Spurs under 18’s 4-3 Leicester City: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 4-3 Leicester City: (match report)

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Our under 18’s took on Leicester City on Saturday morning at the ‘ Foxes ‘ Belvoir Drive training ground in what was Spurs’ last competitive game of 2019. Matt Taylor’s side came on top in a thrilling encounter in the Midlands, as Spurs fought back from being 3-1 down to win 4-3 courtesy of goals from Kion Etete, Dennis Cirkin, J’Neil Bennett and Max Robson. Spurs showed great spirit in the second half to fight back against a strong Leicester side however, it was a close game. Spurs lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation as Thimothee Lo-Tutala started in goal. A back four consisting of Kallum Cesay, Dermi Lusala, Luis Binks and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Harvey White and Max Robson anchored the midfield while Tarrelle Whittaker and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks either side of CAM Rafferty Pedder. Kion Etete returned from injury to lead the line for Spurs. 

Spurs got the game underway on a very chilly morning at Belvoir Drive however, it was Leicester who managed the first goal attempt of the game after Terel Pennant blasted an effort over Thimothee Lo-Tutala’s crossbar from long range. A couple of minutes later Pennant cut inside from the left flank before smashing the ball against Lo-Tutala’s left hand post, the ball bounced into the path of Leicester’s Kian Pennant who tapped home, but he was ruled offside. There was a good early tempo to the game as both sides started the match with attacking intent. Tarrelle Whittaker had a shot blocked by Dennis Gyamfi before then curling an effort just wide of Oliver Bosworth’s goal. Kion Etete then met Harvey White’s lofted pass before heading the ball wide of Bosworth’s goal, before Leicester had a penalty appeal waived away after Kallum Cesay made a challenge on Terel Pennant inside the Spurs penalty area.

Tarrelle Whittaker then saw his cut back take a slight deflection off of Leicester’s Tom Sams before going just wide of the goal. Harvey White’s corner kick was met by Dennis Cirkin who saw his powerful header tipped over the crossbar by Leicester goalkeeper Oliver Bosworth. Dennis Cirkin then saw his promising low cross cleared away by Sams. Leicester broke forward as Terel Pennant passed the ball to Tawansa Jethro Maswanhise on the edge of the Spurs box however, he dragged his shot just wide of Lo-Tutala’s goal courtesy of a deflection off of Dermi Lusala and the game continued to be an even one. After receiving Rafferty Pedder’s pass out on the left flank J’Neil Bennett whipped the ball dangerously across the face of Oliver Bosworth’s goal. A couple of minutes later Cirkin passed the ball to Etete inside the Leicester box but he shot wide of Bosworth’s goal. Harvey White then had a corner kick cleared away by Kasey McAteer before Max Robson cleared away Liam Loughlin’s corner kick at the other end of the pitch. A couple of minutes later and after bursting forward down the left wing Terel Pennant shot wide of Lo-Tutala’s goal.

Leicester took the lead in the 33rd minute of the game after Dennis Gyamfi latched onto goalkeeper Oliver Bosworth’s pass before giving the ball to Tawansa Jethro Maswanhise down the right wing. Maswanhise squared the ball for Liam Loughlin who tapped the ball past Lo-Tutala and into the back of the net, 0-1. Tarrelle Whittaker responded for Spurs by having a shot on goal blocked by Loughlin before Spurs drew level through Kion Etete. After receiving Kallum Cesay’s pass out on the right wing Max Robson passed the ball to Kion Etete who had his back to goal inside the Leicester box. Etete sharply turned around before firing the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Bosworth’s goal, 1-1. After receiving Terel Pennant’s pass down the left wing the overlapping Bailey Aisthorpe’s cross was tapped home by Kian Pennant as Leicester instantly regained the lead, 1-2. Spurs attempted to respond again. Harvey White’s hopeful cross was gathered by Oliver Bosworth before Dennis Gyamfi burst forward down the right flank before passing the ball to Tawansa Jethro Maswanhise inside the Spurs box however, Lusala blocked his shot on goal well. 

Harvey White then cleared away Maswanhise’s corner kick before Rafferty Pedder’s effort from distance was saved by Oliver Bosworth. Shortly before half time Kallum Cesay conceded a penalty after deeming to have fouled Maswanhise inside the Spurs box. Sidnei Tavares stood up before slotting the ball straight down the middle of the goal to make it 3-1 to the home side. The referee sounded his whistle for half time a couple of moments later. Spurs made a change at half time as Matt Taylor brought on Enock Asante who replaced Tarrelle Whittaker out on the right flank. Leicester got the second half underway and shortly after the restart Harvey White had a free kick cleared away by Tom Sams, before Lo-Tutala gathered Terel Pennant’s corner kick. Enock Asante had a good cross gathered by Oliver Bosworth before Dennis Gyamfi nodded over Tawansa Jethro Maswanhise’s cross. A couple of minutes later and after latching onto Bailey Aisthorpe’s pass Kian Pennant thumped the ball against Thimothee Lo-Tutala’s left hand post. Harvey White then drove a free kick wide of the Leicester goal.

Kallum Cesay was shown a yellow card for committing a foul before Thimothee Lo-Tutala managed to save Terel Pennant’s curling effort on goal. Kian Pennant then came inside Dermi Lusala in the Spurs box before shooting wide of the goal befor Max Robson was shown a yellow card. Luis Binks cleared Liam Loughlin’s free kick before Dennis Cirkin headed over Harvey White’s free kick. Loughlin then blocked Harvey White’s effort from long range. Thimothee Lo-Tutala saved Liam Loughlin’s effort from distance before Kian Pennant shot an effort wide from range. Dennis Cirkin volleyed a speculative effort wide of the Leicester goal from range. Spurs pulled a goal back on 69 minutes through Max Robson. After receiving J’Neil Bennett’s pass Dennis Cirkin gave the ball to Max Robson on the edge of the Leicester penalty area and the Tottenham midfielder calmly fired the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Oliver Bosworth’s goal, 2-3. Less than four minutes later Spurs drew level after Dennis Cirkin volleyed home Harvey White’s corner kick from close range, 3-3.

Thimothee Lo-Tutala managed to gather Bailey Aisthorpe’s cross before Spurs attacked the Leicester defence. The young Lilywhites then made it 4-3 after Enock Asante’s cross from the right wing fell to J’Neil Bennett who smashed the ball past Oliver Bosworth at his far post. After Harvey White had whipped a free kick into the Leicester box Luis Binks latched onto the ball. The tall central defender passed the ball to J’Neil Bennett whose effort on goal was well saved by Oliver Bosworth. Harvey White then had a corner kick cleared away by Harvey Godsmark-Ford before Max Robson was shown a yellow card for making a foul on a Leicester player. Rafferty Pedder dragged a low effort wide from range before Aaron Skinner came onto replace midfielder Max Robson. Dennis Cirkin did well to clear Dempsey Arlott-John’s corner kick before Dennis Gyamfi headed over Terel Pennant’s corner kick a couple of moments later. Right winger Romaine Mundle came onto replace Enock Asante who inured his hamstring in stoppage time, before the referee brought a very exciting game of football to an end.

Player reviews:

  • Thimothee Lo-Tutala: The Tottenham goalkeeper made two saves in total (both of which were good) and he did a good job at talking the Spurs defenders through the game.
  • Kallum Cesay: The right back defended tenaciously however, he also went on several good bursts forward into Leicester’s half of the pitch. This was another good performance from the 17 year old. 
  • Dermi Lusala: Considering that he was playing out of position (at RCB) I thought that he did a good job for Spurs in central defence. Lusala made one really important block in the game, and he also made some timely interceptions and challenges. Lusala also brought the ball out well from the back. 
  • Luis Binks: Operating at LCB Binks put in yet another strong performance as he defended well and won the vast amount of his aerial duels.
  • Dennis Cirkin: The attacking left back put in a good performance at both ends of the pitch as he chipped in with a goal and an assist. Cirkin went on some good forward runs but he stayed deep when he needed to, and made some timely interceptions. Cirkin volleyed home his goal well from Harvey White’s corner kick.
  • Harvey White: The CDM had great vision for a pass (he chipped in with an assist) and he did a good job at breaking up play and recycling possession. White also kept good positioning and he worked very hard for the team throughout the match. 
  • Max Robson: My man of the match, see below. 
  • Tarrelle Whittaker: The 17 year old only played the first half of Saturday’s game. Whittaker went on some good bursts down the right flank and he was very direct in his play. 
  • Rafferty Pedder: This was a very good attacking performance from the second year scholar who put in one of his best performances of the season for Spurs. Pedder used the ball very intelligently and he went on several good jinking forward runs through the middle of the park. During the first half Pedder would release the ball quite quickly after receiving it however, during the second half he went on much longer more skilful runs which helped to really test and open up the Leicester defence, and he also showed very good strength on the ball.
  • J’Neil Bennett: After struggling to get on the ball much during the first half, Bennett really grew into Saturday’s game and he had a strong second half. The skilful left winger did well to score our decisive fourth goal of the game and he was also involved in another of our goals. Bennett also tracked back well after himself.
  • Kion Etete: The tall centre forward made his return from injury on Saturday and he put in a good shift for the team. Etete took his goal really well after turning sharply inside the Leicester box. However, it was the second year scholars work rate which impressed me most on the day. 
  • Enock Asante: Asante replaced Whittaker out on the right wing at half time and he went on some really good forward runs down the right flank. Asante’s hard work was rewarded when he got an assist.
  • Aaron Skinner: The defender came on for the end of the game and he slotted into central midfield. Skinner made a couple of decent challenges and he really got stuck in during his short time on the pitch. 
  • Romaine Mundle: N/A.

My man of the match: The impressive Max Robson. The central midfielder had a great influence on Saturday’s game against Leicester City, chipping in with a goal and an assist Robson pressed the Leicester players very aggressively and he was always up in their faces. Furthermore the Haywards Heath born midfielder did a good job at linking play and the first year scholars movement was nice and sharp. Robson showed good vision to pick out Kion Etete for our first goal of the game and he also fired home his own goal nicely. The 17 year old also went on one excellent long run which ended in him performing a Marseille turn on Leicester defender Tom Sams. This was a very good all round performance from Robson, who has now been directly involved in ten goals in all competitions this season for Spurs.

Spurs: Lo-Tutala, Cesay, Cirkin, White, Lusala, Binks, Whittaker (Asante 56 (Mundle 90)), Robson (Skinner 85), Etete, Pedder, Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Carrington.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2019/20:

Goals: 

Tarrelle Whittaker – 6

Max Robson – 5

Chay Cooper – 4

Kion Etete –  4

Enock Asante – 3

J’Neil Bennett – 3

Kallum Cesay – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Troy Parrott – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Dane Scarlett – 1

Harvey White – 1

Assists

Chay Cooper – 5

Max Robson – 4

Tarrelle Whittaker – 3

Dermi Lusala –  3

Romaine Mundle – 3

Kion Etete – 2

Troy Parrott – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Harvey White – 2

Enock Asante – 2

Luis Binks – 1

Michael Craig – 1

Eddie Carrington – 1

Kallum Cesay – 1

Marqes Muir –  1

Yago Santiago – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Clean sheets: 

Kacper Kurylowicz – 2

Joshua Oluwayemi – 1

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