Spurs Under 23’s 1-6 Manchester City: (match report)

In Spurs’ Under 23’s final competitive game of the 2020/21 season, Wayne Burnett’s side came up against the champions Manchester City, for the second time in a week. However, unfortunately Spurs lost 6-1, which was a real shame as Spurs have had a very good season at this level and finish in third place in Division One of the Premier League 2. Wayne Burnett’s side started with Thimothee Lo-Tutala in goal (his competitive Under 23 debut), whilst a back four consisting of Marcel Lavinier, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Tobi Omole and Dennis Cirkin, started in defence. Nile John and captain Jamie Bowden were in central midfield, whilst Elliot Thorpe and Dilan Markanday started out wide, either side of CAM Alfie Devine (Devine did often play out on the left flank). Dane Scarlett started up front for Spurs, in the absence of Kion Etete and Rodel Richards. Spurs got the game underway on a nice evening at Hotspur Way, and defender Brooklyn Lyons-Foster did well to intercept Cole Palmer’s early and promising forward pass towards Liam Delap. Not long afterwards and at the other end of the pitch, Manchester City goalkeeper James Trafford’s attempted pass to Tommy Doyle was intercepted by Jamie Bowden inside the visitors box. However, Bowden’s low side-footed effort was saved by the foot of James Trafford, in what was a glorious early chance for Spurs. Marcel Lavinier did well to block Ben Knight’s effort, before Tobi Omole gave the ball to Ben Knight on the edge of the Spurs box, but his goal attempt went wide. After receiving the ball out on the right flank, Marcel Lavinier went forward with it at some pace, he evaded the challenge of Romeo Lavia well, before passing the ball to Devine. The Warrington born midfielder cleverly worked his way into the Manchester City box before curling his effort wide of the Spurs goal.

After Bowden gave the ball away to Cole Palmer, the Manchester City winger passed the ball to Tommy Doyle on the edge of the Spurs box, but Omole did well to block his effort. Lavinier then blocked Liam Delap’s effort on goal, before Thimothee Lo-Tutala saved Cole Palmer’s attempt. At the other end of the pitch Alfie Devine had an effort deflected behind for a corner kick, and from that corner kick which was taken by Dilan Markanday, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster nodded the ball over the bar. After Liam Delap latched onto Cole Palmer’s pass, the skilful centre-forward ran into the Spurs penalty area, before calmly slotting the ball past Lo-Tutala to make it 1-0 to Manchester City. A matter of minutes later Liam Delap received the ball into his feet before running down the left side of the Spurs box and holding off Lyons-Foster, before curling the ball into the far corner of Lo-Tutala’s goal, 0-2. And Manchester City’s excellent start to the game got even better in the 28th minute, after Cole Palmer received the ball on the edge of the Spurs box before calmly curling the ball in off the right hand post of the goal and into the net, 0-3. Manchester City continued to play their exciting brand of attacking football, and a good block from Lyons-Foster was needed to stop James McAtee’s effort on goal, before Tobi Omole did really well to make a fine challenge on Cole Palmer in the Spurs box, to prevent a certain goal for the away team. Dane Scarlett ambitiously attempted to catch out Trafford from distance, but his effort went wide of the Manchester City goal.

A misplaced pass went straight to Elliot Thorpe inside the Manchester City box, but his effort was saved well by the feet of James Trafford. After receiving Lyons-Foster’s fine long pass out on the right flank, Dilan Markanday came inside and into the visitors box, before hitting the ball across the face of their goal, and then after the play was recycled Elliot Thorpe hit an effort wide of the goal. Tobi Omole received a yellow card from the referee for a foul on James McAtee, in what was the last piece of action from the first half. Manchester City got the game restarted after the break and it was the perfect start to the second half for them. After Cole Palmer  finished well past Lo-Tutala from close range, after latching onto Tobi Omole’s pass out from defence, 0-4. A couple of moments later Lo-Tutala saved well low down, to prevent Ben Knight’s effort on goal, before Markanday did well to come forward with the ball. He then played a good pass into Alfie Devine down the left side of the Manchester City box, but James Trafford turned behind his effort, before Omole headed over Markanday’s resulting corner kick. Tobi Omole then did well to clear Ben Knight’s cross, before Liam Delap headed over another cross from the same player a couple of moments later. Lyons-Foster cleared away the ball from James McAtee’s cross, but Spurs could do nothing to prevent Manchester City’s fifth goal of the game shortly afterwards. After the visitors broke forward at pace through Cole Palmer, the winger then threaded the ball into the feet of Delap, who then continued into the Spurs box before firing the ball past Lo-Tutala and into the back of the net, despite the Spurs goalkeeper managing to get a hand on the ball, 0-5.

Second year scholar Romaine Mundle came on to replace Elliot Thorpe out on the right flank, in what was Spurs’ first change of the game. After receiving Dilan Markanday’s well weighted through-ball pass, Dane Scarlett continued into the Manchester City box before confidently sending the ball past James Trafford and into the back of the Manchester City goal, 1-5. After receiving teammate Cole Palmer’s pass down the right side of the Spurs box, Liam Delap’s fierce strike went just wide of the Spurs goal. Nile John blocked Cole Palmer’s shot, before Tommy Doyle fired an effort over Lo-Tutala’s goal, after Tobi Omole had blocked Cole Palmer’s effort behind for a corner kick. J’Neil Bennett came on to replace Dane Scarlett up front, for Wayne Burnett’s second change of the game. The very talented Cole Palmer hit an effort wide before Dilan Markanday whipped over a free-kick in a decent position, at the other end of the pitch. J’Neil Bennett did well to block Cole Palmer’s shot inside the Spurs box, before Cirkin had an effort on goal blocked at the opposite end of the pitch. Rafferty Pedder came on to replace Jamie Bowden in midfield late on in the game, before Ben Knight hit the ball over from the left side of the Spurs penalty area. After travelling forward towards the Spurs box, Manchester City player Romeo Lavia managed to find the bottom left hand corner of Lo-Tutala’s goal with a fine effort, after receiving Ben Knight’s pass, 1-6. After playing a good one-two with Markanday on the edge of the Manchester City box, Rafferty Pedder forced a save out of James Trafford. 

After receiving the ball J’Neil Bennett hit the ball over James Trafford’s goal, before Lo-Tutala saved Tommy Doyle’s effort at the other end of the pitch, before the referee blew his whistle for full-time. It would be very easy to say that Spurs weren’t good, or focus on what they could have done to stop Manchester City scoring six goals, but sometimes you’ve just got to appreciate the brilliance of the opposition, and Manchester City were brilliant throughout yesterday’s game. It’s been a really good season for Spurs at Under 23 level, and that is a credit to the players and the coaches, who should all be very proud of helping the team to achieve their highest ever finish in the Premier League 2.

Player reviews: 

  • Thimothee Lo-Tutala: On his competitive Spurs Under 23 debut, goalkeeper Thimothee Lo-Tutala made a decent number of saves to stop Manchester City from scoring more goals than they did. He was visibly frustrated that he unfortunately couldn’t keep out Romeo Lavia’s late goal, but any young goalkeeper would have found it difficult against Manchester City in Friday evenings game.
  • Marcel Lavinier: I was impressed with some of the forward runs that Lavinier made from deep, and also some of his blocks inside the Spurs box. Yesterday’s  competitive appearance was number 22 of the seasons for Lavinier, the most of any Spurs Under 23 player during the 2020/21 season.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Despite the fact that Spurs defence conceded six goals to Manchester City, I don’t think that the scoreline tells the story of how Lyons-Foster played at RCB. The defender who once again supported the attack well after making runs from deep, did make some good and important defensive contributions. The versatile 20 year old also kept some good defensive positioning, and his distribution out from defence was good, in my opinion.
  • Tobi Omole: Obviously Tobi Omole would have been disappointed to have unfortunately given the ball to Cole Palmer, who as a result scored his second  goal of the game. However, apart from that and some of his other passing out from defence, Omole impressed by making some really good defensive interventions during the game. And the 21 year old former Arsenal player has been consistently very good throughout the 2020/21 season, ever since he joined the club last autumn. 
  • Dennis Cirkin: Going forward I thought that the left-back made some powerful and purposeful runs from deep, showing good skill on the ball.
  • Nile John: Playing as the deepest of the two central midfielders, second year scholar Nile John showed some fine skill on the ball in the middle of the pitch.
  • Jamie Bowden: The Republic of Ireland youth international played the game as a number eight, and the Spurs captain got forward more than he would on other occasions this season, during his 77 minutes on the pitch. It has been really good to see him get a really good run of games this season, after missing some time with injury.
  • Elliot Thorpe: Showing some good skill on the ball out on the right flank and going on some good forward runs, Thorpe also worked well and moved well off the ball, despite playing out of position. He came very close to scoring a goal during the first half, only to be denied by a fine save from James Trafford.
  • Alfie Devine: Despite wearing the number ten shirt, Alfie Devine’s starting position was often out on the left flank, where I thought that he had a solid game. And during the first half he caused some problems for the Manchester City defence. He also worked tirelessly off the ball.
  • Dilan Markanday: My man of the match, see below.
  • Dane Scarlett: The scorer of our only goal of the match, centre-forward Dane Scarlett worked really hard off the ball, and he showed good composure to score from his only really chance of the game.
  • Romaine Mundle: The second half substitute replaced Elliot Thorpe out on the the right flank for the final 62 minutes of the game.
  • J’Neil Bennett: Showing some good skill on the ball after replacing Dane Scarlett up front during some of the second half, J’Neil Bennett looked good going forward during part of his time on the pitch.
  • Rafferty Pedder: The energetic late substitute played a clever one-two with Dilan Markanday, before forcing a save out of James Trafford.

My man of the match: Dilan Markanday was superb against Manchester City on Friday, in my opinion. Although his starting number was 11, the 19 year old often started from a central position, and the player who threaded a nice forward pass into Dane Scarlett, to set the centre- forward up for his goal (fourth assist of the season), was really creative for Spurs throughout yesterday’s match. Drifting into good advanced positions and also going on some really clever and skilful forward runs, I thought that Markanday created more chances than any other Spurs player on the pitch. And the consistent and hardworking player also was good from set-pieces throughout the game, and also very difficult to get the ball off.

Spurs: Lo-Tutala, Lavinier, Cirkin, John, Lyons-Foster, Omole, Thorpe (Mundle 58), Bowden (c) (Pedder 77), Scarlett (Bennett 65), Devine, Markanday. Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Paskotsi.

Manchester City: Trafford, Gomes, Sandler, Burns, Bernarbe (Robinson 65), Lavia, Palmer, Doyle (c), Delap, McAtee (Smith 86), Knight (Breckin 86). Substitute (not used): Slicker.

Spurs under 23’s 1-4 Manchester City: (match report)

In their penultimate Premier League 2 game of the season, Wayne Burnett’s Spurs under 23 side travelled to Manchester City’s Academy stadium on Friday, to face the Premier League Division One champions. Spurs were beaten 4-1 by the champions, but despite the scoreline I thought that Spurs played well, particularly during the second half and against such a good team. Defender Tobi Omole had a goal disallowed when the score was 3-1, and if that had been allowed then Spurs could have got something out of the game. Spurs lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation as Kacper Kurylowicz started in goal for the first time in a competitive game at this level. A back four consisting of Marcel Lavinier, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Tobi Omole and Dennis Cirkin started in front of him. Elliot Thorpe and captain Jamie Bowden started in central midfield, while J’Neil Bennett and Alfie Devine started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Dilan Markanday. Rodel Richards started up front for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway and an important early interception from Tobi Omole stopped James McAtee’s through-ball from reaching Liam Delap, who would have been through on goal. A Dilan Markanday free-kick from the left flank into the Manchester City box was challenged by Rodel Richards and Philippe Sandler, and the Man City defender managed to head the ball behind for a corner kick. Dennis Cirkin tried his luck from range but his effort went wide, after eventually receiving the ball from Alfie Devine’s corner kick. After Jamie Bowden conceded a free kick, Tommy Doyle stepped up to take it for the home side. The talented midfielders powerful curling effort from long range beat Kurylowicz at his near post, and nestled into his goal, 0-1.

Kurylowicz gathered Ben Knight’s cross from the right, before at the other end of the pitch Alfie Devine received J’Neil Bennett’s pass down the right flank, before pulling the ball back for Markanday inside the oppositions box. However, Markanday’s effort was deflected off of Finley Burns and over for a corner kick. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster had a low effort from distance go wide, before Elliot Thorpe had an effort blocked from range. After Liam Delap had received James McAtee’s pass inside the Spurs box he tried his luck on goal, but his powerful effort was well blocked by Lyons-Foster. Marcel Lavinier then blocked Cole Palmer’s effort as Manchester City continued to see a lot of the ball. After Claudio Gomes passed the ball to Cole Palmer down the right side of the Spurs box, Palmer attempted to score but Kurlyowicz saved well at his near post. Kurylowicz then saved Cole Palmer’s effort from the edge of the Spurs box. At the other end of the pitch Markanday saw his free-kick from the right flank gathered by James Trafford. After James McAtee had passed the ball to Ben Knight down the left side of the Spurs box, Knight powerfully hit the ball past Kurylowicz and into the top right corner of his goal to finish off a great move, 0-2. James Trafford punched clear a free-kick from Markanday before Kurylowicz did well to come out of his goal and get to the ball before Liam Delap could get to it inside the Spurs box, in what was the final piece of action from the first half. The champions got the game back underway for the second half and there was a change, as Kion Etete came on to replace Rodel Richards up front. After Liam Delap received James McAtee’s pass he skilfully worked his way into the Spurs box before getting past Omole and forcing a save out of Kurylowicz low down.

Philippe Sandler curled just wide of the goal from inside the Spurs box, before Etete managed to win the ball off of Claudio Gomes on the edge of the Spurs box, he gave the ball to Markanday, who then gave the ball to Bennett on the edge of the box, but his effort was pushed away by James Trafford. After receiving the ball Elliot Thorpe went on a good surging run through the middle before attempting to beat James Trafford from the edge of the Manchester City box, but his low effort went narrowly wide of the goal. Omole blocked Cole Palmer’s shot from inside the Spurs box, before Jamie Bowden received a yellow card. After coming inside from the right flank James McAtee saw his effort on goal go just wide. And shortly afterwards a great move from the home side resulted in Cole Palmer passing the ball to James McAtee on the left, and he then passed it to Claudio Gomes down the left side of the Spurs box and he then squared the ball for Liam Delap to tap home, 0-3. However, Spurs responded well, and Lyons-Forced a good reaction save from a header from Trafford, after meeting Markanday’s corner kick. James Trafford then managed to turn behind Tobi Omole’s header. Spurs managed to pull a goal back from the following corner kick, as Lyons-Foster once again met Markanday’s ball into the box, and his glancing header was headed in off the bar by a Manchester City player, 1-3. James Trafford saved Dilan Markanday’s shot on goal, before Etete forced a save from the goalkeeper, from a header, after meeting J’Neil Bennett’s cross.

The alert Elliot Thorpe did well to intercept Liam Delap’s pass inside the Spurs penalty area, before Jamie Bowden blocked the same players shot inside the box moments later. Cole Palmer came very close to scoring with an effort from distance, before Rafferty Pedder came on to replace Elliot Thorpe in midfield. After getting on the ball just outside of the Manchester City box, Kion Etete gave the ball to J’Neil Bennett, whose effort was turned behind by Trafford. Spurs then had a goal disallowed after Etete was adjudged by the referee to have fouled James Trafford, just before Tobi Omole scored. After going on a good forward run Bowden saw his effort on goal go over the bar, before he received J’Neil Bennett’s pass inside the Manchester City box not long afterwards. Bowden chipped the ball forward for Dilan Markanday, who skilfully worked his way past James Trafford, but then lost his balance and shot wide of the goal. After meeting Jamie Bowden’s corner kick, Dennis Cirkin had a header blocked, before Manchester City scored their fourth goal of the game. James McAtee latched onto Cole Palmer’s pass before running into the Spurs box and calmly curling the ball past Kacper Kurylowicz and into the left corner of the goal, 1-4. That was to be the last action of the game.

Player reviews:

  • Kacper Kurylowicz: Making his first ever competitive start at this level, goalkeeper Kacper Kurylowicz had a good game, I thought. Tommy Doyle’s opening free-kick goal was an excellent one, and I don’t think that you could criticise him for not keeping that out. In addition the 19 year old made some good saves, including a fine one at his near post. He distribution was also good throughout the game.
  • Marcel Lavinier: The right-back liked to get forward, but he also did well in defence. And the former Chelsea player came inside quite often to help out the two Spurs central defenders.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: After making an impressive early block, Lyons-Foster impressed with his positioning in defence. He brought the ball out well from the back along with Tobi Omole, and he liked to step forward out of the defence and join his teammates when they went forward on occasions. The 20 year old defender also scored a good headed goal, his second goal of the season.
  • Tobi Omole: Starting the game at LCB, defender Tobi Omole like Lyons-Foster did all that he could possibly do to try and stop the talented Manchester City forwards from scoring. Omole has had a very good season for Spurs.
  • Dennis Cirkin: I thought that this was a solid defensive performance front the 19 year old left-back, and he also went on some good forward runs down the left.
  • Elliot Thorpe: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jamie Bowden: The Spurs captain showed good skill on the ball and tried to influence the game with his impressive passing. Bowden was involved in some nice pieces of play going forward for Spurs, and the 19 year old went one particularly impressive forward run during the second half, as well as creating a good opportunity for Dilan Markanday to score from.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The winger tried on a good number of occasions to test Manchester City goalkeeper James Trafford. And J’Neil Bennett tried to take on the opposing teams defenders when he had the ball out on the right flank.
  • Dilan Markanday: Often drifting out to the left flank, Dilan Markanday impressed with his set-pieces (he assisted Brooklyn Lyons-Foster’s goal). Markanday also made some clever runs off the ball, and he worked very hard off it as well.
  • Alfie Devine: Although he was wearing the number 11 shirt, midfielder Alfie Devine had more of a free role, and he would often come into more central positions to try and influence the game.
  • Rodel Richards: The forward pressed the Manchester City goalkeeper and defence really well during his time on the pitch, but he didn’t have great service into his feet, and was therefore unable to make much of an impact on the game during the first half.
  • Kion Etete: The second half substitute allowed Spurs to whip more crosses into the Spurs box, because of Kion’s height. He asked questions of the Manchester City defenders.
  • Rafferty Pedder: The late substitute brought plenty of energy to the game from midfield, and he was always looking to receive the ball in good areas of the pitch.

My man of the match: Elliot Thorpe. A lot of Spurs players played well on Friday evening, and I could have given this man of the match award to many players. But playing as the deepest midfielder, Elliot Thorpe made a good impression on the game from that position, as he came forward from deep to try and create, and was in my opinion our most influential player going forward. The 20 year old looked to go on surging forward runs from deep when receiving the ball into his feet, and he tried to take players on and look to create chances. His work rate off the ball was also impressive, along with his powerful forward running. The Wales youth international also came very close to scoring with a low effort from distance.

Manchester City: Trafford, Gomes, Sandler, Burns, Egan-Riley, Lavia (Robertson 74), Palmer, Doyle (c), Delap, McAtee, Knight (F Nmecha 67). Substitutes (not used): Slicker, Robinson, Gbadebo.

Spurs: Kurylowicz, Lavinier, Cirkin, Thorpe (Pedder 82), Lyons-Foster, Omole, Bennett, Bowden (c), Richards (Etete 46), Markanday, Devine. Substitutes (not used): Maguire, Paskotsi.

Spurs under 18’s 3-0 AFC Wimbledon: (match report)

Spurs’ under 18 side traveled to Wimbledon’s Plough Lane ground on Wednesday evening, for a fourth round FA Youth Cup tie. Matt Taylor’s Spurs side were frustrated by AFC Wimbledon’s strong defence for large parts of the match, and while Wimbledon came really close to scoring in the first half of extra time, a strong showing from Spurs in extra time saw them score three (Jamie Donley scored two and Romaine Mundle got one) goals to set up a home tie against West Brom in the next round of the competition. Spurs’s starting team (4-2-3-1) saw captain Thimothee Lo-Tutala start in goal, while a back four consisting of Kallum Cesay, Matthew Craig, Marqes Muir and Jeremy Kyezu started in front of him. Michael Craig and Nile John teamed up in central midfield, while Roshaun Mathurin and Romaine Mundle started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Alfie Devine. Dane Scarlett started up front for Spurs. Wimbledon got the game underway and the first effort of the game came from the hosts, as Quaine Bartley’s shot across goal from down the right side of the Spurs box was comfortably gathered by Lo-Tutala. Kwaku Frimpong then saw his effort from range go wide of the Spurs goal as Wimbledon’s strong defence limited Spurs’ chances during the early parts of the game. After Michael Craig was shown a yellow card for a challenge Wimbledon’s Dylan Adjei-Hersey had an effort on goal deflected behind for a corner. The same players delivery from the following corner was headed just over by Isaac Ogundere, before Romaine Mundle’s low effort from distance at the other end of the pitch went wide.

After Devine passed the ball to Dane Scarlett inside the Wimbledon box, the Spurs strikers first time effort across goal was picked up by a Wimbledon who cleared the ball. This was a good spell in the game for Spurs and a couple of moments later and after receiving Mundle’s pass inside the Wimbledon box, Roshaun Mathurin had a shot saved by Matt Cox, before Scarlett’s attempted chipped effort of the Wimbledon goalkeeper from distance went over his crossbar. After Matthew Craig’s clearance of Obed Yeboah’s cross came to Adbi Ali, the Wimbledon players effort on the half volley sailed over Lo-Tutala’s goal, in what was the final piece of action from the first half. Spurs got the second half underway and after Thimothee Lo-Tutala punched clear Dylan Adjei-Hersey’s free-kick, Matthew Craig blocked Troy Chiabi’s effort. The Spurs players appeals for a penalty after the ball appeared to strike Abdi Ali’s hand inside the Spurs box were waived away by the referee, before Dylan Adjei-Hersey’s effort from range was palmed away by Lo-Tutala, but only as far as Troy Chiabi who slotted home, but his goal was ruled out for offside. Matthew Craig then blocked Kwaku Frimprong’s effort from distance, before Dane Scarlett was shown a yellow card. Matthew Craig made an important challenge on Troy Chiabi inside the Spurs box to get the ball away from him, before at the other end of the pitch Roshaun Mathurin came in from the right onto his left foot before forcing a save out of Matt Cox.

Matthew Craig blocked Adjei-Hersey’s effort before Spurs made two changes in quick succession, as Yago Santiago returned to action to replace Roshaun Mathurin, while Jamie Donley replaced Michael Craig as he took up the CAM role, with Devine dropping into central midfield. Devine was shown a yellow card for his reaction to a challenge on him from a Wimbledon player before Dane Scarlett nodded a header wide from inside the Wimbledon box. Adjei-Hersey hit his free-kick well over Lo-Tutala’s crossbar before Remi Onabanjo also hit an effort over, as the referee sounded his whistle for full-time of normal time shortly afterwards. Spurs made a change for the first half of extra time, as Jordan Hackett came on to replace Dane Scarlett. After the ball came to Alfie Devine on the edge of the Wimbledon box, the midfielders quickly taken effort was straight at Matt Cox who gathered the ball. Nile John then had an effort from range saved by the Wimbledon goalkeeper, before Ben Mason’s cross at the other end of the pitch came to Adjei-Hersey inside the Spurs box, and his headed effort was excellently tipped behind by Lo-Tutala to prevent Wimbledon from taking the lead. Dante Cassanova came on to replace Alfie Devine before Spurs took the lead in the 99th minute of the game through substitute Jamie Donley. Romaine Mundle’s fine first time cross into Donley just inside the Wimbledon box saw the centre-forward take a touch before firing the ball past Matt Cox and into the back of the net, to give Spurs the lead against the run of play, 1-0.

The second half of extra time saw John hit an effort wide from range before Lo-Tutala punched clear Isaac Olaniyan’s corner kick. After receiving Nile John’s pass the lively Yago Santiago showed great skill to twist and turn away from a couple of Wimbledon players inside the home teams box, before passing to Donley whose shot was blocked. Then a couple of moments later and after receiving another pass from John, Santiago squared the ball for Donley inside the Wimbledon box however, his effort went over the crossbar. Spurs were now in control of the game and after John curled an effort over the Wimbledon goal, Spurs doubled their lead through Romaine Mundle. Santiago’s pass to Donley resulted in the striker superbly picking out Mundle from out on the left down the right hand side of the Wimbledon box, and the second year scholar calmly finished past Matt Cox, 2-0. After running forward with the ball Santiago hit the ball over the Wimbledon crossbar, before Spurs scored their final goal of the game in the 121st minute of the match. A long ball forward was latched onto by Kallum Cesay who knocked the ball past the Wimbledon goalkeeper after he had came out of his box, Cesay then passed the ball to Donley who tapped the ball into the open goal, 3-0. The final score from Plough Lane – Spurs 3-0 AFC Wimbledon.

Player reviews: 

  • Thimothee Lo-Tutala: The Spurs captain and goalkeeper made one really great and important save in the first half of extra time when the score was 0-0, and that save from the 18 year old proved to be so important. The Paris born goalkeeper also commanded his box well throughout the match. 
  • Kallum Cesay: The right-back mostly stayed deep but he did get forward on occasions. Cesay did well to assist Jamie Donley for his second goal of the game.
  • Matthew Craig: The RCB blocked a number of shots and also kept good positioning I felt, in defensive areas. Craig made one really important challenge on Troy Chiabi inside the Spurs penalty area.
  • Marqes Muir: Calm and composed in defence, in my opinion Marqes Muir didn’t put a foot wrong as a left sided centre-half, as he put in a strong defensive performance.
  • Jeremy Kyezu: The left-back completed the whole of the match and like Kallum Cesay on the other side of the pitch, I thought that Kyezu often stayed deep. 
  • Michael Craig: Playing as a four alongside Nile John in the middle of the pitch, Michael Craig kept the ball moving in the central areas of the pitch.
  • Nile John: The exciting midfielder liked to take players on and he showed some really good skill on the ball during today’s match, and often looked to go on surging forward runs. It was a good performance from the player who has played up for the Spurs under 23 side lately.
  • Roshaun Mathurin: Starting out on the right flank, winger Roshaun Mathurin managed an effort on goal during his time on the pitch. Mathurin completed 69 minutes of the game.
  • Alfie Devine: In order to get on the ball more often CAM Alfie Devine had to drop deep to try and influence the game, and the former Wigan Athletic player made some nice forward passes, showed good skill as well as moving well off the ball during his time on the pitch. 
  • Romaine Mundle: A player who I felt got more involved in the game as it went on, winger Romaine Mundle registered an assist and a goal against Wimbledon. Mundle did well to find Donley with his cross before later finishing well from inside the Wimbledon penalty area later on to effectively win the game for Spurs.
  • Dane Scarlett: The centre-forward worked really hard and moved well of the ball but didn’t get much luck against the solid and well disciplined Wimbledon defence. 
  • Yago Santiago: The former Celta Vigo player influenced the game well after coming on in the second half and playing out on the left wing. Santiago took on defenders well and showed some good bursts of pace and skill on the ball.
  • Jamie Donley: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jordan Hackett: The left-back came on in the first half of extra time.
  • Dante Cassanova: The late substitute filled in at right-back for the final stages of the game.

My man of the match: 16 year old under 16’s player Jamie Donley bolstered the Spurs attack after coming on in the second half of Wednesday’s match. The centre-forward who has represented both England and Northern Ireland at youth level really made a big difference to the match after being introduced in the 74th minute of time. Donley was excellent in extra time and a well taken goal to put Spurs ahead was followed by a fine pass to find Romaine Mundle inside the Wimbledon box for his goal, before later tapping home into an open goal to score his second of this game. Donley moved well off the ball too, and I was also impressed with his first touch. He reminded me a bit of Troy Parrott at the same age.

AFC Wimbledon: Cox, Mason, Onabanjo (Bangura 108), Frimpong, Ogundere (c), Sutcliffe, Adjei-Hersey, Ali (Lock 103), Yeboah (Sasu 55), Bartley (Olaniyan 66), Chiabi. Substitutes (not used): Lahan, Jones, Campbell.

Spurs: Lo-Tutala (c), Cesay, Kyezu, Michael Craig (Donley 74), Matthew Craig, Muir, Mathurin (Santiago 69), John, Scarlett (Hackett 91), Devine (Cassanova 99), Mundle. Substitutes (not used): Hayton, Dorrington.

Spurs under 23’s 3-0 Manchester United: (match report)

Spurs’ under 23 side defeated a talented Manchester United side in the PL2 at Hotspur Way on Friday afternoon, as Wayne Burnett’s side won 3-0 thanks to goals from Jamie Bowden, Marcel Lavinier and Kion Etete. Spurs lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Josh Oluwayemi starting in goal, while a back four consisting of Marcel Lavinier, George Marsh, Tobi Omole and Dennis Cirkin sat in front of him. Michael Craig (first competitive start at this level) and captain Jamie Bowden teamed up in central midfield while Dilan Markanday and Romaine Mundle (first competitive start at this level) started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Nile John, with Kion Etete starting up front. Spurs got the game underway on a nice afternoon in Enfield, but it was the visitors who managed the first goal attempt of the game. Dillon Hoogerwerf curling an effort over Spurs goalkeeper Josh Oluwayemi’s crossbar early on in the match from the edge of the Spurs box, and the opening stages of the game were even, with both sides having similar amounts of possession. A long clearance forward from George Marsh ended up coming to Kion Etete on the edge of the Manchester United box, but his effort on goal was blocked by a defender. After conceding a free-kick on the edge of the Spurs box George Marsh was shown a yellow card, with Ethan Galbraith curling his resulting effort over. Joe Hugill then fired an effort wide of Oluwayemi’s goal after going on a good run down the left, while at the other end of the pitch Dilan Markanday delivered a nice lofted ball towards Jamie Bowden, who had made a good run in to the oppositions box, but a Manchester United defender managed to get to the ball in time to get it clear at the vital moment.

A cross from Lavinier from the right flank ended up coming to Mundle at the back post, inside the visitors penalty area. Mundle passed the ball to Bowden but his effort was straight at goalkeeper Matej Kovar, before Nile John gave the ball to Mundle down the left side of the Manchester United box. Romaine Mundle managed to get around Mark Helm inside the box, but the full-back ended up tripping him from behind, and the referee spotted this and ended up pointing to the spot. Jamie Bowden calmly and cleverly stepped up to just roll the ball down the middle of the goal as Kovar dived to his right, 1-0. Shortly after the game got started again a through ball to Hugill sent the Manchester United striker through on goal, but Oluwayemi came rushing out of his goal and he spread himself well to save Hugill’s effort inside the box. A good run from the skilful Dilan Markanday ended in him having a shot blocked from inside the Manchester United box. A surging run from Reece Devine ended in him entering the Spurs box before passing the ball to Hugill who shot wide of the goal. A corner kick then came to Ethan Galbraith on the edge of the Spurs box but his effort on target was headed clear off the line by George Marsh, who was in the right place at the right time. Nile John was shown a yellow card for a challenge on Shola Shoretire before Markanday made a good and important tackle on Reece Devine in the Spurs box. A couple of minutes later Jamie Bowden had a free-kick and later an effort on goal cleared before Tobi Omole cleared Mark Helm’s cross at the other end of the of the pitch. Josh Oluwayemi then saved Ethan Galbraith’s effort from range, in what was the final piece of action from the first half.

Manchester United got the second half underway and it was Manchester United who initially started the half quite well. Marcel Lavinier did well to block Mark Helm’s effort behind inside the Spurs box before Hugill had an effort blocked by Etete. A long ball forward from Omole was headed back towards Kovar by Alvaro Fernandez, but Kovar slipped and in the end the ball went narrowly wide of the goal. After winning the ball Lavinier passed the ball to Bowden who then threaded a pass in to Mundle down the left side of the oppositions penalty area, but the wingers resulting effort was powered into the side netting. A clearance from Marsh then ended up coming to Etete who skilfully got past Reece Devine before slipping a pass in to the feet of Markanday inside the Manchester United penalty area, but his first time side footed effort was straight at Kovar who gathered the ball comfortably. Hannibal Mejbri shot wide from distance before Spurs doubled their lead through Marcel Lavinier. After receiving Michael Craig’s pass on the edge of the Manchester United box Lavinier decided to try his luck on goal, and his powerful effort deflected off of Reece Devine before going past Kovar and nestling in the goal after the deflection had beaten the goalkeeper, 2-0. A melee followed following a challenge after the game got started again, and this resulted in Kion Etete and Dennis Cirkin being shown yellow cards, while Ethan Galbraith was shown a red card for his involvement. A pass from Dilan Markanday was cleared away by a Manchester United defender, but only as far as Kion Etete whose effort on the half volley on the edge of the oppositions box went narrowly wide of the goal.

After George Marsh had caught Hannibal Mejbri off the ball the midfielder was shown a straight red card, while Michael Craig did well a couple of minutes later to block Mark Helm’s effort inside the Spurs box after a good run from the right-back. Kallum Cesay came on to replace Jamie Bowden while J’Neil Bennett replaced Dilan Markanday, and an early effort from Bennett from the edge of the Manchester United box was well saved by Matej Kovar. After picking the ball up in the middle of the pitch Nile John went on a good and purposeful forward run through the middle, all the way to the edge of the away side’s box when the ball came off of Martin Svidersky before coming to Etete whose powerful effort flew past Kovar and in to the back of the goal to secure all three points for Spurs, 3-0. Marcel Lavinier blocked an effort from Joe Hugill before Rafferty Pedder came on to replace Romaine Mundle, as Josh Oluwayemi then gathered Charlie McCann’s delivery in to the Spurs box. J’Neil Bennett saw his effort from the right flank, across the face of the goal gathered by the Manchester United goalkeeper, before Tobi Omole headed over a Spurs corner kick. Substitute Noam Emeran’s ball in to the Spurs box was met by Joe Hugill, but his looping headed effort on goal was easily saved by Oluwayemi who a couple of minutes later thwarted Hannibal Mejbri’s late free-kick, in what was the final piece of action of the game. Spurs’ next Premier League 2 game is not until the 12th of April when they travel to Leicestershire to face Leicester City.

Player reviews:

  • Josh Oluwayemi: It was another fine performance from the goalkeeper following on from his good performance against Derby County earlier in the week. Oluwayemi made some good saves today including a very important one to deny Joe Hugill early on in the game from inside the Spurs box.
  • Marcel Lavinier: Solid and dependable at right-back, but also good at getting forward as he showed when he scored our second goal of the game in the second half, Marcel Lavinier did well up against Dillon Hoogerwerf down Manchester United’s left hand side. 
  • George Marsh: Playing at RCB George Marsh made an important headed clearance off the line in the first half as well as some other good clearances. However, he will have been disappointed to have received an avoidable straight red card late on in the second half.
  • Tobi Omole: It was another composed and impressive performance in central-defence from former Arsenal player Tobi Omole. The 21 year old stayed on his feet throughout the game against Manchester United and he put in another good defensive performance.
  • Dennis Cirkin: Strong both on and off the ball, 18 year old full-back Dennis Cirkin got up and down the left flank well and he was nice and involved in the game.
  • Michael Craig: Second year scholar Michael Craig (17) was in my opinion along with Dilan Markanday one of our best players on Friday. On his first competitive start at this level Craig looked assured in the middle of the park as he played as a four. He stayed close to Manchester United’s creative CAM Hannibal Mejbri on occasions and he did well at that, but he also used the ball intelligently (he got the assist for Lavinier’s goal) and he got stuck in too.
  • Jamie Bowden: The Spurs captain scored a nice penalty kick in the first half but he also had another solid game in the centre of the park, using the ball well and also moving well without it at his feet.
  • Dilan Markanday: My man of the match, see below.
  • Nile John: Playing as a CAM Nile John had some good moments in the game including a really good late surging run from deep which led to Kion Etete’s goal.
  • Romaine Mundle: Operating out on the left flank Romaine Mundle did some good things on his first competitive start at this level, including some nice skill to win our penalty during the first half. 
  • Kion Etete: Holding the ball up well and bringing others in to play, centre forward Kion Etete’s hard work off the ball was rewarded when he scored a well taken late goal. His tenth competitive goal involvement of the season at this level (eight goals and two assists).
  • Kallum Cesay: The late substitute made an important defensive intervention inside the Spurs box, late on in the game when the score was 2-0 to Spurs.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The substitute looked to make an impact on the game and he managed to have two attempts on goal.
  • Rafferty Pedder: N/A.

My man of the match: Playing out on the right flank Dilan Markanday (19) caused problems for Manchester United full-back Reece Devine, but he also tracked back tirelessly to help out full-back Marcel Lavinier defensively. Showing some really good skill down Manchester United’s left hand side, Markanday loved to cut inside from the right and use his left foot to try and make things happen. He was expressive going forward and could well have scored a goal during the second half, but his all round play including his defensive work made him for me our man of the match against Manchester United on Friday afternoon.

Spurs under 23’s 0-1 Derby County: (match report)

Our inform under 23 side took on Derby County at the Loughborough University Stadium on Monday night, in what was Spurs’ latest Premier League 2 game. However, Spurs’ seven game unbeaten run in the league came to an end as Wayne Burnett’s side lost 1-0 to Derby, and they had to play the majority of the game with ten men after Marqes Muir was shown a straight red card during the first half on his first competitive start for Spurs’ under 23’s. Lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Josh Oluwayemi in goal, a back four consisting of George Marsh, Marqes Muir, Tobi Omole and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Captain Jamie Bowden and Nile John teamed up in central midfield while J’Neil Bennett and Dilan Markanday started out on the flanks either side of CAM Alfie Devine, while Kion Etete started up front for Spurs. Derby got the game underway on Monday night as both sides started the game cautiously, but the first chance of the game came the way of the home side. Festy Ebosele’s long throw in from the right was headed away by Cirkin but the ball fell nicely for Josh Shonibare inside the Spurs box and his volleyed effort flew not too far away from Oluwayemi’s goal. A couple of minutes later there was a penalty shout for Derby after Josh Shonibare wanted a foul given from a tackle on him from Muir, but the referee gave nothing. Kion Etete wasn’t too far away from connecting with Alfie Devine’s cross inside the Derby box before a promising spell of possession for the visitors came to an abrupt end after a Derby breakaway ended in Muir (he was the last man) fouling Shonibare on the edge of the Spurs box and being shown a straight red card by the referee (as a result of this Spurs shifted to a back three).

Jordan Brown’s resulting free-kick was parried by Oluwayemi however, only as far as Cameron Cresswell who lashed home from close range to give Derby the lead, 0-1. After Nile John dispossessed Connor Dixon the the Spurs midfielder travelled forward with the ball before curling an effort narrowly wide of the Derby goal from the edge of their penalty area before then being shown a yellow card not too long afterwards. After latching on to Connor Dixon’s pass Tyree Wilson brought the ball into the Spurs box before trying to beat Oluwayemi with an effort on goal, but the Spurs goalkeeper made a strong save before then doing well to stop Wilson from scoring on the follow up. J’Neil Bennett was shown a yellow card before a Dilan Markanday free-kick was cleared away by a Derby defender with Nile John’s resulting effort from the edge of the penalty area being deflected narrowly wide by Liam Thompson, in what was the final action of the first half. Spurs made a substitution for the start of the second half as J’Neil Bennett was replaced by under 18’s midfielder Michael Craig who was making his competitive under 23 debut for Spurs. Archie Brown shot wide from the edge of the Spurs box before George Marsh did well to prevent Cameron Cresswell from getting onto Tyree Wilson’s low cross in the Spurs box. After receiving the ball down the right hand side of the Spurs box Jayden Mitchell-Lawson had a powerful effort saved well by Oluwayemi before Elliot Thorpe came on to replace Kion Etete up front after the striker had picked up an injury late on in the first half. A good lofted ball into Bowden inside the Derby box from Devine was poked on target by the Spurs midfielder, forcing a corner kick for Spurs after a save from Derby goalkeeper George Sykes-Kenworthy. 

Dennis Cirkin cleared away Tyree Wilson’s dangerous cross into the Spurs box before Connor Dixon had a volleyed effort on goal saved by Josh Oluwayemi. Mitchell-Lawson whipped the ball across the face of the Spurs goal from the right before Oluwayemi then gathered a cross from the same player shortly afterwards. A long ball forward managed to find Alfie Devine who sprinted with Jordan Brown to get into the Derby penalty area. Devine managed to carry the ball into the box before having a powerful effort on goal saved by Sykes-Kenworthy, with the ball bouncing back off Devine and off of Sykes-Kenworthy before going behind for a Spurs corner as Spurs continued to work really hard. Marcel Lavinier came on to replace captain Jamie Bowden (the captains armband was given to George Marsh) before an effort/pass from Cameron Cresswell from the edge of the Spurs box was gathered by Oluwayemi. A free-kick from Jayden Mitchell-Lawson found Archie Brown inside the Spurs box and he forced a good save out of Oluwayemi before Eiran Cashin’s resulting effort went over the crossbar. At the other end of the pitch Elliot Thorpe had a low effort from the edge of the Derby box deflected behind by Jordan Brown before Cashin cleared away Dilan Markanday’s corner kick. Dennis Cirkin was shown a late yellow card for stopping a Derby county attack in what was the final piece of action from the game. Spurs’ next PL2 game is on Friday afternoon when Wayne Burnett’s side host Manchester United at Hotspur Way.

Player reviews: 

  • Josh Oluwayemi: Making a number of good reaction saves to keep Spurs in the game as long as possible, goalkeeper Josh Oluwayemi had a fine game for Spurs.
  • George Marsh: Starting at right back Marsh would soon have to slot into a back three, but he adapted well and made an important defensive intervention during the second half.
  • Marqes Muir: The second year scholar and RCB was shown a straight red card in the 20th minute of the game.
  • Tobi Omole: A player who I thought had a solid game, 21 year old centre-half Tobi Omole performed well when Spurs went down to ten men, and he always looked composed in defence.
  • Dennis Cirkin: Because of the red card early on in the game Cirkin didn’t have that license to get forward as much as I’m sure that he would have liked to, but he held his own in defence.
  • Jamie Bowden: The Spurs captain was tenacious, energetic and showed good skill in central midfield for Spurs on Monday night.
  • Nile John: The second year scholar got forward well from central positions and I was impressed with the way that he played.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The winger had to help out George Marsh defensively a lot down the right flank following Marqes Muir’s sending off.
  • Alfie Devine: My man of the match, see below.
  • Dilan Markanday: The winger did some great defensive work for Spurs down the left flank.
  • Kion Etete: The 19 year old centre-forward worked very hard in the final third and pressed the Derby defenders well before having to come off through injury. 
  • Michael Craig: The second year scholar came on and played in central-midfield for the second half.
  • Elliot Thorpe: Playing in the unfamiliar position of centre-forward Thorpe pressed really well and moved well off the ball.
  • Marcel Lavinier: The former Chelsea Academy played in defence after coming on in the 73rd minute of the game.

My man of the match: Alfie Devine (16) may not have got on the ball as much as he would have liked to during the game, but the first year scholar showed a tremendous desire to press the Derby players and try and influence the game. Devine also had some nice touches and showed good skill with the ball as well as showing good movement off the ball, but it was that great desire to chase down the ball and work for the team which impressed me the most. He is always a pleasure to watch.

Derby County: Sykes-Kenworthy, Ebosele, Archie Brown, Thompson, Jordan Brown (c), Cashin, Mitchell-Lawson, Dixon, Cresswell, Shonibare (Williams 65), Wilson (Bateman 90+1). Substitutes (not used): Foster, Aghatise, Cybulski.

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Marsh, Cirkin, Bowden (c) (Lavinier 72), Muir, Omole, Bennett (Michael Craig 46), John, Etete (Thorpe 51), Devine, Markanday. Substitutes (not used): Lo Tutala, Pedder.

Spurs under 23’s 2-3 Chelsea: (match report)

Our under 23 side started Monday evenings Premier League 2 fixture against Chelsea at Kingsmeadow really well, and they found themselves leading by two goals after just 17 minutes, courtesy of goals from Jubril Okedina and Dane Scarlett, in what was a fantastic first half performance from Spurs. However, Chelsea came back at Spurs strongly in the second half of a very lively match, and unfortunately for Spurs they ended up winning the game three-two, in a match which saw two red cards, shown to Alfie Devine and Danny Drinkwater respectively. Lining up with Brandon Austin in goal, a back four made up of captain Jubril Okedina, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Tobi Omole and Marcel Lavinier started in front of the 21 year old goalkeeper. George Marsh and Harvey White teamed up in the centre of the park while Dane Scarlett (competitive under 23 debut) and Jack Clarke lined up either side of CAM Alfie Devine, while Kion Etete started up front for Spurs. Spurs got the game underway at Kingsmeadow, and the first real chance of the game ended in a goal for Wayne Burnett’s side. 38 year old Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech had been put under pressure by Kion Etete in the Chelsea penalty area, and Cech ended up putting the ball behind for a Tottenham corner kick. Alfie Devine played the corner short to White, whose delivery into the Chelsea box was deflected off of a Chelsea player, and the ball bounced up to Lyons-Foster on the edge of the area and he nodded the ball to Jubril Okedina whose shot went beyond Cech and into the back of the net, 1-0.

Brandon Austin comfortably gathered Dion Rankine’s low cross from the right, before Valentino Livramento blocked Kion Etete’s effort on the edge of the box, at the other end of the pitch. Spurs continued their strong start to the game, and after Alfie Devine won the ball off of Dynel Simeu he went forward down the right flank and delivered in a good low cross towards Jack Clarke, but Danny Drinkwater got back to intercept the ball well. Still yet to be tested by Chelsea, Spurs were enjoying a good spell of possession when the impressive Harvey White picked the ball up about 35 yards out from goal, and he picked out young Dane Scarlett down the right hand side of the Chelsea box with a brilliant curling pass. Scarlett rose ahead of a Chelsea defender and powered a quite brilliant header beyond Petr Cech and into the goal, 2-0. Chelsea weren’t playing with much of an intensity during the opening periods of the game and Spurs continued to go forward. Jack Clarke’s cross in from the left picked out Dane Scarlett, and he got a toe on the ball but it ended up going behind for a goal kick. The Spurs forward then claimed that Chelsea defender Dynel Simeu had handled the ball inside his penalty area a couple of minutes later, but the referee saw nothing in it. After Jubril Okedina passed the ball to Alfie Devine, the former Wigan Athletic player tried to get around Dynel Simeu before trying his luck on goal, but his effort was deflected behind for a corner kick. Tobi Omole’s long ball up to Kion Etete was taken down well and controlled by the centre forward, he took the ball into the Chelsea box but was put under pressure when he tried to beat Cech, who comfortably saved his effort which was straight at the Chelsea goalkeeper.

Wayne Burnett urged his Spurs team to keep their shape as Chelsea upped their intensity during the closing stages of the first half. Spurs defender Tobi Omole headed clear Valentino Livramento’s cross, before Marcel Lavinier was shown a yellow card after giving away a free kick (taken by Marcel Lewis), which Harvey White cleared, in what was the final piece of action of the first half. Chelsea got the second 45 minutes underway, and Jubril Okedina cleared away Thierno Ballo’s low cross before Kion Etete cleared away a corner kick which had been taken by Marcel Lewis. Petr Cech gathered Alfie Devine’s pumped ball into the box before Dynel Simeu headed narrowly over at the back post, from a Chelsea corner kick. Marcel Lewis headed over Valentino Livramento’s cross before giving away a free kick after being deemed to have pushed George Marsh inside the Spurs box, as Chelsea were now on top of the game. After Valentino Livramento had passed the ball to Chelsea forward George Nunn, Nunn took on Okedina inside the Spurs box and got a toe on the ball to put it through the Spurs mans legs, but he (Okedina) lunged in and ended up giving away a penalty. Chelsea’s Myles Peart-Harris took the resulting penalty kick, and he slotted the ball straight down the middle of the goal as Brandon Austin dived to his right, 2-1. A couple of minutes later Henry Lawrence whipped a dangerous cross into the Spurs box, but it was cleared away brilliantly by the lunging Tobi Omole. A long ball to Valentino Livramento down our left flank resulted in Livramento surging past Lavinier before passing to Marcel Lewis inside the middle of the Spurs box, and he calmly slotted it past Austin and into the back of the net, 2-2.

Spurs looked to respond through Harvey White who had a shot blocked by a Chelsea defender. Brandon Austin then passed the ball straight to Chelsea substitute Jude Soonsup-Bell on the edge of the Spurs box, and the 16 year old forward advanced into the box before attempting to take the ball around Austin who was able to recover excellently to get a hand on the ball and take it away from Soonsup-Bell. After Jack Clarke had won a free kick on the edge of the Chelsea box, Harvey White hit his resulting effort straight into the Chelsea wall, before Jack Clarke had an effort blocked. Levi Colwill headed behind a corner kick from Lewis Bate at the other end of the pitch, before a long forward ball to Alfie Devine was brilliantly brought down by the midfielder, who then managed to do well to get past George Nunn before shooting wide after getting into a more central position. George Nunn cleared a Jack Clarke free kick before a melee took place, after a strong two footed lunge on Danny Drinkwater from Alfie Devine resulted in Drinkwater kicking out at Devine. After the melee had ended the referee showed straight red cards to both players, before showing yellow cards to several players including Kion Etete. Elliot Thorpe replaced George Marsh in the middle of the park, before White fouled Jude Soonsup-Bell right on the edge of the Spurs penalty area. However, Marcel Lewis curled his resulting over Brandon Austin’s crossbar, before Henry Lawrence excellent strike from range went just wide of Austin’s goal. Under 18 player Romaine Mundle then replaced Dane Scarlett out on the right flank to make his competitive under 23 debut, before Lyons-Foster put behind a cross from Marcel Lewis. 

Chelsea went ahead in the game on 88 minutes after Thierno Ballo had passed the ball to Marcel Lewis on the right flank, before Lewis dragged the ball back for Myles Peart Harris in the Spurs box, and he slotted the ball well into the bottom left hand corner of Austin’s goal, 2-3. Spurs responded by sending on Maurizio Pochettino for Marcel Lavinier, as Spurs tried desperately hard to level up the scores. After Clarke had won a free kick Harvey White tried to test Cech, but his effort was stopped by the Chelsea wall. A good late move for Chelsea saw George Nunn pass the ball to Jude Soonsup-Bell who then gave it to Lewis Bate who found Myles Peart-Harris down the right side of the Spurs box, but his volley went wide of the goal, in what was to be the final piece of action from a pulsating game of Premier League 2 football. Spurs’ next game at this level is against Liverpool on Saturday, in Merseyside.

Player reviews: 

  • Brandon Austin: The Spurs goalkeeper surprisingly didn’t actually haven’t an awful lot to do against Chelsea, apart from facing their three efforts on goal, which he really couldn’t have done anything about. Austin did make a superb recovery to get a hand on the ball to prevent a certain goal for Chelsea’s Jude Soonsup Bell, after he had given the ball straight to him on the edge of the Spurs box.
  • Jubril Okedina: The Spurs captain had a solid first half, and he always stayed tight to his man throughout the game. Okedina did make a slightly untimed challenge on Chelsea’s George Nunn inside the Spurs box during the second half, but these things can happen to any defender especially against a team as good as Chelsea. 
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Operating at RCB, 20 year old defender Brooklyn Lyons-Foster made some good clearances and I thought that he read the game well against what was a very good Chelsea front line.
  • Tobi Omole: A defender who I have always been impressed with when I have seen him play for Arsenal at academy level over the years, Tobi Omole put in another impressive performance for our under 23 side. Making some fine clearances, like Lyons-Foster I thought that he read the game well but was also disciplined from a defensive point of view, while also looking good on the ball. 
  • Marcel Lavinier: Starting against his former club for the first time on Monday evening and playing at left back, Marcel Lavinier showed great pace on occasions during the game. He also went on some good forward runs for Spurs and showed good tenacity during his time on the pitch.
  • George Marsh: The CDM never stopped running and he allowed Harvey White to get forward more.
  • Harvey White: My man of the match, see below.
  • Dane Scarlett: Our under 18’s top scorer this season marked his competitive under 23 debut for Spurs by scoring a really well taken headed goal. What I really liked about Scarlett’s performance while he was playing out of position on the right wing, was his good defensive work and his determination to track back and help out Okedina. Scarlett also showed some good movement off the ball, and he took his goal brilliantly by scoring yet another header!
  • Alfie Devine: Showing some fine pieces of individual skill, CAM Alfie Devine’s night may have been ended by him receiving a late red card, but there was plenty that he should be proud of. He was confident on the ball and not afraid to take players on, but he was also intelligent and not afraid to get stuck in and make his mark on the game. 
  • Jack Clarke: Another player who showed good pace, left winger Jack Clarke liked to take on his man. He was confident and showed good skill, and I thought that he gave a good account of himself on the night.
  • Kion Etete: After scoring in our last three under 23 games, hardworking centre forward Kion Etete may not have scored against Chelsea on Monday, but he did work really hard and pressed the Chelsea defence well, while also showing good strength on the ball and also laying it off well to the other forward players.
  • Elliot Thorpe: The 20 year old substitute got stuck in during the latter stages of the game after replacing George Marsh.
  • Romaine Mundle: N/A.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: N/A.

My man of the match: After Monday evenings game against Chelsea, central midfielder Harvey White has now been directly involved in seven goals (four assists and three goals) from ten Premier League 2 matches for Spurs’ under 23’s this season. White (19) was as always nice and tidy on the ball, using it well and intelligently throughout what was a very demanding game. However, his defensive work really impressed me, and his willingness to get stuck in as well as not being afraid to be on the other end of some strong challenges, showed how good his desire and determination is. The Maidstone born midfielder also assisted Dane Scarlett’s goal with a superb curling pin point pass, to cap off another fine performance from the consistent and versatile midfielder.

Spurs u23’s stats:

Goals: Kion Etete – 3

Harvey White – 3

Rodel Richards – 2

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

George Marsh – 1

Jack Clarke – 1

Dilan Markanday – 1

Alfie Devine – 1

Maurizio Pochettino – 1

Dane Scarlett – 1

Jubril Okedina – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 4

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 2

Jack Roles – 1

Dilan Markanday – 1

Dennis Cirkin – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Jack Clarke – 1

Danny Rose – 1

Alfie Devine – 1

Substitutes (not used) against Chelsea: Kurylowicz, Muir.

Spurs under 23’s 2-4 Manchester United: (match report)

Our under 23 side suffered their first Premier League 2 league defeat of the season against Derby County just before the international break, and unfortunately and rather unluckily for Wayne Burnett’s side they followed this up by losing by four goals to two against Manchester United on Sunday, at Leigh Sports Village. In what was a pulsating quite end to end game which was competitive and played at a good intensity, Spurs fought back from a goal down after Shola Shoretire gave Manchester United an early lead. However, Spurs got an equaliser through Kion Etete (his first goal of the season) less than ten minutes later after a good spell in the game for the visitors. Influential Spanish midfielder Arnau Puigmal did regain the home team’s lead shortly after the half hour mark, before he got his second and Man United’s third of the game in first half additional time. Spurs started the second half strongly however, and their hard work paid off when Harvey White pulled a goal back. An interesting 40 minutes or so followed as both teams went in search of that important next goal, but it was Manchester United who scored it in second half stoppage time through the potent Anthony Elanga. This was far from a bad performance from Spurs, and they played with a good intensity, pressed well and created some good chances too. Spurs lined up in a 4-3-3 formation, with Alfie Whiteman starting in goal. A back four consisting of Marcel Lavinier, captain Jubril Okedina, Tobi Omole and Dennis Cirkin sat in front of him. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, George Marsh and Harvey White formed a three in midfield, while Dilan Markanday and Jack Clarke started out on the flanks, either side of lone centre forward Kion Etete.

Spurs got the game underway and a good early cross forced Manchester United defender William Fish in to making an early clearance from inside his box. Marcel Lavinier was shown an early yellow card for a sliding challenge on Hannibal Mejbri, as both sides enjoyed a fairly even amount of the ball during the opening stages of the game. However, the home side took the lead on 13 minutes through Shola Shoretire, after Uruguayan winger Facundo Pellistri picked up the ball on the right flank before advancing past Dennis Cirkin and delivering a nice cross towards Shoretire, whose powerful header nestled inside the top right hand corner of Alfie Whiteman’s goal to finish off a good Manchester United move, 0-1. Spurs tried to respond through Cirkin who went on a good run towards the Man United box before forcing a good low save from Paul Woolston, who pushed the ball behind for a corner kick. Soon afterwards the lively Jack Clarke won a free kick in a good position out on the left, he stood up to to take it and delivered a good ball into the oppositions danger zone, but it was cleared away by Mejbri. Spurs did manage to draw level on 22 minutes after a good move which saw Markanday pass the ball to Lyons-Foster down the right side of midfield, ended in the 19 year old whipping in a delightful cross for Etete, who met the ball inside the Man United box. The striker lunged towards the ball before volleying it past Woolston and into the bottom right side of his goal, 1-1.

Spurs looked to go ahead shortly after the restart when Etete passed the ball to White who slipped it into Clarke down the left, but his low cross into the box was cleared away by Teden Mengi before Etete could get to it. Woolston was then put under pressure by Etete, and the goalkeepers pass came to Lyons-Foster on the edge of the box, but he ended up hitting the ball well over the bar. Whiteman gathered comfortably a low cross from Anthony Elanga before Manchester United regained the lead. Shoretire picked the ball up on the left before cutting inside and entering the Spurs box and then passing it to Puigmal who sorted his feet out quickly before firing the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the outstretched Whiteman’s goal, 1-2. Mengi then blocked Markanday’s effort from long range before Jack Clarke was shown a yellow card for a foul on Alvaro Fernandez. An excellent corner kick from White was missed by Woolston however, Clarke didn’t have enough space to convert at the back post, as the ball went behind for a goal kick. Lyons-Foster crucially cleared Hannibal Mejbri’s cross before Northern Ireland international Ethan Galbraith whipped an effort narrowly wide of Whiteman’s goal from long range. A cross from the right flank from Lavinier eventually came to Etete inside the Manchester United box, but he shot wide on the turn. A challenge from Mejbri on the lively Markanday unfortunately meant that the 19 year old had to come off before half-time, and he was replaced by J’Neil Bennett. 

Man United extended their lead in first half additional time after Lukasz Bejger’s through ball wasn’t dealt with by the Tottenham defence, and it allowed Puigmal to run through into the box and power the ball past Whiteman (he got a hand on the ball and looked disappointed to have conceded) and into the back of the net in what was the final piece of action from the first half, 1-3. Man United got the second half underway and early on in the half Whiteman had to be alert to gather Anthony Elanga’s cross from the left. However, Spurs pulled a goal back on 52 minutes through midfielder Harvey White. George Marsh’s persistent pressing paid off after he won the ball off of Mejbri on the edge of the Man United penalty area, he then passed the ball to Clarke down the left side of the box. The Yorkshireman then cleverly squared it to White who was waiting in the middle of the box, and he calmly side footed the ball past Woolston, 2-3. William Fish headed narrowly over from a Hannibal Mejbri corner kick as the game continued to be played at a good tempo. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster was replaced by Elliot Thorpe in central midfield, and the newly introduced midfielder was shown a rather harsh yellow card for a foul on Mejbri. Omole did well to block behind Anthony Elanga’s shot on goal, before Jamie Bowden made his return from injury to replace George Marsh. 

After Clarke played the ball down to Lavinier down the right flank, the former Chelsea man gave it back to Clarke who squared it for Lavinier in the Man United box, but the right backs low effort was saved well by Woolston before a foul was given against Spurs for a Clarke foul on the Man United goalkeeper. Having already switched flanks with Clarke, Bennett came inside from the left and had an effort from range saved by Woolston as Spurs took control of the game. The impressive Teden Mengi blocked an effort from Harvey White on the edge of the Man United box before Cirkin was shown a yellow card, and then Lavinier received Bowden’ down the right, before threading the ball through to Clarke down the right side of the Man United box. However, Clarke’s powerful low effort was saved by Woolston, before Okedina did well to block substitute Mark Helm’s effort, with Ethan Galbraith hitting the ball over on the follow up. After Hannibal Mejbri passed the ball to Fish inside the Spurs box, Burnett’s side looked to be in trouble but for an excellent block from Okedina on Fish’s shot. Omole then did well to block Anthony Elanga’s shot inside the Spurs box before Fernandez hit the ball over the bar from the edge of the penalty area. Omole’s long pass forward almost set Etete through on goal at the other end, but William Fish did well to win the ball. Then a good long pass from the substitute Bowden set Etete through on goal but his heavy first touch saw the ball roll through for Woolston to gather inside his box.

Manchester United secured the win in second half additional time after Anthony Elanga received the ball out on the left flank. He managed to get away from Lavinier before entering the Spurs box and tucking the ball past Alfie Whiteman and into the back of the net to bring an end to a pulsating game of football which could have went either way, 2-3.

Player reviews:

  • Alfie Whiteman: The 22 year old didn’t actually make a save against Manchester United, as all four of the home team’s efforts on target ended in goals. Whiteman’s distribution was good and direct.
  • Marcel Lavinier: The former Chelsea right back really grew into the game, and he had a strong second performance, particularly going forward. Lavinier went on some good runs, and he also linked up well with Jack Clarke after the winger had switched flanks.
  • Jubril Okedina: The Spurs captain showed good leadership and took defensive responsibility in certain situations when the home team came close to scoring. Okedina made a crucial defensive intervention during the first half and an excellent last ditch block in the second half.
  • Tobi Omole: Showing good composure in central defence, the versatile former Arsenal player did well on his first competitive start for the club. He made some good and important blocks during the second half.
  • Dennis Cirkin: Having to defend against Manchester United’s Uruguayan winger Facundo Pellistri was always going to be a difficult task for the left back. The skilful winger did have some joy down our left side, but Cirkin did respond well and he went on some good tricky runs of his own at the opposite end of the pitch.
  • George Marsh: Playing as the deepest of a midfield three, defensive midfielder George Marsh did well in the game, and he played a good part in us scoring our second goal of the match, thanks to some good pressing from the tireless midfielder.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: My man of the match, see below.
  • Harvey White: Playing as the most advanced of a midfield three, our second goalscorer of the game (he took his goal well from inside the Man United box) Harvey White had another fine game for our under 23 side, as he took his goal involvement statistics for the team this season to four (two goals and two assists). Getting himself into some good forward positions, White was tidy with the ball at his feet and he also pressed really well. It was really interesting to see him play in that role.
  • Dilan Markanday: The lively winger played out on the right flank, and the 19 year old did cause problems for Man United left back left back Alvaro Fernandez with his fine agility. Unfortunately Markanday had to go off through injury just before the end of the first half, but hopefully he will be back playing again very soon.
  • Kion Etete: I was impressed with how Etete performed up front on his own today. The former Notts County man held the ball up and protected it really well, and he showed good awareness and ability to link the play as well. Etete took his goal well on the volley and on another day the very hard working centre forward could have had more goals, due to his good movement off the ball.
  • Jack Clarke: The former Leeds United winger showed good strength on the ball as he attempted to accelerate past players down the left flank (he later switched onto the right flank), and Clarke was involved in some good passages of play for Spurs, setting up White’s goal with a clever pass with the outside of his foot, before also coming going to getting a goal of his own later on in the game.
  • J’Neil Bennett: Coming onto the pitch just before half-time, winger J’Neil Bennett had one good effort saved by the Manchester United goalkeeper after cutting inside from the left, and he also went on some good forward runs.
  • Elliot Thorpe: The second half introduction of the central midfielder saw the 20 year old always looking to play forward and create. Unlucky with one such forward pass that came close to creating a clear cut chance for Spurs, Thorpe’s work rate was consistently very good during his time on the pitch. 
  • Jamie Bowden: The second half substitute went about his job quietly but effectively during his 20 plus minutes on the pitch following his return from injury. Bowden was nice and tidy in his play and he made some good long forward passes. It was great to see him back playing again.

My man of the match: There were some good and strong performances out on the pitch against Manchester United on Sunday evening but a very assured performance from Brooklyn Lyons-Foster as a number eight during his 63 minutes on the pitch, made him for me our best player on the day. Putting in a very similar performance to when he played for our under 18’s in a game against Fulham back in the 2018/19 season (also in midfield), the versatile midfielder had that same calming effect on the game today. Playing with a good intensity, Lyons-Foster read the game and pressed players to really good effect, and he always tried to be first to the ball every time, and as a result of this he made some good interceptions. Despite playing out of position he did well, and the midfielder whipped in a delightful cross to pick out Kion Etete for his goal to get his first assist of the season.

Spurs u23’s stats:

Goals: Harvey White – 2

Rodel Richards – 2

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

George Marsh – 1

Jack Clarke – 1

Dilan Markanday – 1

Alfie Devine – 1

Kion Etete – 1

Assists: Harvey White – 2

Jack Roles – 1

Dilan Markanday – 1

Dennis Cirkin – 1

Kazaiah Sterling – 1

J’Neil Bennett – 1

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster – 1

Jack Clarke – 1

Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 2

Alfie Whiteman – 1

Spurs under 23’s 2- 6 Leyton Orient: (match report)

(This photograph is from Tottenham Hotspur)

Our development sides first outing and their first proper game of football in over five months took place on Wednesday evening. Wayne Burnett’s side took on League Two club Leyton Orient at their Breyer Group Stadium in the JE3 cup, in memory of former Spurs player and Leyton Orient manager Justin Edinburgh. Spurs’ young side lost the game 6-2 as Leyton Orient won the cup however, I thought that the game was closer than the scoreline suggests. Spurs lined up with quite a few experienced players as they lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation. Belgian youth international Jonathan De Bie started in goal for Spurs while a back four consisting of Trialist A, Jubril Okedina, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Dilan Markanday sat in front of him. Captain George Marsh and Elliot Thorpe partnered up in central midfield, as Shilow Tracey and Anthony Georgiou started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Jack Roles, as Kazaiah Sterling started up top against his former club. Spurs got the game underway in the capital (the stream provided by Leyton Orient started a couple of minutes late) however, it was the home team who had all of the early chances. The alert Elliot Thorpe blocked behind Jamie Turley’s early header after he had connected with Jordan Maguire-Drew’s corner kick, before the same players following corner was met by tall centre half Dan Happe. Happe then headed the ball to former Spurs player Lee Angol whose header was saved relatively comfortably by Spurs goalkeeper Jonathan De Bie.

Centre back Jubril Okedina’s long cross field pass to Anthony Georgiou on the left flank was well kept in by the Cyprus international. Georgiou then continued forwards before whipping the ball powerfully across the face of Leyton Orient’s goal before picking up the ball again on the left hand side, before once again whipping the ball across the face of the goal. There was a good early tempo to the game, after winning the ball off of Jack Roles, Lee Angol continued forwards before sliding the ball into Jordan Maguire-Drew down the right hand side of the Spurs box, but Roles recovered well to make the challenge and put the ball behind behind. Jobi McAnuff’s resulting corner kick was met by Jamie Turley’s whose header was touched behind by De Bie for another corner. After eventually latching onto the following corner kick Ruel Sotiriou fired the ball over De Bie’s crossbar on the turn. A couple of minutes later Jordan Maguire-Drew turned makeshift Spurs left back Dilan Markanday, before whipping a ball into the Spurs box which was put behind by Thorpe. After conceding a free kick around the half way line Leyton Orient’s Jobi McAnuff took it quickly, launching the ball forward for James Dayton to latch onto (he was possibly offside), Dayton entered the Spurs box as De Bie came rushing out. The Leyton Orient player then took the ball around De Bie before tucking it into the back of the net, despite Jubril Okedina’s best efforts as he came sliding in, 0-1.

Shortly after Spurs got the game back underway Lee Angol was played through by Jobi McAnuff down the right side of the Spurs box, before Okedina came across to make an important challenge. A couple of moments later Georgiou conceded a free kick right on the edge of the Spurs box, Jordan Maguire Drew’s resulting effort was then punched away by De Bie, as Leyton Orient were in control of the game. Jamie Turley’s long ball up field set the potent Lee Angol up field and the forward took the ball into the Spurs box, before curling it into the bottom left hand corner of De Bie’s goal, 0-2. Leyton Orient then made it 3-0 after their goalkeeper Sam Sargeant’s long kick up field set Jordan Maguire-Drew through down the right side of the Spurs box after he had gotten past Okedina, Maguire-Drew delightfully dinked the ball over De Bie and into the back of the Spurs net, 0-3. Spurs responded as Georgiou came forward before passing the ball to Sterling who entered the Leyton Orient box, he took a wrong touch with fortunately came back to him off of Jamie Turley. Sterling then tried a low side footed shot which was saved by Sam Sargeant, before Spurs came forward again as Georgiou and Markanday combined out on the left flank. The latter picked the ball up before cutting inside onto his right foot and entering the Leyton Orient box, and then trying a low effort which was deflected off of Jamie Turley before going into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 1-3. After receiving Markanday’s pass inside the Leyton Orient box, Kazaiah Sterling’s resulting effort was blocked by Dan Happe.

Spurs striker Kazaiah Sterling was getting more involved in the game and soon afterwards he curled an effort from distance over Sargeant’s goal. Shortly afterwards Markanday passed the ball out to Trialist A out on the right flank and he then swept in a low ball into the box which was met first time by Elliot Thorpe, who had made a good run before tucking the ball powerfully into the back of the Leyton Orient goal, 2-3. After controlling Markanday’s pass down the left flank Georgiou turned his man before sending in a perfect cross for Elliot Thorpe to attack. Thorpe’s resulting powerful header darted narrowly past Sam Sargeant’s goal, as Spurs started to become the dominant force in the game as the first half came to a close. Leyton Orient restarted the game as Spurs made a number of changes at the break, as Shilow Tracey, Jack Roles, Anthony Georgiou, Kazaiah Sterling and Jonathan De Bie all came off. Josh Oluwayemi, Maurizio Pochettino, Kion Etete, Rodel Richards and J’Neil Bennett all came onto replace them. Bennett had an early effort blocked by McAnuff before moments later receiving Lyons-Foster’s long ball out on the left flank. He came inside onto his right foot before entering the Leyton Orient box and forcing a low save out of Sam Sargeant. After Lyons-Foster had fouled Lee Angol on the edge of the Spurs box Jobi McAnuff’s resulting effort was blocked behind by the Spurs wall. Jordan Maguire-Drew’s resulting corner kick was palmed away by Oluwayemi, before at the other end Markanday passed the ball to Pochettino out on the right flank. The 19 year old pumped in a good cross to pick out Etete inside the Leyton Orient box however, the strikers powerful firs time shot went just wide of Sargeant’s goal.

After Spurs gave the ball away at the back Lee Angol latched onto it and darted into the Spurs box, down the left hand side. Angol then powered the ball past the helpless Oluwayemi to extend Leyton Orient’s lead, 2-4. Jordan Maguire-Drew then bended an effort narrowly over the Spurs goalkeepers crossbar before manager Ross Embleton changed his entire side. Irishman Shadrach Ogie saw his effort from the edge of the Spurs box take a big deflection off of his own player Sam Ling however, despite the best efforts of Oluwayemi he couldn’t prevent the ball from going behind. Elliot Thorpe was struggling a little bit after picking up a knock and he was then replaced by Aaron Skinner in central midfield on 67 minutes. Leyton Orient goalkeeper Lawrence  Vigouroux was caught out inside in his own box with the ball at his feet by Spurs substitute Kion Etete. The tall centre forward then turned around before only shooting the ball over the open goal, in what was a big moment in the game. Maurizio Pochettino then went on a good direct run down the right flank before sending in a low cross into the Leyton Orient box to pick out Etete. The former Notts County man spun around Josh Coulson sharply before striking the bottom of the left hand post, as the ball fortunately rolled across the line and into the arms of Lawrence Vigouroux. At the other end of the pitch George Marsh blocked a Leyton Orient trialist’s effort, before Josh Coulson managed to meet Josh Wright’s corner kick but his powerful header was excellently pushed away by Oluwayemi who got low down sharply. George Marsh then cleared away Josh Wright’s cross before Oluwayemi tipped behind another cross from the same player. 17 year old Marqes Muir then came onto replace Jubril Okedina at the back, while Trialist B replaced Brooklyn Lyons-Foster in midfield. 

After Conor Wilkinson passed the ball to Josh Wright down the right he continued forwards before firing the ball over Oluwayemi’s crossbar. Trialist B then had a cross blocked by a Leyton Orient player before a Leyton Orient trialist had an effort on goal blocked by his teammate Conor Wilkinson. Young Marqes Muir then conceded a free kick on the edge of the Spurs penalty area which Conor Wilkinson converted. The centre forwards powered effort came off the underside of Oluwayemi’s crossbar before bouncing over the line, although a Leyton Orient trialist nodded it home to make sure, 2-5. Wilkinson managed to pick out Craig Clay from a cross however, his headed effort came off a teammate before Skinner cleared the ball away from danger. The heavily involved Conor Wilkinson then hit the ball up to Danny Johnson who traveled down the right side of the Spurs box, before hitting the ball into the bottom left hand corner of Oluwayemi’s goal, 2-6. That was to be the final piece of action of the game in what was a valuable first test of pre-season for Wayne Burnett’s lads.

Player reviews:

  • Jonathan De Bie: The 20 year old shot stopper made a total of three saves on the day during his 45 minutes on the pitch. De Bie looked relatively comfortable throughout the game despite conceding three goals.
  • Trialist A: It was an impressive and confident performance from Trialist A who showed good pace, desire and decision making in defence, both as an RB which he started as, and then later at LCB. He was commanding and authoritative in defence and he showed a good understanding of the game, he also picked out Elliot Thorpe for the 19 year olds goal. 
  • Jubril Okedina: Like Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Jubril Okedina had some tough moments in the game due to the physicality and the experience of the Leyton Orient players. However, considering it was the first game that he had played in over five months, as well as playing in a position that he hardly played in at all last season, I thought that he did a fine job.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Showing good technique and good composure first in central defence as an LCB, and then later in central midfield, Lyons-Foster had a number of good moments in the game. I thought that the Londoner defended well at the back, and he also made some good passes out from the back during the game before then going into midfield in the second half.
  • Dilan Markanday: Playing at left back this was the first time that Markanday had played in that position since he did so for our under 18’s during the 2018/19 season. The 19 year old did of course have some difficult moments in the game as you would expect for somebody so young and inexperienced in that position however, he was good on the ball and traveled forward with it well, going on some good and tricky forward runs during his 90 minutes on the pitch. The Barnet born winger also took his first half goal well.
  • George Marsh: The Spurs captain got around the pitch well and he played well both in central midfield and at right back, against the club that he had played on loan with last season.
  • Elliot Thorpe: My man of the match, see below.
  • Shilow Tracey: The winger went on some surging good and well timed runs down the right flank and he worked hard throughout his time on the pitch during the first half of the game.
  • Jack Roles: It may have been a reasonably quiet game by the Cyprus under 21 internationals good standards however, the 21 year old worked hard and he played with a good intensity about him. Roles also made a good and important first half recovery after giving the ball away.
  • Anthony Georgiou: The Cyprus international was inventive and lively on the ball when he got it out on the left flank. Georgiou went on some good forward runs down the left flank as he showed his good pace, the Lewisham born player also delivered some fine crosses into the Leyton Orient box, including an excellent one from which Elliot Thorpe so nearly scored from. In addition Georgiou also showed good defensive discipline to help out the less experienced Dilan Markanday at left back, during the first half.
  • Kazaiah Sterling: The centre forward who was playing his first game since September last year after a long injury lay off, grew into the game during the first half. Sterling managed to have a couple of shots on goal and his work rate and movement was good. 
  • Josh Oluwayemi: The second year professional only made one save but it was a very good reaction one low down. Oluwayemi also dealt well with crosses when he was faced with them.
  • Maurizio Pochettino: The second half substitute gave a good account of himself and he was nice and direct down the right flank. Pochettino (19) constantly ran at his man when he had the ball at his feet, and that positive style of play was nice to see.
  • Kion Etete: The 18 year old pressed the Leyton Orient defenders well, and one such fine piece of pressing almost led to him scoring with the scores at 4-2, that was a big moment in the game. Etete also had a couple of other chances to score after getting himself into some good positions.
  • Rodel Richards: The 19 year old supported Kion Etete up front during his time on the pitch during the second half.
  • J’Neil Bennett: The winger came onto play out on the left flank and he showed some good pace and skill down that side of the pitch. Bennett showed that he was a threat going forward on occasions during the game.
  • Aaron Skinner: The versatile Salford born defender slotted into central midfield for the last 23 minutes of the game.
  • Marqes Muir: The RCB came onto play at centre half for the late stages of the game.
  • Trialist B: Trialist B came onto play in central midfield during the latter stages of the game.

My man of the match: 19 year old attack minded midfielder Elliot Thorpe had a fine game in central midfield for Wayne Burnett’s side on Wednesday evening. Looking sharp throughout his time on the pitch the Wales youth internationals movement, alertness and positioning was good throughout in my opinion. Thorpe also showed good defensive discipline, as well as showing good skill on the ball when going forwards. He played some good forward passes and he made two good runs into the danger zone, one of which saw him do well to convert Trialist A’s pass. This was another good performance from Elliot Thorpe who went off on 67 minutes after picking up a knock. Hopefully he will be back for our under 23’s next friendly, whenever that may be.

Leyton Orient: Sargeant (Vigouroux 60), Ling (Judd 60), Brophy (Widdowson 60), McAnuff (c) (Cisse 60), Turley (Coulson 60), Happe (Ogie 60), Dayton (Wilkinson 60), Shabani (Clay 60), Angol (Johnson 60), Maguire-Drew (Wright 60), Sotiriou (Trialist 60).

Spurs: De Bie (Oluwayemi 46), Trialist, Markanday, Marsh (c), Okedina (Muir 76), Lyons-Foster (Trialist 76), Tracey (Pochettino 46), Thorpe (Skinner 67), Sterling (Etete 46), Roles (Richards 46), Georgiou (Bennett 46).

Goals: Leyton Orient – Dayton 22, Angol 27, 59, Maguire-Drew 31, Trialist 84, Johnson 89; Spurs – Markanday 37, Thorpe 42.

Venue: Breyer Group Stadium, Brisbane Road.

Spurs under 23’s 2-0 Manchester City: (match report)

Spurs under 23’s 2-0 Manchester City: (match report)

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Our under 23’s recorded their first win of the new PL2 season in style on Friday night, after they overcame a talented Manchester City side 2-0 at Broadhall Way. Wayne Burnett went for the same system that had earned our development side a point ten days earlier, in their Checkatrade trophy game against Crawley Town. Burnett’s trust in the like of Luis Binks and Paris Maghoma (both 17) paid off once again on Friday evening, as Spurs overcame a potent possession based Manchester City side. The sky blues enjoyed the majority of possession throughout the game and with their high press and energy in the final third, they made life difficult for Spurs. After a tricky opening 20 minutes which had seen the visitors create a couple of decent chances for themselves as they moved the ball around well, Spurs were struggling to get a hold on the game. However, a perfectly weighted defence splitting pass from Paris Maghoma in the 21st minute, changed all that. Maghoma was outstanding on the night and the 17 year olds pass to set Shayon Harrison through on goal totally paralysed the Man City defence, as Harrison ran through to cooly give Spurs the lead. Then, eight minutes later Spurs doubled their advantage through Paris Maghoma who made an excellent darting run across the Manchester City defence before picking up Oliver Skipp’s excellent pass. In typical fashion, Maghoma kept his cool in front of goal as he calmly skipped past the outrushing goalkeeper before clipping home to give Spurs a healthy two goal cushion. It was an excellent game of football but Spurs didn’t dominate the game by any means, Manchester City remained a threat throughout the remainder of the game. The unstoppable speed of Rabbi Matondo caused havoc for Spurs down the flanks as did the many surging runs through the middle from Tom Dele-Bashiru. Paul Harsley’s side gave a good account of themselves on the night, but they couldn’t recover from Spurs’ two quick goals in the first half.

Spurs showed a real maturity about their game and they defended extremely well, whilst goalkeeper Brandon Austin had another heroic game as he made eight impressive stops. Spurs’ first win of the season sees them move out of the relegation zone ahead of next Sunday’s trip to Liverpool when they face Everton at Goodison park. Opting to leave the likes of Japhet Tanganga on the bench for our league game with Manchester City, Burnett decided to stick with the likes of Maghoma and Binks who retained their places in an identical system to the one in which they used against Crawley Town in the Checkatrade trophy. Brandon Austin kept his place in goal for Burnett’s side whilst a back three of Jonathan Dinzeyi, George Marsh and Luis Binks lined up in front of him. In front of them was the defensive midfield partnership of Luke Amos (the skipper) and the much welcomed return of one Oliver Skipp. Both were joined on either side with Eyoma and Brown who played as wingbacks. Paris Maghoma and Jack Roles played effectively as inside forwards behind the experienced Shayon Harrison who led the line for the second consecutive game. The visitors got the game underway on a mild autumnal evening in Stevenage as a fairly large crowd took to their seats inside Broadhall Way. Manchester City threatened our defence in the opening couple of seconds of the game. After George Marsh had almost lost the ball to Benjamin Garre on the edge of the Tottenham penalty area, thankfully on this occasion he had gotten lucky. Then a couple of moments later the ridiculously athletic Rabbi Matondo sprinted past Luis Binks down the right wing before continuing onto the byline, before clipping a cross into the box which was cleared away by the alert Dinzeyi. Paul Harsley’s Manchester City side were hogging possession in the opening stages as Spurs struggled to get much of the ball. However, we should have had a penalty after Paris Maghoma was brought down unlawfully inside the penalty area by Cameron Humphrys early on. After the midfielder combined well with Harrison on the edge of the penalty area Harrison slipped the ball into him. Maghoma’s protest were ignored by the referee Sam Purkiss.

Brandon Austin made his first save of the game shortly afterwards as he comfortably gathered Nabil Touaizi’s low effort from range. The visitors were moving the ball around the pitch a lot quicker than us and they were creating some decent chances in the process. After Adrian Bernabe found Matondo out on the right wing, the wide man powered forwards before squaring the ball to Touaizi who was waiting inside the box. However, the Frenchman’s scuffed effort was easily held by the grateful Brandon Austin. Paul Harsley’s intricate side continued to threaten the Tottenham defence as Garre whipped a menacing ball across the face of Austin’s goal from out wide. Limited only to a couple of half chances inside Manchester City’s final third, Spurs had to be resourceful with the ball. A good move which saw Eyoma pass the ball to Skipp down the right wing saw the young midfielder attempt to find Harrison with a low cross inside the penalty area. However, Skipp’s cross came bouncing straight off the leg of Harrison who failed to control the ball. Jonathan Dinzeyi made an important interception at the other end to break up a dangerous attack from Touaizi as Man City continued to look the more likely team to score. That’s why it came as quiet a surprise to me when Spurs took the lead against the run of play through Shayon Harrison in the 21st minute of the game. After picking the ball up in the centre of the park, young Paris Maghoma looked up before playing the most perfectly weighted defence splitting pass right through the middle of the Manchester City defence. Catching them off guard, the defenders were paralysed as Maghoma sent Harrison through on goal. The centre forward showed remarkable composure as he entered the penalty area before calmly tucking the ball past Daniel Grimshaw and into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 1-0. Maghoma raced over to Harrison by the corner flag as the pair celebrated Spurs’ opening goal of the game. Luis Binks did well shortly afterwards to intercept the ball off of the darting Matondo to put the ball out for a corner kick.

The so far impeccable goalkeeping of Brandon Austin took a further turn shortly afterwards as the 19 year old produced an excellent diving stop to prevent Touaizi from finding the back of the net. After being played in down the right hand side of the penalty area by Garre, Touaizi attempted to beat Austin with a powerful low effort towards the far corner of the goal. However, he got down well to make an exceptional fingertip save. Jonathan Dinzeyi was forced into clearing Benjamin Garre’s menacing cross a couple of moments later before Marsh then threw himself in the way of Dele-Bashiru’s cross. Then a mere eight minutes after we had taken the lead, Wayne Burnett’s side doubled their advantage through the excellent Paris Maghoma. Similar to the first goal in many ways, Oliver Skipp spotted Maghoma’s darting run across the Man City defence. Skipp fed Maghoma in with a well weighted pass inside the Man City penalty area, Maghoma took an excellent first touch before cooly skipping away from the outrushing Grimshaw and calmly clipping the ball into the empty net, 2-0. Spurs were now showing a remarkable energy to their game and unsurprisingly they were looking a lot more confident with the ball. Only a couple of minutes after doubling Spurs’ lead Maghoma made a terrific sliding challenge to win the ball off of Bernabe on the edge of the oppositions penalty area before quickly poking the ball out to Roles out on the right wing. However, the Cypriot youth internationals low cross just failed to pick out Harrison at the back post. Roles then had an excellent goalscoring chance a couple of minutes later, after Skipp had set him through down the right. Roles sprinted down the right before entering the penalty area where he was met by the outrushing Grimshaw. Roles’s effort was hit straight at the Manchester City goalkeeper with the ball then coming out to Maghoma on the edge of the penalty area. However, Maghoma was unable to get his shot away as two Man City players crowded him out. Once again Maghoma looked for a penalty kick as he lay on the ground. Jonathan Dinzeyi made an excellent sliding challenge on Garre shortly after as Spurs continued to defend extremely well.

The ever threatening Matondo then fired the ball across the goal as Austin managed to get a touch to divert it clear or so he thought. Bernabe was waiting on the opposite side but his similarly wild effort flew across the face of the goal. Jaden Brown picked up a yellow card shortly after for a mistimed challenge on Dele-Bashiru. Paris Maghoma then blazed well wide of goal after playing a one-two with Harrison on the edge of the box. Dele-Bashiru responded by firing an effort wide from long range at the other end of the pitch as an enthralling and hugely productive first half came to a close. Burnett’s side got the second half underway as they looked to build on their impressive two goal lead. And Paris Maghoma came close to doing exactly that early on in the half. After receiving Jack Roles pass Maghoma cut inside from the left wing, before going on a lovely jinking run through the middle as he powered forwards. Maghoma tricked his way past Dele-Bashiru before forcing a good diving save out of Grimshaw with a good curling effort from the edge of the penalty area. Oliver Skipp nodded the ball just over from George Marsh’s resulting corner as Spurs started the second half with the same energy that they had ended the first in. Another incisive move saw Amos pick out Brown out on the left wing with a nice pass. Brown sprinted forwards before finding Harrison at the back post with a nice cross. Harrison connected with it first time and volleyed narrowly wide of the goal. Shayon Harrison was almost played through by Maghoma a couple of minutes later as Spurs continued to dominate proceedings. Manchester City’s first effort at goal of the half came from Matondo who had switched flanks at half time. Cutting in dangerously from the left, the Welshman fired an effort at goal which flew narrowly over Austin’s crossbar from the edge of the box, courtesy of an important touch off of Dinzeyi. Touaizi then played a nice pass to Garre who cut inside from the right wing before forcing an easy save out of Austin at his near post.

And the Tottenham goalkeeper was forced into action again only a matter of minutes later to thwart Matondo’s powerful low effort, after the former Cardiff schoolboy had cut inside before shooting from the edge of the penalty area. Jonathan Dinzeyi blocked the same players effort from range a couple of moments later as Spurs were forced into dealing with a barrage of attacks from the visitors. Dele-Bashiru then fired an effort over the crossbar after powering his way through the middle before Oliver Skipp produced an important block to stop the newly introduced Iker Pozo’s shot on the edge of the penalty area. Spurs started to find their rhythm again as Maghoma shifted the ball out to Brown out on the left wing. The fullback squared it for Maghoma who had made a run towards the edge of the penalty area. The midfielders first time side footed effort flew narrowly over Grimshaw’s crossbar. Maghoma had shown great understanding to link up with Brown in the first place and to initiate the move. Brandon Austin was then called into action at the other end after Alpha Dionkou had played a pass to Touaizi inside the penalty area. However, Austin was alert and came rushing off his line to make an important stop before smothering the loose ball before Touaizi could finish on the follow up. George Marsh became the second Spurs player to pick up a yellow card after he was booked on 75 minutes after committing a cynical foul to break up a dangerous Man City attack. Shayon Harrison forced a decent save out of Grimshaw with a powerful effort from the edge of the penalty area moments later. French teenager Claudio Gomes then forced a similar save out of Austin a couple of minutes later with a testing low effort from just outside the penalty area. Shayon Harrison came off in place of Tashan Oakley-Boothe with 11 minutes still to go after leading the line extremely well. Luis Binks hadn’t put a foot wrong and the young centre half produced two vital late pieces of defending to ensure that Spurs’ clean sheet was still intact.

First to get in front of his man to clear Matondo’s cross and then Binks blocked Dele-Bashiru’s follow up on the edge of the penalty area. Harsley’s side were really going for it as the game started to draw to a close. An intricate
late move saw Pozo pass the ball out to Touaizi out on the right wing, the Frenchman then cut the ball back to Gomes on the edge of the penalty area. However, Gomes effort was well saved by Austin, Dylan Duncan entered the frame shortly afterwards to replace the highly effective Paris Maghoma. Jaden Brown was lucky not to get himself sent off after taking out Garre out in the penalty area without getting anything on the ball during the final moments of the game. Brandon Austin comfortably held Claudio Gomes’s late effort as Burnett’s side passed the ball around the park during the final moments of the game, as Spurs went onto record their first win of the new PL2 season. It was an excellent performance from Burnett’s young side, they demonstrated their maturity and ability against a very good Manchester City team. It would seem that playing with three at the back is proving quite beneficial for Burnett’s side.

Player reviews: – Brandon Austin: Yet again the young goalkeeper put in a heroic performance in between the sticks. Austin was on the top of his game against Man City and his many excellent and important saves, saved Burnett’s side on countless occasions. Making eight saves in total, Austin didn’t put a foot wrong and managed to deal with set pieces well. His diving save to stop Nabil Touaizi’s effort in the first half could only be described as world class.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: It was a really mature and assured performance from the ever improving centre half on Friday evening. Playing on the right side of a back three, Dinzeyi put in a flawless defensive performance. Snuffing out danger well and knowing when to step in front of his man. Dinzeyi helped to break up numerous Man City attacks. He was also dominant in the air and made more clearances than any other player on the night. Dinzeyi’s passing was also impressive and accurate.
– George Marsh: The skipper played in the middle of the Tottenham back three and in many ways provided the defence with real leadership. Marshalling his teammates well throughout the game, the 19 year old made many blocks, clearances and interceptions. He added steel to the Spurs defence and helped both Binks and Dinzeyi out on numerous occasions.
– Luis Binks: After appearing for the development side in the Checkatrade trophy game against Crawley. Binks retained his place in Burnett’s side for the game against Manchester City. And once again the first year scholar defied his age by putting in an excellent performance on the left side of the back three. The Kent born teenager showed remarkable levels of maturity and understanding whilst defending against the sky blues potent attacking front line. The 17 year old read the game well and in his almost Alderweireld-esque defending kept good positioning throughout. Not once did Binks make a sliding challenge, he defended on his feet and did so superbly well. Pinging some lovely balls out to Brown and Eyoma on the flanks as well. Binks made it difficult for the speedy Rabbi Matondo to cut inside during the first half of the game. The teenager also made a superb piece of defending during the second half to prevent two goalscoring chances, he has that rare ability to know exactly when he needs to come across his man. Our under 23’s defence has really improved since he has been drafted into the side and it is no coincidence.
– Jaden Brown: Brown put in a good showing at left wing back, particularly in the second half when he didn’t have to deal with the speedy Rabbi Matondo. Brown protected that flank well and looked good going forward, whipping some nice crosses into the box in the process. It will be interesting to see if Brown is included in Tottenham’s UEFA youth league squad ahead of Tuesdays game against Inter Milan.
– Luke Amos: The skipper played such a crucial role in the victory over Manchester City. Operating essentials as a midfield anchor man, Amos covered so much ground as he protected the back three alongside Skipp. Amos was so effective in the middle of the park as a ball winning midfielder, Kante-esque (which he’ll be pleased with me saying) Amos was terrific in his cdm role. He must surely be eyeing a start in our league cup tie with Watford in a couple of weeks time.
– Oliver Skipp: Whenever Oliver Skipp plays he gives Burnett’ side a different edge at that’s exactly what he provided us with on Friday night, as he partnered Amos in the centre of midfield. Skipp dictated play impacting us offensively with his many driving runs through the middle, but also getting stuck in and helping to protect the back three. Skipp who turned 18 on Sunday was domineering and decisive, his decision making with the ball at his feet was top class and he made a number of excellent passes throughout the game including the one which set up Maghoma’s goal. Dare I say it but I think he is too good for this level!
– TJ Eyoma: The 19 year old operated as a right wing back for the Manchester City game and whilst he put in a decent first half showing up against Benjamin Garre. Eyoma really struggled to deal with the electric Rabbi Matondo after the Welshman switched flanks at half time. Matondo tore Eyoma apart down that right hand side and it didn’t matter what the 18 year old tried, he just couldn’t stop him.
– Paris Maghoma: My motm, see below.
– Jack Roles: Roles made a really positive impact on the game in what was his first PL2 start of the season. The Cypriot youth international played on the right hand side of an attacking triangle and managed to be one of Burnett’s most creative and effective players throughout the game. Roles provided excellent movement in the final third, constantly getting himself into nice little pockets of space. By doing this he helped out the likes of Harrison and Maghoma, the 19 year old made some lovely passes during the game and also showed really quick feet. Berbatov-esque in many ways Roles will be disappointed that he wasn’t able to get on the scoresheet.
– Shayon Harrison: Harrison led the line well for the second consecutive game, working extremely hard up top. The 21 year showed good movement and a real willingness to drop deep. His first half goal was really well taken and he could have had another in the second half had luck been on his side.
– Tashan Oakley-Boothe: N/A.
– Dylan Duncan: N/A.
My man of the match: Paris Maghoma. Operating as an inside forward/cam Paris Maghoma put in an incredible performance against Manchester City on Friday. The 17 year old was the difference between the two sides. Setting up Shayon Harrison’s opener with a perfectly weighted through ball, the midfielder then doubled our lead with an excellently taken goal a couple of minutes later after making a brilliant run across the defence. Maghoma had an immense impact on the game and he was a real thorn in Manchester City’s side. Unlike in the Arsenal and Liverpool games where he was forced into dropping deep due to the circumstances, Maghoma was able to really express himself against the sky blues. Orchestrating play in an almost Onomah-esque way, Maghoma caused havoc for the Manchester City defence with his many slaloming runs, crisp passes and impressive link up play. Maghoma showed a real maturity and understanding about his game. He was sharp in his play and aware of his surroundings. On another day he could have had a hat-trick but I couldn’t have been more pleased with the way he conducted himself on Friday evening as he continued his excellent start to the new season. Young Paris had many kids coming up to him at the end of the game looking for autographs and photographs, and that on its own tell you everything you need to know about his performance.

Spurs: Austin, Eyoma, Brown, Marsh, Dinzeyi, Binks, Maghoma (Duncan 84), Amos (c), Harrison (Oakley-Boothe 79), Skipp, Roles. Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Tanganga.

Manchester City: Grimshaw, Dionkou, Humphreys (c), Rosler, Ogbeta, Gomes, Matondo, Dele-Bashiru, Touaizi (Gonzalez 84), Bernabe (Pozo 46), Garre (Poveda 62). Substitutes (not used): Scott, Richards, Gonzalez.

Goals: Spurs – Harrison 21, Maghoma 29.

Yellow cards: Spurs – Brown 40, Marsh 75; City – Dionkou 58.

Referee: Sam Purkiss.

Venue: Lamex Stadium, Stevenage.

Attendance: 637.

Spurs under 21/23’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Shayon Harrison – 3
Samuel Shashoua – 1
Marcus Edwards – 1
Jaden Brown – 1
Paris Maghoma -1

Assists: Troy Parrott – 1
Jaden Brown – 1
Shayon Harrison – 1
Paris Maghoma – 1
Oliver Skipp – 1

Spurs under 21’s 1-1 Crawley Town (Crawley won 5-3 on penalties): (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 1-1 Crawley Town (Crawley won 5-3 on penalties): (match report)

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Our development side got this seasons Checkatrade trophy campaign underway when they took on league two side Crawley Town on Tuesday night. Wayne Burnett’s under 21 side were hoping to improve in the competition this season after making their debut in it during the 2017/18 season. Without the talented defensive duo of Japhet Tanganga and TJ Eyoma who had already gone away on international duty with England, Burnett was forced into fielding a whole host of players from our under 18 side. It was a much changed side to the one which had lost 2-1 to Arsenal on Friday. Our visit to Crawley saw first year scholars Malachi Walcott and Luis Binks start in a back three as they made their debuts at this level. Furthermore, second year scholars Paris Maghoma and Jamie Bowden formed an effective partnership in central midfield. Burnett also showed faith in several more of our under 18’s, such as Harvey White and J’Neil Bennett (both 16) who joined Armando Shashoua and Troy Parrott on the Spurs bench. Burnett had shown faith in this extremely young Spurs side and they didn’t let him down, they were superb against the league two outfit. Playing beyond their years, the young Lilywhites rose to the occasion, putting in an impressive and assertive performance against the much more physical and experienced Crawley Town. Burnett’s side were confident and assured in their play during their 1-1 draw with the Red Devil’s. They read the game well, defended impeccably and knew when to burst forwards. In my opinion our youngsters put in an even better performance than the one in which our under 23’s put in against Liverpool only a couple of weeks earlier. Despite losing 5-3 on penalties to the Sussex club which saw Burnett’s side miss out on the extra bonus point on offer, Spurs came back to London with a valuable and hugely respectable point. Combative and willing to battle with the much more physical opposition, Spurs were highly competitive throughout what was a very close first half with few clear cut chances falling for either side. The second half was a lot more open as both sides tried to break the deadlock with their attractive style of football.

Shayon Harrison pounced on a poor pass from Dannie Bulman to finish well from inside the penalty area to give Spurs the lead on 50 minutes. However, our lead would only last for nine minutes, Crawley centre defender Bondz N’Gala drew level for the league two side after volleying home from Lewis Young’s free kick. An exciting 30 or so minutes remained as both sides tried to find the winner. However, despite their best efforts neither side could find that illusive goal and the game ended up going to a penalty shootout to determine who would get the extra bonus point. Sadly, Paris Maghoma missed the decisive penalty for Spurs owing only to a fantastic save from the Crawley goalkeeper Yusuf Mersin. Unfortunately for Burnett’s young side, Crawley’s David Sesay converted the resulting penalty kick to earn the home side the extra point. Originally scheduled to kick off at 7:45 pm, our Checkatrade trophy game was delayed by 15 minutes owing to traffic problems. Burnett’s young and experimental side played in a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Brandon Austin starting in goal. In front of the 19 year old goalkeeper was a back three of Jonathan Dinzeyi, Malachi Walcott and Luis Binks. Four Tottenham players started in the midfield, with George Marsh and Jaden Brown operating as wingbacks, whilst Maghoma and Bowden started in the centre of the park. In front of the midfield was the attacking triangle of Oakley-Boothe and Roles (both of whom played outwide) whilst the most experienced member of the team Shayon Harrison led the line. The home team got the game underway but it was Burnett’s side who had the first real chance of the game, only a couple of minutes in. A good move from the young Lilywhites saw Maghoma play in Harrison down the left hand side of the penalty area with a nicely weighted pass. However, the Tottenham forward was closed down well by Crawley defender Joe McNerney who blocked his effort out for a corner. Luke Young’s corner kick caused havoc in the Spurs box at the other end pitch. As Spurs frantically tried to clear Panutche Camara’s header inside the penalty area.

Paris Maghoma had taken the game by the scruff of the neck during the opening stages, and the creative midfielder came close to giving Spurs the lead through a move of his own making. Maghoma burst forward through the centre of the park, the 17 year old tricked his way past Camara before firing an effort narrowly wide of the Crawley goal from 25 yards out. It had been a lively start to the game as both sides tried to move the ball around the park. However, it had been Burnett’s side who had started the game the brightest of the two teams. Another move orchestrated by Maghoma saw the midfielder exchange passes with Harrison on the edge of the Crawley penalty area, before blasting the ball over Mersin’s crossbar. Jack Roles then had a shot blocked by Camara on the edge of the penalty area, as Spurs continued to put pressure on the hosts. Limited mainly to set pieces, Lewis Young’s free kick into the danger zone deceived everyone in a red shirt as it went harmlessly wide for a goal kick. Burnett’s side came close to opening the scoring when Jaden Brown whipped a menacing ball into the box after receiving Maghoma’s pass. The left wing backs delivery was only just missed by Roles who came sliding in at the near post, but failed to make contact with the ball. A heroic piece of defending from Marsh prevented Crawley from breaking the deadlock a couple of minutes later. A sharp incisive move from the home team saw Young pass the ball to Camara on the edge of the penalty area. Camara quickly slipped the ball into Randall inside the box, but just as he was about to pull the trigger Marsh came sprinting across his man to make a goal saving sliding challenge. The alert Jonathan Dinzeyi then made a good header at the back post to clear Young’s menacing cross into the danger zone. Crawley whipped another dangerous ball into the penalty area, this time through McNerney whose pacy delivery was glanced marginally wide of Austin’s goal by Tarryn Allarakhia.

The lively Jack Roles then won a free kick in a promising position out on the right wing, after some fancy footwork from the Cypriot youth international drew a foul from a Crawley player. However, Bowden’s resulting delivery ended up going straight down the throat of Crawley goalkeeper Yusuf Mersin. The game was quickly gathering pace with action aplenty at both ends of the pitch, as both sides went in search of the opening goal of the game. Dannie Bulman came close to gifting the home side the lead after he cut inside Binks down the right before firing over. Shayon Harrison forced a save out of Mersin a couple of moments later, after the centre forward picked up Jack Roles’ pass on the edge of the Crawley penalty area. The tricky Harrison managed to hold off his man before forcing a good stop out of Mersin at his bottom left with a powerful effort. Brandon Austin was then tested for the first real time after the 19 year old was forced to deal with Bulman’s fizzing effort from range, which Austin was just able to palm behind for a corner at his bottom left. The Crawley midfielders effort had plenty of swerve on it and had almost caught the Spurs goalkeeper by surprise. The energetic Jack Roles made a hugely important interception shortly afterwards to win the ball off of Camara inside the penalty area. Lewis Young then saw his headed attempt at goal cleared by Jaden Brown as Spurs continued to quell Crawley’s attacking onslaught towards the latter stages of the half. However, Burnett’s side were still seeing more of the ball and they were continuing to create chances through the middle. An intricate move from the young Lilywhites saw Maghoma pass the ball to Harrison, the forward then shifted the ball out to Brown who went galavanting down the left hand side before whipping the ball into the danger zone. Brown’s cross was cleared away by a Crawley defender but only into the feet of Harrison who was waiting on the edge of the box as the centre forward blasted the ball over the crossbar with a poorly struck volley.

Passing the ball around the park in the final minutes of the half it was quite obvious that Burnett’s side just wanted to go into halftime with the scores all level. However, Crawley came a matter of inches away from taking the lead right on the stroke of half time. After Crawley defender Joe McNerney cut inside from the right wing, McNerney shimmied past Binks on the edge of the box before curling an effort across goal and narrowly wide of Austin’s right hand post to wrap up an entertaining first half of football. Spurs got the second half underway as Burnett’s young lads tried to continue to hold their own against the considerably more physical opposition. And the Red Devil’s started the half quite brightly, after Maghoma gave the ball away to Young, the Crawley skipper charged down the right flank before continuing towards the edge of the Tottenham penalty area where he dragged an effort wide of goal courtesy of a deflection off of Dinzeyi on the way. Paris Maghoma made amends for giving the ball away moments later when he produced an important block to thwart Camara’s effort on goal from the resulting corner kick. Having managed to survive this spell of pressure that Crawley had put them under, Burnett’s side were continuing to work hard in order to create chances of their own. Harrison didn’t need any of his players to help him out after the Tottenham forward had the ball played into him inside the penalty area on 49 minutes. Harrison couldn’t believe his luck as Bulman passed the ball to him inside the penalty area whilst trying to find Mersin. Harrison picked up the ball down the left hand side of the penalty, the youngster looked up at goal as Mersin struggled to get back into position and fired a low effort towards the far corner of the goal. Harrison’s shot struck the inside of the right hand post before bouncing across the goal and into the opposite side of the net, 1-0. It was a typical poachers goals from a player who I have seen score those kind of goals for what feels like a very long time.

After having taken a deserved lead the big test for Burnett’s youngsters was finding a way to hold on to that lead. The so far uninvolved Oakley-Boothe managed to win a free kick for Spurs on the edge of the penalty area. However, Maghoma’s resulting effort was driven straight into the Crawley wall. The ball came out to Marsh on the edge of the penalty area, the right wing back steadied himself before lashing the ball high over Mersin’s crossbar. The fast paced start to the half continued as Camara attempted to play in Dominic Poleon down the right side of the Tottenham penalty. And Camara almost succeeded in picking the former Leeds man out but for a vital interception from the alert Binks to break up the attack. The referee Tim Robinson temporarily halted play after Brown and Maghoma clattered into each other out on the left wing. The impressive Luis Binks then made an important block inside the Tottenham box to block Bulman’s header after the Crawley midfielder had gotten on the end of Young’s corner kick. Despite our impeccable defending we were caught out by a Crawley free kick in the 59th minute. Lewis Young’s in swinging delivery from the right managed to pick out Bondz N’Gala in the centre of the penalty area. The physically imposing defender managed to get to the ball before Dinzeyi to stab the ball into the top right hand corner of Austin’s goal, from only four yards out. N’Gala’s unstoppable volley had given Austin no time to react, it was a fine finish from the Crawley centre half, 1-1. The referee had been very harsh on Walcott to award the free kick in the first place for a supposed foul from the the 16 year old. A player who was doing an excellent job in the centre of the park was Jamie Bowden, and the creative 17 year old almost managed to pick out Harrison in the penalty area with a lovely pass over the top of the Crawley defence. However, Harrison couldn’t quite get the ball down in time as a Crawley defender got back to clear. Spurs were trying incredibly hard to regain their lead.

The skilful Jack Roles managed to turn his man wonderfully before passing the ball to Harrison on the edge of the penalty area. Harrison managed to sort his feet out quickly before forcing a good save out of Mersin who got down to the stop his powerful low effort at goal. The particularly attacking Jaden Brown almost managed to play the ball into Harrison a couple of moments later. Oakley-Boothe saw his cross into the box come off the top of Mersin’s crossbar a few minutes later whilst Roles tested Mersin from range with a low effort as Spurs continued to trouble the league two sides defence. Spurs’ good spell of possession continued as Jack Roles had an effort blocked by N’Gala before Burnett’s side had a penalty claim waved away by the the referee, after Oakley-Boothe was brought down inside the area by Poleon after the teenager had surged past his man. Despite being relatively comfortable in possession young Malachi Walcott’s poorly weighted back pass towards Austin allowed Poleon a clean route through to goal. Poleon darted down the left side of the penalty area where he came one on one with Austin who managed to close down his angles well before making an excellent stop to prevent Poleon’s powerful effort. Before the alert Luis Binks got back to deny the Crawley forwards follow up with a superb sliding challenge. Spurs then broke forwards down the other end as Brown charged down the left wing before forcing a decent stop out of Mersin at his near post. After a frantic five or so minutes of action at both ends, Burnett was forced into making his first substitution of the game after Harrison had picked up an injury. Burnett brought on young Troy Parrott for the remaining 12 minutes of the game. The tireless George Marsh produced a superb block to thwart Allarakhia’s effort on goal a couple of minutes later. Whilst Brandon Austin almost found himself in a spot of bother after he spilt a Crawley free kick inside the penalty area.

Both sides were really pushing for that late winner and this meant that both teams defences were very open. A teasing cross into the box from Marsh out on the right hand side only just evaded Roles who came ghosting into the penalty area. 16 year old J’Neil Bennett was brought on shortly afterwards in place of Tashan Oakley-Boothe as Burnett tried to inject some pace into the Spurs side. A lot more confident and creative in the second half, Bowden almost managed to play the newly introduced winger through on goal with a well weighted pass through the Crawley defence. Brandon Austin wasn’t taking any chances with substitute Brian Galach’s menacing ball into the penalty area, as the Tottenham goalkeeper tipped the ball over the bar and out for a corner kick at the other end. Brown produced a fine piece of defending to get a vital touch to Camara’s resulting volley from inside the penalty area after the striker had gotten on the end of the resulting corner kick. Then came a late confrontation between both sets of players, after a nasty sliding challenge from Maguire on Roles, tempers started to flare. The Crawley defender was unhappy that Roles was still on the floor as he lay in pain. So Maguire attempted to haul him up by the back of his shirt, this annoyed Dinzeyi and Marsh who rushed towards the Crawley man to confront him. However, Roles got back on his feet to prevent his teammates from getting themselves in any unnecessary trouble. Spurs had a late chance to win the game after Bowden whipped an inviting free kick into the danger zone. Luis Binks tried his best to get to the the ball but the defender just missed it, as Mersin gathered. Austin was forced into action during the last couple of minutes of the game to punch clear Randall’s free kick as he ended up taking out Binks in the process. The same player had a free kick blocked by the Spurs wall shortly afterwards as McNerney blazed over on the rebound. The extra point would be decided by a penalty shootout.

Crawley had the advantage of taking the first penalty of the shootout, as Crawley skipper Lewis Young stepped up to take. Young’s slightly fortuitous effort straight down the middle of the goal, came off of the underside of the crossbar before bouncing up into the roof of the net, 1-0. Young Luis Binks replied for Spurs with a cool penalty which was fired into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. The Red Devil’s then made it 2-1 after Dominic Poleon slotted home, whilst the typically calm Jack Roles paid no attention to the jeering Crawley fans as he made it 2-2 with a finish into the top right hand corner of the goal. Randall then fired home emphatically to make it 3-2, before Jamie Bowden responded by beating Mersin with a powerful effort to the keepers left. Despite the outstretched Austin diving the right way, the Spurs goalkeeper was unable to prevent Ollie Palmer from finding the bottom right hand corner of the goal to make it 4-3. Great pressure was put on the shoulders of our next penalty taker Paris Maghoma, the 17 year old went on his usual little run up. However, this time the teenager was denied by Mersin as his convincing effort towards the bottom left hand corner of the goal was stopped by the outstretched Mersin as Maghoma buried his face in his shirt in utter disappointment. David Sesay had the chance to win it for Crawley from the spot and the former Watford youngster duly obliged. Firing the ball straight down the middle to make the scores 5-3. It didn’t matter that Burnett’s side weren’t able to pick up the extra point, at the end of the day they put in a performance of real maturity. One in which demonstrated their class and ability but most importantly of all provided our younger than usual development side, with the vital experience of playing against a football league side in a competitive game. Our next game in this competition is next month where we will play in Gillingham in a must win clash at Priestfield on the 9th of October.

Player reviews: – Brandon Austin: Austin put in another superb performance in between the sticks, on what was only his second appearance of the season. I was very impressed with the way in which he dealt with set pieces, and how commanding he was against some very big and physical Crawley players. Not only that, the 19 year old made a string of fine saves including an excellent one to deny Dominic Poleon from a one on one situation during the second half.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: The most experienced member of a very young Tottenham back three, Dinzeyi played at rcb for the game against Crawley. Impressive and assertive in his defending, Dinzeyi was dominant in the air and made numerous headed clearances. I also thought that the 18 year old read the game well and apart from the odd lapse in concentration he put in a really strong performance. The one time winger would often drive out from the back in an almost Vertonghen-esque way.
– Malachi Walcott: 2002 born centre half Malachi Walcott made his debut at this level on Tuesday evening. Playing in the middle of the back three, young Walcott put in a really mature performance. Like his peer Luis Binks he played like an experienced 25 year old, his decision making was nice and effective as too was his defending. Walcott won the vast majority of his aerial duels and apart from making one error which allowed Poleon to run through on goal, he was flawless.
– Luis Binks: Like Walcott, Binks showed a maturity well beyond his years. Only two days after turning 17 Binks made his debut for the development side, playing on the left side of the back three. Making many important interceptions and challenges despite his lack of experience, the England youth international read the game even better than our other two centre half’s. There were two pieces of defending which really stood out, the vital interception he made to prevent a through ball from reaching a Crawley forward in the penalty. And also his excellent last ditch challenge/block to prevent Poleon from scoring early on in the second half. Binks also despatched his spot kick very cooly indeed.
– George Marsh: Operating as a right wing back, the 19 year old skipper led by example and put in a very solid showing down on that right hand side. Marsh got up and down the flank very well and contributed at both ends of the pitch, but it was the midfielders many important challenges, interceptions and blocks which proved so vital to Spurs picking up the point. Marsh played with aplomb.
– Jamie Bowden: My motm, see below.
– Paris Maghoma: Maghoma was pivotal to the way in which Spurs played, operating as a central midfielder the youngster produced the complete midfield performance. Strong and assertive in the middle of the park, Maghoma made such a positive contribution to the game. With his fancy footwork, movement and awareness, the 17 year old posed a real threat at both ends of the pitch. His willingness to embark on surging runs through the middle created multiple chances for Spurs as too were his many well weighted through balls which he managed to feed into Harrison. Never afraid to try his luck from range, Maghoma was brave both with and without the ball at his feet. He was productive but above all else he was hungry to influence play, to drive at the Crawley defence and to hold off players who were twice the size of him. Once again he demonstrated his great potential. Maghoma was an orchestrator for Spurs from the centre of midfield and put in a very mature performance.
– Jaden Brown: Playing as a left wing back, Brown was a real attacking threat down the left wing. With his many surging runs and pin point crosses into the danger zone, the fullback turned out to be one of our most creative players on the night. The 19 year old also got stuck in defensively and made some important defensive contributions.
– Tashan Oakley-Boothe: Playing almost as an inside forward out on the right, Oakley-Boothe struggled to get into the game for large periods of it. However, during the second half he started to play with a bit of flare about his game and was far more creative. He was however, brought off in place of Bennett with eight minutes of the game remaining.
– Jack Roles: Playing on the opposite side of Oakley-Boothe, Roles was a real live wire throughout the game. His movement was first class as too were the many runs he made in and around the six yard box. The midfielder came close to getting on the end of Brown’s menacing crosses on numerous occasions. He also passed the ball around crisply and created some good chances.
– Shayon Harrison: Harrison lasted 78 minutes of the game before being forced off through injury in the second half. He led the line by example and really played off the shoulder of the Crawley defenders. He was sharp and incisive and would often look to test Mersin from the edge of the penalty area, Harrison took his goal extremely well and made it look easy.
– Troy Parrott: The Irishman looked very sharp during his late cameo.
– J’Neil Bennett: Bennett was only on the pitch for a couple of minutes but the first year scholar showed a real willingness to take on Lewis Young down the left wing.

My man of the match: Jamie Bowden. For those spectator who were unaware of the youngsters age and previous experiences at this level, you’d of thought young Jamie was an experienced member of Spurs’ development side based on his dominant performance against Crawley. It was a very Winks-esque performance from the 17 year old in the centre of the park. Bowden stayed deeper than Maghoma and mopped up well in front of the back three, not only did he read the game exceptionally well, Bowden was feisty without being aggressive. He was a ball winning midfielder as well as a creative midfielder and provided vital protection to the back three. Rarely dispossessed throughout the game, Bowden was strong on the ball and held his own against the likes of Bulman and Randall. He was cool, calm and collected much like Winks was at the same age. However, he showed a remarkable understanding of the game and of his surroundings. He was sharp and attentive and good at breaking up play. However, as the game went on he really started to grow in confidence and made some lovely defence splitting passes through to Harrison up top, he played with a panache about his game and showed great composure. Bowden also converted his spot kick during the penalty shootout. I’m planning on writing an in-depth piece on the midfielder at some point during the international break.

Crawley Town: Mersin, Young (c), McNerney, Poleon, Nathaniel-George (Galach 46), Maguire, Allarakhia (Palmer 80), Bulman (Sesay 71), Randall, Camara, N’Gala. Substitutes (not used): Morris, Doherty, Connolly, Morais.

Spurs: Austin, Marsh, Brown, Walcott, Dinzeyi, Binks, Maghoma, Bowden, Harrison (Parrott 78), Roles, Oakley-Boothe (Bennett 82). Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Duncan, A Shashoua, White.

Goals: Crawley – N’Gala 59; Spurs – Harrison 50.

Yellow card: Crawley – Randall 85.

Referee: Tim Robinson.

Stadium: Broadfield Stadium.

Attendance: 1,403.

Penalty shootout: Crawley – Young – scored
Spurs – Binks – scored
Crawley – Poleon – scored
Spurs – Roles – scored
Crawley – Randall – scored
Spurs – Bowden – scored
Crawley – Palmer – scored
Spurs – Maghoma – saved
Crawley – Sesay – scored

Spurs under 21/23’s statistics 2018/19:

Goals scored: Shayon Harrison – 2
Samuel Shashoua – 1
Marcus Edwards – 1
Jaden Brown – 1

Assists: Troy Parrott – 1
Jaden Brown – 1
Shayon Harrison – 1