Spurs under 18’s 3-0 Swansea City: (match report)
Matt Taylor’s Tottenham Hotspur under 18 side welcomed the Premier League South’s basement club Swansea City to Hotspur Way on Saturday morning, for a league clash. Spurs comprehensively defeated the Welsh club by three goals to nil, to make it four league wins in a row for Matt Taylor’s boys. This was another hugely satisfying performance from Spurs who, showed great character and a real togetherness as a team. We created a lot of chances (Etete, John and Bennett got our goals) but we also won the midfield battle, and we defended really well. Spurs lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation as Kacper Kurylowicz started in goal. A back four made up of Kallum Cesay, captain Marqes Muir, Dermi Lusala and Jordan Hackett lined up in front of him. Nile John (returning from a spell on the sidelines) and Aaron Skinner partnered up in central midfield, while Rafferty Pedder and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Max Robson. 18 year old striker Kion Etete led the line for Spurs. Swansea got the game underway on a bitterly cold January morning. Spurs started the game quite brightly and after Kion Etete played an early one two with Max Robson on the edge of the Swansea box, the Spurs centre forward had a shot on goal which was blocked behind by Swansea’s Luke McKendry. Kallum Cesay then blazed an effort wide from long range before Kacper Kurylowicz gathered Kiam Williams’ cross, before Luke Motruk managed to set Josh Thomas through on goal, after playing a clever forward pass.
Thomas shot early however, his effort was well saved and then gathered by Kurylowicz who had come out to meet the Swansea striker. Nile John then had a shot blocked by Luke McKendry before J’Neil Bennett received Dermi Lusala’s pass down the left flank. Bennett advanced forward before whipping the ball across the face of the Swansea goal. After Kiam Williams managed to thread a pass through to Josh Thomas inside the Spurs box, we looked as if we were in trouble. However, Marqes Muir managed to catch up with Thomas before getting a vital toe on the ball to take it away from the Swansea man. After going past William Rickard and Erick Kenko-Djoudie, Max Robson whipped a low effort just wide of the Swansea goal. Then a couple of moments later J’Neil Bennett had a shot blocked by Morgan Clark before Spurs took the lead in the 20th minute of the game. After Kion Etete passed the ball to J’Neil Bennett on the left flank, the Spurs winger clipped a cross into the Swansea box. Etete jumped up and attacked it, and while his header may have lacked pace it still managed to creep into the bottom left hand corner of Tyler Evans’ goal, 1-0. Shortly after the restart Kacper Kurylowicz punched clear Kiam Williams’ free kick before Spurs came desperately close to doubling their lead. After Kallum Cesay passed the ball to Nile John, the skilful Spurs midfielder burst into the Swansea box before managing to sidestep his way past Luke McKendry. John then had a poked effort on goal saved by Tyler Evans before his second effort was cleared off the line by McKendry.
Spurs did manage to double their lead a couple of minutes later and it was Nile John who managed to get on the scoresheet. After receiving Max Robson’s pass down the right hand side of the Swansea penalty area, he squared the ball to John who had made a run into the box before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 2-0. A couple of minutes later J’Neil Bennett whipped an effort a fraction wide of the Swansea goal after cutting inside from the left flank. After Cameron Congreve managed to play the ball to Josh Thomas down the left hand side of the Swansea box, Kurylowicz came out to make a good stop to prevent the Swansea strikers effort from going in. After William Rickard managed to surge past Jordan Hackett down the right flank, he whipped in a low cross which was gathered by Kurylowicz. A good Spurs move then resulted in Pedder passing the ball to John who gave it to Robson, who then gave it to Etete on the edge of the Swansea box but his first time effort was saved by Tyler Evans. Max Robson then had an effort cleared away by McKendry before Cesay had an effort on goal blocked by the same player. Cesay won a free kick in a promising position on the edge of the Swansea box however, J’Neil Bennett’s resulting whipped effort was saved by Tyler Evans in what was the final piece of action from the first half. Spurs got the second half underway. After Kiam Williams passed the ball to Luke Motruck the Swansea winger whipped the ball into the Spurs box. Motruck’s cross was palmed away by Kurylowicz before William Rickard picked up the ball however, his shot on goal was well saved by Kurylowicz.
J’Neil Bennett forced a low save out of Tyler Evans with an effort from distance before Kion Etete received Max Robson’s pass before looking up (he was some 25 yards out from goal) and whipping a wicked, powerful effort a fraction wide of the Swansea goal. After a Swansea attack broke down Luke Motruck picked up the ball down the left side of the Spurs box before he hit Kurylowicz’s right hand post with a powerful effort. Dante Cassanova came onto replace Nile John shortly afterwards as Cassanova filled in at right back, while Cesay moved into central midfield. Dermi Lusala did well to clear Cameron Congreve’s cross before J’Neil Bennett showed some great skill down the left flank, before passing the ball to Etete down the right side of the Swansea box however, his clipped effort went wide of the Swansea goal. Romaine Mundle came onto replace Rafferty Pedder shortly afterwards before Dante Cassanova managed to block Joel Cotterill’s effort on goal after Josh Thomas had surged into the Spurs box. A good Spurs move at the other end of the pitch then saw Bennett pass the ball to Mundle who gave it to Robson in the Swansea box. Robson flicked the ball up before having an acrobatic effort cleared behind by Luke McKendry. Kallum Cesay then managed to set Romaine Mundle through on goal with a good pass however, his effort on goal was saved by Tyler Evans who came rushing out. Mundle then had an effort blocked by Scott Butler. A couple of minutes later and after skinning Kai Ludvigsen down the left flank, J’Neil Bennett crossed the ball for Romaine Mundle who headed wide. Yago Santiago came onto replace Jordan Hackett before Spurs netted their third goal of the game. After Aaron Skinner did well to find J’Neil Bennett out on the left flank, the skilful winger cut inside onto his right foot before whipping a delightful effort into the top right hand corner of Tyler Evans’ goal, 3-0.
Kion Etete nodded wide Dante Cassanova’s cross before Etete then headed wide J’Neil Bennett’s delivery into the Spurs box, in what was the final piece of action of the game. Spurs’ next league game is away to Norwich City on the first of February.
- Kacper Kurylowicz: The Tottenham goalkeeper made three important saves on the day and once again he dealt well with crosses and set pieces, while also doing a good job at organising and talking the back four through the game.
- Kallum Cesay: After putting in a good, solid performance at right back, Kallum Cesay got forward well and he made some good passes. In addition he slotted in well to central midfield for the latter part of the game.
- Marqes Muir: The first year scholar took the captains armband for today’s game and he was absolutely immense at the back. Muir was faultless, making several important defensive interventions including a hugely important one on Josh Thomas in the first half to stop what would have been a certain Swansea goal. Muir was also good in the air and he brought the ball out well from the back.
- Dermi Lusala: Alongside Muir was LCB Dermi Lusala who had a good game and he read it well.
- Jordan Hackett: The left back knew when to attack and when to stay deep, and he made some intelligent decisions throughout the game.
- Aaron Skinner: My man of the match, see below.
- Nile John: On his return from injury the highly skilful John put in a good performance in central midfield. The 16 year old showed good skill on the ball and he took his goal well and was unluckily not to have netted another one in the first half.
- Rafferty Pedder: Playing out on the right wing for this fixture, Pedder did well when he got on the ball and he was invoked in some intricate attacking play although he did tend to get isolated a little bit.
- Max Robson: It was a quite fantastic performance from the aggressive and high pressing Max Robson, who excelled in the CAM role. Robson was always the first to the ball and he created some good chances for Spurs. Robson’s great dribbling ability and close ball control made him a very difficult player to defend against. He was also unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.
- J’Neil Bennett: The speedy left winger caused a lot of problems for the Swansea right back and he went on some great galavanting forward runs. Bennett was unpredictable and he took his goal very well indeed.
- Kion Etete: The tall centre forward had an excellent game for Spurs against the ‘ Swans ’. Etete held the ball up excellently, he worked extremely hard for the team, and he was creative. Etete set up one goal and scored another, and he came desperately close to scoring another in the second half. This was a very good performance from the second year scholar.
- Dante Cassanova: The schoolboy put in a solid performance at right back.
- Romaine Mundle: The right winger came on in the second half and he showed some good skill and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. Mundle took up some intelligent positions on the pitch.
- Yago Santiago: The late substitute hardly touched the ball during his short time on the pitch.
My man of the match: This was a very difficult decision to make as Marqes Muir, Max Robson and Kion Etete were all very, very good on the day. However, I’m going to give it to the reliable and hardworking teenager from Salford -Aaron Skinner. For the second time in seven days I thought that Skinner was our under 18’s best player. His sheer reading of the game and tenacity in the middle of the pitch helped Spurs to win the midfield battle. Making countless strong challenges and well timed interceptions, the 17 year old mopped up well in the middle of the park and once again he put in a very George Marsh like performance for Spurs. Skinner also did well to set up J’Neil Bennett for his late goal which really was the icing on the cake, of what was a very good performance from the central midfielder.
Spurs under 18’s statistics 2019/20:
Tarrelle Whittaker – 7
Max Robson – 5
Kion Etete – 5
J’Neil Bennett – 5
Chay Cooper – 4
Enock Asante – 3
Harvey White – 3
Kallum Cesay – 2
Rafferty Pedder – 2
Troy Parrott – 2
Dennis Cirkin – 2
Dane Scarlett – 1
Romaine Mundle – 1
Nile John – 1
Max Robson – 5
Chay Cooper – 5
J’Neil Bennett – 5
Tarrelle Whittaker – 3
Dermi Lusala – 3
Romaine Mundle – 3
Kion Etete – 3
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
Jordan Hackett – 1
Aaron Skinner – 1
Kacper Kurylowicz – 4
Josh Oluwayemi – 1