Spurs Under 23’s versus Leeds United: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 23 side face Leeds United at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, on Monday evening (the game starts at 19:00pm), in the Premier League 2. Wayne Burnett’s Spurs side haven’t won a league game this year, but the team who they face on Monday have been in quite good form of late, and in their last league game they beat Liverpool 3-0. Earlier on in the season when these two teams met in Yorkshire, Spurs won 4-2. However, Leeds had some good moments in that game, showing good character to draw level during the first half, after Spurs went 2-0 up. Former Spurs Academy player Dilan Markanday scored a wonderful hat-trick for Spurs that day, to help them to win the game 4-2. Leeds are a talented team, and with players like centre-forward Joe Gelhardt, midfielder Lewis Bate, and winger Sean McGurk all possible starters on Monday, Leeds could be a very difficult team to get a result against. Regardless of the fact that they are just two points above the relegation zone, in Premier League 2 Division one. This will be a great experience for the Spurs players, to once again get the opportunity to play at our excellent stadium. I would like to wish the team all the very best of luck for the match.

My predicted lineup: Oluwayemi, Lusala, Muir, Paskotši, Lavinier, White (c), Robson, Bennett, Devine, Santiago, Scarlett.

Substitutes from: Lo-Tutala, Dorrington, Kyerematen, Williams, Donley.

Injured/unavailable: Tobi Omole (suspended), Kallum Cesay (suspended), Malachi Fagan-Walcott (suspended).

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 4-2.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Sean McGurk (18). The Leeds United winger is a very skilful player, who has fine balance and skill on the ball. McGurk has scored two league goals from 14 appearances this season, and although he usually plays out wide, he can also play as a CAM. McGurk has really impressed me whenever I have seen him play in the past. 

Some notes on Spurs loanee Troy Parrott’s performance against Charlton Athletic:

Spurs player Troy Parrott (on loan at MK Dons) completed the whole of the MK Dons versus Charlton Athletic League One fixture, on Tuesday evening. The Republic of Ireland international started the match to the right of centre-forward Connor Wickham. Parrott’s first involvement of the match (MK Dons won the game 2-0) came fairly early on. After Conor Coventry made a really good lofted pass through to Parrott, who had made a run into the Charlton penalty area, Parrott tried to bring the ball down, but he couldn’t control the ball as he would have hoped, and the Charlton goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray managed to gather it in time. However, if Troy had been able to control the ball as he would have wished, then he would have been through on goal. During the latter stages of the first half he had switched flanks with Scott Twine. The Dubliner enjoyed a good start to the second half, and not long into the half, Parrott received the ball out on the right flank. He then went on a run at pace, with the ball, before trying to play a through-ball towards Scott Twine, but former Spurs player Chris Gunter managed to get to the ball in time, to stop Twine from being through on goal.

After going on a good run with the ball towards the Charlton box, Parrott laid the ball off to Connor Wickham, who tried to score with a powerful low effort, which was saved by MacGillivray, before Kaine Kesler Hayden finished from close range. As the half went on Troy was drifting out more to the left flank. His last real involvement of the game, was a defensive one. Parrott was already in the Charlton half when he sprinted all the way back to the Mk Dons half to help stop a Charlton forward move. Parrott showed great pace and desire to eventually block Elliott Lee’s effort on goal.

Spurs Under 18’s versus Leicester City: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side will face Leicester City, at their new training ground in Seagrave, on Saturday afternoon (the game starts at 12:00pm). Spurs will be hoping to get a good result against a Leicester side who are doing really well in the league this season, as well as in cup competitions. Leicester are in fourth place in the Premier League South, just three points behind league leaders West Ham United, although Leicester have two games in hand. Leicester deserved to win the reverse fixture against Spurs earlier in the season, as they won 3-0 at Hotspur Way, with forward Chris Popov having a very good game for Leicester on that day. Spurs lost 3-0 to Wolves (in the FA Youth Cup), in their last competitive game, and so they’ll be hoping to get a better result this Saturday, as they return to playing league football. I would like to wish the Spurs team all the very best of luck for the match. I plan on travelling up to the English Midlands tomorrow morning, to cover the match. 

My predicted lineup: Gunter, Bryan-Waugh, Dorrington, Sayers, Linton, Willhoft-King, Kyerematen (c), McKnight, Donley, Bloxham, Williams.

Subs from: Maguire, Andiyapan, Heaps, Torraj, Owen.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 0-3.

My score prediction: 1-1. 

My one to watch: Chris Popov. The Wales youth international had an excellent game in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, when he scored a second half hat-trick, to help Leicester to win the match 3-0. The forward has scored an impressive total of 12 league goals from 13 appearances, so far this season, as well as providing one assist. The former Manchester United player is someone who has good pace and movement off the ball, and who is also a clinical finisher inside the penalty area.

Spurs Under 23’s versus Chelsea: (match preview)

After losing their last two Premier League 2 matches, Spurs will be looking to return to winning ways when they make the fairly short trip to Kingsmeadow to face Chelsea, on Friday evening (the game starts at 19:00pm). Chelsea, who are currently in the Premier League 2 Division One relegation zone (in 13th place), have lost their last three league matches. This fixture has seen some great games over the years, at this level. Chelsea won 3-2 against Spurs in their home fixture in the league last season, despite Spurs going 2-0 up in the first half, in what was a very lively game of football. Midfield player Harvey Vale was probably Chelsea’s best player in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, as he scored a brace. However, although Chelsea haven’t been in great form in the league this season, this will be another difficult game for Spurs. Wayne Burnett’s side are missing three of their defenders for the game against Chelsea, with Tobi Omole, Kallum Cesay and Malachi Fagan-Walcott all suspended for this game. It will also be interesting to see if Dane Scarlett and Harvey White will be involved in the game on Friday, or if they will once again be part of the first team squad, this time for their away game against Manchester City on Saturday.

I will be at Kingsmeadow on Friday evening, and my match report will be out later on that evening. I would like to wish the Spurs team all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: Oluwayemi, Lusala, Muir, Paskotši, Lavinier, Matthew Craig, Santiago, Mundle, Robson, Bennett, Devine (c).

Subs from: Lo-Tutala, Dorrington, Kyerematen, Donley, Williams.

Injured/unavailable: Tobi Omole (suspended), Kallum Cesay (suspended), Malachi Fagan-Walcott (suspended). 

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: 2-2.

My score prediction: 2-2. 

My one to watch: Harvey Vale. The second year scholar scored a brace in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, and I thought that he had a very good game. The midfield player looks very skilful on the ball, and he has scored five Premier League 2 goals so far this season, and has also provided two assists from 14 appearances.

Some notes on Spurs player Harvey White and his season so far:

Harvey White has been a key player once again for the Spurs Development side, this season. The Maidstone born footballer, who has so often been playing as the furthest forward of the two central-midfielders during this season, because of Brooklyn Lyons-Foster almost always playing in the defensive-midfield role. Harvey has contributed by scoring an impressive seven goals from midfield and also providing seven assists, from 20 competitive appearances. Last season (2020/21) I thought that Harvey really impressed during the pre-season of that season, with the first team. He then continued to be a mainstay of the Spurs Under 23 side, during the first half of the season. However, he then went out on his first loan, moving to League One side Portsmouth, during the second half of the season. While there, the midfielder made 22 appearances for Portsmouth, scoring one goal and registering one assist. The loan move to the English south coast, must have been an invaluable experience for Harvey at that stage in his career. As although he wasn’t always starting matches for Portsmouth, he still got a good amount of minutes at senior level.

I watched quite a lot of the matches that Harvey played for Portsmouth, last season. I thought that he did well, didn’t look at all out of place at that level, and showed his technical quality on the ball, while also showing good movement off the ball, as well. This season, Harvey started pre-season with the first team, before playing the final friendly game of pre-season, for the Spurs Development side, in a game against Barnet. Harvey started the new season with the Spurs Development side really well, and he soon started getting a good number of goals and assists. Often captaining Wayne Burnett’s Spurs Under 23 side this season, the midfielder was excellent in a Premier League 2 away game against Leeds United, earlier on in the season, which Spurs won 4-2. During that game the 20 year old showed great vision and passing ability with the ball, but he also showed really good tenacity as well, and also a real desire to want to win the game for Spurs. Always available to receive the ball, he looked very assured in the middle of the pitch.

In Spurs Under 23 matches this season against for example Blackburn Rovers away (the game finished 3-3), a 3-1 away win over Manchester City, and also impressive wins over Leicester City and Everton, Harvey along with now former Spurs Academy player Dilan Markanday, were often the difference for Spurs in those games. Harvey has shown on numerous occasions in the Premier League 2 and also the Papa John’s Trophy, a real desire to make late runs into the penalty area, from midfield. The player who often used to play as a CAM during the early stages of his football career, is a good finisher who will get an impressive number of goals from midfield. However, he is also a very creative midfield player, who can change a game by taking a chance on the ball, and making a decisive pass. A set-piece specialist, who is often praised by fans for his quality left foot. The Spurs player can also make quality passes off his right foot, and also scores on his right foot, as well. During a 4-0 Premier League 2 home win over Everton, earlier in the season, Harvey White completely controlled the game from start to finish. He scored a really well taken goal, but also created numerous good chances for teammates as well.

In games this season Harvey has continued to show good skill on the ball. And he is capable of taking players on for skill. However, it’s his footballing brain and craft on the ball, which has seen him excel for Spurs through the scholarship years, to the Under 23 side, and which has now seen him get into the first team setup (he has already made two competitive appearances for the Spurs first team, and has made the bench on nine occasions for them so far this season). I very rarely say this about footballers at this level, but Harvey, just like his old Spurs teammate and friend Luis Binks, is a player who has just never seemed to have a bad game at Academy level. At least from all of the games that I have seen him involved in over the years at Academy level. He seems to have become more physical in games this season at Under 23 level, and has also become even more vocal in games, after often being given the captains armband during the first half of the season. Now often making the bench for the first team in recent games, it’s great to see Harvey involved a lot in Spurs’ first team setup, recently. And it really is greatly deserved.

I really hope that Harvey White gets a chance in the first team in the near future. However, training with the first team and under the guidance of the excellent Antonio Conte, I am sure that Harvey is really enjoying this invaluable experience of being around the first team setup. I would like to wish Harvey all the very best of luck for the remainder of the season. 

Spurs Under 18’s 0-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side faced Wolverhampton Wanderers, at Molineux on Saturday afternoon, in a fifth round FA Youth Cup tie. Spurs lost the match 3-0 to Wolves, who were much the better team, and they wouldn’t let Spurs settle, right from the start of the game. Luca Gunter started in goal for Spurs, while a back four of Maxwell McKnight, Alfie Dorrington, Charlie Sayers and Brandon Bryan-Waugh lined-up in front of him. Han Willhoft-King and Rio Kyerematen started in central-midfield, and Jamie Donley and Thomas Bloxham started out on the flanks, either side of CAM and captain Alfie Devine. Jaden Williams led the line for Spurs. Early on in the game, Alfie Dorrington cleared away a good free-kick from Aaron Keto-Diyawa. After receiving Kam Kandola’s pass down the right side of the Spurs penalty area, Nathan Fraser hit a low effort across Luca Gunter’s goal. Maxwell McKnight cleared Dexter Lembikisa’s promising cross into the Spurs box, as Wolves started the game really well. A couple of minutes later Nathan Fraser hit another low effort across Luca Gunter’s goal, from almost the same place inside the Spurs box, as before.

Alfie Devine hit a free-kick effort from distance into the Wolves wall, before Wolves took the lead a couple of moments later. Dexter Lembikisa’s good cross towards the back post, inside the Spurs box, was headed across Luca Gunter’s goal and into the left side of his goal, by Aaron Keto-Diyawa, 0-1. Oliver Tipton curled a Wolves free-kick over the Spurs goal, before Alfie Dorrington made an important headed clearance to deal with another really good cross from Dexter Lembikisa. Spurs’ first real chance that they managed to create, came about a couple of minutes later. Devine passed the ball to Jamie Donley, out on the right flank. The England Under 17 international then brought the ball into the Wolves box, before passing the ball out to Rio Kyerematen, who had made a forward run. However, Kyerematen’s first time effort was saved by Wolves goalkeeper Palmi Arinbjornsson, although the effort was straight at the Wolves goalkeeper. Harry Birtwistle saw his effort inside the Spurs box deflect just wide of the Spurs goal, off of Charlie Sayers. At the other end of the pitch Alfie Dorrington volleyed an effort over the Wolves goal, although he was off balance.

After Luca Gunter came rushing out of his box to try and clear the ball, Nathan Fraser tried to score with a lofted effort towards the open Spurs goal, but Alfie Dorrington managed to get back to head clear his effort. Tyler Roberts curled an effort wide inside the Spurs box, and then Nathan Fraser volleyed over a cross from Tyler Roberts, inside the Spurs penalty area. Alfie Devine was shown a yellow card, following a challenge on Dexter Lembikisa, before the former Wigan Athletic player hit over an effort a couple of moments later, inside the Wolves half. The referee sounded his whistle for half-time shortly after. Spurs got the second half underway. It started very much like the first half, with Wolves in full control of the game, for the most part. Centre-forward Nathan Fraser managed to meet Aaron Keto-Diyawa’s cross at the back post of Luca Gunter’s goal. And Fraser’s resulting headed effort was well saved by Gunter, even though it was straight at him, he managed to show really good reflexes. After Nathan Fraser played a one-two pass with Tyler Roberts, he saw his low effort towards the middle of the Spurs goal, from inside the Spurs penalty area, saved by Gunter.

After receiving a pass and turning inside the Spurs box, Tyler Roberts had an effort saved well by Luca Gunter. After going on a good run down the right side of the Spurs box, Dexter Lembikisa hit an effort against Luca Gunter’s left hand post, before Maxwell McKnight blocked Nathan Fraser’s following effort well. Charlie Sayers managed to block Harry Birtwistle’s effort inside the Spurs box, before Alfie Dorrington made a good defensive intervention shortly after. Spurs’ first change of the game saw Renaldo Torraj replace Thomas Bloxham out on the left flank. Gunter managed to save Nathan Fraser’s effort inside the Spurs penalty area, and then moments later Harry Birtwistle went past Brandon Bryan-Waugh inside the Spurs box. Birtwistle’s low cross was met by Tyler Roberts, whose low effort managed to go past Gunter in the goal, 0-2. Spurs tried to respond, as Rio Kyerematen hit a free-kick effort from the left flank wide, and then Spurs had some more defending to do inside their box. Dorrington managed to block Nathan Fraser’s effort, before Luca Gunter saved another effort a couple of seconds later. 

Jahziah Linton replaced Brandon Bryan-Waugh at left-back, and then Wolves managed to get their third goal of the game, a couple of moments later. Tyler Roberts managed to go on a good run into the Spurs box, before finishing into the bottom left corner of the goal, 0-3. Luca Gunter managed to tip over an effort from Mason Rees, before Harry Birtwistle managed to latch onto a through-ball pass, before then having an effort saved by Gunter, who then also saved Nathan Fraser’s effort well. Spurs exit the FA Youth Cup for the second season running at the fifth round stage. Spurs’ next game at this level, is away to Leicester City next Saturday, in the Premier League South. 

Player reviews: 

  • Luca Gunter: My man of the match, see below.
  • Maxwell McKnight: Starting at right-back for the first time in a good while, rather than as a winger, first year scholar Maxwell McKnight had a lot more defending to do today, than he has in recent weeks. McKnight did see more of the ball in the second half, then he did during the first half.
  • Alfie Dorrington: The right sided centre-half, like teammate Charlie Sayers had a lot of defending to do, against Wolves.
  • Charlie Sayers: The former Southend United player, like Alfie Dorrington, really did have a lot to do in central-defence. Wolves were just very good going forward, and they liked to put the ball into the Spurs box.
  • Brandon Bryan-Waugh: Playing out of position at left-back, defender Brandon Bryan-Waugh had a lot to do defensively, today. Wolves focused a lot of their attention to the flanks, during todays FA Youth Cup tie.
  • Han Willhoft-King: The defensive-midfielder had to deal with Wolves centre-forward Nathan Fraser dropping deep, to try and stop Willhoft-King from having time and space on the ball. 
  • Rio Kyerematen: The first year scholar and England Under 17 international played in central-midfield, alongside Han Willhoft-King. He completed the whole of the game, and managed Spurs’ only effort on target of the match.
  • Jamie Donley: Starting the game out on the right flank, as a winger, Jamie Donley later switched with Jaden Williams, to play at centre-forward.
  • Alfie Devine: You couldn’t say that the Spurs captain didn’t work really hard for the team, against Wolves. However, he was obviously frustrated at times during the game, because of the way that the match went.
  • Thomas Bloxham: Always trying to be inventive out on the left flank, winger Thomas Bloxham unfortunately didn’t see a lot of the ball. However, he worked hard off the ball. 
  • Jade Williams: Jaden Williams started the game as a centre-forward, before later switching with Jamie Donley, and going out onto the right flank.
  • Renaldo Torraj: The second half substitute took up a position on the left flank, as a winger.
  • Jahziah Linton: The defender went to left-back after replacing Brandon Bryan-Waugh, quite late on in the game.

My man of the match: Luca Gunter. The Spurs goalkeeper and first year scholar, was without doubt Spurs’ best player today, in my opinion. The England youth international made a number of good saves, to stop Wolves from winning the FA Youth Cup match by more than they did.

Spurs Under 18’s versus Wolverhampton Wanderers: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side will face Wolverhampton Wanderers, at Molineux, on Saturday afternoon (the game starts at 13:00pm), in what is an important FA Youth Cup fifth round tie. Head coach Stuart Lewis will be hoping that his Spurs side can win tomorrows match, and if they do manage to win what will be a very challenging and competitive game, then they will face Brighton & Hove Albion, at home in the quarter-finals of the competition. Wolves are in sixth place in the Under 18 Premier League North, and have picked up 20 points from 11 league games so far this season. Wolves also have the fourth best home form in the league, with 14 points from seven league matches this season. Wolves beat Salford City and Crystal Palace in the previous rounds of the competition, this season, to get to the fifth round stage of the competition. This will be a very difficult game for Spurs at Molineux, on Saturday. However, if they put in a similar performance to the one which saw them win 6-1 against West Brom in the last round, then they have a good chance of reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup. I will be at Molineux on Saturday, and my match report will be out later on tomorrow. I would like to wish Spurs all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: Gunter, Bryan-Waugh, Dorrington, Sayers, Hackett-Valton, Kyerematen, Devine (c), McKnight, Donley, Bloxham, Williams.

Subs from: Maguire, Andiyapan, Linton, Willhoft-King, Heaps, Owen, Torraj.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Tyler Roberts. The Wolves forward has scored five league goals from eight appearances so far this season, and he has also registered three assists.

Some notes on Spurs Academy goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz’s performance against Bishop’s Stortford:

Spurs Academy goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz played for Potters Bar Town against Bishop’s Stortford, on Tuesday evening, in an Isthmian Premier Division game. Former Spurs Academy player Eddie Carrington, was also in the Potters Bar squad, and came on during the second half. However, Kacper, who is on loan with Potters Bar from Spurs, had quite a lot to do in the game at Parkfield, which Potters Bar lost 3-0. The goalkeeper who has represented Poland at youth level in the past, was very vocal right from the start of the match, as he gave instructions out to his teammates. This was something that Kacper did really well throughout the game. However, the game didn’t get off to the best start for Potters Bar, after they gave away a free-kick near their penalty area, early on in the game. Kacper lined up his wall well, but could do nothing to stop Ben Marlow’s excellent curling free-kick from going into the top left hand corner of the goal, despite Spurs loanee Kacper being at full stretch, as he tried to get to the ball. A couple of minutes later Ben Marlow tried to score a second goal, but his powerful low effort from distance was well saved low down by the alert Kurylowicz, who managed to clear it away well with his hands.

After meeting a cross inside the Potters Bar box, from the right flank, Frankie Merrifield connected with the ball. However, his powerful headed effort which was saved really well by the very alert Kurylowicz from close range, wouldn’t have counted as the referee sounded his whistle for a foul that happened inside the penalty area. Bishop’s Stortford continued to play really well, and after a Bishop’s Stortford player tried to stop Kacper from gathering the ball inside his box, the goalkeeper managed to get a hand on the ball, before then making himself look big and saving an effort from Jack Thomas with his chest, after closing down his angles well. Frankie Merrifield struck Kacper’s crossbar shortly after, with an excellent effort from distance, before Kacper gathered a long cross from Sam Robbins. Not long before half-time Bishop’s Stortford doubled their lead, after Kurylowicz rushed out of his goal but unfortunately collided with Frankie Merrifield. The ball then came out to Ryan Charles, whose initial effort was cleared really well off the line by a Potters Bar defender. However, the defender waited for Kacper to return to gather the ball instead of clearing it. And in the end, just as Kacper was about to gather the ball, Charles managed to finish from close range.

During the second half Kurylowicz made a good early recovery inside his penalty area, to gather the ball at the feet of Ryan Charles, at the vital moment. Kacper then gathered a good Bishop’s Stortford free-kick at the second time of asking, before then punching clear a cross from the left flank. Continuing to have a busy game during the second half, Kacper came rushing off his line to gather a lofted forward pass. A little while after Kurylowicz managed to shield off Anthony Church, from a corner-kick, before punching the ball away and winning a free-kick. He then did well to push away a low effort from distance from Ryan Charles. Soon after the Spurs goalkeeper comfortably saved Darren Foxley’s free-kick effort. Bishop’s Stortford made it 3-0 late on in the game, after Foxley did well to win the ball inside the Potters Bar box, before Jonny Giles hit a low and unstoppable effort into the bottom left hand corner of Kacper’s goal. Kacper is still adapting to playing at this level, where the style of football is very different to category one Academy football. This was only his third game for Potters Bar, but I didn’t think that he was at fault for any of the goals, and I thought that he looked confident, and also made some good saves as well.

Kacper Kurylowicz will be hoping to start Potters Bar’s next game, which is against Haringey Borough, on Saturday afternoon.

Spurs Under 23’s 1-4 Crystal Palace: (match report) 

Spurs’ Under 23 side welcomed south London club Crystal Palace to Hotspur Way, on Monday afternoon, for their latest Premier League 2 game. Wayne Burnett’s Spurs side lost the match 4-1, and the away side Crystal Palace deserved to win today. Spurs lined-up with Joshua Oluwayemi in goal, while a defence of Dermi Lusala, Marqes Muir, captain Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Marcel Lavinier, started in front of the Spurs goalkeeper. Matthew Craig and Max Robson started in central-midfield, while J’Neil Bennett and Yago Santiago started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Alfie Devine. Dane Scarlett led the line for Spurs. Crystal Palace got the game underway, and it was the away side who took an early lead. After latching onto a loose ball on the edge of the Spurs penalty area, Scott Banks hit an unstoppable effort into the top left hand corner of the Spurs goal, 0-1. Malachi Fagan-Walcott blocked Jesurun Rak-Sakyi’s effort inside the Spurs box, not long after. Max Robson narrowly missed making contact with Dane Scarlett’s cross inside the Crystal Palace box, before Spurs midfielder Matthew Craig received a yellow card after conceding a free-kick on the edge of the Spurs box.

Scott Banks stepped up to take the resulting free-kick, and his curling effort went into the Spurs goal, after hitting the post, 0-2. Spurs responded well though, and after Dane Scarlett found the run of Alfie Devine with a nice pass. Devine continued with the ball down the right side of the Crystal Palace penalty area, before hitting a low effort towards the goal, which went in off the left hand post, 1-2. Scott Banks headed wide from Jesurun Rak-Sakyi’s cross, before Matthew Craig had an effort saved from distance. Jack Wells Morrison saw his volleyed effort on goal, take a deflection off of John-Kymani Gordon and go wide, and then a promising ball over the top of the Crystal Palace defence from Dermi Lusala, resulted in Dane Scarlett trying to get to the ball. Scarlett managed to get onto the ball but his looping effort was headed away by Crystal Palace goalkeeper Joe Whitworth. After receiving the ball out on the right flank from Dermi Lusala, J’Neil Bennett cut inside onto his left foot and hit Joe Whitworth’s left hand post. From a cross on the right flank, John-Kymani Gordon tested Oluwayemi, with a good headed effort on goal. However, the Spurs goalkeeper tipped the ball over his crossbar.

A cross from Marcel Lavinier was volleyed back into the Crystal Palace box by Dermi Lusala, but Max Robson, who met the ball, had his headed effort on goal saved by Whitworth. Nya Kirby then headed wide Omotayo Adaramola’s cross wide of the Spurs goal, in what turned out to be the final chance of the first half. Spurs got the second half underway. J’Neil Bennett hit an effort over from the edge of the Crystal Palace box, before Scott Banks hit an effort narrowly wide at the other end of the pitch. Crystal Palace regained their two goal lead not long after, as former Spurs Academy player Nya Kirby received the ball inside the Spurs box. Kirby hit a powerful effort towards Oluwayemi’s goal, and although the Spurs goalkeeper managed to get a hand on the ball, he was unable to keep it out of the goal, 1-3. Spurs tried to respond again, as Dermi Lusala’s cross was brought down inside the Crystal Palace box by Dane Scarlett. However, Max Robson managed to find the ball, but his effort went over the Crystal Palace goal. Malachi Fagan-Walcott blocked behind an effort from Nya Kirby, before Marqes Muir headed clear an effort from Daniel Quick. 

Dermi Lusala received a yellow card after conceding a free-kick on the edge of the Spurs box. Scott Banks stepped up to curl his resulting effort onto Joshua Oluwayemi’s crossbar. However, the ball then came to Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, who finished from close range. Spurs made a double substitution, as Jaden Williams and Rio Kyerematen came on to replace Max Robson and Dane Scarlett, respectively. There wasn’t much more to report on during the remainder of the game, but a red card was shown to Spurs defender Malachi Fagan-Walcott, late on in the match, for an off the ball incident. Spurs’ next Premier League 2 game is away to Chelsea, on the 18th of February.

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The Spurs goalkeeper made a good save to stop John-Kymani Gordon from scoring a first half goal. However, Oluwayemi was clearly frustrated that he was unable to stop Crystal Palace’s third goal of the game, after managing to get a hand on the ball, from Nya Kirby’s effort.
  • Dermi Lusala: The right-back had a lot of work to do to defend down the right side of the pitch, today. Lusala did get forward well though, to help out J’Neil Bennett.
  • Marqes Muir: The right sided centre-half teamed up with Malachi Fagan-Walcott in central-defence. Muir had a lot of defending to do, and although this was only his second consecutive start for the first time in a while, I thought that overall he did a good job defensively speaking. He also showed good quality on the ball.
  • Malachi Fagan-Walcott: The Spurs captain and left sided centre-half for the game, like Marqes Muir, had a lot of defending to do today against the talented Crystal Palace forwards. Fagan-Walcott will however, miss the next three Spurs Under 23 matches, after being shown a late red card.
  • Marcel Lavinier: The left-back was particularly good going forward today, and he was often making good forward runs off the ball.
  • Matthew Craig: One of Spurs’ most impressive performers on Monday, midfielder Matthew Craig had a strong game alongside Max Robson, in my opinion. He used the ball well, and worked hard for the team.
  • Max Robson: This was midfielder Max Robson’s first start in a competitive game of football for a very long time. And the player who was playing in central-midfield today, did well in my opinion. Robson made some good runs off the ball, and wasn’t that far away from managing to score a goal. He pressed the Crystal Palace players really well, and his off the ball work didn’t go unnoticed.
  • J’Neil Bennett: Playing out on the right flank as a winger, J’Neil Bennett didn’t see lots of the ball. However, he did manage to hit the post during the first half, with a good effort.
  • Alfie Devine: My man of the match, see below.
  • Yago Santiago: Playing as a left-winger, again today, Yago Santiago did go on some good forward runs with the ball as the game went on.
  • Dane Scarlett: The Spurs centre-forward had a good first half. He made some good runs off the Crystal Palace defenders, set-up Alfie Devine’s goal with a good pass, and he worked hard throughout the game.
  • Rio Kyerematen: Making his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 23 side as a second half substitute, midfielder Rio Kyerematen played in central-midfield.
  • Jaden Williams: Replacing Dane Scarlett at centre-forward, first year scholar Jaden Williams worked hard after being introduced during the second half. He has been playing well for the Spurs Under 18 side so far this season.

My man of the match: Alfie Devine. The second year scholar impressed with his vision with the ball, off the ball running and all round play. Devine played as a CAM, and he scored a really well taken goal during the first half. The former Wigan Athletic player did show his quality throughout the game, and he was always available to receive the ball, as he tried to be inventive with it.

Spurs Under 23’s versus Crystal Palace: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 23 side host Crystal Palace tomorrow (Monday) at Hotspur Way, in their latest Premier League 2 game. The match, which starts at 12:00pm, could be a very interesting one, as Crystal Palace beat Spurs 4-3 in the reverse fixture back in October of last year. Crystal Palace are four points and two places behind fourth placed Spurs in the league, in what is their first ever season in Premier League 2 Division One. Winger and England youth international Jesuran Rak-Sakyi was particularly impressive in the reverse fixture last year, and he will be a player to watch tomorrow. As are players like Nya Kirby (former Spurs Academy player),  David Omilabu and recent signing Killian Phillips. It’s also worth noting that Crystal Palace’s Under 23 side has included some players with a lot of first team experience in recent games, such as Martin Kelly. So it will be interesting to see if their team tomorrow does include some players with first team experience. Spurs lost their most recent league game (against Everton), and they are without a win in their last three Premier League 2 matches. This will be a really interesting game, tomorrow, and my match report will be out later on after the game on Monday. I would like to wish Wayne Burnett’s side all the very best of luck for the match.

My predicted lineup: Oluwayemi, Lusala, Muir, Fagan-Walcott, Lavinier, Bowden, White (c), Robson, Devine, Bennett, Scarlett.

Subs from: Lo-Tutala, Paskotši, Matthew Craig, Mundle, Santiago.

Injured/unavailable: Tobi Omole, Kallum Cesay.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 3-4.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Jesuran Rak-Sakyi (19). The Crystal Palace winger is a very creative player, who has already been involved in 14 league goals at Under 23 level, so far this season (11 goals and three assists). A very skilful player with good pace, the England youth international made his Premier League debut for Crystal Palace’s first team earlier on in the season.