Spurs under 23’s 1-3 Arsenal: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 1-3 Arsenal: (match report)

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Our under 23’s took on bitter rivals Arsenal in the PL2 on Friday night at the Lamex stadium, in Stevenage. Wayne Burnett’s side came into this game on the back of an impressive 2-1 away victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers. Friday nights game however, was one of disappointment for Spurs whose final ball was always lacking throughout the game. Burnett’s side started the encounter brightly and Armando Shashoua came close to giving Spurs an early lead. Yet it was the ‘ Gunners ‘ who went into the half time break two goals to the good, courtesy of two well executed finishes. Spurs started the second half with a better tempo but once again they struggled to carve open the Arsenal defence. Burnett’s side eventually did pull a goal back on 77 minutes through Harvey White however, Arsenal extended their lead through Nathan Tormey in second half stoppage time to secure the win. Spurs lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation as Jonathan De Bie started in the goal for the young Lilywhites. A back four consisting of Jubril Okedina, Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Luis Binks and TJ Eyoma sat in front of him. Captain Jamie Bowden and Harvey White started in central midfield while Dilan Markanday operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Armando Shashoua. Interestingly and in the absence of any recognised centre forwards, Tashan Oakley-Boothe led the line for Spurs. Arsenal’s side included a number of players who have first team experience, most notable of which was Reiss Nelson. Spurs got the game underway after a 15 minute delay at the Lamex stadium due to trouble with the floodlights. Spurs started brightly and a positive early attacking move saw Shashoua pass the ball to Oakley-Boothe on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area. Oakley-Boothe back heeled the ball for Harvey White whose resulting shot was blocked by Arsenal defender Harry Clarke. A couple of minutes later Dilan Markanday did ever so well to pick out the run of Armando Shashoua into the Arsenal penalty area. Shashoua controlled Markanday’s searching pass well before calmly swivelling around Konstantinos Mavropanos and having only goalkeeper Karl Hein to beat. However, the usually composed Shashoua placed the ball straight at Hein who parried it, and then Shilow Tracey fired the ball over the crossbar.

Dilan Markanday had a low cross cleared away by Harry Clarke before a good Spurs move resulted in Bowden passing the ball to Shashoua, who in turn gave it to Shilow Tracey who had an effort blocked by Tolaji Bola. Harvey White then had a shot blocked on the turn by Harry Clarke before Tashan Oakley-Boothe shot wide. Malachi Fagan-Walcott cleared Matthew Smith’s corner as Arsenal began to grow into the game. After Shilow Tracey won a free kick on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area, Harvey White’s resulting, whipped delivery was gathered by Karl Hein before Jamie Bowden had an attempted through ball towards Tashan Oakley-Boothe intercepted by Konstantinos Mavropanos. Malachi Fagan-Walcott was shown a yellow card for pulling back Tyreece John-Jules on the edge of the Spurs penalty area, after he had lost possession to the Arsenal forward. Reiss Nelson’s resulting effort on goal was blocked by Armando Shashoua in the Spurs wall. Spurs then broke forward down the opposite end of the pitch. After Shashoua had passed the ball to Markanday on the right flank the skilful winger darted forwards before cutting inside onto his left foot on the edge of the Arsenal box and having an effort blocked by Konstantinos Mavropanos. Harvey White’s resulting corner kick was headed into the arms of Karl Hein by Luis Binks. Spurs continued to come at arsenal and after Oakley-Boothe had passed the ball to White he had a good curling effort saved by Hein. Emile Smith-Rowe had a shot blocked by Malachi Fagan-Walcott before Harvey White was shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Arsenal captain Robbie Burton. A good Arsenal move resulted in Tolaji Bola passing the ball to Trae Coyle down the left side of the Spurs box but he squared the ball for Reiss Nelson whose shot was well blocked by Luis Binks. Arsenal took the lead a couple of minutes later after Emile Smith-Rowe passed the ball to Trae Coyle down the right side of the Spurs box. Coyle squared the ball for Tyreece John-Jules whose shot was saved by Jonathan De Bie before being tapped in from close range by Robbie Burton on 38 minutes, 0-1. Tyreece John-Jules then volleyed over Emile Smith-Rowe’s cross from inside the Spurs box, before Harvey White had a free kick cleared away by Konstantinos Mavropanos. Then in the second minute of first half stoppage time, Arsenal doubled their lead on the counter attack. Reiss Nelson passed the ball to Emile Smith-Rowe down the right side of the Spurs box and he squared the ball for Trae Coyle who tapped home from close range, 0-2.

Arsenal got the second half underway and soon after it started Matthew Smith had a free kick blocked by the Spurs wall. After receiving TJ Eyoma’s pass down the left side of the Arsenal box Shilow Tracey fired an effort just wide of Karl Hein’s goal. Harvey White then forced a save out of Hein from the edge of the Arsenal penalty area, before the Arsenal goalkeeper gathered Jubril Okedina’s cross. Jamie Bowden then threaded a pass through to Shilow Tracey in the Arsenal penalty area but he was barged off the ball by Robbie Burton and no penalty kick was given by the referee. A couple of moments later Shashoua controlled the ball excellently inside the Arsenal box before turning and shooting, but his effort deflected narrowly wide off of Harry Clarke. After receiving Harvey White’s pass inside the Arsenal box Tashan Oakley-Boothe had a shot blocked behind by Zak Swanson before TJ Eyoma blocked behind Trae Coyle’s low cross at the opposite end of the pitch. Emile Smith-Rowe then passed the ball to Trae Coyle down the left side of the Arsenal box but his shot was saved by the feet of Jonathan De Bie. A couple of minutes later Tolaji Bola found Emile Smith-Rowe down the left side of the Spurs box however, he shot narrowly wide of the Spurs goal. After receiving Armando Shashoua’s pass down the left side of the Arsenal box, Harvey White tried to cut the ball back across goal but nobody was there to meet it. First Luis Binks and then Malachi Fagan-Walcott made important defensive interventions before Oakley-Boothe fired the ball across the face of the Arsenal goal after receiving Bowden’s pass. Jamie Bowden then had a shot saved by Karl Hein before Jonathan De Bie clawed away a cross from Konstantinos Mavropanos, before Paris Maghoma came onto replace Shilow Tracey and Tariq Hinds came onto replace Jubril Okedina. After Matthew Smith had passed the ball to Ben Cottrell down the left side of the Spurs box he forced a save out of Jonathan De Bie at his near post before later palming away a cross from the same player. Tariq Hinds then found Armando Shashoua down the left side of the Arsenal box. Shashoua’s shot on goal was pushed away by Karl Hein with Harvey White there to tap home, to pull a goal back for Spurs. 

 After receiving Dilan Markanday’s pass Paris Maghoma had an effort on goal blocked by Zak Swanson, before Luis Binks cut out a dangerous pass from Emile Smith-Rowe. TJ Eyoma had a drilled effort saved by Karl Hein before Armando Shashoua made way for Maurizio Pochettino, before Arsenal made it 3-1. After receiving Ben Cottrell’s pass (after he had burst forward) inside the Spurs box Arsenal substitute Nathan Tormey slotted the ball past De Bie to secure the win for the ‘ Gunners ‘. Luis Binks was shown a late yellow card before the referee blew his whistle for full time. This was a good team performance from Spurs but they just weren’t clinical enough on the day. Our development sides next game is not until the 12th of November when they face Gillingham in the Leasing.com trophy. 

Player reviews:

  • Jonathan De Bie: The Belgian shot stopper made three good stops on Friday night and he was generally impressive in his all round play.
  • Jubril Okedina: The right back completed 70 minutes of yesterday’s game and I thought that he put in quite a strong defensive performance against the pacy and skilful Reiss Nelson.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: Like Okedina RCB Malachi Fagan-Walcott was generally solid on the night and he made some important interceptions and challenges. Fagan-Walcott was also good in the air.
  • Luis Binks: The LCB had what I thought was a good game for Spurs. Binks read the game well, made some important defensive interventions, and he won most of his aerial duels. Furthermore, the second year scholar who played more like a second year pro, made some good blocks on the night. 
  • TJ Eyoma: Eyoma was generally solid, first at LB and then later at RB.
  • Harvey White: The attacking side of the central midfielders game was really on show against Arsenal and while he showed bite and defensive tenacity, it was his attacking play and willingness to test the goalkeeper and make good forward runs, which impressed me the most. White chipped in with a goal (his fourth of the season).
  • Jamie Bowden: The central midfielder was alway looking to play the perfect pass against Arsenal, and he moved the ball around the park well. Bowden was also quite tenacious and he helped Harvey White to win the midfield battle.
  • Dilan Markanday: This was one of Markanday’s best performances this season and he embarked on some good, positive jinking runs down the right flank. Markanday also tracked back well and he helped Okedina out defensively. 
  • Armando Shashoua: My man of the match, see below.
  • Shilow Tracey: The left winger worked hard and after a quiet first half he put in a strong second half performance.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Playing interestingly as a centre forward Oakley-Boothe struggled to get into the game, although he did have some good chances to get on the score sheet.
  • Paris Maghoma: It was a positive cameo from Paris Maghoma who was alway looking to drive forward with the ball and take players on.
  • Tariq Hinds: Operating at left back for the last 20 or so minutes of the game, Hinds went on some decent runs down the left flank. 
  • Maurizio Pochettino: N/A.

My man of the match: Nobody else on the pitch put in as much effort and energy than Armando Shashoua, who although things didn’t quite come off for him at times, he never stopped trying to link play and force openings. Shashoua had a glorious early chance to put Spurs ahead but he was denied by Arsenal goalkeeper Karl Hein. And it was his determination, excellent ball control and skill as well as the timing of his runs and the weight of his passing which made him Spurs’ best attacking outlet on the night. Shashoua also chipped in with an assist. Had I have written a report of the Leicester game I would also have given Armando the man of the match for that game!

Spurs: De Bie, Eyoma, Okedina (Hinds 70), Bowden (c), Fagan-Walcott, Binks, Markanday, White, Oakley-Boothe, Shashoua (Pochettino 88), Tracey (Maghoma 68). Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Lyons-Foster.

Arsenal: Hein, Swanson (Olowu 89), Bola, Smith, Clarke, Mavropanos, Coyle (Tormey 66), Burton (c), John-Jules, Smith Rowe, Nelson (Cottrell 46). Substitutes (not used): Hillson, Medley.

Goals: Spurs – White 77; Arsenal – Burton 38, Coyle 45+2, Tormey 90+1.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Fagan-Walcott 28, White 34, Binks 90+1; Arsenal – 

Swanson 36, Burton 45.

Referee: Gary Parsons.

Venue: Lamex Stadium, Stevenage.

Attendance: 1,149.

Spurs under 23’s statistics: 

Goals: Harvey White – 3

Armando Shashoua – 3

Rodel Richards – 2

Troy Parrott – 2

Kazaiah Sterling – 2

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 2

Shilow Tracey – 1

Paris Maghoma – 1

Phoenix Patterson – 1

Dilan Markanday – 1

Assists: Shilow Tracey – 5

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – 2

Armando Shashoua – 2

Jamie Bowden – 1

Tariq Hinds – 1

Paris Maghoma – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

Dilan Markanday – 1

TJ Eyoma – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 1

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