first half out on the right wing. After switching flanks during the latter stages of the game he was a lot more involved in proceedings and he went on some good attacking forays down that side of the pitch.
- Elliot Thorpe: Thorpe was lively in the CAM role and he got himself into some good positions when he was on the pitch. In addition the 19 year old came close to finding the back of the net on a couple of occasions.
- Tarrell Whittaker: Tricky and direct out on the left wing the 16 year old went on a number of good surging runs which really troubled Enfield right back Sam Hatton.
- Kazaiah Sterling: The Spurs captain held the ball up very well on the night and he also managed a couple of decent efforts at goal.
- Eddie Carrington: Skilful and often looking to drive forward with the ball.
- Dane Scamette: The schoolboy played up top during the final stages of the game.
- Romaine Mundle: Energetic and lively in the centre of the park following his introduction on 69 minutes.
- Matthew Craig: He looked nice and composed on the ball.
- Jeremy Kyezu: The left back stayed deep during his time on the pitch.
My man of the match: Technically gifted central midfielder Armando Shashoua was our best player on Wednesday night. Shashoua was by the far the most creative and productive player on the park. With his nonstop pressing and willingness to receive the ball and take players on with his low centre of gravity, Shashoua had a nice variety to his game. In addition the 18 year old made some very intelligent passes and his movement was superb. He certainly didn’t let the physicality of the opposition affect him. He has had an excellent pre-season!
Spurs: Austin, Cesay (Kyezu 79), Statham, Michael Craig (Matthew Craig 74), Okedina, Muir, Tracey, A Shashoua, Sterling (c) (Carrington 69), Thorpe (Mundle 69), Whittaker (Scamette 69). Substitute (not used): Kurylowicz.
Goals: Enfield Town – Bricknell 13, Payne 25.
Referee: Alex Kyriacou.
Venue: Queen Elizabeth II Stadium.