Spurs Under 18’s 3-2 Reading: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side played their fourth league match of the new season on Saturday, when they hosted Reading at Hotspur Way. Head coach Stuart Lewis saw his side dramatically score a very late winner to win 3-2 on the day, after having previously been 2-0 up. Spurs started with Adam Hayton in goal, while a back four consisting of Renaldo Torraj, Alfie Dorrington, Archie Chaplin and Jahziah Linton lined up in front of him. Spurs captain Dante Cassanova and Khalon Haysman started in midfield, and Sam Amo and Riley Owen started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Jamie Donley. Jaden Williams led the line for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway and after Riley Owen was able to bring the ball into the Reading box early on in the game, it looked like he was going to give Spurs the lead. However, Reading’s right-back Sam Paul managed to take the ball off of him at the vital moment. After receiving David Nyarko’s pass inside the Spurs box Hamid Abdel-Salam hit an effort over Adam Hayton’s goal. A really powerful effort from distance from Jamie Donley was stopped well by Reading goalkeeper Matthew Rowley, before a clearance from Alfie Dorrington at the other end of the pitch came to Caylan Vickers. However, his effort on goal was saved by Hayton. 

Renaldo Torraj cleared Sam Paul’s cross well inside the Spurs box, and then Cassanova had a free-kick saved by Rowley shortly after. Khalon Haysman hit a powerful effort wide from the edge of the Reading box, but a couple of minutes later Spurs did take the lead. Cassanova had an effort on goal blocked by a Reading defender, with the ball then coming to Renaldo Torraj, who hit a really powerful effort on goal from outside the Reading box, and the ball went past Rowley and into the goal, 1-0. After Donley conceded a free-kick in a promising position for Reading, the visitors looked to make the most of it. Reading captain Benjamin Purcell played the ball short to Caylan Vickers in the Spurs box, but Hayton saved his effort well. Then and after receiving Caylan Vickers’ pass down the right side of the Spurs box, Harry Murphy tried his luck on goal, but his effort across the goal was really well saved by Hayton. After receiving Jamie Donley’s pass, Jaden Williams was through on goal just inside the Reading half. Williams continued forward with the ball before being met by the outrushing Reading goalkeeper, who initially blocked his effort on goal. However, the ball fell kindly for Williams, who went past Rowley this time and was through on goal. He went all the way into the oppositions penalty area, but Reading defender Kelvin Abrefa had sprinted the length of the pitch to take the ball off of him quite spectacularly, just as he was about to tuck the ball home.

Williams nodded wide Owen’s corner kick, before at the other end of the pitch Abraham Kanu headed wide from Caylan Vickers’ corner kick. After receiving Donley’s pass down the left of the Reading box Riley Owen was in a good position to score, but unfortunately his effort went over the Reading goal. Not long before half-time however, Spurs doubled their lead after Donley’s forward ball was latched onto by Jaden Williams, who ran into the Reading box before finishing low past Rowley and into the back of the goal, 2-0. The half-time whistle was sounded by the referee not long afterwards. Reading got the second half underway, but it was Spurs who had the first chance of the half. Linton passed the ball to Haysman, who had a low effort saved by Rowley. A couple of moments later Reading got a goal back. Substitute Aston Greaver passed the ball to David Nyarko down the right hand side of the Spurs box, he then saw his effort on goal saved by Hayton, but the ball then ended up coming to Jordan Addo Antoine, who tapped home, 2-1. The alert Adam Hayton was able to save David Nyarko’s effort inside the Spurs box, before Spurs went forward down the opposite end of the pitch. Riley Owen managed to pick out Sam Amo inside the Reading box, but he then saw his low effort on goal saved by the Reading goalkeeper.

A lofted pass from Haysman was volleyed wide by Donley inside the Reading box, and then at the other end of the pitch Hayton produced a fine save with his left leg to prevent Aston Greaver from scoring inside the Spurs box. Hayton then saved Kelvin Abrefa’s header from a corner kick, and he did well to hold the ball. Once again Hayton had to be alert, this time to stop David Nyarko’s effort from close range. Sam Amo hit an effort over from range as the game started to become even more end to end. Khalon Haysman was replaced by Rio Kyerematen, before the newly introduced substitute had a low effort saved by the Reading goalkeeper from the edge of the Reading box. Kyerematen then received a clever pass from Donley inside the Reading box, but the midfielder saw his effort on goal saved by Rowley. Owen curled an effort over after cutting inside from the left flank, before Thomas Bloxham replaced Sam Amo out on the right flank. Owen had a curled effort saved by Rowley, and then after receiving Kyerematen’s pass down the left of the Reading box Donley had an effort on goal deflected wide, as Spurs pushed for that all important third goal. Bloxham volleyed wide from Donley’s cross, and then Maxwell McKnight came on to replace Riley Owen, before Renaldo Torraj blocked behind David Nyarko’s effort on goal. Jahziah Linton had an effort on goal blocked by Kelvin Abrefa, but then Reading managed to score a late equaliser.

After receiving the ball inside the Spurs box David Nyarko hit a low effort on the Spurs goal, but his effort deflected off of Chaplin and went in past Hayton, 2-2. With little time left to respond Maxwell McKnight whipped a hopeful but fine cross deep into the Reading box, during the final moments of the game. The ball was met by Jamie Donley, whose really good volleyed effort was saved by Rowley. The ball then came to Kyerematen, who cut the ball back to Williams in the centre of the box. His effort was blocked by Kelvin Abrefa, but the ball came up for Williams to head the ball on goal however, his effort was saved by Rowley. Although the Reading goalkeeper could do nothing to stop Donley running in to volley home the winner for Spurs from close range, 3-2. What followed were great celebrations from the Spurs players, as they had managed to secure their first win of the new season. The referee sounded his whistle for full-time shortly afterwards.

Player reviews:

  • Adam Hayton: The goalkeeper had a fantastic game for Spurs on Saturday. Hayton made numerous excellent saves, and he played a really big part in Spurs managing to get all three points.
  • Renaldo Torraj: The scorer of a really well taken goal from distance, right-back Renaldo Torraj joined the forward players well when going forward.
  • Alfie Dorrington: The right sided centre-half for this match, the first year scholar made some important clearances, was good in the air and kept good positioning alongside Archie Chaplin.
  • Archie Chaplin: Making his competitive Spurs Under 18’s debut yesterday, I thought that defender Archie Chaplin put in a strong defensive performance alongside Alfie Dorrington.
  • Jahziah Linton: Like Renaldo Torraj on the opposite flank, left-back Jahziah Linton got forward well whenever he was able to.
  • Dante Cassanova: The Spurs captain covered a lot of ground in the central areas of the pitch, as he played in the number four role alongside Khalon Haysman. 
  • Khalon Haysman: Playing as a number eight alongside Spurs captain Dante Cassanova, Khalon Haysman was once again always looking to make forward passes, and he also tried his luck on goal on a couple of occasions.
  • Sam Amo: Playing out on the right flank, Sam Amo came close to scoring his first goal at this level on his debut, during the second half.
  • Jamie Donley: My man of the match, see below.
  • Riley Owen: Always positive whenever he received the ball, left-winger Riley Owen looked to take defenders on and also be unpredictable as well with the ball.
  • Jaden Williams: The scorer of a well taken goal in the first half, Jaden Williams led the line well, and was lively inside the Reading half. He came very close to scoring the winner during the latter stages of the match, and he seemed to have a very good understanding of the game with CAM Jamie Donley.
  • Rio Kyerematen: Creative and direct in the CAM role, substitute Rio Kyerematen brought the ball forward well, and he showed some nice skill as well.
  • Thomas Bloxham: Showing some nice skill on the ball, Thomas Bloxham was always looking to be creative whenever he did get on the ball.
  • Maxwell McKnight: The defender played a part in Spurs’ winning goal after delivering a good cross into the Reading box from the right flank.

My man of the match: Jamie Donley. The Northern Ireland Under 19 international had an excellent game against Reading on Saturday. The creator of some fine Spurs chances, Donley took responsibility in important situations and his passing on the day was quality. Making some clever runs off the ball, the first year scholar showed great determination against Reading, worked hard off the ball and also got an all important goal (the winner) and assist. Playing really well as a number ten behind centre-forward Jaden Williams, Donley linked up very well with Williams throughout the game, and on another day the forward could have had more goals to his name. Donley has now been involved in five goals (three goals and two assists) from league appearances so far this season.

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