Brandon Austin made his third MLS appearance for Orlando City SC on Saturday. It was another solid performance from the 22 year old goalkeeper, as Orlando won the game 2-1, in Miami. Early on in the game and after a good start from Inter Miami, Brandon had to make an early save. After Lewis Morgan had passed the ball to Jay Chapman inside the Orlando penalty area, Chapman tried his luck on goal from about seven yards out. However, Austin matched his effort by making a really fine reflex save, as he got both hands on the powerful effort to push it away, before it was cleared. Not long afterwards the lively Lewis Morgan threaded a forward pass towards Brek Shea down the left side of the Orlando penalty area, but Austin came rushing out off his line to collect the ball in time, it was an important intervention. Later on in the half Austin managed to hold Jay Chapman’s effort from distance, before later punching clear Lewis Morgan’s corner kick. Constantly communicating with his defence, Austin didn’t have too much to do in the second half, apart from Inter Miami’s goal, which I certainly don’t think that he was at all at fault for. Inter Miami substitute Gonzalo Higuaín was allowed space to get his effort from about 30 yards away, and his quality effort was right in the inside netting of the bottom right hand corner of Austin’s goal, and despite him doing his best to get towards the ball, the effort was just too good. This was another strong performance from Brandon, who could potentially play again for Orlando next weekend, when they face New York Red Bulls.
Making his second competitive appearance of the season for Orlando City in the MLS, young Spurs goalkeeper Brandon Austin (22) made his home debut for Orlando, at the Exploria stadium on Wednesday against San Jose Earthquakes. Austin didn’t have too much to do as Orlando comfortably won the game 5-0, but keeping a clean sheet will only boost his confidence, with Orlando’s first choice goalkeeper Pedro Gallese away with the Peru national team at the moment. Early on in Wednesday’s game Austin came rushing off of his line to clear the ball away after an opposition player had played it forward from deep. The goalkeeper from Hemel Hempstead then gathered a cross from the right flank from Paul Marie with relative ease. Looking confident and alert, Brandon Austin did really well to push over Javier Eduardo López’s powerful effort from just outside the Orlando penalty area, over his crossbar and behind for a corner kick. During the second half and with Orlando in full control of the game, Austin had very little to do, and he didn’t actually have to make a save during the second half of the match. He did gather a deflected cross from the left flank comfortably, before then gathering a low one from the right flank well. Well done to Brandon for making only his second MLS appearance, and I wish him all the very best of luck for his and Orlando’s next game, which is against Inter Miami on Saturday.
It was a day to remember for young Spurs striker Troy Parrott yesterday, as the 19 year old who is on loan at League One side Ipswich Town scored his first goal in senior football, as he scored the winner in a 1-0 league win over Plymouth Argyle at Portman Road. It was another hardworking performance from the Irishman, and all of that hard work on the pitch since he joined Ipswich on loan was richly rewarded by him scoring that first goal. Parrott started just behind Ipswich centre forward Kayden Jackson on Saturday, a position which he has played in throughout his time in Suffolk. Early on in the game and after Gwion Edwards headed the ball to Kayden Jackson, the Ipswich centre tried to head it back to Edwards on the right flank, but the ball was interpreted by Plymouth’s Adam Lewis who ran back down the flank before passing the ball across the Plymouth penalty area towards goalkeeper Michael Copper. However, the pass wasn’t accurate enough and it was met by the run of Parrott who calmly took the ball around Cooper and slotted the ball into the empty net, resulting in a large number of Ipswich players crowding around Parrott to celebrate the goal with him. Paul Cook’s Ipswich side dominated the match during the opening stages of the game, and after Kayden Jackson went on a forward run down the right flank he squared the ball to Parrott inside the Plymouth box, and it looked as if he was about to score his second goal of the game. However, the Dubliner’s first time side footed effort was well blocked by a Plymouth defender at the decisive moment. An inviting ball deep into the Plymouth box from Gwion Edwards would have been met at the back post by Parrott but for Plymouth goalkeeper Michael Copper jumping up to catch the ball in time.
Troy was looking confident out on the pitch for Ipswich and as always he was pressing well and playing with plenty of energy about him. After a good run from Ipswich’s Flynn Downes the midfielder passed the ball to Parrott inside the Plymouth box, but after taking a touch his effort towards the goal was blocked by Plymouth’s Kelland Watts. Despite that being in the first half, that was in fact Troy’s last real attacking involvement in the game from a forwards sense, as from the start of the second half Plymouth enjoyed a really good spell in the game and as a result of this Ipswich had very few chances in Plymouth’s final third. However, this was another good and hardworking performance from the very talented Troy Parrott and I would like to congratulate him on scoring his first goal in senior football, but his work off the ball in every game that he has played in for Ipswich has also been really important to the team, in my opinion. Troy was replaced by Cole Skuse in the 64th minute of the game, but he could well start for Ipswich in their next game which is against Fleetwood Town on Tuesday.
Spurs youngster and Republic of Ireland international Troy Parrott made his second appearance for loan club Ipswich Town on Tuesday night, as he started against Peterborough United in a League One game at their Weston Homes Stadium (Parrott played the whole game). In a game which Ipswich lost 2-1, Parrott started the game up front with the experienced centre-forward James Norwood. Not long after Ipswich took the lead in the sixth minute of the game Parrott attempted to get to a long forward ball from the Ipswich defence, and he tried to bring the ball down on the edge of the Peterborough penalty area, but it ended up running the through to the goalkeeper and Parrott ended up giving away a foul, after fouling a Peterborough defender while trying to get to the ball. A cross from the left flank which was intended for Parrott, was challenged by a Peterborough defender in the home sides box, although Parrott likely got a head to it, as it ended up going back out to the left side of the pitch. A long forward ball from Ipswich defender Luke Chambers was flicked on by the head of Parrott, and the Dubliner then sprinted with Peterborough defender Nathan Thompson to get to the ball first and be through on goal, but despite Parrott showing some good pace Thompson got back to get to the ball first (Peterborough equalised not long afterwards, in the 48th minute of the game). Peterborough took the lead early on in the second half, and while Parrott was a little bit isolated at times he did continue to move well off the ball and also chase long forward balls, but he didn’t have any real chance to score until near the end of the game. A corner into the Peterborough box from the right bounced off a Peterborough player, before coming to the feet of Parrott about eight yards out from goal, but his powerful effort was pretty much straight at Peterborough goalkeeper Christy Pym, who made a good reaction save, low down.
Spurs youngster Troy Parrott (19) made his debut for loan club Ipswich Town on Saturday afternoon, less than a week after joining the League One club on loan from Spurs. The Republic of Ireland international completed 69 minutes of their league game with Blackpool at Portman Road, a game which Ipswich won 2-0, while Parrott made a positive impression on his debut. Starting the game as an out and out centre forward either side of Luke Thomas and Freddie Sears in a 4-3-3 formation, Parrott was involved in some good passages of play during his time on the pitch. The Dubliner’s first involvement in Saturday’s game came early on in the match, after full-back Myles Kenlock played the ball through to Parrott down the left flank, and Parrott managed to stay onside, before travelling forward with the ball. He then went into the Blackpool penalty area before cleverly passing the ball into the feet of a teammate who had made a run down the left side of the box, but the first touch of the Ipswich player let him down, and the ball ended up going behind for a goal kick. Parrott was involved in a good Ipswich break forward not long afterwards, before then spraying a good pass out to teammate Luke Thomas who managed to control the ball out on the right flank. Blackpool had the better chances during the opening stages of the game, but Ipswich did look good when they had the ball in the final third. After receiving a pass from Alan Judge, Parrott passed the ball to Luke Thomas on the edge of the Blackpool box, he let it run into the box before seeing his eventual effort go wide of the goal.
Parrott looked good on the ball during the opening stages of the game and he was pressing the opposing teams players well. Ipswich defender Mark McGuinness’ long ball forward to Parrott was well controlled by the centre-forward, before he slipped a nice pass through to Freddie Sears who finished beyond Blackpool goalkeeper Christopher Maxwell from inside the penalty area, but unfortunately he was offside and the goal didn’t count, but Ipswich took the lead not long afterwards, just before half-time. And the home side started the second half really well by scoring their second goal of the game in the 49th minute as Parrott continued to work really well off the ball, and also make some good forward runs. A long ball through to Parrott from Alan Judge was met by the Spurs man, who after managing to get in front of defender Marvin Ekpiteta, Parrott knocked the ball beyond the outrushing goalkeeper Christopher Maxwell down the left flank, but he ended up fouling Troy and being shown a yellow card. Parrott looked sharp on the pitch, and he had some good touches which with his fine movement off the ball made a good impact on the game, so it was a good debut from the Irishman. He was replaced by James Norwood in the 69th minute of the match.
On transfer deadline day (Monday) it was announced that goal scoring midfielder Jack Roles had joined League Two club Stevenage on loan until the end of the 2020/21 season. Not the only Spurs Academy player to go out on loan yesterday with Troy Parrott and Kazaiah Sterling joining Ipswich Town and Greenock Morton respectively, Roles had previously been on loan with League One side Burton Albion earlier on in the season, but he returned from that loan last month. The Cyprus under 21 international made only three appearances for Burton earlier on this season, and I reckon that he was very unlucky not to feature more for the club who are currently bottom of League One. However, the player from Enfield who had a great spell on loan with Cambridge United last season scoring five goals from 25 competitive appearances, has now been loaned out to a club where I’m sure that he will get a lot of game time. The Lamex Stadium (Stevenage’s home) is a ground that Roles has scored plenty of goals at for Spurs’ under 23 side, and he joins a Stevenage side who are currently in 21st place in the League Two table, just four points off the relegation zone. However, the addition of Roles who is already proven at League Two level to Alex Revell’s side will be a really welcome addition to Stevenage. Roles is a versatile player who will provide Stevenage with goals and creativity, and he can play in a great variety of positions. Positions such as central midfield, the CAM role, out on the left wing, the second striker role or even as an out and out number nine. A really intelligent player who has great vision and who loves a forward pass, Roles is an expert off the ball with his movement and ghosting runs into the oppositions penalty area.
Somebody who like Spurs first team player Dele can score a variety of goals, Roles is so good at creating pockets of space for himself in forward areas. He scored some really fine goals for Cambridge United last season, but as a very skilful player he also demonstrated the great skill that he has on the ball, and his ability to get past players and hold on to the ball in tight space are really good sides to his game. Already called up to the senior Cyprus national team (I’m sure that it won’t be long before he wins his first cap for them), Jack is a really hard worker off the ball and he likes to press players and try and win the ball back. His great scoring record for Spurs at Academy level speaks for itself, and while he will be competing with the likes of Arthur Read, Charlie Carter and Chris Lines to get into the starting 11 at Stevenage, Jack’s versatility I am sure will mean that he is a regular starter in the side. What Roles needs is a really good run of games from now until the end of the season, and in my view the talent and work that he does off the ball should hopefully see him flourish in this Stevenage side. While I would imagine that it is unlikely that the Spurs man will be in Stevenage’s squad to face Exeter City tonight, I really look forward to following his progress at the Hertfordshire club, and I wish him a very successful loan move and look forward to seeing him return to Spurs for the start of the 2021/22 season.
Spurs Academy loanees Jubril Okedina and Shilow Tracey were in action for League Two club Cambridge United against Crawley Town on Saturday afternoon (Cambridge United won 3-1). Okedina (he was excellent on the day) started the game at centre-half (League Two debut) and completed the full 90 minutes of the match, while Shilow Tracey came on in the 78th minute, and the winger registered an assist on his Cambridge United debut after joining them on loan earlier in the week. Starting the game at right centre back in a back four, 20 year old defender Jubril Okedina started the game well, and he calmly headed a long forward ball from a Crawley player to his teammate Kyle Knoyle on the right flank. After Crawley forward Tom Nichols received a pass from Sam Matthews down the left hand side of the Cambridge United box, Okedina did well to get in front of the Crawley man before getting on the ball and getting it clear, in what was a really good piece of defending. A couple of minutes later Okedina cleared Tom Dallison’s ball into the Cambridge United box, and in the early stages of the game Okdedina was playing the ball forward quite a lot. Cambridge United took the lead not long afterwards before Crawley equalise not long after the home side had taken the lead. A pass to Tom Nichols in the home sides penalty area (Okedina was covering at LCB at this point) resulted in the Crawley player back-heeling the ball for Jake Hessenthaler who finished off the move to draw Crawley level.
An inviting cross from Crawley’s Josh Wright was headed away well by Jubril in the box, before Jack Powell’s pass to Tom Nichols down the left in a forward position resulted in Okedina getting in front of the Crawley man well, and letting the ball go behind for a goal kick. Winning virtually everything in the air throughout the game, the Spurs defender did well again to head away a good cross into the Cambridge United box from George Francomb on the right flank. Another cross into the box, this time from Sam Matthews a couple of moments later, was headed up in the air by Okedina before the Cambridge United goalkeeper Callum Burton gathered the ball. Maintaining good positioning during the first half, Jubril once again managed to get in front of Tom Nichols, this time down the left hand side of the Cambridge United penalty area, after the Crawley forward was almost picked out from a long forward pass, but Okedina leant into his man and let the ball go out of play. A couple of minutes later the Spurs defender blocked an effort from Sam Matthews inside the Cambridge United box, as he stayed tight to the Crawley forward. A simple but effective long forward ball from Okedina managed to find Cambridge United forward Joe Ironside on the edge of the Crawley box, he won the ball, before Paul Mullin had a shot blocked and then Kyle Knoyle scored with a fine effort as Cambridge United regained the lead just before half-time.
At the beginning of the second-half Okedina came running forward to make a strong challenge on Jordan Maguire-Drew near the halfway line, as he won the ball. It was a very lively game of football, and a couple of minutes after that challenge on Jordan Maguire-Drew, Okedina made a good sliding challenge to stop the same Crawley player from getting further up the pitch and into a good forward position. The Spurs defender did well to head behind a promising looping cross into the Cambridge United box from Crawley substitute Archie Davies, before getting to another cross in the box from the right flank inside the Cambridge United box, before passing it away from the penalty area. Composed and alert in defence but good with his passing, Okedina was really impressing throughout the game, and even in difficult situations during the game he still showed great composure in defence. With Crawley Town playing well as they looked to get an equaliser, Cambridge United made a change on 78 minutes, as Shilow Tracey came on to replace Joe Ironside, and he went to play out on the right flank. After being shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Josh Wright, the Spurs player received a pass from Paul Mullin out on the right hand side of the pitch. Tracey entered the Crawley penalty area before attempting to beat Crawley goalkeeper Glenn Morris from quite an acute angle with a powerful effort on goal, but Morris managed to make a fine save to push the ball away from the goal.
After receiving a pass out on the right flank in the 85th minute of the game Shilow Tracey knocked the ball past the Crawley left-back, before sprinting forward at pace with the ball at his feet. The 22 year old entered the Crawley box before deciding to lay the ball back off to Wes Hoolahan on the edge of the Crawley box, and the former Republic of Ireland international managed to find the corner of the goal with a fine effort, to make it 3-1 to the home team. After making a good run into space in a promising forward position Wes Hoolahan tried to thread a pass through to Tracey, but the Spurs player slipped at an important moment. In the final moments of the game Hoolahan tried to find Tracey who had made a good run in behind the Crawley defence with a ball over the top of the Crawley defenders. Tracey managed to get to the ball as Crawley goalkeeper Glenn Morris came rushing out of his box, but his first touch let him down a bit (it was difficult to control) and Crawley managed to get the ball away, in what was the last real action of the game. Okedina had an excellent league debut in central defence, while Tracey made a really good impact off the bench on his Cambridge United debut, to help them to secure all three points on the day.
On Thursday it was announced that Spurs’ promising central defender Malachi Fagan-Walcott (18) had joined Scottish Championship (second division) side Dundee FC on loan until the end of the 2020/21 season. Fagan-Walcott had in fact missed the majority of the season so far with an injury which he picked up last June, but the England youth international did return to play for our under 23 side on two occasions recently (he started one of those games). Edmonton born but brought up in Waltham Abbey, the tall central defender who is good on the ball and at passing, as well as at anticipating situations, divided his time playing for the under 18’s, 23’s and under 19 side last season, after returning to action slightly later than most of the other players, because of an injury that he picked up towards the end of the previous 2019/20 season. A quick defender who made his competitive senior debut for Spurs’ first team as a substitute in a UEFA Champions League round of 16 game against RB Leipzig last March, Malachi has been a very consistent performer at Academy level for the club, since joining them full-time in the summer of 2018. The former Norsemen F.C. player primarily plays as a right sided centre-half, although he can also play at right-back, which is where he played against West Ham United under 23’s last week, in his last full competitive 90 minutes of football since last March. Dominant in the air, good and skilful with the ball at his feet, and excellent at making last ditch blocks and challenges, Fagan-Walcott is also a good communicator on the pitch, and he has consistently demonstrated good leadership qualities over the last couple of seasons.
Dundee FC are currently playing in the Scottish Championship, and they currently sit in third place in that league, ten points behind league leaders Hearts. A club that will obviously be hoping to win promotion back to the Scottish Premiership, Dundee as it stands would qualify for the end of season play-offs (quarter-finals). However, still with a good amount of games remaining, the Scottish club could well finish the season higher up the table than they currently are. Dundee seem to play with a back four, and Malachi will likely be competing with centre-halves Jordan McGhee, Lee Ashcroft, Liam Fontaine, Jordon Forster and Sam Fisher for a place in the side at central defence. Although the defender who turns 19 in March, can also play at right-back, and in the current Dundee squad there are two right backs – Christie Elliott and Cammy Kerr. Wherever he plays in that back four, the most important thing is that Malachi Fagan-Walcott will hopefully be getting regular game time for Dundee, although he might not get starts immediately, as he has not long come back from quite a bad injury. However, the experience of being a part of a first team in a competitive senior football environment will be so invaluable for the Spurs youngster, as he continues to learn and develop in the game. Fagan-Walcott’s new club Dundee are playing Raith Rovers away in the Scottish Championship on Saturday, so it will be interesting to see if the Spurs player goes straight into the match day squad for that game. I look forward to following Malachi’s progress at Dundee, and also hopefully watching some of his games as well. I would like to wish Malachi all the very best of luck on loan at Dundee during the remainder of their season.
It was a good and solid all round performance from 20 year old Spurs loanee TJ Eyoma for Lincoln City on Tuesday night, as they beat Portsmouth (Harvey White was an unused substitute) 1-0 at Fratton Park in a League One game. Eyoma operated at right-back as Lincoln lined up in a back four, and he was arguably one of their most impressive players during the game. Staying deep when he needed to, but also making intelligent forward runs on occasions as well, the England youth international completed the whole of the match. Early on in the game the Londoner did quite well to stop Republic of Ireland international and Portsmouth winger Ronan Curtis from getting past him with the ball, down Eyoma’s right hand side, and while it was nothing too important, it was good that Eyoma did stop Curtis from travelling forward with the ball. After Portsmouth right-back Callum Johnson received the ball down the right flank the 24 year old delivered the ball into the Lincoln penalty area, towards Curtis at the back post. However, Eyoma watched Curtis carefully and he got to the ball in time to make a good and important headed clearance. A couple of minutes later the Spurs man headed away a Ronan Curtis free kick from inside the box, as the game started at a good pace. The alert TJ Eyoma then did well to cut out Andy Cannon’s attempted pass to John Marquis inside the Lincoln box (Lincoln were the better team early on in the game). Eyoma was getting up and down the right flank well during the first half, and his decision making in general was good.
Portsmouth left-back Lee Brown attempted to get past Eyoma down his flank, but the Lincoln defender did really well to hold off the Portsmouth player, get on the ball and drive forward with it before passing it to Jorge Grant who was fouled by Jack Watmough, who was then shown a red card. After receiving Anthony Scully’s pass out on the right flank, Eyoma was in an advanced position and he sent in a low whipped cross into the Portsmouth box, which went across the face of the goal (the final real piece of action from the first half, that TJ was involved in). Having kept Ronan Curtis quiet during the first half, Eyoma’s first involvement in the game in the second half came as a result of him getting in an advanced position. Jorge Grant tried to slip the ball into the path of Eyoma after he had made an intelligent run down the right hand side of the Portsmouth box, but a defender managed to intercept the ball in time. Soon afterwards Eyoma cleared a free kick from Ronan Curtis, as the Portsmouth players looked for a handball, but the referee was having none of it. Operating almost as a winger/wingback during the second half as Lincoln went in search of a winner, TJ’s constant forward runs down the right flank were rewarded in the 79th minute of the game. After receiving Jorge Grant’s pass down the right hand side of the Portsmouth box, Eyoma cleverly got past Curtis before putting the ball agonisingly across the face of the goal.
Eyoma’s cross was latched onto inside the Portsmouth box by Conor McGrandles, who passed the ball to Morgan Rogers who finished from close range. Eyoma did drop deeper after Lincoln had scored the opener, as he looked to help them hold onto their lead during the closing stages of the game. The Spurs man did concede a free kick in quite a promising position for Portsmouth, not long after the game started again. However, the resulting effort from Ronan Curtis went high and wide, as Lincoln held on to claim a precious three points, in what was another good and influential performance from Eyoma.
Spurs striker Troy Parrott completed just over 62 minutes of Millwall’s 3-0 defeat to Bristol City on Saturday afternoon in the fourth round of the FA Cup, as they were knocked out of the competition. Millwall played in what seemed to be a 4231 formation, with Parrott playing just off centre forward Kenneth Zohore during his time on the pitch. The Republic of Ireland international who turns 19 next month, had a low early effort from distance blocked by a Bristol City defender. Not long after that, Parrott sprayed a good pass out to Tom Bradshaw on the right hand side of the pitch, to start off a decent Millwall move. After picking the ball up on the left flank Kenneth Zohore went forward with the ball before looking to pass to Parrott who was waiting on the edge of the Bristol City penalty area. Zohore’s cross/pass deflected off a Bristol City player before bouncing in front of Parrott, but his effort on the half volley was straight at goalkeeper Max O’Leary, although he could have possibly passed the ball to Bradshaw, who was running forward down the right (Bristol City took the lead soon after). Parrott was pressing well and working hard off the ball even though there weren’t a lot of goal scoring chances, he did however, make a couple of good passes into empty spaces out on the right flank. The Dubliner wasn’t involved very much in the second half of the game, and a run across the Bristol City penalty area into a promising position where he could have had the ball played into his feet, just before Alex Pearce had an effort saved by O’Leary from the edge of box, was the closest that Troy came to really influencing the game in the final third in that second half (he was replaced on 62 minutes, with Millwall 2-0 down).
Although Parrott hasn’t been directly involved in a goal in any of his 14 competitive appearances for Millwall this season, he is working hard on the pitch and he is getting really valuable competitive senior game time. Of course his confidence is probably a little bit low, which is only natural if you’re a centre forward who hasn’t scored for a while. However, he is an excellent young player and a very special finisher too, and I’ve no doubts whatsoever that once he gets that first goal then more will follow. He has already shown his versatility for Millwall so far, which is a good thing and of course he was injured throughout the early parts of the season as well, which must have been difficult. Millwall’s next game is at home to Watford in the Championship, on Tuesday night.