Spurs’ Under 23 side traveled up to Southport for a Monday evening Premier League 2 meeting with Everton, at The Pure Stadium. Wayne Burnett’s Spurs side saw their impressive unbeaten run come to an end, as the home side – Everton won the match 1-0, and it was a very strong defensive performance from them. Spurs lined-up with Joshua Oluwayemi in goal, while a back four of Dermi Lusala, Marqes Muir, Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Marcel Lavinier, lined-up in-front of him. Jamie Bowden and captain Harvey White started in midfield, and Jack Clarke and Yago Santiago started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Alfie Devine. Dane Scarlett led the line for Spurs, for the second Under 23 game in a row. Spurs got the game underway on a very cold evening in Southport. After Everton goalkeeper Harry Tyrer punched clear Harvey White’s corner-kick, Spurs defender Malachi Fagan-Walcott headed an effort wide of the Everton goal. A decent start from Spurs resulted in them seeing more of the ball than the hosts.
After receiving Dane Scarlett’s pass, Jamie Bowden continued forward with the ball before hitting a low effort wide of goal. A couple of minutes later and after going past Malachi Fagan-Walcott and entering the Spurs box, Ellis Simms hit an effort towards the Spurs goal, but Joshua Oluwayemi saved well with his feet. At the other end of the pitch Marcel Lavinier had an effort blocked inside the Everton penalty area, before Alfie Devine saw his deflected effort saved by Tyrer. Then after Devine
passed the ball through to Jack Clarke inside the Everton box, Everton defender and captain Ryan Astley made a good and important block. After receiving Harvey White’s lofted pass, centre-forward Dane Scarlett managed to get around an Everton defender, before having his powerful effort inside the Everton box saved by Tyrer. Spurs continued to see a lot of the ball, and after Bowden found Devine with a lofted pass inside the Everton box, Devine brought it down and was through on goal. But once again Harry Tyrer was alert and was able to make a good save to stop Devine’s effort on goal.
Jamie Bowden had an effort from distance saved by Tyrer, before Everton took the lead against the run of play. Recent signing from Rangers – Nathan Patterson delivered a good ball into the Spurs box from the right flank. The ball was met by Lewis Dobbin, whose header beat Oluwayemi in the Spurs goal, and went into the left corner of the goal, 0-1. Shortly before half-time Marqes Muir made an important challenge on Lewis Dobbin, to stop a promising Everton counter in what was the last bit of action from the first half. Everton got the second half underway and Spurs goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi had to make an early save to stop Isaac Price’s effort. The impressive Lewis Dobbin then managed to get past Malachi Fagan-Walcott, and down the right side of the Spurs penalty area, before being met by Oluwayemi, who bravely gathered the ball.
Everton had started the second half better than they had the first half, and a ball over the top of the Spurs defence resulted in Lewis Dobbin trying to get away from Marqes Muir. However, Muir stayed with the Everton man well, before managing to block his eventual effort on goal behind for a corner-kick. Oluwayemi saved well from Jarrad Branthwaite’s headed effort, from an Everton corner-kick. There were then some more efforts on goal, before Lewis Dobbin narrowly put the ball over Oluwayemi’s goal. Spurs winger Jack Clarke received a yellow card, before Kyle John hit an effort over from distance. Malachi Fagan-Walcott then also received a yellow card from the referee, and he was then involved in the resulting Everton free-kick. As he headed clear, but Sebastian Quirk managed to get onto the ball and hit an effort from distance which went wide of the Spurs goal.
Wayne Burnett made a double change as Max Robson and Romaine Mundle came on in place of Jack Clarke and Yago Santiago. Muir did well to stop an Everton forward move with Ellis Simms, before Lewis Warrington’s deflected effort from a corner-kick hit the inside of Joshua Oluwayemi’s left hand post, before going wide. First year scholar Jaden Williams came on to replace Alfie Devine. Max Robson headed Dermi Lusala’s cross off an Everton defender, and behind for a Spurs corner-kick. Jaden Williams had a looping header saved by Harry Tyrer, from the resulting corner-kick. And then very late on in the game Max Robson headed just wide at Harry Tyrer’s near post, after meeting Romaine Mundle’s cross inside the Everton box. Then even later on in the game Marqes Muir hit a deflected effort behind inside the Everton box. However, the referee sounded the final whistle a couple of moments later. Spurs’ next Premier League 2 game is on the seventh of February, when they host Crystal Palace.
- Joshua Oluwayemi: The Spurs goalkeeper made a couple of good saves, and in my opinion had a solid game.
- Dermi Lusala: On his first appearance of the season for the Spurs Under 23 side, following his return from injury, right-back Dermi Lusala had a good first half. He often stayed deeper than Marcel Lavinier, who was playing at left-back.
- Marqes Muir: My man of the match, see below.
- Malachi Fagan-Walcott: Playing as a left-sided centre-half, Malachi Fagan-Walcott was good in the air and had to do quite a bit of defending to stop Everton winger Lewis Dobbin.
- Marcel Lavinier: Playing at left-back for this game, Marcel Lavinier really got forward a lot.
- Jamie Bowden: The Spurs midfielder, whose loan at Oldham Athletic only recently ended, worked well with Harvey White in midfield. He created one very good chance for Alfie Devine, during the first half.
- Harvey White: The Spurs captain showcased his impressive passing off both feet, and often seemed to create time and space for himself on the ball.
- Jack Clarke: Playing out on the right flank and completing 76 minutes of the game, Jack Clarke had a slightly quieter game in comparison to his previous last couple of matches. However, Everton did defend very well throughout the match.
- Alfie Devine: The CAM made some good runs into decent areas, worked hard off the ball and was unlucky not to score during the first half.
- Yago Santiago: The left winger for the game went on some promising runs both with and without the ball, during the first half.
- Dane Scarlett: The centre-forward worked very hard inside the Everton half, and he was quite unlucky not to score during the first half.
- Romaine Mundle: The second half substitute created one good chance for Max Robson late on in the game.
- Max Robson: It was great to see Max Robson make his first competitive appearance of the season for Wayne Burnett’s Under 23 side. He created some good space for himself, and was unlucky not to score from his late headed effort on goal.
- Jaden Williams: The late second half substitute played in the CAM role during the late stages of the game.
My man of the match: Marqes Muir. On his first competitive appearance for the Spurs Under 23 side since October, centre-half Marqes Muir, was in my opinion Spurs’ best player against Everton, on Monday evening. Teaming up with Malachi Fagan-Walcott, in central-defence. Muir played as a right-sided centre-half, and he always looked composed both with and without the ball. He helped to keep Everton centre-forward Ellis Simms fairly quite during the game, and he also made some important defensive interventions. His positioning was very good throughout the game.