Spurs under 18’s 3-0 AFC Wimbledon: (match report)

Spurs’ under 18 side traveled to Wimbledon’s Plough Lane ground on Wednesday evening, for a fourth round FA Youth Cup tie. Matt Taylor’s Spurs side were frustrated by AFC Wimbledon’s strong defence for large parts of the match, and while Wimbledon came really close to scoring in the first half of extra time, a strong showing from Spurs in extra time saw them score three (Jamie Donley scored two and Romaine Mundle got one) goals to set up a home tie against West Brom in the next round of the competition. Spurs’s starting team (4-2-3-1) saw captain Thimothee Lo-Tutala start in goal, while a back four consisting of Kallum Cesay, Matthew Craig, Marqes Muir and Jeremy Kyezu started in front of him. Michael Craig and Nile John teamed up in central midfield, while Roshaun Mathurin and Romaine Mundle started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Alfie Devine. Dane Scarlett started up front for Spurs. Wimbledon got the game underway and the first effort of the game came from the hosts, as Quaine Bartley’s shot across goal from down the right side of the Spurs box was comfortably gathered by Lo-Tutala. Kwaku Frimpong then saw his effort from range go wide of the Spurs goal as Wimbledon’s strong defence limited Spurs’ chances during the early parts of the game. After Michael Craig was shown a yellow card for a challenge Wimbledon’s Dylan Adjei-Hersey had an effort on goal deflected behind for a corner. The same players delivery from the following corner was headed just over by Isaac Ogundere, before Romaine Mundle’s low effort from distance at the other end of the pitch went wide.

After Devine passed the ball to Dane Scarlett inside the Wimbledon box, the Spurs strikers first time effort across goal was picked up by a Wimbledon who cleared the ball. This was a good spell in the game for Spurs and a couple of moments later and after receiving Mundle’s pass inside the Wimbledon box, Roshaun Mathurin had a shot saved by Matt Cox, before Scarlett’s attempted chipped effort of the Wimbledon goalkeeper from distance went over his crossbar. After Matthew Craig’s clearance of Obed Yeboah’s cross came to Adbi Ali, the Wimbledon players effort on the half volley sailed over Lo-Tutala’s goal, in what was the final piece of action from the first half. Spurs got the second half underway and after Thimothee Lo-Tutala punched clear Dylan Adjei-Hersey’s free-kick, Matthew Craig blocked Troy Chiabi’s effort. The Spurs players appeals for a penalty after the ball appeared to strike Abdi Ali’s hand inside the Spurs box were waived away by the referee, before Dylan Adjei-Hersey’s effort from range was palmed away by Lo-Tutala, but only as far as Troy Chiabi who slotted home, but his goal was ruled out for offside. Matthew Craig then blocked Kwaku Frimprong’s effort from distance, before Dane Scarlett was shown a yellow card. Matthew Craig made an important challenge on Troy Chiabi inside the Spurs box to get the ball away from him, before at the other end of the pitch Roshaun Mathurin came in from the right onto his left foot before forcing a save out of Matt Cox.

Matthew Craig blocked Adjei-Hersey’s effort before Spurs made two changes in quick succession, as Yago Santiago returned to action to replace Roshaun Mathurin, while Jamie Donley replaced Michael Craig as he took up the CAM role, with Devine dropping into central midfield. Devine was shown a yellow card for his reaction to a challenge on him from a Wimbledon player before Dane Scarlett nodded a header wide from inside the Wimbledon box. Adjei-Hersey hit his free-kick well over Lo-Tutala’s crossbar before Remi Onabanjo also hit an effort over, as the referee sounded his whistle for full-time of normal time shortly afterwards. Spurs made a change for the first half of extra time, as Jordan Hackett came on to replace Dane Scarlett. After the ball came to Alfie Devine on the edge of the Wimbledon box, the midfielders quickly taken effort was straight at Matt Cox who gathered the ball. Nile John then had an effort from range saved by the Wimbledon goalkeeper, before Ben Mason’s cross at the other end of the pitch came to Adjei-Hersey inside the Spurs box, and his headed effort was excellently tipped behind by Lo-Tutala to prevent Wimbledon from taking the lead. Dante Cassanova came on to replace Alfie Devine before Spurs took the lead in the 99th minute of the game through substitute Jamie Donley. Romaine Mundle’s fine first time cross into Donley just inside the Wimbledon box saw the centre-forward take a touch before firing the ball past Matt Cox and into the back of the net, to give Spurs the lead against the run of play, 1-0.

The second half of extra time saw John hit an effort wide from range before Lo-Tutala punched clear Isaac Olaniyan’s corner kick. After receiving Nile John’s pass the lively Yago Santiago showed great skill to twist and turn away from a couple of Wimbledon players inside the home teams box, before passing to Donley whose shot was blocked. Then a couple of moments later and after receiving another pass from John, Santiago squared the ball for Donley inside the Wimbledon box however, his effort went over the crossbar. Spurs were now in control of the game and after John curled an effort over the Wimbledon goal, Spurs doubled their lead through Romaine Mundle. Santiago’s pass to Donley resulted in the striker superbly picking out Mundle from out on the left down the right hand side of the Wimbledon box, and the second year scholar calmly finished past Matt Cox, 2-0. After running forward with the ball Santiago hit the ball over the Wimbledon crossbar, before Spurs scored their final goal of the game in the 121st minute of the match. A long ball forward was latched onto by Kallum Cesay who knocked the ball past the Wimbledon goalkeeper after he had came out of his box, Cesay then passed the ball to Donley who tapped the ball into the open goal, 3-0. The final score from Plough Lane – Spurs 3-0 AFC Wimbledon.

Player reviews: 

  • Thimothee Lo-Tutala: The Spurs captain and goalkeeper made one really great and important save in the first half of extra time when the score was 0-0, and that save from the 18 year old proved to be so important. The Paris born goalkeeper also commanded his box well throughout the match. 
  • Kallum Cesay: The right-back mostly stayed deep but he did get forward on occasions. Cesay did well to assist Jamie Donley for his second goal of the game.
  • Matthew Craig: The RCB blocked a number of shots and also kept good positioning I felt, in defensive areas. Craig made one really important challenge on Troy Chiabi inside the Spurs penalty area.
  • Marqes Muir: Calm and composed in defence, in my opinion Marqes Muir didn’t put a foot wrong as a left sided centre-half, as he put in a strong defensive performance.
  • Jeremy Kyezu: The left-back completed the whole of the match and like Kallum Cesay on the other side of the pitch, I thought that Kyezu often stayed deep. 
  • Michael Craig: Playing as a four alongside Nile John in the middle of the pitch, Michael Craig kept the ball moving in the central areas of the pitch.
  • Nile John: The exciting midfielder liked to take players on and he showed some really good skill on the ball during today’s match, and often looked to go on surging forward runs. It was a good performance from the player who has played up for the Spurs under 23 side lately.
  • Roshaun Mathurin: Starting out on the right flank, winger Roshaun Mathurin managed an effort on goal during his time on the pitch. Mathurin completed 69 minutes of the game.
  • Alfie Devine: In order to get on the ball more often CAM Alfie Devine had to drop deep to try and influence the game, and the former Wigan Athletic player made some nice forward passes, showed good skill as well as moving well off the ball during his time on the pitch. 
  • Romaine Mundle: A player who I felt got more involved in the game as it went on, winger Romaine Mundle registered an assist and a goal against Wimbledon. Mundle did well to find Donley with his cross before later finishing well from inside the Wimbledon penalty area later on to effectively win the game for Spurs.
  • Dane Scarlett: The centre-forward worked really hard and moved well of the ball but didn’t get much luck against the solid and well disciplined Wimbledon defence. 
  • Yago Santiago: The former Celta Vigo player influenced the game well after coming on in the second half and playing out on the left wing. Santiago took on defenders well and showed some good bursts of pace and skill on the ball.
  • Jamie Donley: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jordan Hackett: The left-back came on in the first half of extra time.
  • Dante Cassanova: The late substitute filled in at right-back for the final stages of the game.

My man of the match: 16 year old under 16’s player Jamie Donley bolstered the Spurs attack after coming on in the second half of Wednesday’s match. The centre-forward who has represented both England and Northern Ireland at youth level really made a big difference to the match after being introduced in the 74th minute of time. Donley was excellent in extra time and a well taken goal to put Spurs ahead was followed by a fine pass to find Romaine Mundle inside the Wimbledon box for his goal, before later tapping home into an open goal to score his second of this game. Donley moved well off the ball too, and I was also impressed with his first touch. He reminded me a bit of Troy Parrott at the same age.

AFC Wimbledon: Cox, Mason, Onabanjo (Bangura 108), Frimpong, Ogundere (c), Sutcliffe, Adjei-Hersey, Ali (Lock 103), Yeboah (Sasu 55), Bartley (Olaniyan 66), Chiabi. Substitutes (not used): Lahan, Jones, Campbell.

Spurs: Lo-Tutala (c), Cesay, Kyezu, Michael Craig (Donley 74), Matthew Craig, Muir, Mathurin (Santiago 69), John, Scarlett (Hackett 91), Devine (Cassanova 99), Mundle. Substitutes (not used): Hayton, Dorrington.

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