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.

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