Spurs Under 23’s 1-1 Barnet FC: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 23 side played their final pre-season friendly on Saturday when they faced National League side Barnet FC at The Hive Stadium. Wayne Burnett’s side recorded a 1-1 draw with Barnet on the day, in what was probably a fair result. Spurs started the match with Joshua Oluwayemi in goal, while a back four consisting of Marcel Lavinier, Maksim Paskotši, Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Captain Brooklyn Lyons-Foster started the game as a number four, while Harvey White started the game as a number eight, and Alfie Devine a number ten. Dilan Markanday and Romaine Mundle started the game out on the flanks and J’Neil Bennett led the line for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway at The Hive Stadium, but it was the home side who had the first real chance of the game. Barnet’s number seven (the team-sheet had no numbers on it) headed wide number ten’s free kick, before Marcel Lavinier came close to latching onto Alfie Devine’s lofted pass at the other end of the pitch. The Barnet goalkeeper, who was often positioned quite high on the pitch, would come out to clear the ball just in time before Lavinier could get to the ball. Shortly afterwards and this time inside the Spurs penalty area Lavinier had to block number seven’s effort on goal, before Markanday blocked the same players effort on the follow up.

Markanday had a deflected effort saved by the Barnet goalkeeper, and then after winning the ball on the left flank and surging forward, Romaine Mundle forced a save from the Barnet goalkeeper. A Barnet throw-in which was headed towards Joshua Oluwayemi’s goal by their number five went just wide of the Spurs goal after coming off of a Spurs player last. After Devine had played a quick one-two with Markanday, the Spurs midfielder brought the ball towards the edge of the Spurs box, before being fouled and brought down by number four. Harvey White’s resulting free-kick came off the Barnet wall before going wide. Oluwayemi tipped over a cross from Barnet’s right-back, before he then gathered a cross from their left-back. At the back post inside the Spurs box, and after connecting with number three’s cross, Barnet’s number ten clipped an effort wide of the Spurs goal. After playing the ball down the right to Dilan Markanday on the right flank, the Barnet born player showed some good skill on the ball inside the Barnet box. He then tried to square the ball to Harvey White, but his pass was intercepted and then cleared. After receiving Dilan Markanday’s pass on the edge Barnet box Harvey White curled a first time effort with his weaker foot just wide of the goal. A couple of minutes later Mundle received Devine’s back-heeled pass on the left flank. He then traveled forward with the ball before coming inside onto his right foot in the Barnet box and curling an effort narrowly wide of the goal.

A long kick forward from Spurs goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi was brought down and controlled well by Markanday on the right flank. He then advanced forward with the ball before trying his luck on goal. However, his effort was saved by the Barnet goalkeeper, but Mundle was there to slot home on the follow up, 1-0. The home side got the second half underway and an early penalty appeal from Markanday was turned down by the referee, before Harvey White hit an effort over from long range. Barnet’s number ten then squared the ball to their trialist centre-forward after getting beyond Dennis Cirkin down the right flank. The Barnet centre-forward finished with a first time effort into the bottom right hand corner of Oluwayemi’s goal from inside the Spurs box, 1-1. The alert Brooklyn Lyons-Foster did well to make a block from number 20’s effort, before the Barnet player hit the ball wide of the goal from the edge of the box on the follow up, and then Malachi Fagan-Walcott blocked another Barnet effort on goal. Spurs then made a whole number of changes as Romaine Mundle, J’Neil Bennett, Maksim Paskotši, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Dennis Cirkin were replaced by Yago Santiago, Max Robson, Rafferty Pedder, Marqes Muir and Matthew Craig respectively. 

Soon after the game started again Marqes Muir made an important block, before Malachi Fagan-Walcott headed clear a long Barnet throw-in. Spurs made two more substitutions as Michael Craig and Thimothée Lo-Tutala came on to replace Alfie Devine and Joshua Oluwayemi respectively. The impressive Marqes Muir did well to clear a cross from Barnet’s right-back, with the ball then coming to a Barnet player on the edge of the Spurs box, but Fagan-Walcott was able to clear his resulting effort. Yago Santiago’s low but powerful effort from the edge of the Barnet box was saved really well by their goalkeeper. Muir then headed wide from Harvey White’s corner kick before Spurs made their final change of the game as Jeremy Kyezu came on to replace Dilan Markanday at left-back. Number 19 hit a deflected effort wide, and then a couple of minutes after Muir anticipated a Barnet forward move well to make a really important challenge on their number 20 inside the Spurs box, to win the ball and then get it clear. After Harvey White played a clever one-two with Santiago he whipped an effort towards the Barnet goal from the edge of their box, but the goalkeeper made a fine reaction save to tip the ball behind. The final bit of action from the game came from a deflected Harvey White cross which fell to Fagan-Walcott inside the Spurs box, but his volleyed effort on the turn went wide. Spurs get their Premier League 2 season underway on Monday the 16th of August, when they host Chelsea at the Lamex Stadium.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The Spurs goalkeeper didn’t actually have a lot to do today, but I thought that he dealt well with crosses into his box.
  • Marcel Lavinier: It was another solid performance from the 20 year old right-back, who made some important blocks, got forward well and also read the game well. 
  • Maksim Paskotši: Playing at RCB the Estonia international formed a good defensive partnership with Malachi Fagan-Walcott on the day, in my opinion.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: Good in the air and always alert in defence, LCB Malachi Fagan-Walcott put in a good defensive performance against Barnet. 
  • Dennis Cirkin: Playing at left-back Dennis Cirkin liked to get forward a lot down the left flank during his time on the pitch.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: The deepest of the three Spurs midfielders liked to get on the ball and he also made an important block during the second half. I thought that he did well.
  • Harvey White: A player who I thought grew in to the game as it went on, Spurs’ number eight Harvey White was playing in a more advanced midfield position than usual today.
  • Dilan Markanday: Starting the game out on the right flank as a winger, Dilan Markanday went on some tricky forward runs and he showed good skill on the ball, and was always looking to go forward with it. Markanday created our goal before later filling in at left-back for a short time.
  • Alfie Devine: The most advanced of the three midfielders worked hard and often dropped deep to get on the ball. His standout moment came from his fine run towards the edge of the Barnet box, before being fouled and winning a free-kick in the first half.
  • Romaine Mundle: Starting out on the left-wing against Barnet, the scorer of our only goal of the game also went on some good forward runs.
  • J’Neil Bennett: Playing out of position as a centre-forward, the 19 year old winger tried his best even though he wasn’t playing in his usual position.
  • Yago Santiago: The midfielder occupied the left flank during some of the second half, and he came close to finding the goal on one occasion.
  • Max Robson: Replacing J’Neil Bennett up front, midfielder Max Robson worked hard off the ball but didn’t have much service.
  • Rafferty Pedder: The midfielder went out to play on the right flank during his time on the pitch.
  • Marqes Muir: My man of the match, see below.
  • Matthew Craig: After replacing Lyons-Foster, Matthew Craig came on to play as the deepest midfielder. 
  • Michael Craig: Michael Craig came on to partner his twin brother Matthew in central midfield during the second half.
  • Thimothée Lo-Tutala: The Spurs goalkeeper didn’t have much to do after coming on.
  • Jeremy Kyezu: The defender came on late in the game to play at left-back. 

My man of the match: Marqes Muir. Although he only came on in the 63rd minute of the game I thought that the centre-half (he played at RCB) performed really well after coming on. Making an important clearance, block and challenge, the composed defender also won all of his headers, and he was always alert. Muir has been very impressive in pre-season for Wayne Burnett’s side.

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