Spurs Under 18’s 6-1 West Bromwich Albion: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side progressed to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup, by defeating West Bromwich Albion 6-1, on Friday afternoon at Hotspur Way. Spurs won the match in style, and they will now face Wolverhampton Wanderers (away) in the next round of the competition. Luca Gunter started in goal for Spurs, while a back four consisting of Brandon Bryan-Waugh, Alfie Dorrington, Charlie Sayers and Jordan Hackett-Valton lined-up in defence. Han Willhoft-King and Rio Kyerematen started in central midfield, while Maxwell McKnight and Thomas Bloxham started out on the flanks, either side of CAM and captain Alfie Devine. Jaden Williams led the line for Spurs. West Brom got the game underway in Enfield, and they created the first real chance of the game. After Fenton Heard passed the ball to Reyes Cleary inside the Spurs box, the West Brom centre-forward hit his effort over Luca Gunter’s goal. Alfie Devine headed Thomas Bloxham’s corner-kick into the side netting of the West Brom goal, a couple of minutes later, after making a good run to the near post. Jaden Williams had an effort saved inside the West Brom box, from goalkeeper Ronnie Hollingshead, after a clearance from Alex Williams came his way.

Jordan Hackett-Valton did well to block an effort from Reyes Cleary, before Rio Kyerematen had an effort saved by Hollingshead, at the other end of the pitch. Reyes Cleary hit a free-kick from out on the left, wide of Luca Gunter’s goal, before Rico Richards then hit a free-kick wide of the Spurs goal. Spurs then took the lead in the 26th minute of the game, through the impressive Jaden Williams. After receiving Rio Kyerematen’s pass out on the left flank, Thomas Bloxham came inside onto his right foot. The skilful winger then hit an effort towards the goal off his right foot, and the ball ended up hitting Ronnie Hollingshead’s left post, before coming to Williams, whose initial effort was well saved by Hollingshead, before Williams then found the back of the net at the second time of asking, 1-0. A good threaded pass from Bloxham, into the feet of Williams soon afterwards, resulted in the Spurs centre-forward having his low effort on goal saved well by Hollingshead. Spurs then doubled their lead a couple of minutes later, after Maxwell McKnight received Bloxham’s pass out on the right flank, before whipping a low cross into the West Brom penalty area. His cross was met by Jaden Williams, whose low first time effort went past Hollingshead and into the back of the goal, 2-0.

After receiving Rio Kyerematen’s pass on the edge of the West Brom box following a good forward run from the Spurs midfielder, Alfie Devine hit an effort over the West Brom goal, in what turned out to be the final chance of the first half. Spurs got the second half underway and not long into the half Maxwell McKnight had an effort tipped over by Ronnie Hollingshead. Charlie Sayers did well to block behind Reyes Cleary’s effort, before Spurs made it 3-0, thanks to a great solo goal from Alfie Devine. After receiving the ball Devine embarked on an excellent mazy run into the West Brom penalty area, before then finishing low past Hollingshead, and into the back of the goal, 3-0. However, West Brom had a great chance to try and get back into the game, after Alfie Dorrington fouled Reyes Cleary inside the Spurs box, resulting in the referee pointing to the penalty spot. Cleary stepped up to direct the ball into the middle of the goal and past Gunter, who had dived to his right, 3-1.

Rio Kyerematen had an effort blocked behind for a corner-kick, before Spurs extended their lead from that set-piece. Thomas Bloxham managed to find Rio Kyerematen down the right side of the West Brom box, and although his effort was saved by Hollingshead, the ball came to Charlie Sayers, who managed to finish from close range, 4-1. Less than ten minutes later Spurs managed to get their fifth goal of the game, and it was a deserved one for Thomas Bloxham. Jaden Williams cut the ball back for Bloxham, inside the West Brom penalty area, and the Spurs winger powerfully finished past Hollingshead, 5-1. McKnight hit a low effort narrowly wide from out on the right side of the West Brom box, but then Thomas Bloxham got his second goal of the game. Bloxham tapping home from Rio Kyerematen’s low cross into the West Brom box, 6-1. Han Willhoft-King and Thomas Bloxham were replaced by Jamie Donley and Sam Amo-Ameyaw, and then Billy Heaps replaced Maxwell McKnight not long after. 

Luca Gunter did well to stop Reyes Cleary’s thumping effort late on in the game, before Brandon Bryan-Waugh did well to block a volleyed effort from Rico Richards. The final score – Spurs 6-1 West Bromwich Albion. 

Player reviews:

  • Luca Gunter: The first year scholar didn’t have an awful lot of saves to make today. Gunter did however, make a good one to stop Reyes Cleary from scoring his second goal of the game, late on in the match.
  • Brandon Bryan-Waugh: This was another good all-round performance from the right-back, who defended well against West Brom winger Rico Richards, throughout the match.
  • Alfie Dorrington: Apart from conceding a foul on Reyes Cleary which led to a West Brom penalty in the second half, I thought that Dorrington worked well with Charlie Sayers in central defence, and also brought the ball out well from the back. 
  • Charlie Sayers: This was another solid performance from the recent Spurs signing, which also saw Charlie Sayers score another goal. 
  • Jordan Hackett-Valton: The left-back made an important defensive intervention at 0-0, and also made a good block as well.
  • Han Willhoft-King: The skilful midfielder likes to receive the ball and go on skilful forward runs. And the schoolboy footballer did it really well on a couple of occasions today as well, while playing as the deepest of the two central midfielders. 
  • Rio Kyerematen: This was a good performance from the central midfielder, who set-up two goals against West Brom, and got forward well. 
  • Maxwell McKnight: This was another strong performance from the Colchester born footballer. Playing out on the right flank as a winger, McKnight got one assist and was also very direct both with and without the ball. 
  • Alfie Devine: The Spurs captain showed good leadership throughout the game, and his quality with the ball at his feet really showed during the match, and he played the game with a real elegance about him. And his excellent solo goal was taken really well. 
  • Thomas Bloxham: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jaden Williams: This was a very good performance from the centre-forward, who made some good runs in-behind, led the line well and was potent inside the West Brom box. Jaden took both of his goals well and got an assist as well. 
  • Jamie Donley: The late substitute played just behind centre-forward Jaden Williams, in the CAM role.
  • Sam Amo-Ameyaw: The second half substitute played in midfield, following his introduction.
  • Billy Heaps: The first year scholar and midfielder came on as a late substitute in the second half.

My man of the match: Thomas Bloxham: Starting out on the left flank as a winger, first year scholar Thomas Bloxham was very influential in the game. Bloxham took responsibility with the ball and was unpredictable with it. He took both of his second half goals well, but he was also involved in some of the other goals today as well. The skilful player also worked really well off the ball.

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