Spurs Under 18’s 2-1 West Bromwich Albion: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side welcomed West Bromwich Albion to Hotspur Way for a Premier League South match, on Saturday afternoon. Stuart Lewis’ Spurs side won the match 2-1, after an impressive second half performance saw them turn the game around, after West Brom had taken the lead in the first half. Spurs lined-up with Aaron Maguire in goal, while a back four of Brandon Bryan-Waugh, Alfie Dorrington, Charlie Sayers and Jahziah Linton started in front of him. George Abbott and Jez Davies started in midfield, while Maxwell McKnight and Thomas Bloxham started out on the flanks, either side of Spurs captain Jamie Donley. Jaden Williams led the line for Spurs. West Brom got the game underway. Jaden Williams had an early effort blocked inside the West Brom box, before Alfie Dorrington blocked Akeel Higgins’ effort, with the ball then going to Jesse Wangusi, whose effort from the edge of the Spurs box, found the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 0-1. Reyes Cleary then hit an effort over from the left flank, before hitting another effort wide from almost the same place, a couple of minutes later. 

Thomas Bloxham was shown a yellow card, and then a couple of minutes later Charlie Sayers made a good defensive intervention from Jesse Wangusi’s cross into the Spurs box. Layton Love headed over a corner-kick from Cleary, as West Brom continued to start the game well. Maguire did well to save Reyes Cleary’s low effort on goal, before a pass from Jez Davies to Maxwell McKnight on the right flank saw McKnight take the ball into the West Brom box, before having a low effort saved by the goalkeeper Ronnie Hollingshead. George Abbott then had an effort blocked on the left side of the West Brom penalty area, before Jaden Williams had a cross from the left headed towards goal by Maxwell McKnight, whose effort was saved by Hollingshead. The referee sounded his whistle for half-time a couple of minutes later. Spurs got the second half underway. Jaden Williams had an early low effort from the edge of the West Brom box, tipped behind by Hollingshead. Then from Thomas Bloxham’s resulting corner-kick, the ball came to George Abbott, whose deflected effort was eventually gathered by the West Brom goalkeeper.

After receiving Reyes Cleary’s pass on the right side of the Spurs box, Jesse Wangusi had an effort well saved by Maguire. At the other end of the pitch Thomas Bloxham had an effort blocked inside the West Brom box, before a pass from Abbott to Williams inside the West Brom box, resulted in the centre-forward having an effort blocked. The impressive Reyes Cleary hit an effort into the side-netting of Aaron Maguire’s goal, from the left side of the Spurs box. After receiving Jaden Williams’ pass just inside the West Brom box, Jamie Donley hit a low effort wide of the goal. After receiving the ball and going inside onto his right foot with it, Thomas Bloxham hit an effort over Hollingshead’s goal. Reyes Cleary than hit an effort just over Maguire’s goal, from inside the Spurs box. From a West Brom corner-kick Jahziah Linton blocked Layton Love’s volley. Then at the other end of the pitch, Jaden Williams had a back-heeled effort saved by Hollingshead.

After Jesse Wangusi’s through-ball pass to Reyes Cleary allowed the West Brom forward to go into the Spurs box, his effort went over the goal. Spurs made a double substitution, as Rio Kyerematen and Billy Heaps replaced Maxwell McKnight and Thomas Bloxham respectively. After Reyes Cleary had an effort inside the Spurs box deflect off of Brandon Bryan-Waugh, Aaron Maguire was able to gather the ball. Dorrington then blocked yet another effort from Reyes Cleary, before Spurs managed to get an equaliser. After receiving Brandon Bryan-Waugh’s pass on the right flank, Rio Kyerematen’s low cross into the West Brom box was tapped home by the sliding George Abbott, at the near post, 1-1. Riley Owen replaced Jez Davies, before a low cross from the left of the West Brom box from Donley to Williams, saw the forward have his effort from close range somehow saved by Ronnie Hollingshead, before he then saved an effort from Donley. A couple of minutes later Spurs took the lead for the first time in the match. A cross from the right flank from Brandon Bryan-Waugh into the West Brom box, managed to find Riley Owen in some space. Owen headed the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal, 2-1. 

Billy Heaps hit a powerful effort on goal from the edge of the West Brom box, which was tipped onto the bar by Hollingshead. Very late on in the game Jamie Donley blocked Layton Love’s effort well on the edge of the Spurs box, before the referee sounded his whistle for full-time. Spurs’ next Premier League South match is away to Norwich City, next Saturday.

Player reviews:

  • Aaron Maguire: The Spurs goalkeeper made some smart saves today at important times in the match. Maguire also did well with his distribution.
  • Brandon Bryan-Waugh: The right-back had to defend against the talented and skilful Reyes Cleary, on the left flank. I thought that Bryan-Waugh did well in how he defended against Cleary, and he also set-up Riley Owen’s winning goal. 
  • Alfie Dorrington: The right sided centre-half who signed his first professional contract with the club in midweek, did well at bringing the ball out of defence against West Brom. Dorrington had quite a lot of defending to do.
  • Charlie Sayers: Making some important defensive interventions and keeping good positioning throughout the match, Charlie Sayers and also Alfie Dorrington had a quite a lot of defending to do against West Brom on Saturday.
  • Jahziah Linton: The left-back got up and down the left flank well against West Brom.
  • George Abbott: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jez Davies: Once again the central-midfielder showed great composure on the ball, and he brought it forward well during his time on the pitch.
  • Maxwell McKnight: Starting the match out on the right flank, first year scholar Maxwell McKnight went on some good runs during the first half, and he showed some great pace, and also delivered some good crosses into the West Brom box. 
  • Jamie Donley: The Spurs captain was always looking to receive the ball and looking to make that decisive forward pass.
  • Thomas Bloxham: The left winger once again showed good skill on the ball, and when he received it out on the left flank, he was very direct with the ball.
  • Jaden Williams: The centre-forward led the line well today, and although he didn’t score a goal, he did a lot of good work in the forward areas, and showed some really good skill on the ball, on occasions.
  • Rio Kyerematen: The second half substitute set-up George Abbott’s equalising goal, and he made a good impression on the game during his time on the pitch.
  • Billy Heaps: The second half substitute came very close to scoring from a powerful effort which was really well tipped onto the crossbar by the West Brom goalkeeper.
  • Riley Owen: The winger made a good impression on the game after being introduced to the match late on. Apart from taking his headed goal well, Owen also went on a really good long and skilful run with the ball, which started inside the Spurs half.

My man of the match: George Abbott. This was a very good all-round performance from the midfielder and first year scholar. Abbott covered so much ground in midfield, showed good skill and pace with the ball, and also scored Spurs’ equalising goal. The Islington born footballer impressed greatly with his defensive work today, but he also got forward well throughout the match.

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