Spurs under 21’s 0-2 Gillingham: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 0-2 Gillingham: (match report)

Our development side faced league one club Gillingham on Tuesday night, at their Priestfield stadium in what was a crucial Leasing.com trophy clash. Spurs went into this final group game of the competition on two points, two points behind second placed Colchester United. Wayne Burnett’s side needed to win and hope that Ipswich Town beat Colchester to qualify from the group. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and Spurs were beaten 2-0 by the ‘ Gills ‘ on a bitterly cold night in County Kent. Two goals in either half sunk Spurs who, although they defended well, they were never really able to create any clear cut chances and that cost them on the night. This was however, quite a close game but it was the team (Gillingham) who won the midfield battle who would go onto secure all three points in group nine. Wayne Burnett’s side lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation as Alfie Whiteman started in goal. A back four made up of Jubril Okedina, captain TJ Eyoma, Luis Binks and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster sat in front of him. Harvey White and Tashan Oakley-Boothe lined up in central midfield while Shilow Tracey and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Armando Shashoua. Rodel Richards led the line for Spurs on his return from injury. The young Lilywhites got the game underway at Priestfield. After receiving the ball out on the left flank Tottenham winger J’Neil Bennett cut inside onto his right foot before forcing a save out of Gillingham goalkeeper Joe Walsh, from his whipped effort from range. Spurs had started the game positively and they were doing well at knocking the ball around the park. Mikael Ndjoli curled an effort wide of Alfie Whiteman’s goal from the right wing, before TJ Eyoma cleared a cross from Ousseynou Cisse. After being given the ball by Tashan Oakley-Boothe, J’Neil Bennett came inside from the left flank before whipping the ball with pace, deep into the Gillingham penalty area. However, the stretching Shilow Tracey could not get to the ball to tap it home at the back post. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster then cleared away Regan Charles-Cook’s cross, before TJ Eyoma cleared away former Spurs man Connor Ogilvie’s free kick. The attentive Lyons-Foster then cleared away a succession of dangerous crosses.

Then in the 25th minute of the game Gillingham took the lead through Alex Jakubiak. After Luis Binks had cleared away Bradley Garmston’s cross, the ball came to Ousseynou Cisse and he then passed the ball to Alex Jakubiak who skilfully jinked past Jubril Okedina inside the Spurs penalty area, before rifling the ball into the bottom right hand corner of Alfie Whiteman’s goal (the Spurs goalkeeper managed to get a hand on the ball), 0-1. A couple of minutes after the restart Mark Marshall’s cross managed to pick out Jack Tucker inside the Spurs box however, the ‘ Gills ‘ defenders headed effort on goal was cleared on the line by Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. The ball then came to Regan Charles Cook whose effort was flicked narrowly wide of Whiteman’s goal by Ousseynou Cisse. At the other end of the pitch J’Neil Bennett had a cross cleared behind by Connor Ogilvie before Harvey White’s corner kick was cleared away by Ousseynou Cisse. After receiving Armando Shashoua’s pass Harvey White shot narrowly over Joe Walsh’s crossbar from 25 yards out. Luis Binks then cleared away Regan Charle Cook’s cross before J’Neil Bennett fed the ball into Rodel Richards down the left hand side of the Gillingham box but, the Spurs striker shot narrowly wide of Joe Walsh’s goal. Regan Charles Cook had a corner kick headed away by Brooklyn Lyons-Foster before Henry Woods totally mistimed his resulting effort on the volley. Shortly afterwards a corner kick from Regan Charles Cook was headed clear by Luis Binks who had been dominant in the air. Jubril Okedina shot an effort over Joe Walsh’s crossbar from the edge of the Gillingham box before Binks headed clear another of Regan Charles Cook’s whipped corner kicks before the ball came to Henry Woods. Woods fired the ball straight at Eyoma before then shooting an effort wide of the Spurs goal. Regan Charles Cook whipped a dangerous ball across the face of Spurs goal before the referee Craig Hicks blew his whistle for half time. Spurs made a change at halftime as the previously injured Tashan Oakley-Boothe was replaced by Phoenix Patterson, Gillingham got the second half underway. After a good spell of possession for Spurs the young Lilywhites came close to drawing level.

After Harvey White had threaded a pass through to Armando Shashoua the attacking midfielder darted into the Gillingham penalty area. Shashoua tried to take the ball around goalkeeper Joe Walsh who had rushed out, but he eventually had a shot which was saved by the Gillingham goalkeeper. At the other end of the pitch Mark Marshall’s cross was completely missed by Alfie Whiteman however, the Spurs goalkeeper was a tad fortunate that Alex Jakubiak couldn’t tap the ball home at the back post. After receiving Shashoua’s pass Bennett whipped a low cross into the Gillingham box. Both Shashoua and Richards attacked the ball but it was Richards who latched onto it, before turning and firing the ball over the crossbar. Luis Binks cleared Mark Marshall’s cross before Spurs made their first change of the game, when Rayan Clarke came onto replace Rodel Richards up top. Unfortunately Gillingham doubled their lead in their 79th minute of the game after the ‘ Gills ‘ defender Jack Tucker powered a header past Alfie Whiteman and into the back of the net, after meeting Mark Marshall’s cross, 0-2. Maurizio Pochettino came onto replace Brooklyn Lyons-Foster before J’Neil Bennett curled an effort wide from distance. A couple of moments later Bennett had a deflected effort saved by Joe Walsh, before Mark Marshall came inside from the right flank before forcing a fine save out of Whiteman from his whipped effort on goal. Jubril Okedina headed away Bradley Garmston’s cross before Harvey White was shown a yellow card for a challenge on Regan Charles Cook on the edge of the Spurs box. Charles-Cook’s resulting effort was blocked by Pochettino in the Spurs wall. There was one late chance for the ‘ Gills ‘ after Alex Jakubiak received Regan Charles Cook’s pass however, the Gillingham forwards effort on goal was saved by Alfie Whiteman before the referee sounded his whistle for full time. Our development sides next game is away to Everton on the 22nd of November.

Player reviews:

  • Alfie Whiteman: The Spurs goalkeeper made two saves in total and he had a solid game on the whole.
  • Jubril Okedina: The right back stayed deep and he defended well against the Gillingham attacking line. Okedina was solid against the ‘ Gills ‘. 
  • TJ Eyoma: The Spurs captain formed a strong defensive partnership alongside the slightly younger Luis Binks. Eyoma was good in the air and strong on the ball. He also dealt well with the Gillingham forwards.
  • Luis Binks: Despite the fact that we conceded two goals this was another very mature showing from young Luis Binks at a ground that he knows so well. Binks won virtually all of his aerial duels, he was tenacious at the back, and his positioning was very good on the night. The vocal 18 year old could have done nothing to prevent both the goals that we conceded, and he was one of our best performers on the night.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: My man of the match, see below.
  • Harvey White: The midfielder was excellent on the ball against Gillingham and he used it both well and intelligently. White made some good passes and he was also tenacious in the middle of the park.
  • Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The central midfielder did well when he was on the pitch although he was forced to come off at halftime due to injury.
  • Shilow Tracey: The right winger who would switch flanks during the latter stages of the game, struggled to really get into Tuesday’s game although he worked incredibly hard for the team.
  • Armando Shashoua: The CAM’s movement and ability to wriggle away from opposition players made him a tricky customer to defend against. Shashoua pressed the opposition players really well and he gave a good account of himself on the night.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The highly skilful left winger had a good game for Spurs last night. Bennett used the ball well and he always looked dangerous whenever he would run at his man down the left flank. The 17 year old was inventive and creative out on the flank and he created some good chances for Spurs. Bennett also tracked back really well to help out left back Brooklyn Lyons-Foster.
  • Rodel Richards: The lone centre forward worked hard and pressed well although he didn’t get a terrible amount of service.
  • Phoenix Patterson: The second half substitute slotted into central midfield where he did a fine job however, he didn’t manage to get on the ball much.
  • Rayan Clarke: The wide man came on late in the game and he worked hard when he was forced to play up top. 
  • Maurizio Pochettino: N/A.

My man of the match: This was a very good performance from the stand in left back Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. Although he is a centre back by trade, Lyons-Foster protected the left flank really well for Spurs (he completed 79 minutes of the match). The 18 year old made some important interceptions and clearances, he was dominant in the air and he also read the game to perfection, much like Luis Binks. Lyons-Foster also made a good clearance on the line during the first half. It was a performance that the defender should be proud of.

Gillingham: Walsh, Hodson, Garmston, Cisse, Tucker, Ogilvie (c), Marshall, Woods (O’Keefe 78), Jakubiak, Ndjoli, Charles-Cook. Substitutes (not used): Bonham, Ehmer, Mandron, Fuller, Lee, Hanlan.

Spurs: Whiteman, Okedina, Lyons-Foster (Pochettino 79), White, Binks, Eyoma (c), Tracey, Oakley-Boothe (Patterson 46), Richards (Clarke 74), Shashoua, Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Dinzeyi, Hinds, R Clarke, Thorpe.

Goals: Gillingham – Jakubiak 25, Tucker 79.

Yellow cards: Gillingham – Jakubiak 63; Spurs – White 90+1.

Referee: Craig Hicks.

Venue: Priestfield Stadium.

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