Spurs Under 21’s 4-3 Stevenage FC: (match report)

Spurs’ Development side played their first group-stage game of this seasons Papa John’s Trophy on Tuesday evening, when they took on Stevenage FC at the Lamex Stadium. Wayne Burnett’s side won the match 4-3 despite the fact that they were missing a number of players because of international call-ups. It was a very good and mature performance from Spurs, who really took the game to Stevenage right from the start of the match. Burnett’s side showed a real desire to press the opposition, and that real desire led to them creating numerous fine chances during the game. Spurs lined-up with Joshua Oluwayemi in goal, while a back four consisting of Malachi Fagan-Walcott, Marqes Muir, Tobi Omole and Marcel Lavinier started in front of him. Captain Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Harvey White started in central midfield, while Kallum Cesay and Jack Clarke started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Dilan Markanday. Yago Santiago led the line for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway on a cool evening in Stevenage, and after a good start the first chance of the game came their way. Dilan Markanday’s low effort on goal from the edge of the Stevenage box was saved by Stevenage goalkeeper Sacha Bastien. Then at the opposite end of the pitch Stevenage’s Arthur Read hit an effort wide on the turn. 

Spurs took a deserved lead in the eighth minute of the game, thanks to a goal from Harvey White. A great pass from Lyons-Foster reached Jack Clarke on the left flank, and he continued forward before sending in a low cross into the Stevenage penalty area. Harvey White had made an intelligent run into the box to meet it and finish past Bastien with a composed and accurate first time finish, 1-0. Harvey White did receive a yellow card not long afterwards for a strong challenge that he made on Jack Smith. Marqes Muir cleared a cross from the left flank, before Spurs doubled their lead. A brilliant forward run from Markanday resulted in him passing the ball to Santiago, who continued into the Stevenage box before initially delaying his effort, before then powerfully finding the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 2-0. Luke Norris nodded narrowly wide a cross from the right flank, before the impressive Yago Santiago had a low effort saved by Bastien. Jack Clarke then came inside onto his right foot before trying his luck with a curling effort on goal, but it was saved by the Stevenage goalkeeper. Scott Cuthbert headed wide from a Stevenage corner kick, and then Joshua Oluwayemi pushed behind a low shot. An important defensive intervention from Malachi Fagan-Walcott followed, before Stevenage got a goal back. James Daly received Jack Smith’s pass on the edge of the Spurs box, before looking up and curling an unstoppable effort into the top left hand corner of Oluwayemi’s goal, 2-1.

A Stevenage player hit an effort narrowly wide of Oluwayemi’s goal shortly after the restart, and then moments later another Stevenage player came inside from the left flank to curl an effort over the Spurs goal. A couple of minutes later Oluwayemi gathered a low cross from the right flank, before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time. The home side got the second half underway but it was Spurs who almost extended their lead soon into the half. Santiago latched onto a loose ball before passing it to Harvey White in the Stevenage box, but the Spurs midfielder hit the ball over the Stevenage goal, in what was a great chance for Spurs. However, not long afterwards Spurs did get their third goal of the game. Dilan Markanday received the ball down the right hand side of the Stevenage box, before continuing forward and then squaring the ball for Harvey White to tap home, 3-1. But Spurs’ two goal lead didn’t last long as soon afterwards Ross Marshall powerfully headed Jack Smith’s corner kick home, 3-2. A quick throw-in from Stevenage then almost caught Spurs out, but Oluwayemi did well to keep out James Daly’s low effort on goal from inside the Spurs penalty area. A good forward run from Santiago ended in him being fouled on the edge of the Stevenage penalty area. Harvey White’s resulting free-kick hit the Stevenage wall before coming back to him. The Tottenham midfielder then put the ball into the box, where he managed to pick out Tobi Omole down the left. Omole’s first time effort was saved by Bastien before the ball came back to him and he squared the ball for Lyons-Foster to tap home from close range, 4-2.

Oluwayemi comfortably gathered Ben Coker’s cross before Ross Marshall headed over a Stevenage free-kick. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Tobi Omole both received yellow cards during the latter stages of the game, and once again Oluwayemi had to make a save, this time to stop a low effort from a tight angle. A difficult end to the game was to follow for Wayne Burnett’s side though, after Ben Coker’s cross was met by Luther John-Wildin on the volley, and his powerful effort went into the goal off of Tobi Omole, 4-3. Rafferty Pedder replaced Dilan Markanday for the final minutes of the game, as Spurs managed to hold on to get a vital three points.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The Spurs goalkeeper made some good and important saves on the night, and he also dealt well with crosses into the box.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: It was a solid performance out of position from Malachi Fagan-Walcott at right-back. He cut out one dangerous Stevenage attack and also kept good positioning throughout the game.
  • Marqes Muir: I thought that the right sided centre-half did very well alongside Tobi Omole against Stevenage. Muir worked really hard and I thought that him and Tobi Omole complemented each other well in central defence.
  • Tobi Omole: The more experienced of the two centre-halves put in a commanding performance in defence, and his positioning and reading of the game was good. Omole also got the assist for Lyons-Foster’s goal.
  • Marcel Lavinier: The left-back got up and down the left-flank really well and supported the attack when he needed to.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Playing as a number four for Spurs on Tuesday, Spurs captain Brooklyn Lyons-Foster was constantly giving advice and encouraging the younger members of the Spurs side, as he demonstrated his leadership qualities. Lyons-Foster was very good on the ball in midfield, played the game at a really good intensity, made some good forward passes and scored the all important fourth Spurs goal.
  • Harvey White: The scorer of two goals and also involved in the buildup play to Brooklyn Lyons-Foster’s goal, Harvey White formed a very strong midfield partnership with Lyons-Foster during the game. The 19 year old midfielder took both of his goals well, made some good passes and also made some good and intelligent runs into the Stevenage box.
  • Kallum Cesay: The defender played out on the right flank as a winger and I though that he had a good game. Cesay got forward well and also linked up well with right-back Malachi Fagan-Walcott.
  • Dilan Markanday: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jack Clarke: The former Leeds United man got a good assist during the first half and showed quality going forward, but it was his excellent work-rate and tracking back which impressed me the most.
  • Yago Santiago: The midfield player led the line very well and took his goal really well (his first at this level). He was composed on the ball and clever in how he moved off it.
  • Rafferty Pedder: The late substitute was involved in one good Spurs counterattack during his time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Dilan Markanday. Once again it was a very good performance from the 20 year old winger. Markanday carried the ball forward really well and with great skill, and he took on the Stevenage players really well, and the CAM was always looking to make that forward pass. He also registered two assists against Stevenage during his time on the pitch.

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