Spurs Under 18’s 0-3 Leicester City: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side faced Leicester City at Hotspur Way on Saturday in their latest Premier League South game. Spurs lost the game 3-0, with Leicester creating more chances than the home side on the day. Luca Gunter started in goal for Spurs, while a back four consisting of Brandon Bryan-Waugh, Alfie Dorrington, Charlie Sayers and Jordan Hackett, started in-front of him. Han Willhoft-King and captain Alfie Devine started in midfield, as Maxwell McKnight and Amo-Ameyaw started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Tyrese Hall. Thomas Bloxham led the line for Spurs. Leicester got the game started, and they started the match well. Defender Alfie Dorrington had to make an important block early on, to stop Joe Wormleighton’s effort from testing Luca Gunter inside the Spurs penalty area. Soon afterwards Chris Popov hit a low effort wide of the Spurs goal, after he received a pass from Will Alves inside the Spurs box. At the other end of the pitch Alfie Devine saw his deflected effort from distance go just wide of the Leicester goal. A couple of minutes later Devine set-up Sam Amo-Ameyaw with a good pass. Amo-Ameyaw took the ball into the Leicester box and tried to go past their goalkeeper Kelechi Chibueze, but the Leicester goalkeeper managed to gather the ball. 

A good run from Chris Popov down the left side of the Spurs box resulted in him having an effort saved by Gunter. Then at the other end of the pitch, Tyrese Hall turned inside the Leicester penalty area, before having an effort saved by Kelechi Chibueze. Dorrington headed narrowly wide from a free-kick from Thomas Bloxham, and then Maxwell McKnight hit a cross into the Leicester box, which went just wide of the goal. Leicester came very close to taking the lead just before half-time, after Chris Popov entered the Spurs box, before Alfie Dorrington made a superb sliding challenge to stop him from scoring. Then the ball came to Brandon Cover, whose effort was really well saved by Gunter, in what was the final chance of the first half. Oliver Irow replaced Alfie Devine for the start of the second half, which Spurs got underway. Brandon Cover hit an effort wide from the edge of the Spurs box, before a good pass from Jordan Hackett to Oliver Irow inside the Leicester box, resulted in the debutant having a low effort saved by the Leicester goalkeeper. After cutting inside onto his left foot from the right flank, Chris Popov had a good effort saved and later gathered by Luca Gunter. 

A couple of moments after Leicester’s last chance, Chris Popov went down the right hand side of the Spurs box, before having an effort on goal saved well by Gunter. The ball then fell nicely for Will Alves, but Gunter once again made a really fine save to stop him from scoring. However, in the 56th minute of the game Leicester took the lead. Jack Butterfill’s cross wasn’t gathered by Luca Gunter, and the ball came to Chris Popov inside the centre of the Spurs box, and he was able to hit the ball past Gunter and into the back of the goal, 0-1. Soon after the game got started again Popov won the ball of Dorrington in a good position, he then went on a really good run forward, before eventually hitting an effort just wide of the Spurs goal. Brandon Bryan-Waugh had a deflected effort following a corner-kick, go just wide of the Leicester goal, before Renaldo Torraj came on to replace Sam Amo-Ameyaw. Chris Popov whipped home a great effort from a free-kick on the edge of the Spurs box moments later into the top right hand corner of the Spurs goal, 0-2. Then less than six minutes later Chris Popov got his hat-trick to extend Leicester’s lead further. A clinical move on the break from the away side resulted in Chris Popov receiving Henry Cartwright’s pass as he continued forward. Popov eventually took the ball inside the Spurs box, before finishing with a low effort past Gunter, 0-3.

Jahziah Linton replaced Jordan Hackett at left-back, before debutant Tyrese Hall won a free-kick right on the edge of the Leicester box, from which he tested Kelechi Chibueze with a low effort. Leicester substitute Abdullah Javid went on a good run with the ball, late on in the game, before having his effort blocked superbly well by a sliding challenge from Brandon Bryan-Waugh inside the Spurs box. It was to be the final moment of note from the game. Spurs’ final game of this year at this level is on Thursday, when they face Ipswich Town in the third round of this seasons FA Youth Cup, at The Lamex Stadium.

Player reviews:

  • Luca Gunter: The Spurs goalkeeper made some really good saves today, to stop Leicester from winning by more than 3-0.
  • Brandon Bryan-Waugh: The right-back got up and down the right-flank really well, linked-up well with Maxwell McKnight down that side of the pitch, and was solid defensively. I thought that the first year scholar was one of Spurs’ best players today.
  • Alfie Dorrington: The right sided centre-half had a really strong first half, was on the ball a lot and made one superb defensive intervention. 
  • Charlie Sayers: The recent Spurs signing from Southend United looked assured in defence on his home debut at this level. He also made some nice passes out from defence.
  • Jordan Hackett: Going on some good runs down the left flank, left-back Jordan Hackett used the ball well.
  • Han Willhoft-King: My man of the match, see below.
  • Alfie Devine: This was the former Wigan Athletic players’ first appearance for the Under 18 side of the season, as he made his first start since returning from injury. Devine played in central-midfield, and during the first half he showed good pace and a real desire to try and influence the game. Devine came close to scoring during the first half and he created a good chance for Sam Amo-Ameyaw. Devine was replaced at half-time.
  • Maxwell McKnight: I thought that the winger helped out quite a lot defensively and linked-up well with Bryan-Waugh.
  • Tyrese Hall: Playing as the CAM on his debut at this level, Tyrese Hall managed two attempts on target during the game.
  • Sam Amo-Ameyaw: The winger had one good chance to score from during his time on the pitch, but the Leicester goalkeeper did well to gather the ball. 
  • Thomas Bloxham: Playing out of position during the first half at centre-forward, Thomas Bloxham made some good runs. He later played in central-midfield during the second half.
  • Oliver Irow: Another debutant at this level, Oliver Irow came on for the second half. He worked hard and didn’t look out of place at this level.
  • Renaldo Torraj: The second half substitute was lively and very direct out on the left flank following his introduction.
  • Jahziah Linton: The second half substitute played at left-back during the latter stages of the game, after replacing Jordan Hackett.

My man of the match: Han Willhoft-King. The schoolboy footballer was making only his third competitive appearance at this level on Saturday. Playing as the deepest of the two central-midfielders, Willhoft-King had a good and solid first half alongside Alfie Devine, and then during the second half he improved further. In the second half the midfielder got on the ball more and there were two occasions where he went on some really good and skilful forward runs from midfield. Willhoft-King worked really hard and covered a lot of ground. He had a good game for Spurs, today.

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