Spurs under 18’s 0-4 Fulham: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 0-4 Fulham: (match report)

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(This photograph is from @GRTourist)

Our under 18’s opening league game of the 2019/20 season took them to south west London for a game against rivals Fulham at their Motspur Park training ground. Despite fielding a strong team for Saturday mornings clash Matt Taylor’s side Spurs struggled to match the intensity of the home side. That and the fact that we weren’t clinical enough in front of goal meant that we allowed the ‘ Cottagers ‘ to have the upper hand and they punished us for it. Fulham pressed better than us and they moved the ball about a lot more fluidly. The electric Fabio Carvalho and the dominant Jay Stansfield were at times unplayable and the Tottenham defence couldn’t cope with their presence. In all honesty Fulham out played us from the very start of the game to the very end of it, despite Matt Taylor’s sides best efforts. After coming close to taking the lead on several occasions during the first half Fulham finally made the breakthrough in the 32nd minute of the game through Sylvester Jasper from the penalty spot. The ‘ Cottagers ‘ then doubled their advantage less than seven minutes later through winger Oliver O’Neill. Colin Omogbehin’s side started the second half in the same way that they had finished the first, and less than two minutes into the second period Fulham made it 3-0 through the potent Jay Stansfield. Continuing to dominate proceedings, life was made difficult for Spurs who found it difficult to create chances. Fulham scored their fourth and final goal of the game in the 71st minute through Sylvester Jasper. In truth Spurs should be thankful that goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi was so good on the day otherwise we could have been looking at a six or seven nil defeat. Matt Taylor’s side lined up in a 4-2–3-1 formation for their opening league game of the season. Overage goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi started in goal, while a back four of Dermi Lusala, Marqes Muir, Luis Binks and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Captain Harvey White and Nile John partnered up in central midfield. Michael Craig and under 16 forward Dane Scarlett operated out on the flanks while Tarelle Whittaker operated in the hole. Recent addition Kion Etete led the line for Spurs.

Fulham got the game underway on a very windy and cool morning in south west London. An early back pass from centre half Marqes Muir was almost intercepted by the alive Jay Stansfield in the Tottenham penalty area, but Oluwayemi was able to get the ball to clear it in time. Spurs were knocking the ball around the park well during the opening minutes of the game. Spurs were let off early on in the game after goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi was intercepted by Fulham striker Jay Stansfield down the left hand side of his own penalty area. Stansfield quickly squared the ball for Fabio Carvalho in the centre of the box but his low first time effort was cleared on the line by Luis Binks. Sylvester Jasper then squared the ball for Oliver O’Neill on the edge of the Spurs box a couple of minutes later but his low side footed effort squirmed just wide of Oluwayemi’s goal after taking a slight deflection off of Dennis Cirkin. Kion Etete cleared Jonathan Page’s cross a couple of moments later as Fulham continued their good start to the game. Spurs’ Dane Scarlett came close to latching onto a lofted pass from Dermi Lusala inside the Fulham box shortly afterwards, before Sylvester Jasper latched onto a long kick up field from goalkeeper Luca Ashby-Hammond down the left side of the Spurs box. However, his resulting effort on goal was saved by Joshua Oluwayemi. Nile John had a cross cleared by Jonathan Page before Fabio Carvalho smashed the ball against Joshua Oluwayemi’s near post after received Oliver O’Neill’s pass down the right hand side of the Tottenham penalty area. Tarrelle Whittaker then came inside from the left flank before curling an effort wide of the Fulham goal. Shortly afterwards central defender Marqes Muir made a good challenge on Fabio Carvalho inside the Spurs box, before Fulham came close to taking the lead. After being given the ball by Fabio Carvalho inside the Spurs box Jay Stansfield shot, but his effort was blocked by Binks. Carvalho then picked up the loose ball before firing an effort on goal which was well saved by the diving Oluwayemi before the linesman on the near sides flag went up for offside.

Spurs had a clear penalty shout waived away by the referee after Oliver O’Neill appeared to pull down Kion Etete after he tried to get on the end of Harvey White’s free kick inside the Fulham box. Kion Etete then came close to connecting with a whipped cross from Harvey White as Spurs tried hard to break Fulham down. Etete continued to be involved in the thick of the action when he fired an effort over on the edge of the Fulham box a couple of minutes later. Spurs continued to enjoy a good spell in the game. After Dane Scarlett threaded a pass through to Etete the Spurs man went racing through on goal although he was slowed down after Stefan Parkes tugged his shirt however, the referee didn’t spot this and Etete continued forward towards the edge of the Fulham box before his poked low effort on goal was saved by Luca Ashby-Hammond. Then at the opposite end of the pitch Fulham were presented with a perfect opportunity to score from after Marqes Muir had shoved Sylvester Jasper to the floor down the left hand side of the Tottenham penalty area leaving the referee with no other option than to point to the penalty spot. Up stepped Jasper to fire the ball past Oluwayemi who dived the wrong way, and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 0-1. Fulham started well straight from the restart and after Jay Stansfield skilfuly cut inside Luis Binks down the left flank the Fulham forward teed the ball off to Fabio Carvalho in the middle of the Spurs box but his first time, low effort was well saved by Oluwayemi who was at full stretch. Kion Etete had a glorious chance to draw level after Nile John threaded a nicely weighted pass through to him, to set him racing through on goal however, he poked his effort narrowly wide of Ashby-Hammond’s goal. The ‘ Cottagers ‘ doubled their advantage in the 39th minute of the game through Ollie O’Neill. After Fabio Carvalho’s free kick was headed back across goal by Stansfield to O’Neill the wingers low curling effort on goal appeared to be cleared on the line by White but the referee adjudged the ball to have crossed the line despite White’s protests, and the goal was given, 0-2. 

Michael Craig had a cross cleared away by Idris Odutayo before the same player blocked shots from Nile John and Harvey White in quick succession. After some fancy footwork from Jay Stansfield inside the Spurs box the Fulham forward had a shot on goal blocked by Luis Binks before the referee sounded his whistle for half time. Spurs got the second half underway, however it was straight back to business as usual as the ‘ Cottagers ‘ further extended their lead shortly after the restart. A long kick upfield from the Fulham  goalkeeper Luca Ashby-Hammond was controlled quite beautifully by Fabio Carvalho out on the right flank. Carvalho then squared the ball for Jay Stansfield in the Spurs box and he then calmly slotted the ball past Oluwayemi and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 0-3. Nile John had an effort on goal blocked by Luca Murphy shortly afterwards before Harvey White sent a free kick straight down the throat of Ashby-Hammond. A deflected cross from Dennis Cirkin was glanced into the arms of the Fulham goalkeeper by Dan Scarlett a couple of moments later as Spurs tried desperately hard to respond. After Whittaker had passed the ball to Cirkin on the edge of the Fulham box the left back had a shot blocked by Luciano D’Auria-Henry. Adrion Pajaziti then appeared to handle a cross from Dermi Lusala inside the Spurs box before Tarrelle Whittaker shot an effort wide of goal. Dennis Cirkin then had a cross gathered by Luca Ashby-Hammond before spurs were awarded a free kick in a promising position after Lusala was fouled. However, Harvey White’s resulting curling effort on goal was comfortably saved by Ashby-Hammond. Harvey White was then shown a yellow card for a foul on Sylvester Jasper down the right flank. Matt Taylor made a double substitution after he brought off Michael Craig and Dane Scarlett for Chay Cooper and Enock Asante. Dennis Cirkin made an important challenge on Oliver O’Neill inside the Spurs box before Fulham got their fourth goal of the game through Sylvester Jasper. After Fabio Carvalho surged past Marqes Muir to latch onto a long pass, the skilful attacking midfielder burst into the Spurs box forcing a save out of Oluwayemi with a powerful effort on goal. The loose ball then came to Jasper who tucked the ball home at the back post. Dennis Cirkin then had a low shot from range saved by Ashby-Hammond after he had cut inside from the left flank.

Shortly after the restart Sylvester Jasper passed the ball to Jay Stansfield at Oluwayemi’s back post inside the Spurs box but Stansfield’s effort on goal was spectacularly saved by the diving Oluwayemi. Rafferty Pedder entered the field for Tarrelle Whittaker for the final moments of the game before the referee sounded his whistle for full time, bringing to an end a pretty one sided affair. Up next for Spurs is a home league game against Brighton, next Saturday.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: My man of the match, see below.
  • Dermi Lusala: The right back had a decent game and he defended relatively well against potent Fulham winger Sylvester Jasper. Lusala did tend to get forward a lot and he whipped some inviting crosses into the Fulham box.
  • Marqes Muir: Although he struggled quite a bit in dealing with Fulham centre forward Jay Stansfield this was Muir’s first ever competitive game at this level, and he was unlucky on occasions against the ‘ Cottagers ‘. Muir did make some important interceptions throughout the game.
  • Luis Binks: Despite the fact that we conceded four goals, LCB Luis Binks was in my opinion our best outfield player on the day. Binks made some important clearances, challenges and blocks and he was commanding at the back and in the air.
  • Dennis Cirkin: The left back got up and down the left flank well and he did a reasonably good job at keeping Fulham winger Oliver O’Neill in check throughout the match.
  • Harvey White: The Tottenham captain patrolled the midfield well and he made some good passes during the match. White also made some nice meaty challenges.
  • Nile John: This was only the second time that I had seen John play and like Binks I thought that he was one of our better outfield players. John made some nice passes and his movement in the centre of the park was good.
  • Michael Craig: Craig operated in the unfamiliar position of RW and although he didn’t get many touches of the ball he tended to drift into more central positions on the pitch. 
  • Tarrelle Whittaker: The Cam had a number of nice touches and he showed good skill. Furthermore, the first year scholar went on some good surging runs through the middle of the park.
  • Dane Scarlett: The schoolboy had a quiet game but he worked hard and he managed to get himself into some good positions.
  • Kion Etete: Despite not having the best service on the day the towering centre forward worked hard and he managed to battle for every ball. In addition, the 17 year old held the ball up well and he was good in the air. 
  • Chay Cooper: The second half substitute looked lively out wide and he showed initiative while he was on the field.
  • Enock Asante: The 17 year old made a couple of good runs during his time on the pitch and I thought that his movement was good.
  • Rafferty Pedder: N/A.

My man of the match: Our goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi was by far and away our best player on Saturday morning. The overage goalkeeper made a total of five saves on the day and some of them were fabulous. Oluwayemi’s distribution was decent on the day, as was the way in which he dealt with crosses and set pieces. However, it was his shot stopping which really caught the eye. The 18 year old made a number of top saves, including a spectacular late one to deny Jay Stansfield in the dying moments of the game. Were it not for Oluwayemi we would have lost the game by at least seven goals!

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