Spurs Under 21’s 0-0 Wycombe Wanderers (Wycombe won the extra point on penalties – 4-3): (match report)

Spurs’ Under 21 side faced League One side Wycombe Wanderers in their first group-stage match of the 2022/23 Papa Johns Trophy, on Tuesday evening at Adams Park. Wayne Burnett’s Spurs side recorded a 0-0 draw during 90 minutes, in what was a very impressive all-round performance from Spurs, against Wycombe. However, after both sides had picked up one point from the result after 90 minutes, the game went to penalties, to determine who would win the extra point. Unfortunately for Spurs, Wycombe won the extra point, after winning 4-3 on penalties. Spurs started the match with Josh Keeley in goal, while Matthew Craig, Alfie Dorrington, Marqes Muir and Tyrell Ashcroft started in defence. Harvey White and captain Nile John started in central midfield, as Kallum Cesay and Romaine Mundle started out wide on the flanks, either side of CAM Jamie Donley. Yago Santiago led the line for Spurs, who got the match underway. 

Jack Wakely volleyed wide Daryl Horgan’s free-kick delivery into the Spurs box, early on in the match. Spurs’ goalkeeper Josh Keeley did well to tip Joe Jacobson’s curling corner-kick away from the Spurs goal, a couple of minutes later, as Wycombe started the game well. Joe Jacobson headed an effort just wide from a cross, before Marqes Muir blocked Jasper Pattenden’s effort on the edge of the Spurs penalty area. Matthew Craig then managed to block an effort from Joe Jacobson, just before a Wycombe corner-kick which was delivered towards Connor Parsons at the back post of Josh Keeley’s goal, was saved well by The Republic of Ireland youth international, from Parsons’ powerful effort. Wycombe were continuing to see more of the ball, and after Jasper Pattenden headed wide Joe Jacobson’s cross, Connor Parsons received the ball on the left side of the Spurs penalty area, but his powerful effort was well saved by Josh Keeley, with the ball then going behind for a goal kick.

After Jamie Donley had passed the ball to Romaine Mundle on the left flank, the skilful winger went forward with the ball, into the Wycombe box. He then came inside with the ball onto his right foot, before hitting an effort at Wycombe goalkeeper Max Stryjek’s goal, which was well saved by the former Sunderland goalkeeper. Yago Santiago curled an effort over from the edge of the Wycombe box, before Romaine Mundle took a free-kick early and found Kallum Cesay on the right side of the Wycombe penalty area. Cesay’s resulting effort on goal was saved by Max Stryjek. Nick Freeman hit a late effort wide of the Spurs goal, from the edge of their penalty area, before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time. Wycombe got the second half underway. Ben Kaninda headed over Joe Jacobson’s free-kick, before Marqes Muir did well to rush Ali Al-Hamadi’s effort on the edge of the Spurs box, which went wide of Josh Keeley’s goal. After going past Alfie Dorrington on the left side of the Spurs box, Adam Leathers was met by Josh Keeley who had closed down his angles and eventually made a good save.

Adam Leathers delivered a low cross into the Spurs box which bounced off of Daryl Horgan, before the alert Josh Keeley managed to gather the ball. Roshaun Mathurin came on to replace Harvey White, before Connor Parsons’ effort from the left side of the Spurs box, was really well blocked behind by Alfie Dorrington. Nile John then hit a low effort on the Wycombe goal from the edge of their penalty area, which was saved by Max Stryjek. After receiving Marqes Muir’s pass on the right flank, Kallum Cesay went forward with the ball into the Wycombe penalty area. His resulting effort on goal was blocked and eventually cleared away, just before Yago Santiago was able to score a goal from close range. Max Robson came on to replace Romaine Mundle in the 78th minute of the game, in what turned out to be Spurs’ final substitution. After winning the ball on the edge of the Wycombe penalty area Tyrell Ashcroft hit a powerful effort which went over Max Stryjek’s goal.

Ali Al-Hamadi managed to get on the ball after Marqes Muir had lost the ball. The former Swansea City player went forward towards the edge of the Spurs box, before hitting an effort over Keeley’s goal. Marqes Muir got a very important foot on the ball inside the Spurs box soon after, to divert Ali Al-Hamadi’s effort away from the Spurs goal. Muir then blocked a late effort from Ali Al-Hamadi inside the Spurs box, before the referee sounded his whistle for full-time. Onto penalties, and Jamie Donley stepped up to take the first penalty for Spurs. His effort off his left foot went into the top right hand corner of the goal, 1-0. Ali Al-Hamadi equalised to make it 1-1, after his penalty went into the bottom right corner of Josh Keeley’s goal. Nile John then stepped up to find the bottom right corner from his penalty kick, before Daryl Horgan found the bottom left corner of the goal, to make it 2-2. Kallum Cesay unfortunately hit his effort against the crossbar, before Jason McCarthy’s effort was then saved well by Josh Keeley, to his right.

Spurs’ fourth penalty was taken by Yago Santiago, but his low effort was saved to his left by Max Stryek. Jack Wakely then made it 3-2, with a cool finish into the roof of the goal. Roshaun Mathurin made it 3-3 from his penalty into the left of the goal. However, the decisive penalty kick was scored by Jack Young, whose effort went into the bottom left corner of the goal, although Keeley had managed to get a hand on the ball, 4-3. This was a very respectable point for Spurs against Wycombe, and it was also a really good performance. Spurs’ Under 21 side face Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon, in their next Premier League 2 fixture.

Player reviews:

  • Josh Keeley: On his return to the side the Republic of Ireland youth international and goalkeeper had another very impressive game. Josh Keeley made some really good and important saves, and his decision making and distribution was also good against Wycombe. Keeley saved one penalty, and was unlucky not to have saved another, after the 90 minutes of the match had ended.
  • Matthew Craig: Starting the match at right-back, midfielder Matthew Craig was very tidy on the ball, and he did well in defence. Craig played some of the latter stages of the game in midfield.
  • Alfie Dorrington: My man of the match, see below.
  • Marqes Muir: This was a very good defensive performance from Marqes Muir, who was always very composed on the ball, and alongside Alfie Dorrington, both players dealt well with crosses and long balls into the Spurs box. Marqes Muir’s decision making was very good.
  • Tyrell Ashcroft: The left-back for the match, Tyrell Ashcroft had a good balance to his game against Wycombe Wanderers. The 18 year old did get forward well down the left flank, but he was also solid defensively.
  • Harvey White: The 20 year old showed his experience during his time on the pitch in central midfield, and he moved the ball around the pitch well. On his second appearance of the season for the Spurs Under 21 side, Harvey White completed 64 minutes of the match.
  • Nile John: The Spurs captain and central midfielder got on the ball quite a bit during the match, in midfield. John had one effort on goal which was saved during the second half.
  • Kallum Cesay: Starting the match on the right flank as a winger, Sierra Leone international Kallum Cesay would later move to the right-back position. He went on some good forward runs with the ball during the match.
  • Jamie Donley: The Spurs CAM worked so hard off the ball, and he was always looking to receive it, and also to try and make a good impression on the game.
  • Romaine Mundle: After creating a good chance during the first half, the skilful winger looked good whenever he got on the ball, during his time on the pitch.
  • Yago Santiago: The Spurs centre-forward for much of the match, Yago Santiago didn’t get a lot of service. However, that was to be expected playing against a League One side, and he did work well off the ball before moving out to the left flank, later on in the game.
  • Roshaun Mathurin: The second half substitute went out to the right flank to play as a winger. The 18 year old showed some good skill on the ball, and he was always looking to go forward with it.
  • Max Robson: The late substitute went to the CAM position.

My man of the match – Alfie Dorrington. The second year scholar and central defender had in my opinion a really good debut performance, on what was his first ever competitive appearance for the Spurs Under 21 side. The Enfield born England youth international won a good amount of headers, showed his quality on the ball alongside Marqes Muir, and he dealt really well with Wycombe’s direct approach to the match. Dorrington went on some good surging forward runs out of defence, and he made some very good decisions in defence.

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