Spurs’ Under 23 side faced Leeds United, in a Premier League 2 fixture at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Monday evening. Wayne Burnett’s side recorded a 1-1 draw with Leeds, and in the end it was probably a fair result. Spurs, who were missing a number of regular starters, lined-up with Joshua Oluwayemi in goal, while a back four consisting of trialist Kwaku Oduroh, Marqes Muir, Charlie Sayers and Dermi Lusala started in-front of the Spurs goalkeeper. Matthew Craig and Spurs captain Marcel Lavinier started in central-midfield, with Yago Santiago and Romaine Mundle starting out on the flanks, either side of CAM J’Neil Bennett. Max Robson started at centre-forward for Spurs. Leeds got the game underway in North London, but it was Spurs who managed to create the first real chance of the game. After Matthew Craig passed the ball to Yago Santiago, the former Celta Vigo player delivered a low cross into the centre of the Leeds box, as Max Robson came so close to making contact with the ball.
Santiago showed some good skill to enter the Leeds United penalty area before passing the ball to J’Neil Bennett, whose effort on the turn, went just wide of the Leeds goal. A couple of minutes later a long ball over the top of the Spurs defence resulted in defender Marqes Muir slipping, as Max Dean received the ball through on goal, inside the Spurs box. However, Oluwayemi made a good save with his legs, to stop Dean from giving Leeds the lead. Nohan Kenneh headed an effort wide from Sam Greenwood’s resulting corner-kick, before a low cross into the Spurs box from Amari Miller to Max Dean, resulted in Dean seeing his effort pushed behind by Oluwayemi. Romaine Mundle had an effort blocked, after Max Robson had initially done really well to win the ball to allow Spurs to go forward. Marqes Muir then blocked Charlie Allen’s effort, before a one-two between J’Neil Bennett and Yago Santiago, resulted in the former having a curling effort saved by Leeds goalkeeper Kristoffer Klaesson.
J’Neil Bennett received a yellow card, before Nohan Kenneh headed an effort just wide from Stuart McKinstry’s corner-kick, in what turned out to be the final chance of the first half. Spurs got the second half underway. J’Neil Bennett just missed making contact with Marcel Lavinier’s cross inside the Leeds box, before Yago Santiago had an effort blocked inside the penalty area. However, shortly after Spurs conceded a penalty, after Marqes Muir barged Leeds forward Max Dean to the floor inside the Spurs penalty area. Up stepped Sam Greenwood, who placed the ball to the right of Joshua Oluwayemi, who went the wrong way, 0-1. Robson once again came close to guiding the ball home from close range. This time just missing Santiago’s low cross into the Leeds box. Dermi Lusala had an effort from distance saved by Kristoffer Klaesson, before Marcel Lavinier had an effort blocked inside the Leeds box, after going on a good forward run with the ball. Dermi Lusala received a yellow card for making a foul on a Leeds player, and then Spurs made their first change of ten game, as Jaden Williams replaced Yago Santiago.
Leeds United substitute Sean McGurk had an effort blocked on the edge of the Spurs box, before Spurs made their second change of the game. As Jez Davies came on to replace the hardworking Max Robson. After Sam Greenwood passed the ball to Amari Miller on the left side of the Spurs box, the former Birmingham City player hit a good effort on goal, which Spurs goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi managed to tip behind. Marqes Muir blocked yet another Leeds effort well, and then Spurs made their final change of the game, as Dante Cassanova came on to replace Dermi Lusala. After Spurs won a free-kick out on the left flank, a really good number of the Spurs players made their way into the Leeds penalty area. A fine ball into the Leeds box from Romaine Mundle saw second year scholar Jez Davies get on the ball in the air, to head home a powerful effort past Kristoffer Klaesson, 1-1. Spurs almost won the game late on, after Bennett received Mundle’s pass down the right side of the Leeds box. However, Bennett’s powerful effort hit the side-netting of Klaesson’s goal.
This was a good and hardworking team performance from a group of Spurs players who haven’t played together that much this season. Our next Premier League 2 game is away to Arsenal, this Friday evening at Meadow Park.
- Joshua Oluwayemi: The Spurs goalkeeper made three impressive and important saves against Leeds United, as he had a strong game for Spurs in goal.
- Kwaku Oduroh: The trialist from Manchester City, had a steady game at right-back, I thought. Oduroh (19) was defending against the talented Amari Miller, during the game.
- Marqes Muir: I thought that apart from conceding a second half penalty for a foul on Max Dean, which he would have obviously been very disappointed about, that centre-half Marqes Muir had a good game in defence, alongside Charlie Sayers. It was the first time in a competitive game that both Muir and Sayers had teamed up together in central-defence. Marqes made some good blocks, and he once again showed his quality on the ball.
- Charlie Sayers: My man of the match, see below.
- Dermi Lusala: The left-back for the match got forward down Spurs’ left flank as he showed good skill with the ball, in what was only his third competitive appearance for the Spurs Under 23 side this season.
- Matthew Craig: Very involved in the game in midfield, Matthew Craig was involved a lot on the ball and he liked to pass it forward, while also working hard off the ball.
- Marcel Lavinier: The Spurs captain interestingly played in central-midfield, and I thought that he had a fine game in that new role. Lavinier used the ball well and went on some good forward runs with the ball.
- Yago Santiago: Playing out on the right flank, Yago Santiago showed good skill and determination with the ball, and he delivered some good crosses into the Leeds penalty area.
- J’Neil Bennett: One of Spurs’ best players against Leeds, winger J’Neil Bennett played in a more central role on Monday. He was involved a lot in the play, and his surging forward runs with the ball caused problems for the Leeds defence, and Bennett was unlucky not to get a goal against them.
- Romaine Mundle: I thought that the left winger for the game grew into the match, and got better and better as it went on. Mundle delivered a great ball into the box from a late free-kick to assist the equaliser from Jez Davies.
- Max Robson: Without a recognised centre-forward for the game on Monday evening, first year professional Max Robson had for the most part the job of leading the line. Determined and always willing to make runs into the Leeds box, but also dropping deep to collect the ball on occasions as well. Robson won the ball off Leeds a good number of times, and his work-rate was once again very good.
- Jaden Williams: The first year scholar came on as a substitute during the second half.
- Jez Davies: The late second half substitute came on to make his Premier League 2 debut, and he scored the equaliser for Spurs with a fine headed goal.
- Dante Cassanova: The midfielder came on for the final minutes of the game, to make his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 23 side.
My man of the match: Charlie Sayers. On his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 23 side, I thought that former Southend United player Charlie Sayers had a really good game in central-defence for Spurs. The 17 year old second year scholar who has been a regular for the Spurs Under 18 side since joining the club, had a very solid game defensively against Leeds, and I certainly don’t remember him making a single error during the game. Sayers impressed with his distribution from defence, and Spurs’ head-coach Wayne Burnett was encouraging him to make passes down the left side of the pitch.