Spurs under 23’s 2- 6 Leyton Orient: (match report)

(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur)

Our development sides first outing and their first proper game of football in over five months took place on Wednesday evening. Wayne Burnett’s side took on League Two club Leyton Orient at their Breyer Group Stadium in the JE3 cup, in memory of former Spurs player and Leyton Orient manager Justin Edinburgh. Spurs’ young side lost the game 6-2 as Leyton Orient won the cup however, I thought that the game was closer than the scoreline suggests. Spurs lined up with quite a few experienced players as they lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation. Belgian youth international Jonathan De Bie started in goal for Spurs while a back four consisting of Trialist A, Jubril Okedina, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Dilan Markanday sat in front of him. Captain George Marsh and Elliot Thorpe partnered up in central midfield, as Shilow Tracey and Anthony Georgiou started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Jack Roles, as Kazaiah Sterling started up top against his former club. Spurs got the game underway in the capital (the stream provided by Leyton Orient started a couple of minutes late) however, it was the home team who had all of the early chances. The alert Elliot Thorpe blocked behind Jamie Turley’s early header after he had connected with Jordan Maguire-Drew’s corner kick, before the same players following corner was met by tall centre half Dan Happe. Happe then headed the ball to former Spurs player Lee Angol whose header was saved relatively comfortably by Spurs goalkeeper Jonathan De Bie.

Centre back Jubril Okedina’s long cross field pass to Anthony Georgiou on the left flank was well kept in by the Cyprus international. Georgiou then continued forwards before whipping the ball powerfully across the face of Leyton Orient’s goal before picking up the ball again on the left hand side, before once again whipping the ball across the face of the goal. There was a good early tempo to the game, after winning the ball off of Jack Roles, Lee Angol continued forwards before sliding the ball into Jordan Maguire-Drew down the right hand side of the Spurs box, but Roles recovered well to make the challenge and put the ball behind behind. Jobi McAnuff’s resulting corner kick was met by Jamie Turley’s whose header was touched behind by De Bie for another corner. After eventually latching onto the following corner kick Ruel Sotiriou fired the ball over De Bie’s crossbar on the turn. A couple of minutes later Jordan Maguire-Drew turned makeshift Spurs left back Dilan Markanday, before whipping a ball into the Spurs box which was put behind by Thorpe. After conceding a free kick around the half way line Leyton Orient’s Jobi McAnuff took it quickly, launching the ball forward for James Dayton to latch onto (he was possibly offside), Dayton entered the Spurs box as De Bie came rushing out. The Leyton Orient player then took the ball around De Bie before tucking it into the back of the net, despite Jubril Okedina’s best efforts as he came sliding in, 0-1.

Shortly after Spurs got the game back underway Lee Angol was played through by Jobi McAnuff down the right side of the Spurs box, before Okedina came across to make an important challenge. A couple of moments later Georgiou conceded a free kick right on the edge of the Spurs box, Jordan Maguire Drew’s resulting effort was then punched away by De Bie, as Leyton Orient were in control of the game. Jamie Turley’s long ball up field set the potent Lee Angol up field and the forward took the ball into the Spurs box, before curling it into the bottom left hand corner of De Bie’s goal, 0-2. Leyton Orient then made it 3-0 after their goalkeeper Sam Sargeant’s long kick up field set Jordan Maguire-Drew through down the right side of the Spurs box after he had gotten past Okedina, Maguire-Drew delightfully dinked the ball over De Bie and into the back of the Spurs net, 0-3. Spurs responded as Georgiou came forward before passing the ball to Sterling who entered the Leyton Orient box, he took a wrong touch with fortunately came back to him off of Jamie Turley. Sterling then tried a low side footed shot which was saved by Sam Sargeant, before Spurs came forward again as Georgiou and Markanday combined out on the left flank. The latter picked the ball up before cutting inside onto his right foot and entering the Leyton Orient box, and then trying a low effort which was deflected off of Jamie Turley before going into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 1-3. After receiving Markanday’s pass inside the Leyton Orient box, Kazaiah Sterling’s resulting effort was blocked by Dan Happe.

Spurs striker Kazaiah Sterling was getting more involved in the game and soon afterwards he curled an effort from distance over Sargeant’s goal. Shortly afterwards Markanday passed the ball out to Trialist A out on the right flank and he then swept in a low ball into the box which was met first time by Elliot Thorpe, who had made a good run before tucking the ball powerfully into the back of the Leyton Orient goal, 2-3. After controlling Markanday’s pass down the left flank Georgiou turned his man before sending in a perfect cross for Elliot Thorpe to attack. Thorpe’s resulting powerful header darted narrowly past Sam Sargeant’s goal, as Spurs started to become the dominant force in the game as the first half came to a close. Leyton Orient restarted the game as Spurs made a number of changes at the break, as Shilow Tracey, Jack Roles, Anthony Georgiou, Kazaiah Sterling and Jonathan De Bie all came off. Josh Oluwayemi, Maurizio Pochettino, Kion Etete, Rodel Richards and J’Neil Bennett all came onto replace them. Bennett had an early effort blocked by McAnuff before moments later receiving Lyons-Foster’s long ball out on the left flank. He came inside onto his right foot before entering the Leyton Orient box and forcing a low save out of Sam Sargeant. After Lyons-Foster had fouled Lee Angol on the edge of the Spurs box Jobi McAnuff’s resulting effort was blocked behind by the Spurs wall. Jordan Maguire-Drew’s resulting corner kick was palmed away by Oluwayemi, before at the other end Markanday passed the ball to Pochettino out on the right flank. The 19 year old pumped in a good cross to pick out Etete inside the Leyton Orient box however, the strikers powerful firs time shot went just wide of Sargeant’s goal.

After Spurs gave the ball away at the back Lee Angol latched onto it and darted into the Spurs box, down the left hand side. Angol then powered the ball past the helpless Oluwayemi to extend Leyton Orient’s lead, 2-4. Jordan Maguire-Drew then bended an effort narrowly over the Spurs goalkeepers crossbar before manager Ross Embleton changed his entire side. Irishman Shadrach Ogie saw his effort from the edge of the Spurs box take a big deflection off of his own player Sam Ling however, despite the best efforts of Oluwayemi he couldn’t prevent the ball from going behind. Elliot Thorpe was struggling a little bit after picking up a knock and he was then replaced by Aaron Skinner in central midfield on 67 minutes. Leyton Orient goalkeeper Lawrence  Vigouroux was caught out inside in his own box with the ball at his feet by Spurs substitute Kion Etete. The tall centre forward then turned around before only shooting the ball over the open goal, in what was a big moment in the game. Maurizio Pochettino then went on a good direct run down the right flank before sending in a low cross into the Leyton Orient box to pick out Etete. The former Notts County man spun around Josh Coulson sharply before striking the bottom of the left hand post, as the ball fortunately rolled across the line and into the arms of Lawrence Vigouroux. At the other end of the pitch George Marsh blocked a Leyton Orient trialist’s effort, before Josh Coulson managed to meet Josh Wright’s corner kick but his powerful header was excellently pushed away by Oluwayemi who got low down sharply. George Marsh then cleared away Josh Wright’s cross before Oluwayemi tipped behind another cross from the same player. 17 year old Marqes Muir then came onto replace Jubril Okedina at the back, while Trialist B replaced Brooklyn Lyons-Foster in midfield. 

After Conor Wilkinson passed the ball to Josh Wright down the right he continued forwards before firing the ball over Oluwayemi’s crossbar. Trialist B then had a cross blocked by a Leyton Orient player before a Leyton Orient trialist had an effort on goal blocked by his teammate Conor Wilkinson. Young Marqes Muir then conceded a free kick on the edge of the Spurs penalty area which Conor Wilkinson converted. The centre forwards powered effort came off the underside of Oluwayemi’s crossbar before bouncing over the line, although a Leyton Orient trialist nodded it home to make sure, 2-5. Wilkinson managed to pick out Craig Clay from a cross however, his headed effort came off a teammate before Skinner cleared the ball away from danger. The heavily involved Conor Wilkinson then hit the ball up to Danny Johnson who traveled down the right side of the Spurs box, before hitting the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Oluwayemi’s goal, 2-6. That was to be the final piece of action of the game in what was a valuable first test of pre-season for Wayne Burnett’s lads.

Player reviews:

  • Jonathan De Bie: The 20 year old shot stopper made a total of three saves on the day during his 45 minutes on the pitch. De Bie looked relatively comfortable throughout the game despite conceding three goals.
  • Trialist A: It was an impressive and confident performance from Trialist A who showed good pace, desire and decision making in defence, both as an RB which he started as, and then later at LCB. He was commanding and authoritative in defence and he showed a good understanding of the game, he also picked out Elliot Thorpe for the 19 year olds goal. 
  • Jubril Okedina: Like Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Jubril Okedina had some tough moments in the game due to the physicality and the experience of the Leyton Orient players. However, considering it was the first game that he had played in over five months, as well as playing in a position that he hardly played in at all last season, I thought that he did a fine job.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Showing good technique and good composure first in central defence as an LCB, and then later in central midfield, Lyons-Foster had a number of good moments in the game. I thought that the Londoner defended well at the back, and he also made some good passes out from the back during the game before then going into midfield in the second half.
  • Dilan Markanday: Playing at left back this was the first time that Markanday had played in that position since he did so for our under 18’s during the 2018/19 season. The 19 year old did of course have some difficult moments in the game as you would expect for somebody so young and inexperienced in that position however, he was good on the ball and traveled forward with it well, going on some good and tricky forward runs during his 90 minutes on the pitch. The Barnet born winger also took his first half goal well.
  • George Marsh: The Spurs captain got around the pitch well and he played well both in central midfield and at right back, against the club that he had played on loan with last season.
  • Elliot Thorpe: My man of the match, see below.
  • Shilow Tracey: The winger went on some surging good and well timed runs down the right flank and he worked hard throughout his time on the pitch during the first half of the game.
  • Jack Roles: It may have been a reasonably quiet game by the Cyprus under 21 internationals good standards however, the 21 year old worked hard and he played with a good intensity about him. Roles also made a good and important first half recovery after giving the ball away.
  • Anthony Georgiou: The Cyprus international was inventive and lively on the ball when he got it out on the left flank. Georgiou went on some good forward runs down the left flank as he showed his good pace, the Lewisham born player also delivered some fine crosses into the Leyton Orient box, including an excellent one from which Elliot Thorpe so nearly scored from. In addition Georgiou also showed good defensive discipline to help out the less experienced Dilan Markanday at left back, during the first half.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: The centre forward who was playing his first game since September last year after a long injury lay off, grew into the game during the first half. Sterling managed to have a couple of shots on goal and his work rate and movement was good. 
  • Josh Oluwayemi: The second year professional only made one save but it was a very good reaction one low down. Oluwayemi also dealt well with crosses when he was faced with them.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: The second half substitute gave a good account of himself and he was nice and direct down the right flank. Pochettino (19) constantly ran at his man when he had the ball at his feet, and that positive style of play was nice to see.
  • Kion Etete: The 18 year old pressed the Leyton Orient defenders well, and one such fine piece of pressing almost led to him scoring with the scores at 4-2, that was a big moment in the game. Etete also had a couple of other chances to score after getting himself into some good positions.
  • Rodel Richards: The 19 year old supported Kion Etete up front during his time on the pitch during the second half.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The winger came onto play out on the left flank and he showed some good pace and skill down that side of the pitch. Bennett showed that he was a threat going forward on occasions during the game.
  • Aaron Skinner: The versatile Salford born defender slotted into central midfield for the last 23 minutes of the game.
  • Marqes Muir: The RCB came onto play at centre half for the late stages of the game.
  • Trialist B: Trialist B came onto play in central midfield during the latter stages of the game.

My man of the match: 19 year old attack minded midfielder Elliot Thorpe had a fine game in central midfield for Wayne Burnett’s side on Wednesday evening. Looking sharp throughout his time on the pitch the Wales youth internationals movement, alertness and positioning was good throughout in my opinion. Thorpe also showed good defensive discipline, as well as showing good skill on the ball when going forwards. He played some good forward passes and he made two good runs into the danger zone, one of which saw him do well to convert Trialist A’s pass. This was another good performance from Elliot Thorpe who went off on 67 minutes after picking up a knock. Hopefully he will be back for our under 23’s next friendly, whenever that may be.

Leyton Orient: Sargeant (Vigouroux 60), Ling (Judd 60), Brophy (Widdowson 60), McAnuff (c) (Cisse 60), Turley (Coulson 60), Happe (Ogie 60), Dayton (Wilkinson 60), Shabani (Clay 60), Angol (Johnson 60), Maguire-Drew (Wright 60), Sotiriou (Trialist 60).

Spurs: De Bie (Oluwayemi 46), Trialist, Markanday, Marsh (c), Okedina (Muir 76), Lyons-Foster (Trialist 76), Tracey (Pochettino 46), Thorpe (Skinner 67), Sterling (Etete 46), Roles (Richards 46), Georgiou (Bennett 46).

Goals: Leyton Orient – Dayton 22, Angol 27, 59, Maguire-Drew 31, Trialist 84, Johnson 89; Spurs – Markanday 37, Thorpe 42.

Venue: Breyer Group Stadium, Brisbane Road.

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