Spurs under 23’s 3-0 Manchester United: (match report)

Spurs’ under 23 side defeated a talented Manchester United side in the PL2 at Hotspur Way on Friday afternoon, as Wayne Burnett’s side won 3-0 thanks to goals from Jamie Bowden, Marcel Lavinier and Kion Etete. Spurs lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Josh Oluwayemi starting in goal, while a back four consisting of Marcel Lavinier, George Marsh, Tobi Omole and Dennis Cirkin sat in front of him. Michael Craig (first competitive start at this level) and captain Jamie Bowden teamed up in central midfield while Dilan Markanday and Romaine Mundle (first competitive start at this level) started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Nile John, with Kion Etete starting up front. Spurs got the game underway on a nice afternoon in Enfield, but it was the visitors who managed the first goal attempt of the game. Dillon Hoogerwerf curling an effort over Spurs goalkeeper Josh Oluwayemi’s crossbar early on in the match from the edge of the Spurs box, and the opening stages of the game were even, with both sides having similar amounts of possession. A long clearance forward from George Marsh ended up coming to Kion Etete on the edge of the Manchester United box, but his effort on goal was blocked by a defender. After conceding a free-kick on the edge of the Spurs box George Marsh was shown a yellow card, with Ethan Galbraith curling his resulting effort over. Joe Hugill then fired an effort wide of Oluwayemi’s goal after going on a good run down the left, while at the other end of the pitch Dilan Markanday delivered a nice lofted ball towards Jamie Bowden, who had made a good run in to the oppositions box, but a Manchester United defender managed to get to the ball in time to get it clear at the vital moment.

A cross from Lavinier from the right flank ended up coming to Mundle at the back post, inside the visitors penalty area. Mundle passed the ball to Bowden but his effort was straight at goalkeeper Matej Kovar, before Nile John gave the ball to Mundle down the left side of the Manchester United box. Romaine Mundle managed to get around Mark Helm inside the box, but the full-back ended up tripping him from behind, and the referee spotted this and ended up pointing to the spot. Jamie Bowden calmly and cleverly stepped up to just roll the ball down the middle of the goal as Kovar dived to his right, 1-0. Shortly after the game got started again a through ball to Hugill sent the Manchester United striker through on goal, but Oluwayemi came rushing out of his goal and he spread himself well to save Hugill’s effort inside the box. A good run from the skilful Dilan Markanday ended in him having a shot blocked from inside the Manchester United box. A surging run from Reece Devine ended in him entering the Spurs box before passing the ball to Hugill who shot wide of the goal. A corner kick then came to Ethan Galbraith on the edge of the Spurs box but his effort on target was headed clear off the line by George Marsh, who was in the right place at the right time. Nile John was shown a yellow card for a challenge on Shola Shoretire before Markanday made a good and important tackle on Reece Devine in the Spurs box. A couple of minutes later Jamie Bowden had a free-kick and later an effort on goal cleared before Tobi Omole cleared Mark Helm’s cross at the other end of the of the pitch. Josh Oluwayemi then saved Ethan Galbraith’s effort from range, in what was the final piece of action from the first half.

Manchester United got the second half underway and it was Manchester United who initially started the half quite well. Marcel Lavinier did well to block Mark Helm’s effort behind inside the Spurs box before Hugill had an effort blocked by Etete. A long ball forward from Omole was headed back towards Kovar by Alvaro Fernandez, but Kovar slipped and in the end the ball went narrowly wide of the goal. After winning the ball Lavinier passed the ball to Bowden who then threaded a pass in to Mundle down the left side of the oppositions penalty area, but the wingers resulting effort was powered into the side netting. A clearance from Marsh then ended up coming to Etete who skilfully got past Reece Devine before slipping a pass in to the feet of Markanday inside the Manchester United penalty area, but his first time side footed effort was straight at Kovar who gathered the ball comfortably. Hannibal Mejbri shot wide from distance before Spurs doubled their lead through Marcel Lavinier. After receiving Michael Craig’s pass on the edge of the Manchester United box Lavinier decided to try his luck on goal, and his powerful effort deflected off of Reece Devine before going past Kovar and nestling in the goal after the deflection had beaten the goalkeeper, 2-0. A melee followed following a challenge after the game got started again, and this resulted in Kion Etete and Dennis Cirkin being shown yellow cards, while Ethan Galbraith was shown a red card for his involvement. A pass from Dilan Markanday was cleared away by a Manchester United defender, but only as far as Kion Etete whose effort on the half volley on the edge of the oppositions box went narrowly wide of the goal.

After George Marsh had caught Hannibal Mejbri off the ball the midfielder was shown a straight red card, while Michael Craig did well a couple of minutes later to block Mark Helm’s effort inside the Spurs box after a good run from the right-back. Kallum Cesay came on to replace Jamie Bowden while J’Neil Bennett replaced Dilan Markanday, and an early effort from Bennett from the edge of the Manchester United box was well saved by Matej Kovar. After picking the ball up in the middle of the pitch Nile John went on a good and purposeful forward run through the middle, all the way to the edge of the away side’s box when the ball came off of Martin Svidersky before coming to Etete whose powerful effort flew past Kovar and in to the back of the goal to secure all three points for Spurs, 3-0. Marcel Lavinier blocked an effort from Joe Hugill before Rafferty Pedder came on to replace Romaine Mundle, as Josh Oluwayemi then gathered Charlie McCann’s delivery in to the Spurs box. J’Neil Bennett saw his effort from the right flank, across the face of the goal gathered by the Manchester United goalkeeper, before Tobi Omole headed over a Spurs corner kick. Substitute Noam Emeran’s ball in to the Spurs box was met by Joe Hugill, but his looping headed effort on goal was easily saved by Oluwayemi who a couple of minutes later thwarted Hannibal Mejbri’s late free-kick, in what was the final piece of action of the game. Spurs’ next Premier League 2 game is not until the 12th of April when they travel to Leicestershire to face Leicester City.

Player reviews:

  • Josh Oluwayemi: It was another fine performance from the goalkeeper following on from his good performance against Derby County earlier in the week. Oluwayemi made some good saves today including a very important one to deny Joe Hugill early on in the game from inside the Spurs box.
  • Marcel Lavinier: Solid and dependable at right-back, but also good at getting forward as he showed when he scored our second goal of the game in the second half, Marcel Lavinier did well up against Dillon Hoogerwerf down Manchester United’s left hand side. 
  • George Marsh: Playing at RCB George Marsh made an important headed clearance off the line in the first half as well as some other good clearances. However, he will have been disappointed to have received an avoidable straight red card late on in the second half.
  • Tobi Omole: It was another composed and impressive performance in central-defence from former Arsenal player Tobi Omole. The 21 year old stayed on his feet throughout the game against Manchester United and he put in another good defensive performance.
  • Dennis Cirkin: Strong both on and off the ball, 18 year old full-back Dennis Cirkin got up and down the left flank well and he was nice and involved in the game.
  • Michael Craig: Second year scholar Michael Craig (17) was in my opinion along with Dilan Markanday one of our best players on Friday. On his first competitive start at this level Craig looked assured in the middle of the park as he played as a four. He stayed close to Manchester United’s creative CAM Hannibal Mejbri on occasions and he did well at that, but he also used the ball intelligently (he got the assist for Lavinier’s goal) and he got stuck in too.
  • Jamie Bowden: The Spurs captain scored a nice penalty kick in the first half but he also had another solid game in the centre of the park, using the ball well and also moving well without it at his feet.
  • Dilan Markanday: My man of the match, see below.
  • Nile John: Playing as a CAM Nile John had some good moments in the game including a really good late surging run from deep which led to Kion Etete’s goal.
  • Romaine Mundle: Operating out on the left flank Romaine Mundle did some good things on his first competitive start at this level, including some nice skill to win our penalty during the first half. 
  • Kion Etete: Holding the ball up well and bringing others in to play, centre forward Kion Etete’s hard work off the ball was rewarded when he scored a well taken late goal. His tenth competitive goal involvement of the season at this level (eight goals and two assists).
  • Kallum Cesay: The late substitute made an important defensive intervention inside the Spurs box, late on in the game when the score was 2-0 to Spurs.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The substitute looked to make an impact on the game and he managed to have two attempts on goal.
  • Rafferty Pedder: N/A.

My man of the match: Playing out on the right flank Dilan Markanday (19) caused problems for Manchester United full-back Reece Devine, but he also tracked back tirelessly to help out full-back Marcel Lavinier defensively. Showing some really good skill down Manchester United’s left hand side, Markanday loved to cut inside from the right and use his left foot to try and make things happen. He was expressive going forward and could well have scored a goal during the second half, but his all round play including his defensive work made him for me our man of the match against Manchester United on Friday afternoon.

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