Spurs’ Under 18 side welcomed Aston Villa to Hotspur Way on Saturday afternoon, for a Premier League South fixture. Spurs lost the match 2-0, and although they were missing a number of regular starters, they did well, and were in the game all match, creating a lot of chances. Spurs lined up with Aaron Maguire in goal, while a back four of Maxwell McKnight, Alfie Dorrington, Archie Chaplin and Jordan Hackett started in front of him. George Abbott and Billy Heaps started in central-midfield, and Sam Amo-Ameyaw and Riley Owen started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Han Willhoft-King. Captain Jaden Williams led the line for Spurs. Aston Villa got the game underway on a really nice day at Hotspur Way. After receiving the ball out on the right flank Sam Amo-Ameyaw came inside onto his left foot before having an early effort saved by Aston Villa goalkeeper Sam Lewis. A couple of minutes later a loose pass from Alfie Dorrington came to Dewain Sewell, who went down the right side of the Spurs box, before hitting an effort just wide of the goal.
Another loose pass from a Spurs player (Han Willhoft-King) saw the ball come to Dewain Sewell, who crossed the ball to Kadan Young, whose first time effort was saved by Aaron Maguire. A good run down the right flank from Amo-Ameyaw resulted in the winger cutting inside onto his left foot, but his curling effort was tipped over by Sam Lewis. After Alfie Dorrington headed Billy Heaps’ free-kick across goal inside the Spurs box, Jaden Williams did well to catch the ball on the volley, but his effort went narrowly wide of the Aston Villa goal. After receiving Travis Patterson’s pass inside the Spurs penalty area, Chisom Afoka hit a low effort wide of Maguire’s goal. Amo-Ameyaw hit a low cross right across the face of the Aston Villa goal a couple of minutes later, after again showing good skill with the ball. Amo-Ameyaw then had an effort saved by Sam Lewis inside the Aston Villa box, before a Billy Heaps free-kick almost deflected into the path of Archie Chaplin inside the Aston Villa box, but Sam Lewis was able to gather the ball in time.
Travis Patterson hit an effort low and wide from distance for Aston Villa, before at the other end of the pitch Billy Heaps hit an effort wide. Heaps then blocked Aston Villa captain Aaron O’Reilly’s effort, a minute or so after. Aston Villa took the lead about eight minutes before half-time. Dewain Sewell managed to latch onto Billy Heaps’ loose pass on the edge of the Spurs box, before showing good composure in front of goal and finishing well with a low effort past Aaron Maguire, 0-1. Spurs tried to respond before half-time. Jaden Williams had a deflected saved by Sam Lewis, after receiving a pass from Riley Owen inside the Aston Villa box. Sam Amo-Ameyaw then appeared to be fouled inside the Aston Villa penalty area, but he was still able to pass the ball to McKnight, who came inside onto his left foot well, before curling an effort over the goal. Han Willhoft-King then had an effort blocked, before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time.
Spurs got the second half underway. Chaplin headed an effort wide from a Billy Heaps free-kick, before McKnight had an effort on his left foot saved. George Abbott played a one-two with Riley Owen inside the Aston Villa box, before seeing his effort saved well by Sam Lewis, with a defender then clearing the ball off the line. Maguire saved well with his feet to stop Kadan Young from scoring inside the Spurs box. Spurs then made their first change of the game, as Damola Ajayi came on to make his debut at this level for Spurs, in place of Billy Heaps. A corner-kick from Ajayi was met by Chaplin inside the Aston Villa box. His headed effort was saved by Sam Lewis, and then Williams also had an effort saved on the follow up. Before Owen then had an effort on goal cleared on the line. Tyrese Hall came on to replace Riley Owen, before Archie Chaplin did well to clear Travis Patterson’s effort. Hall then had an effort blocked, as Spurs continued to look for an equaliser. McKnight hit an effort narrowly over Sam Lewis’ goal, from the edge of the Aston Villa box.
Charlie Pavey headed an effort just over from a cross, before Maxwell McKnight’s fine cross to Tyrese Hall inside the Aston Villa box at the back post, resulted in Hall having his effort tipped behind by the impressive Sam Lewis. Another cross from McKnight a couple of minutes later found it’s way to the unmarked Tyrese Hall at the back post of the Aston Villa box. However, Hall was unlucky as he ended up putting the ball over the goal. Spurs continued to create chances. Jaden Williams’ lofted pass through to George Abbott inside the Aston Villa box, resulted in Abbott having an effort saved by Lewis. However, after Aston Villa player Todd Alcock made a good run in behind the Spurs defence to latch onto Travis Patterson’s pass, he continued into the Spurs box, before finding the bottom right hand corner of Maguire’s goal, 0-2. An impressive challenge from Archie Chaplin on Travis Patterson inside the Spurs box, stopped a chance for Aston Villa late on in the game, with the referee sounding the full-time whistle moments later. Spurs’ next Premier League South game is away to Reading, next Saturday (the game starts at 11.30am).
- Aaron Maguire: The second year scholar and goalkeeper had a solid game in goal, and couldn’t have done anything to stop either of Aston Villa’s goals. Maguire made one really good save with his feet during the second half.
- Maxwell McKnight: Starting this match at right-back rather than as a winger, first year scholar Maxwell McKnight often stayed quite deep to defend during much of the first half (he was still involved quite a bit in the final third). However, as the second half went on McKnight got forward down the right flank a lot more, showed his quality on the ball and delivered some good crosses into the Aston Villa box.
- Alfie Dorrington: Regardless of the score line, Alfie Dorrington formed a good defensive partnership with the slightly less experienced Archie Chaplin. Dorrington made some good defensive interventions during the game.
- Archie Chaplin: My man of the match, see below.
- Jordan Hackett: The left-back often stayed quite deep on the pitch to help out the two centre-halves.
- George Abbott: The deepest of the two central midfielders got forward with the ball well, and was involved in some clever play in the final third. Abbott was unlucky not to score again today.
- Billy Heaps: The midfielder started the match just ahead of George Abbott in central-midfield, where he worked hard during his 61 minutes on the pitch.
- Sam Amo-Ameyaw: Showing some really good skill on the ball out on the right flank. Particularly during the first half the schoolboy footballer was very direct with the ball and would really test Aston Villa left-back Harvey Rhoades. This was in my opinion Amo-Ameyaw’s best game so far for the Spurs Under 18 side.
- Han Willhoft-King: Starting the game as a CAM but later going to a central-midfield role, the hardworking midfielder once again showed good composure with the ball when he went on forward runs.
- Riley Owen: Again showing good skill on the ball, left-winger Riley Owen was direct with the ball and went on some skilful runs with it.
- Jaden Williams: The Spurs captain was very unlucky not to score today, such was his good movement and hard work off the ball.
- Damola Ajayi: The second half substitute initially went to start in the CAM position, but later went out to the left flank, on his debut for Spurs at this level.
- Tyrese Hall: The schoolboy footballer made his fourth appearance of the season for Spurs’ Under 18 side today, when he came on in the second half. A skilful player with the ball, Hall went to the CAM role following his introduction to the game. On another day he could have scored a brace.
My man of the match: Archie Chaplin. The centre-half had a very good game on the left side of central defence. The schoolboy footballer made some really good clearances, challenges and defensive interventions against Aston Villa, and his overall reading of the game was very good. Chaplin is a very quick defender, and he formed a good central-defensive partnership with Alfie Dorrington.