Spurs’ Under 23 side played their first friendly of pre-season on Saturday afternoon, when Wayne Burnett’s side took on non-League side Ramsgate FC at the WW Martin Community Stadium. Spurs were very impressive against the non-League side and during the first half their high intensity game proved far too much for Ramsgate. During the second half the home side grew into the game more, but then Spurs added two further goals to win the game 6-0 on the day. Spurs started the game with Joshua Oluwayemi in goal. A back four consisting of Marcel Lavinier, Marqes Muir, Jubril Okedina and Jordan Hackett lined up in front of him. Twins Matthew Craig and Michael Craig started the game in central midfield, whilst Yago Santiago and J’Neil Bennett started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Dilan Markanday. Kion Etete led the line for Spurs. Unfortunately I couldn’t manage to get a team-sheet today at the match, so therefore I don’t know the names of the Ramsgate players, and can only refer to them by their number. I do apologise about this. Ramsgate got the game underway on a very hot summers day in Kent, but it was Spurs who started the match the better of the two teams. Spurs were up for the game right from the start, and they took the lead very early on in the match through the skilful Dilan Markanday. The 19 year old latched onto Matthew Craig’s forward pass before travelling with the ball towards the edge of the Ramsgate box, and then hitting an unstoppable low effort past the Ramsgate goalkeeper and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 1-0.
Ramsgate’s number five ended up hitting the ball against Markanday on the edge of the Ramsgate box soon after the game got back underway. However, Markanday’s first touch let him down, and the Ramsgate goalkeeper was able to gather the ball. Kion Etete managed to win the ball off of Ramsgate’s number six soon afterwards after pressing him well, before then threading a nice pass to J’Neil Bennett inside the Ramsgate box. Bennett showed good composure on the ball before just tucking it low past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net, 2-0. A lovely lofted through-ball from Spurs captain Jubril Okedina managed to pick out the run of Markanday, who ran forward into the Ramsgate box, before hitting an effort against the crossbar. Yago Santiago was quickest to the rebound, but his following effort was saved by the goalkeeper. After Michael Craig made a forceful challenge on number 18 to win the ball, he passed the ball to J’Neil Bennett, who then forced a save out of the goalkeeper. A really well worked move ended in Spurs scoring their third goal of the game, not long afterwards. Bennett’s pass down the left to Etete saw the Spurs striker advance into the oppositions box, before then threading a pass across to Markanday in the centre of the box, and his low effort went into the back of the net, 3-0. Soon after Ramsgate got the game back underway J’Neil received the ball on the left flank. He then cut inside onto his right foot and let fly, and his wonderful effort hit the crossbar. Roshaun Mathurin came on to replace Kion Etete, after he had picked up an injury. Yago Santiago went up front, whilst Mathurin occupied the right flank.
After Markanday had played a quick one-two with Santiago in the Ramsgate box, he had a shot blocked. And then a couple of moments later the player from Barnet had an effort saved from inside the Ramsgate box. Dilan Markanday was really dictating the game from the CAM role, and he won a free-kick right on the edge of the Ramsgate box after being fouled followed a wonderful turn from the Spurs man. J’Neil Bennett’s following curling effort was saved by the Ramsgate goalkeeper. After Bennett had received Markanday’s pass down the left he traveled into the Ramsgate box, before squaring the ball to Markanday, but his flicked effort on goal was blocked by a Ramsgate defender. The excellent Dilan Markanday got a first half hat-trick after latching onto the Ramsgate goalkeepers pass out from his own box, and he then slotted the ball beyond him and into the back of the net to make it 4-0 before half-time. Spurs got the second half underway and an early move from Spurs saw Bennett pass the ball to Mathurin down the right side of the Ramsgate box, but his resulting effort on goal was saved. Spurs made a number of changes shortly afterwards as Thimothée Lo-Tutala, Jeremy Kyezu, Dante Cassanova and Khalon Haysman came on to replace Joshua Oluwayemi, Jordan Hackett, J’Neil Bennett and Michael Craig. Just before he had been replaced J’Neil Bennett had won a free-kick on the edge of the Ramsgate box, but Dilan Markanday’s resulting effort went over the crossbar. After playing a one-two with Haysman down the right flank Marcel Lavinier crossed the ball into the Ramsgate box. Santiago received the ball and trapped it under his feet, before then having a shot blocked by Ramsgate’s number two.
Ramsgate’s impressive number ten tried to catch Lo-Tutala off his line with an effort from distance, but the Spurs goalkeeper saved his effort. Markanday managed to latch onto a long ball over the top inside the Ramsgate box, but his resulting low effort was saved by the goalkeeper. However, Markanday was again involved in play in the final third moments later. This time he went into the Ramsgate box before squaring the ball for Haysman. His initial effort was blocked by a defender, but his second effort saw him curl the ball into the top right hand corner of the goal, to make it 5-0 to Spurs. Jez Davies came on to replace Matthew Craig in central midfield before Lavinier played a long ball up to Haysman, who ended up rounding the Ramsgate goalkeeper and coming very close to finding the back of the net with his effort, which went just wide of the goal. Lo-Tutala was alert to tip behind a powerfully struck effort from distance from Ramsgate’s number four. J’Neil Bennett then came back on (the game had rolling substitutions) to replace Dilan Markanday, and he made an instant impact. After winning the ball off of Ramsgate’s number six on the edge of their box, Bennett finished emphatically inside the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 6-0. Matthew Craig came on to replace Marcel Lavinier for the final minutes of the game. The excellent J’Neil Bennett went on an excellent surging forward run past a couple of Ramsgate players and into the Ramsgate box, before unfortunately giving away a foul.
Ramsgate’s number ten came very close to lobbing the ball over Lo-Tutala towards the end of the game, before Ramsgate’s number two blocked Bennett’s effort at the other end of the pitch. Spurs’ Under 23 side play Enfield Town in their next pre-season friendly, which is on Tuesday.
- Joshua Oluwayemi: The 20 year old goalkeeper didn’t actually have a save to make today, as during the first half Ramsgate didn’t actually have a shot on goal. Oluwayemi only played the first half of the match.
- Marcel Lavinier: Playing at right-back Marcel Lavinier often stayed deep, although he did support the attack on occasions. The former Chelsea player put in a solid defensive performance.
- Marqes Muir: RCB Marqes Muir brought the ball out from the back well along with Jubril Okedina, but he wasn’t tested an awful lot at centre-half on the day. But what he did do he did well.
- Jubril Okedina: The Spurs captain wasn’t tested too much today, like Marqes Muir, but he was solid in defence and got in front of the forward players well in situations. Okedina also made some fine long forward passes.
- Jordan Hackett: Like Marcel Lavinier on the opposite flank, second year scholar Jordan Hackett (17) often stayed deep. He defended well and made some good passes down the left flank.
- Matthew Craig: Forceful in the challenge, Matthew Craig patrolled the midfield alongside his twin brother well. Matthew was authoritative in the central areas of the pitch and he also assisted Dilan Markanday’s opening goal of the game. This was a good performance from the hardworking midfielder, who also filled in at RCB during the latter stages of the second half.
- Michael Craig: Playing as a number eight, Michael Craig put in a strong performance in central midfield and he showed good strength both on and off the ball during his time on the pitch.
- Yago Santiago: Former Celta Vigo Academy player Yago Santiago started the game out on the right wing. Santiago showed good feet and was involved in some good play during his time on the pitch. Santiago later played at centre-forward, and I was impressed with his movement off the ball at times when playing in that position.
- Dilan Markanday: My man of the match, see below.
- J’Neil Bennett: The 19 year old was excellent out on the left flank throughout his time on the pitch. Bennett showed great skill and pace, and he was constantly looking to take the Ramsgate players on. Some of his forward runs were brilliant, especially when he came inside from the left flank onto his right foot. Both of his goals were well taken.
- Kion Etete: The centre-forward was only on the pitch for 23 minutes, when he was forced off because of injury. Etete linked the play well up front and even dropped deep on occasions, and the 19 year old was directly involved in two goals (two assists). This was a good performance from Kion, even though he wasn’t on the pitch for too long. Hopefully he’ll be back playing again soon.
- Roshaun Mathurin: Replacing the injured Kion Etete and then going out to play out on the right flank, skilful winger Roshaun Mathurin showed good skill on the ball in the wide positions, and his movement off the ball was also good.
- Thimothée Lo-Tutala: The second half substitute made one good save late on in the game.
- Jeremy Kyezu: The 18 year old defender came on during the second half, and during his time on the pitch he played at left-back. He did well in the second half.
- Dante Cassanova: The midfielder played in central midfield and he won the ball well in the central areas of the pitch.
- Khalon Haysman: The second half substitute made a really good impact on the game. Haysman (17) moved the ball around well from midfield, scored a well taken goal and also came close to scoring a second after rounding the Ramsgate goalkeeper and only just misplacing his effort.
- Jez Davies: Former Leyton Orient Academy player Jez Davies came off the bench during the second half and made some nice passes and was also nice involved in the game.
My man of the match: Dilan Markanday. I lost count of the amount of chances that the highly skilful CAM was involved in today. The 19 year old really controlled the game at times, and with his excellent balance and ability on the ball he really caused a lot of problems for the Ramsgate defence. Scoring a well deserved hat-trick, Markanday took all three of his goals well, but the wonderful skill which would have surely ended in him scoring his fourth goal of the game but for a foul from a Ramsgate player, would have been the best of the match. It’s also worth noting that he worked really hard off the ball as well. Dilan was involved in a lot of what was great about Spurs’ performance today. I’m hoping that he will get a chance to play for the first team this pre-season.