Spurs Under 18’s 1-2 Chelsea: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side welcomed Chelsea to Hotspur Way for a Premier League South fixture on Saturday morning. Head coach Stuart Lewis saw his side lose the game 2-1, but it was still in my opinion a good performance from his side. Spurs lined-up with captain Luca Gunter in goal, as George Abbott, Alfie Dorrington, Archie Chaplin and Maxwell McKnight started the game in defence. Rio Kyerematen and Callum Olusesi started in central midfield for Spurs, as Jaden Williams and Mikey Moore started the game out on the flanks, either side of CAM Jamie Donley. Will Lankshear led the line for Spurs, who got the game underway. The game started at a good pace, and early on in the match Maxwell McKnight made a good headed clearance at the back post of the Spurs goal, to clear away Frankie Runham’s good cross. Travis Akomeah had a headed effort from a free-kick saved by Luca Gunter, before Archie Chaplin made an excellent sliding challenge to take the ball off of Tudor Mendel-Idowu, who was through on goal inside the Spurs penalty area.

After receiving Mikey Moore’s good pass inside the Chelsea box, Jamie Donley had a powerful effort saved by Chelsea goalkeeper Ted Curd. After going on a good run into the Chelsea box, Mikey Moore had an effort saved, before then having a low effort from distance saved a couple of minutes later. Louis Flower headed over Somto Boniface’s cross, and then he had a header saved by Luca Gunter shortly after. Jaden Williams headed wide Maxwell McKnight’s good cross into the Chelsea box, before Chelsea took the lead. After Frankie Runham had got past George Abbott on the left flank, the Chelsea winger found Michael Golding inside the Spurs box, and the midfielder curled an effort past Luca Gunter and into the Spurs goal, 0-1. Spurs tried to respond before half-time. After receiving Callum Olusesi’s pass inside the Chelsea box, Will Lankshear had an effort blocked, before Maxwell McKnight also had an effort blocked, with Jaden Williams then having an effort saved by the Chelsea goalkeeper.

Tudor Mendel-Idowu’s effort from the edge of the Spurs box was saved by Luca Gunter, before Spurs went forward with the ball. Maxwell McKnight brought the ball forward at pace, and he then played a one-two pass with Mikey Moore, before having an effort blocked. Archie Chaplin was shown a yellow card, and shortly after Frankie Runham’s free-kick delivery to Louis Flower resulted in the Chelsea forward having his good looping header well saved by Luca Gunter. Callum Olusesi was then shown a yellow card, just before Spurs managed to get an equalising goal. Rio Kyerematen managed to get on the ball, before passing it out to Mikey Moore on the left flank. The Spurs winger then found Jamie Donley on the right side of the Spurs box, and he was able to finish low past Ted Curd, 1-1. Louis Flower then hit an effort wide, across the Spurs goal from the left side of the Spurs box, just before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time.

Chelsea got the second half underway. A good turn inside the Chelsea box by Mikey Moore resulted in the Spurs winger having his effort deflected just wide of Ted Curd’s goal. Lankshear had an effort blocked on the left side of the Chelsea penalty area, with Alfie Dorrington’s lofted pass to Mikey Moore on the left flank seeing him take the ball into the Chelsea box really well, before having an effort saved by the goalkeeper. Alfie Dorrington blocked an effort inside the Spurs box at the other end of the pitch, before Luca Gunter managed to save Frankie Runham’s effort from inside the Spurs box. Spurs made a double change shortly after, as Han Willhoft-King and Damola Ajayi came on to replace Jaden Williams and Callum Olusesi respectively. Tudor Mendel-Idowu headed Harrison McMahon’s cross wide form inside the Spurs box, and then Frankie Runham hit an effort over the goal from the edge of the penalty area.

After receiving Tudor Mendel-Idowu’s pass just outside of the Spurs box, Josh Acheampong hit a powerful and quite unstoppable effort into the top left corner of Luca Gunter’s goal, 1-2. Luca Gunter then tipped over Tudor Mendel-Idowu’s headed effort from a cross into the Spurs box, before at the other end of the pitch Rio Kyerematen won a free-kick on the edge of the Chelsea box, which Jamie Donley then hit over the goal. A pass from Donley to Lankshear on the left side of the Chelsea box, saw the former Sheffield United player have his effort blocked by Harrison Murray-Campbell. Lankshear then had an effort from the right side of the Chelsea box tipped over by Ted Curd, before Rio Kyerematen had an effort on goal blocked. After receiving Damola Ajayi’s pass on the left side of the Chelsea box, the impressive Mikey Moore went past Frankie Runham, before having an effort saved by Ted Curd. Yusuf Akhamrich came on to replace Rio Kyerematen, and soon afterwards the winger went forward down Chelsea’s left side at pace, before crossing into the Chelsea box, but Jamie Donley’s header was saved. The referee sounded his whistle for full-time not long after. 

Spurs’ Under 18 side face Crystal Palace (away) next Saturday, in what is their next league fixture.

My man of the match – Maxwell McKnight. Playing out of position at left-back for the game against Chelsea on Saturday, second year scholar Maxwell McKnight continued his impressive start to the 2022/23 season by putting in a very good defensive performance against Chelsea, in my opinion. The player from Colchester in Essex, kept very good positioning throughout the match, and he defended really well against the talented and very creative Tudor Mendel-Idowu. Maxwell also got forward well, but it was his very good reading of the game and decision making, which impressed me most today.

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