Spurs under 18’s 0-2 Wigan Athletic: (match report)

Spurs under 18’s 0-2 Wigan Athletic: (match report)


(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur FC).

Our under 18’s took on inform category two academy side Wigan Athletic, at their DW Stadium on Wednesday night, in the fourth round of the prestigious FA Youth Cup. Matt Taylor’s young side crashed out of the competition after being defeated 2-0 by the home side who, with their relentless pressing, hunger and strength, did not allow Spurs to play their usual passing game to any great effect. Peter Murphy’s Wigan side were superb from start to finish and they totally nullified the attacking threat that our lads posed. Wigan took the lead in slightly controversial fashion on 17 minutes through Jensen Weir’s deflected free kick, before centre forward Kyle Joseph secured the win for the ‘ Tics ’ who were truly very impressive on the night. Matt Taylor’s side lined up at almost full strength with the exception of Troy Parrott who was absent. Thimothee Lo-Tutala started in goal for Spurs, while a back four consisting of Marqes Muir, captain Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Luis Binks and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Harvey White and Max Robson teamed up in central midfield while Tarrelle Whittaker and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Rafferty Pedder. Kion Etete led the line for Spurs. 

Wigan got the game underway on a cool night in Lancashire, Spurs captain Malachi Fagan-Walcott cleared away Jensen Weir’s early corner kick, before Dennis Cirkin cleared away Luke Robinson’s free kick a couple of moments later. At the other end of the pitch J’Neil Bennett had a cross cleared away by Wigan’s Baba Adeeko before Mackenzie O’Neil’s attempted through ball to set Joe Gelhardt through on goal was well cut out by the sliding Luis Binks. Kyle Joseph then headed Harry Jolley’s cross wide at Thimothee Lo-Tutala’s back post. Joe Geldhart latched onto Luis Binks’ headed clearance before forcing a save out of Lo-Tutala from the edge of the Spurs box, which Lo-Tutala gathered at the second time of asking. A couple of minutes later Spurs captain Malachi Fagan-Walcott conceded a controversial free kick on the edge of the box (he clearly got the ball!) after tackling Joe Geldhart. Jensen Weir stood up for Wigan before seeing his curling effort on goal take a massive deflection off of the Spurs wall. This wrong footed Lo-Tutala who went the wrong way, as Weir’s deflected free kick crept into the right hand side of the net, 0-1. Spurs tried to respond, Malachi Fagan-Walcott headed on Harvey White’s corner kick to J’Neil Bennett whose flicked effort on goal was blocked by Wigan defender Louis Isherwood. At the other end of the pitch Luis Binks made a good challenge on Joe Geldhart to stop a Wigan attack however, he hurt his back in the process. 

Spurs were just patiently knocking the ball around the park as the half progressed. Luis Binks had a goal ruled out for offside from Harvey White’s free kick before Marqes Muir conceded a free kick on the edge of the Spurs box. After Mackenzie O’Neil had laid the ball off to Joe Geldhart his strike was blocked by Max Robson. Muir then conceded another free kick on the edge of the Spurs box shortly afterwards however, Lo-Tutala did well to save Sean McGurk’s whipped effort on goal. Jensen Weir’s pumped corner kick was met by James Carragher (son of former Liverpool and England defender Jamie) whose header was saved by Lo-Tutala. Harvey White then had a pumped free kick gathered by Wigan goalkeeper Sam Tickle in the Wigan box before Joe Geldhart managed to find Sean McGurk at Lo-Tutala’s back post however, his volleyed effort on goal was well blocked by Dennis Cirkin. Sean McGurk’s resulting corner kick found its way to Luke Robinson on the edge of the Spurs box, but he shot the ball over Lo-Tutala’s crossbar in what was the final piece of action from the first half. Spurs got the second half underway. 

Luis Binks headed Harvey White’s corner kick astray of the Wigan goal, before Binks met another Harvey White corner, but this time his headed effort was blocked by James Carragher. Harvey White then blazed the ball over from long range, before Tarrelle Whittaker’s curling effort from the edge of the Wigan box flew narrowly wide of Sam Tickle’s goal. Harvey White then had a shot blocked by Sean McGurk as Spurs continued to be on top. After meeting Joe Geldhart’s cross inside the Spurs box Kyle Joseph forced a save out of Lo-Tutala from his headed effort. Harvey White’s excellent lofted pass over the top of the Wigan defence came close to setting Kion Etete through on goal however, Sam Tickle came rushing out of his box to clear the ball. After latching onto Jensen Weir’s cross from the left flank Kyle Joseph latched onto the ball inside the Spurs box before hitting Lo-Tutala’s crossbar. Weir latched back onto the ball before passing it to Kyle Joseph who fired the ball past the helpless Lo-Tutala, 0-2. J’Neil Bennett and Tarrelle Whittaker switched flanks before Wigan came close to netting a third goal. After Sean McGurk had passed the ball to Joe Geldhart down the right hand side of the Spurs box, Geldhart cut inside Malachi Fagan-Walcott before forcing a fairly comfortable save out of Lo-Tutala from close range.

Rafferty Pedder was shown a yellow card for making a late challenge on Sean McGurk, before Max Robson cleared away Luke Robinson’s free kick. Salford born Aaron Skinner came onto replace Rafferty Pedder as Max Robson moved into the CAM position. Joe Geldhart fired an effort over from long range before Harvey White had a powerful effort from distance well saved by the diving Sam Tickle. Joe Geldhart then had a shot in the Spurs box well blocked by Luis Binks  before Lo-Tutala totally missed Joe Geldhart’s corner kick, before Kyle Joseph tapped the ball wide at the back post. After attacking Harvey White’s cross Luis Binks had a header cleared away by Louis Isherwood, before Harvey White’s whipped free kick was headed behind by Malachi Fagan-Walcott before Mackenzie O’Neill had a late effort ruled out for offside in which turned out to be the final piece of action of the game. Our under 18’s return to league action on Saturday when they travel down to the south coast to face a talented Brighton & Hove Albion side.

Player reviews:

  • Thimothee Lo-Tutala: The Paris born goalkeeper made five saves in total and generally he had a decent game, and was solid game in between the sticks. 
  • Marqes Muir: Once again filling in at right back, Marqes Muir had a pretty solid game for Spurs, particularly in the second half. Muir showed good strength on the ball and he made a couple of timely interceptions.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: The Spurs captain and RCB made some good challenges and interceptions, and he was also good in the air.
  • Luis Binks: My man of the match, see below.
  • Dennis Cirkin: The left back stayed deep and rarely attacked down the left flank. Cirkin made one important block to prevent a near certain goal for Sean McGurk in the first half. The Dublin born defender did a good job at protecting his side of the pitch.
  • Harvey White: The CDM whipped some delightful set pieces and passes into the danger zone, and his movement off the ball was good. However, White wasn’t allowed the space he needed to roam around the middle of the park and this severely affected his influence on the game.
  • Max Robson: The central midfielder who finished the game as a CAM, had a good game. Robson showed good skill on the ball and he dribbled forward with it well. Robson had some nice touches and he did well at trying to link the play.
  • Tarrelle Whittaker: The right winger put in quite a strong second half performance and he came close to finding the back of the net with a curling effort on goal from over 20 yards out in the second half.
  • Rafferty Pedder: The 17 year old was yet another player who was deprived of the space that he craved, by the relentless Wigan players. Pedder had some nice touches, he worked hard, and he made some intelligent runs however, he just wasn’t allowed the space he need to influence the game.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The left winger grew into the game and he started to take players on much more during the second half.
  • Kion Etete: The former Notts County man didn’t get a lot of great service last night however, he worked hard and also took up some intelligent positions.
  • Aaron Skinner: The second half substitute came on for the last 20 minutes of yesterday’s game. Skinner slotted into central midfield and he helped to solidify the middle of the park for Spurs.

My man of the match: England under 19 international Luis Binks. The Gillingham born centre half put in a nearly faultless performance for Matt Taylor’s side at LCB. Binks made two important challenges during the first half and he recovered well after hurting his back early on in the game. Binks’ positioning and anticipation was good, and he also did a really good in dealing with Wigan’s long balls which really was food and drink for the 18 year old who won virtually all of his aerial duels. Binks was the shining light on a disappointing night for Spurs, and there was nothing that he could have done to prevent either of Wigan’s goals.

Wigan Athletic: Tickle, Jolley (c), Robinson, Carragher, Isherwood, Adeeko, McGurk (Devine 88), Weir, Joseph, Gelhardt (Costello 90+4), O’Neil. Substitutes (not used): Jones, Broe, Hughes, Lloyd, Brown.

Spurs: Lo-Tutala, Muir, Cirkin, White, Fagan-Walcott (c), Binks, Whittaker, Robson, Etete, Pedder (Skinner 70), Bennett. Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Solberg, Mundle, Lusala, Cassanova.

Goals: Wigan – Weir 17, Joseph 62.

Yellow cards: Wigan – Gelhardt 30, Adeeko 53; Spurs – Pedder 68.

Referee: Daniel Locker.

Venue: DW Stadium, Wigan.

Attendance: 668.

Spurs under 18’s statistics 2019/20:


Tarrelle Whittaker – 7

Max Robson – 5

Chay Cooper – 4

Kion Etete – 4

Enock Asante – 3

J’Neil Bennett – 3

Harvey White – 3

Kallum Cesay – 2

Rafferty Pedder – 2

Troy Parrott – 2

Dennis Cirkin – 2

Dane Scarlett – 1

Romaine Mundle – 1


Max Robson – 5

Chay Cooper – 5

J’Neil Bennett – 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

Clean sheets: 

Kacper Kurylowicz – 2

Josh Oluwayemi – 1

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