Some notes on our under 18’s 1-1 draw with Norwich City:
Our under 18’s traveled up to County Norfolk on Saturday to face Norwich City in the Premier League South (apologies I left my notebook at home for this game!). The game, which was played at the ‘ Canaries ’ Colney training centre was a difficult one for Matt Taylor’s side owing to the extremely blustery conditions. However, it was a fairly close game and after a quiet first half in which Spurs struggled to test the Norwich goalkeeper, Spurs grew into the game more in the second half. J’Neil Bennett scored a fine goal in the 88th minute of the game and that appeared to be the winner. However, deep in second half stoppage time the ‘ Canaries ’ managed to find an equaliser, right at the death. It was a frustrating draw and late goal for Spurs to concede, yet in all truth it was probably the fair result. Spurs lined up with Kacper Kurylowicz in goal, while a back four made up of Kallum Cesay, captain Marqes Muir, Aaron Skinner and Jeremy Kyezu lined up in front of him. Max Robson and Nile John teamed up in central midfield, while Romaine Mundle and J’Neil Bennett operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Rafferty Pedder. First year scholar Tarrelle Whittaker led the line for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway and early on in the contest Tarrelle Whittaker had a shot saved by Sam Blair. Marqes Muir did well to block behind Thomas Dickson-Peters effort on goal at the other end of the pitch before Max Robson was forced off through injury, Matthew Craig replaced him in central midfield.
The game was a fairly even one although the home side did look that little bit more threatening on the ball and they also saw more of it. Tarrelle Whittaker had a shot blocked by Jaden Warner inside the Norwich box from a corner kick, in what was a rare Spurs chance. Just before halftime and after Nile John had conceded a free kick on the edge of the Spurs box, Thomas Dickson Peters’ whipped effort was tipped over his crossbar well by the alert Kacper Kurylowicz, in what was the final piece of action of the half. The second half (Carrington came onto replace the injured Mundle) was once again, a closely fought contest. Marqes Muir did well to put off Tyrese Omoteye who shot wide from inside the Spurs box. Before Aaron Skinner went into the book after making a late challenge on Zachary Dronfield. A quiet spell in the game followed before J’Neil Bennett latched onto the ball in the middle of the park before bursting forward, catching Norwich on the break. Bennett surged all the way into the Norwich box before smashing the ball against Sam Blair’s right hand post. Marqes Muir then blocked Josh Giurgi’s effort at the other end before Yago Santiago came onto replace Rafferty Pedder in the number ten position. Reece McAlear thumped an effort from distance onto Kurylowicz’s right hand post before Spurs manage to find the breakthrough in the 88th minute of time. After receiving Eddie Carrington’s pass down the left side of the Norwich box, Bennett pondered before skilfully working the ball onto his right foot and whipping an effort into the bottom right hand corner of Sam Blair’s goal, 1-0.
Norwich however, responded through Zachary Dronfield (he wasn’t picked up) who volleyed home Tony Springett’s free kick in stoppage time, 1-1. Spurs did manage to create two late chances which should have finished the game off. After going on a surging run down the left flank J’Neil Bennett drilled a low effort against the bottom of Sam Blair’s right hand post. Tarrelle Whittaker then managed to latch onto Aaron Skinner’s fine pass which set him through on goal. Blair came rushing out of his goal and Whittaker’s powerful effort was straight at the Norwich goalkeeper who saved it. The referee Jordan Marin blew his whistle for full time a couple of moments later.
- Kacper Kurylowicz: The Spurs goalkeeper made two saves on the day, one a very good one to deny Thomas Dickson-Peters’ free kick from finding the back of the net. Kurylowicz organised the defence really well and he made sure that they kept alert at all times.
- Kallum Cesay: This was a steady defensive performance from Cesay, who stayed deep for the most part of the game.
- Marqes Muir: My man of the match, see below.
- Aaron Skinner: Playing back at LCB today after a couple of excellent performances in central midfield, Skinner formed a strong partnership alongside Marqes Muir. Skinner kept good positioning and he made some good blocks, clearances and interceptions.
- Jeremy Kyezu: The left back made his first competitive start for our under 18’s of the season on Saturday. Kyezu made one important interception in the first half, and he was generally solid all game.
- Nile John: Playing as a four, John stayed deep and helped out the back four.
- Max Robson: The midfielder took players on during his short time on the pitch before he went off injured early on in the game.
- Romaine Mundle: The right winger kept the ball well out on the right flank although I felt that he was a little isolated at times due to Spurs not playing with great width.
- Rafferty Pedder: Affected by the strong winds, attacking midfielder Rafferty Pedder couldn’t play the way he wanted to and was therefore unable to make his usual impact on the game. Pedder worked extremely hard and he covered a lot of ground. The 17 year old would also drop deep a lot, to try and link the play. Pedder was replaced by Yago Santiago during the second half.
- J’Neil Bennett: Although Bennett may not have enjoyed great success down the left flank against strong Norwich fullback Harry Pitcher, he was Spurs’ most dangerous player on the day. Bennett hit the post twice and he also scored a finely taken goal.
- Tarrelle Whittaker: The first year scholar made some clever darting runs and he worked hard up top, and was unlucky not to score a late goal for Spurs.
- Matthew Craig: The 16 year old slotted in well to central midfield after coming onto replace the injured Max Robson, and he was constantly looking to make that forward pass.
- Eddie Carrington: The speedy right winger had a good touch about him and he made some intelligent runs down the right flank. Carrington also did well to assist J’Neil Bennett for his goal.
- Yago Santiago: The second half substitute came onto replace Rafferty Pedder in the CAM role.
My man of the match: RCB Marqes Muir dealt really well with Norwich centre forward Tyrese Omoteye and he put in a very good defensive performance. The Spurs captain made countless blocks, interceptions and clearances and he was very strong on the ball (his passing was also good). The Lambeth born defender hardly put a foot wrong on the day and he put in a very intelligent performance for Matt Taylor’s side.
Spurs: Kurylowicz, Cesay, Kyezu, John, Muir (c), Skinner, Mundle (Carrington 46), Robson (Matthew Craig 22), Whittaker, Pedder (Santiago 70), Bennett. Substitute (not used): Lo-Tutala.
Spurs under 18’s statistics 2019/20:
Tarrelle Whittaker – 7
J’Neil Bennett – 6
Max Robson – 5
Kion Etete – 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
Eddie Carrington – 2
Luis Binks – 1
Michael Craig – 1
Kallum Cesay – 1
Marqes Muir – 1
Yago Santiago – 1
Jordan Hackett – 1
Aaron Skinner – 1
Kacper Kurylowicz – 4
Josh Oluwayemi – 1