Spurs Under 18’s versus Arsenal: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side will play their final competitive fixture of the 2021/22 season on Saturday, when they host Arsenal in a Premier League South north London derby at Hotspur Way (the match starts at 11:00am). Spurs recorded a 3-3 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion in their last league match, and especially during the second half of that match, Spurs played some very good football. Arsenal are 14 points above Spurs in the Premier League South table, with 45 points from 25 league matches, going into their final league fixture of the season. Arsenal won 3-2 against Spurs in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, and they go into the match on Saturday in good form. Spurs will be hoping to end the season well, and there would be no better way to end the league season, than winning against Arsenal at Hotspur Way. This should be a great match, and I look forward to reporting on it, as always. Arsenal actually haven’t won at Hotspur Way against Spurs in the Premier League South, since the 2016/17 season, when a side including Eddie Nketiah, Donyell Malen and Joe Willock, won 4-2 against Spurs. I would like to wish the current Spurs Under 18 side all the very best of luck for the game on Saturday.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Maguire, Bryan-Waugh, Dorrington, Sayers, Hackett, Abbott, Kyerematen, McKnight, Donley (c), Heaps, Williams.

Subs from: Hayton, Linton, Andiyapan, Bloxham, Owen.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-3

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Khayon Edwards. The Arsenal player and second year scholar has scored an impressive total of 14 Premier League South goals and provided three assists, from 16 matches this season.

Some notes on Spurs’ first year scholar Billy Heaps, and his 2021/22 season:

Midfielder Billy Heaps has been really impressive for Spurs’ Under 18 side during the second half of the 2021/22 season. From Stevenage in Hertfordshire, Billy joined Spurs from League Two side Stevenage around three years ago, and has since worked his way up the various youth ranks at Spurs, before joining the club full-time in the summer of 2021. The first year scholar (16) who made his competitive debut for the Spurs Under 18 side in an Under 18 Premier League Cup group-stage game against Leeds United last year, has also been called-up to represent England, at youth level in the past. Heaps had to wait until the November of 2021, to make his Premier League South debut, as a late substitute in a home game against Southampton. He has subsequently featured in every Spurs Under 18 league match apart from one, since making his league debut against Southampton, last year. A skilful midfield player, Billy Heaps has scored two goals and provided three assists from 17 appearances for Stuart Lewis’ side, so far this season.

Billy is a central-midfielder, who can also play as a defensive-midfielder, although he has also started matches out wide, on either flank so far this season. Heaps is a tenacious midfield player, has good pace, and is a really hard worker, who covers a lot of ground in midfield. Regardless of whether he has started matches out on the flanks or in central midfield, the first year scholar has shown his really good passing ability. He has great vision for a pass, is a creative player and one who is good with his long and short distance passing. Tidy in possession of the ball and clever in how he uses the ball, Billy Heaps is an efficient player, and one who has started to remind me quite a lot of Jamie Bowden, when he used to play for the Spurs Under 18 side. Both are very hardworking midfield players who also get forward well on the pitch, but they also have a good eye for goal, and are very good strikers of a football. 

Billy Heaps has made some terrific lofted passes in recent matches, and in Spurs’ second last Premier League South match of the season, yesterday against Brighton, the player who started the match out on the left flank, made two brilliant lofted forward passes to centre-forward Jamie Donley. From one of those passes, Donley scored a goal, but Heaps has made some similar passes, including one in the previous game against Norwich City (away), last Saturday. However, in that game against Brighton, Billy also scored a well taken goal from the left side of the Brighton penalty area. In another game, this time in a home Premier League South fixture against Norwich City, while starting in central midfield, Billy was quietly very effective in how he broke up play, used the ball and also in how composed he was in his overall play. Billy Heaps will be hoping to start the final Premier League South fixture of the 2021/22 season, against Arsenal on Saturday. 

Spurs Under 18’s 3-3 Brighton & Hove Albion: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side faced Brighton & Hove Albion in a Premier League South fixture on Tuesday afternoon, at The Amex Elite Football Performance Centre, in Lancing. Stuart Lewis’ Spurs side recorded a 3-3 draw with Brighton, in what was a brilliant game of football. Spurs lined-up with Adam Hayton in goal, while Maxwell McKnight, Will Andiyapan, Alfie Dorrington and Jahziah Linton started in defence. George Abbott and Dante Cassanova started in midfield, as Jaden Williams and Billy Heaps started out on the flanks, either side of CAM Rio Kyerematen. Spurs’ captain Jamie Donley led the line. Brighton got the game underway. After going inside with the ball from the right flank, Benicio Baker-Boaitey hit an effort over the Spurs goal. Will Andiyapan then managed to block Jack Hinshelwood’s effort inside the Spurs box, before Marcus Ifill managed to latch onto a loose pass in midfield and then went forward with the ball, before giving it to Zak Emmerson inside the Spurs box. However, Adam Hayton came off his line to close down Emmerson’s angles, before making a good save.

Benicio Baker-Boaitey hit the post after volleying a cross on the edge of the Spurs box, before Brighton took the lead. Baker-Boaitey was able to make a through-ball pass to Emmerson in the centre of the Spurs box, and the former Oldham Athletic player was able to finish low past Hayton, who did manage to get a hand the ball, before it went in off one of the posts, 0-1. Dante Cassanova hit the Brighton wall from a free-kick effort, and then the alert Adam Hayton came rushing out of his goal to clear away Samy Chouchane’s forward pass. Hayton then managed to stop Marcus Ifill’s low effort from going into the goal, before then saving Zak Emmerson’s effort on the turn, inside the Spurs box. Benicio Baker-Boaitey hit an effort wide of the Spurs goal, after going inside with the ball. A couple of minutes later Leigh Kavanagh deflected Dante Cassanova’s effort from the edge of the Brighton box, onto the crossbar. Jamie Donley had an effort blocked, with Rio Kyerematen then hitting a low effort wide, after meeting George Abbott’s pass inside the Brighton box.

Zak Emmerson headed wide Casper Nilsson’s cross, with Spurs then going forward with the ball. Rio Kyerematen headed the ball to Donley, who had an effort saved by Hugo Fisher in the Brighton goal. Abbott hit an effort wide from a Spurs corner-kick, just before Spurs got an equaliser. A good Spurs move ended with Abbott passing the ball to Billy Heaps on the left side of the Brighton box, and the first year scholar curled a good effort into the goal off of Hugo Fisher’s left hand post, 1-1. Alfie Dorrington then received a yellow card, just before Jaden Williams had an effort blocked inside the Brighton box. The referee sounded his whistle for half-time shortly after. Spurs got the second half underway. The second half got of off to a brilliant start for Spurs, after Jamie Donley curled in a free-kick effort from the edge of the Brighton box, into the top right hand corner of Hugo Fisher’s goal, 2-1. However, Brighton soon equalised, after Maxwell McKnight lost the ball on the edge of the Spurs box to Marcus Ifill, who went down the left side of the Spurs box before hitting the ball into the goal, off of Hayton’s left hand post, 2-2.

After going inside with the ball from the left flank, Billy Heaps had an effort saved. Then Jamie Donley had an effort blocked on the edge of the Brighton box, before Marcus Ifill hit an effort wide of the Spurs goal from the left flank. Cassanova blocked Zak Emmerson’s effort, as the match continued to be lively. Donley curled over a free kick, just before Billy Heaps made a brilliant forward pass to Donley, inside the Brighton box. However, his low effort was saved by the feet of Hugo Fisher. George Abbott then had an effort blocked, before Thomas Bloxham came on to replace Dante Cassanova. Joshua Duffus had an effort saved by Adam Hayton, with Billy Heaps then having an effort blocked at the other end of the pitch. Jamie Donley received a yellow card, before Rio Kyerematen received a pass from Donley inside the centre of the Brighton box. However, his initial effort was saved by Hugo Fisher, with his second effort being blocked by a defender. Billy Heaps had a free-kick effort blocked, and then shortly after that chance, Brighton took the lead.

Zak Emmerson’s good effort from the left side of the Spurs box, deflected past Maxwell McKnight and past Adam Hayton in the Spurs goal, 2-3. However, in the 90th minute of the match Spurs were able to draw level once again. A really good lofted forward pass from Billy Heaps to Jamie Donley inside the centre of the Brighton box, saw Donley bring the ball down, before finishing well past Hugo Fisher, 3-3. Alfie Dorrington headed over Billy Heaps’ free-kick at the back post, inside the Brighton box, just before the referee sounded his final whistle to bring an end to a brilliant game of football. Spurs’ final Premier League South match of the season is a home north London derby against Arsenal at Hotspur Way, on Saturday.

Player reviews:

  • Adam Hayton: The Spurs goalkeeper had a good game today, against Brighton. The second year scholar made some very good and important saves, and he also read the game well, as well as communicating well with the defence throughout the match. 
  • Maxwell McKnight: The right-back had a lot of defending to do against Brighton, but he did get forward well when he could.
  • Will Andiyapan: Starting the match at centre-half, Will Andiyapan had a good game alongside Alfie Dorrington, in my opinion. He did have to defend a lot against the talented Zak Emmerson.
  • Alfie Dorrington: Starting the match on the left side of central defence, Alfie Dorrington made some good clearances, and he also supported the forwards whenever he could.
  • Jahziah Linton: The left-back had a solid and good game defensively, against Brighton on Tuesday.
  • George Abbott: The defensive-midfielder had a good all-round game, and the first year scholar provided an assist for Billy Heaps’ goal. He covered a lot of ground in midfield.
  • Dante Cassanova: The central midfielder read the game well and got on the ball quite a lot during the match.
  • Jaden Williams: Starting the match as a winger on the right flank, forward Jaden Williams was direct, but he also showed some good skill on the ball.
  • Rio Kyerematen: Starting the match in the CAM role, Rio Kyerematen went on some forward runs with the ball, and was unlucky not to score from his two chances that he had during the second half.
  • Billy Heaps: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jamie Donley: The Spurs captain led the line really well and his all-round performance today was very good. He scored two well taken goals, and was unlucky not to score a hat-trick. Donley worked so hard off the ball, as he tracked back to help out defensively.
  • Thomas Bloxham: The second half substitute was involved quite a lot in Spurs’ forward play during his time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Billy Heaps. Starting the match as a winger on the left flank, first year scholar Billy Heaps had a very good game against Brighton on Tuesday. The midfielder worked really hard off the ball as he helped out the defence, but it was his reading of the game as well as his excellent passing ability which impressed me the most today. The player from Stevenage created two really good chances for Jamie Donley, as he provided one assist, as well as scoring a well taken first half goal.

Spurs Under 18’s versus Brighton & Hove Albion: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side will play their final away Premier League South match of the season tomorrow (the game starts at 12:30pm on Tuesday), when they face Brighton & Hove Albion at The Amex Elite Football Performance Centre, in Lancing. Spurs lost 3-2 to Norwich City at the weekend, but they were missing their top scorer Jamie Donley, for that match. Spurs won 2-1 won against Brighton in the reverse fixture last year, and another win against Brighton tomorrow would lift Spurs above them in the Premier League South table, and into eighth place. Always a good side at this level, this will be another difficult game for Spurs on Tuesday, but they are unbeaten away to Brighton at this level since the 2016/17 season. I would like to wish Spurs all the very best of luck for the match.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Maguire, Bryan-Waugh, Dorrington, Sayers, Hackett,    Heaps, Kyerematen, McKnight, Donley (c), Bloxham, Williams.

Subs from: Hayton, Linton, Davies, Amo-Ameyaw, Owen.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: Will Andiyapan.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-2.

My one to watch: Zak Emmerson. The centre-forward has scored an impressive 16 Premier League South goals, and provided three assists this season from 20 appearances.

Spurs Under 18’s 2-3 Norwich City: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side faced Norwich City on Saturday, in a Premier League South fixture at their Lotus Training Centre. The second time that Spurs’ Under 18 side have faced Norwich in the league this month, Stuart Lewis’ side lost the match 3-2, in what was a difficult game for Spurs, with Norwich getting better and better as the match went on. Spurs lined-up with Aaron Maguire in goal, while a back four of Will Andiyapan, Alfie Dorrington, Archie Chaplin and Jahziah Linton started in front of him. Dante Cassanova and Rio Kyerematen started the match in central midfield, while Sam Amo-Ameyaw and Thomas Bloxham started the match out on the flanks, either side of CAM Riley Owen. Spurs’ captain Jaden Williams led the line. Norwich got the match underway. Riley Owen had an early effort blocked on the edge of the Norwich box, before Michael Reindorf headed wide Harry Brooke’s cross at the other end of the pitch, not long after. Dorrington headed wide from a Cassanova free-kick on the right flank, and then Spurs took the lead in the 14th minute of the match. 

After Norwich City goalkeeper David Aziaya’s clearance wasn’t cleared as he would have liked, the ball came to Jaden Williams. The Spurs forward received the ball inside the Norwich box, and he then gave the ball to Thomas Bloxham, on the left side of the Norwich penalty area. Bloxham came inside onto his right foot and found the right hand corner of the goal, with a good curling effort, 1-0. A good Spurs move followed, and after Bloxham managed to find Sam Amo-Ameyaw on the right side of a Norwich box with a pass, Amo-Ameyaw came inside with the ball before curling an effort just over the goal. After winning the ball on the left flank, Joe Duffy came inside onto his right foot before hitting a brilliant effort from distance towards Maguire’s goal, which went in off his left hand post, 1-1. Jaden Williams and Archie Chaplin both had efforts blocked inside the Norwich box, before Dante Cassanova did well to block Alex Matos’ effort behind, from the right side of the Spurs box. 

Sam Amo-Ameyaw came inside from the right and had a low effort saved by David Aziaya. Riley Owen then hit an effort over the Norwich goal. Harry Brooke’s pass towards Alex Matos in behind the Spurs defence, allowed the winger to go down the left side of the Spurs box, before having his effort well saved by Maguire. Rio Kyerematen had an effort blocked inside the Norwich box, and then just before half-time Norwich took the lead for the first time in the game. A good long pass from the right flank to Ken Aboh, resulted in the Norwich centre-forward taking the ball into the Spurs box, before finishing low into the goal, past Aaron Maguire, 1-2. Spurs got the second half underway. Harry Brooke’s lofted pass to Ken Aboh inside the Spurs box, resulted in the Norwich forward having an effort saved by Maguire. The Spurs goalkeeper then saved well from Alex Matos’ effort inside the Spurs box. Spurs then made a double change as Maxwell McKnight and Billy Heaps came on to replace Thomas Bloxham and Riley Owen respectively.

After going on a good run with the ball, Ken Aboh passed the ball to the impressive Finley Welch on the edge of the Spurs box, but his effort went over the goal. After receiving Rio Kyerematen’s pass on the left side of the Norwich box, Maxwell McKnight hit an effort over the goal. Amo-Ameyaw then had a low effort from the edge of the Norwich box saved, before Spurs managed to score an equaliser. After getting on the ball following a loose pass from a Norwich defender, Dante Cassanova passed the ball to Jaden Williams inside the Norwich box, and he then passed the ball to Rio Kyerematen, who finished well from his first time low effort, 2-2. Harry Brooke hit an effort wide from the right side of the Spurs box, and then a couple of minutes later Brandon Bryan-Waugh replaced Will Andiyapan. After having an effort blocked, Rio Kyerematen tried his luck from the left side of the Spurs box, but David Aziaya managed to stop the ball with his feet. Cassanova had an effort blocked after meeting Sam Amo-Ameyaw’s corner-kick inside the Norwich box. 

A good long pass from Billy Heaps to find Maxwell McKnight down the left side of the Norwich box, resulted in McKnight going inside onto his right foot and hitting the ball narrowly wide of the goal. Norwich regained the lead after their captain Bradley Hills found the bottom right hand corner of Aaron Maguire’s goal from a header, after meeting Finley Welch’s cross, 2-3. Archie Chaplin blocked Joe Duffy’s effort, before Aaron Maguire saved Finley Welch’s low effort from distance. Rio Kyerematen received a yellow card, and then the alert Archie Chaplin managed to block Alex Matos’ effort inside the Spurs box, before deflecting a cross onto Maguire’s crossbar. Two late chances saw Williams have an effort blocked inside the Norwich box, and then a couple of minutes later Ben Watt hit an effort over after receiving the ball down the right side of the Spurs box. A late confrontation between both sets of players resulted in Alfie Dorrington and Jahziah Linton both receiving yellow cards, before the referee sounded his whistle for full-time. Spurs face Brighton away on Tuesday, in their next Premier League South match.

Player reviews: 

  • Aaron Maguire: The Spurs goalkeeper and second year scholar made some impressive saves that kept Spurs in the match. Maguire’s distribution was also good, and he tried his best to calm down the late confrontation between both sets of players.
  • Will Andiyapan: The right-back often stayed deep to help out the defence, but unfortunately he picked up an injury during the second half, and he had to be substituted.
  • Alfie Dorrington: The right sided centre-half often went on good and skilful runs out from the back, with the ball.
  • Archie Chaplin: Reading the game well and showing good pace on occasions, centre-half Archie Chaplin had quite a lot of defending to do alongside Alfie Dorrington, during the second half.
  • Jahziah Linton: The left-back got forward well throughout the match.
  • Dante Cassanova: The defensive-midfielder worked hard in midfield, and he was involved in Spurs’ second goal of the game.
  • Rio Kyerematen: Starting the match in central midfield but later moving into the CAM role, midfielder Rio Kyerematen took his second half goal well, and he went on some good forward runs with the ball.
  • Sam Amo-Ameyaw: Starting the game really well out on the right flank as a winger, Amo-Ameyaw came close to scoring a goal during the first half.
  • Riley Owen: The CAM brought the ball forward well on occasions, and he worked hard off the ball in the unfamiliar CAM role.
  • Thomas Bloxham: The scorer of a well taken early goal, Republic of Ireland Under 17 international Thomas Bloxham impressed with his link-up play during the first half.
  • Jaden Williams: My man of the match, see below. 
  • Maxwell McKnight: The second half substitute was direct with the ball, and he came very close to scoring a goal, after he came inside onto his right foot and hit an effort narrowly wide of the Norwich goal.  
  • Billy Heaps: The midfielder made some good passes from midfield during his time on the pitch.
  • Brandon Bryan-Waugh: The right-back and second half substitute went on an impressive forward run with the ball down the right flank, during his time on the pitch.

My man of the match: Jaden Williams. The centre-forward and Spurs captain led the line well on Saturday. The first year scholar made some good runs in behind the Norwich defence, worked really hard off the ball and set-up both of Spurs’ goals. Williams deserved a goal today. 

Spurs Under 18’s versus Norwich City (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side will face Norwich City at their Lotus Training Centre on Saturday morning (the game starts at 11:30am), in a Premier League South fixture. Spurs won 2-1 at home to Norwich in the reverse league fixture earlier this month, but that was not an easy win for Spurs, and Norwich were the better team in the second half of that game. Norwich are currently in 14th place in the Premier League South, after picking up seven points from 24 league games this season, they have also lost their last three league games going into the match with Spurs tomorrow. Spurs have won four of their last five Premier League South matches, and are in  good form of late. This will be another difficult game for Spurs, but it should be an interesting one. It should also be interesting to see what the team is, as Spurs’ Under 23 side face Brighton in a Premier League 2 match on Monday. I would like to wish the Spurs team all the very best of luck for the match tomorrow.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Maguire, Bryan-Waugh, Dorrington, Sayers (c), Hackett, Abbott, Davies, McKnight, Kyerematen, Owen, Williams.

Subs from: Hayton, Chaplin, Linton, Heaps, Bloxham.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 2-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 3-1.

My one to watch: Brad Hills. The Norwich City defender was in my opinion Norwich’s best player for their Under 18 side in the reverse fixture earlier this month. A commanding defender, Hills also scored Norwich’s only goal of that game.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Player reviews:

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

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

Spurs Under 18’s versus West Bromwich Albion: (match preview)

Spurs’ Under 18 side face West Brom at Hotspur Way on Saturday (the game starts at 12:00pm), in a Premier League South fixture. Stuart Lewis’ side were unlucky to lose 3-2 to Chelsea in their most recent league game, but that was in my opinion a good performance from Spurs. Spurs won 6-1 against West Brom in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup, earlier on this season. However, Spurs lost 4-3 to West Brom in the reverse league fixture last October, a game well remembered for a spectacular goal that was scored by Jamie Donley. West Brom are in 11th place in the Premier League South, two places and four points behind Spurs. They are a good team with talented players, and I was impressed by their top scorer this season (Reyes Cleary) in the FA Youth Cup game at Hotspur Way earlier this season. This will be another good game of football, but it is one that Spurs will be hoping to win, as they will look to finish the season well. I would like to wish the Spurs side all the very best of luck for the game.

My predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) Hayton, Bryan-Waugh, Dorrington, Sayers (c), Hackett, Abbott, Davies, McKnight, Kyerematen, Heaps, Williams.

Subs from: Maguire, Andiyapan, Hall, Bloxham, Owen.

Injured/unavailable: N/A.

Doubtful: N/A.

Previous meeting: Spurs 6-1.

My score prediction: Spurs 2-1.

My one to watch: Reyes Cleary. The West Brom forward impressed with his movement off the ball in the FA Youth Cup tie against Spurs earlier this year. Cleary has scored 16 goals and provided two assists from 11 Premier League South appearances this season. He is also a regular for the West Brom Under 23 side.

Where are they now? The Spurs Under 18 side who played in the first ever game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium:

Back in the March of 2019 a Spurs Under 18 side became the first ever Spurs side to walk out at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as they played a Premier League South match against Southampton. That was over three years ago that that match was played, on a nice spring day in north London. For many of those Spurs players who played in that game that day, it would have been at that point in their footballing careers, their best ever footballing experience. Played in front of over 28,000 spectators, Spurs won the match 3-1. Spurs’ goals were scored by J’Neil Bennett, Harvey White and Dilan Markanday. A number of regular starters from the excellent Spurs Under 18 side that Spurs had that season, were unavailable for that game. John McDermott and Ryan Mason’s side were missing Paris Maghoma, Luis Binks and Troy Parrott, to name just some of the players who were either away on international duty or injured for that match. It was a fairly routine win for Spurs against Southampton (they were unbeaten in the league that season, going into the Southampton game) and they really deserved to win the game, on what was a historic day in the history of Spurs. That Spurs Under 18 side were outstanding, and it was great to see them play the first ever match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

The squad for the match against Southampton:

Joshua Oluwayemi: The goalkeeper who started the match against Southampton, was the first choice goalkeeper for the Spurs Under 18 side during the 2018/19 season, and he hardly missed a match. Oluwayemi was excellent throughout the 2018/19 season, and he also saved a really good number of penalty kicks during the season. The goalkeeper who has since gone on to become a regular for the Spurs Under 18 side, be called-up to represent the senior Nigeria national team, and also play some matches on loan for non-League side Maidenhead United, continues to do well at Spurs, over three years after that Southampton match. The now 21 year old has made 18 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side this season. He also made the bench for the Spurs first team in pre-season, in a friendly match with Colchester United. He is a goalkeeper who I am sure will go on to have a very good career in the game.

Jubril Okedina: Starting the Premier League South match with Southampton at right-back, the versatile centre-half would often start matches at right-back during the 2018/19 season, for the Spurs Under 18 side. Okedina had a good game for the Spurs Under 18 side at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium against Southampton, and he really made that right-back spot his own in the side for the second half of the 2018/19 season. A great reader of the game who has good ability on the ball, Jubril would later become an important player for the Spurs Under 23 side, in the following seasons, doing well at both centre-half and right-back. He would also become the captain of the Spurs Under 23 side for the first half of the 2020/21 season, before joining then League Two side Cambridge United for the remainder of that season. After helping Cambridge United win promotion to League One, Okedina signed for them on a permanent basis last summer, and overall he has made over 50 appearances for them, and has become an important player for the side.

Malachi Fagan-Walcott: Centre-half Malachi Fagan-Walcott started the first ever match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, alongside Brooklyn Lyons-Foster in central-defence. Fagan-Walcott started the match on the right side of central-defence, and I remember the then first year scholar having a solid game against Southampton. The now 20 year old, would often represent the Spurs Under 23 side as well as the Spurs Under 18 side during the following season, a season in which he also made his first team debut as a substitute, in a UEFA Champions League game against RB Leipzig. Apart from spending a short time on loan with Scottish side Dundee FC (he had to return to Spurs early on in the loan because of injury), Fagan-Walcott has been a regular starter for the Spurs Under 23 side in the last couple of seasons. He has made 13 competitive appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side so far this season, and it will be interesting to see whether he goes out on another loan move during the 2022/23 season. 

Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Still at Spurs, and doing really well in his new defensive-midfield role for the Spurs Under 23 side, up until going off injured in a Premier League 2 match with Blackburn Rovers in January of this year. The now 21 year old player who started the first ever game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on the left side of central-defence, is a player with excellent ability on the ball, but someone who also reads the game really well. Lyons-Foster was a second year scholar during that Southampton game, and the versatile player who only recently signed a new contract with Spurs, has been a mainstay of the Spurs Under 23 side during the 2019/20, 2020/21 and also much of this season. Lyons-Foster has made 17 appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side this season, and he is a player who I think has real potential.

Dennis Cirkin: A highly skilful left-back who really likes to get forward with the ball and take players on for skill down the left flank. Dennis Cirkin was another member of the Spurs Under 18 side of 2018/19, who was in outstanding form throughout that season. Cirkin was a mainstay of the side in 2018/19, and he was so influential from his left-back role, as he showed in that Southampton game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Dennis would later move up to the Spurs Under 23 side, and he even featured for the Spurs first team in the pre-season of 2020, but he would leave Spurs to join League One side Sunderland last summer. During his time at Sunderland so far, Dennis Cirkin has so far made 38 competitive first team appearances for them, and the now 20 year old seems to have made real strides this season.

Oliver Skipp: The match against Southampton in the March of 2019, was actually Oliver Skipp’s only appearance for the Spurs Under 18 side during the 2018/19 season, as although he was still only a second year scholar, Skipp was mostly training with the first team during the 2018/19 season. A player who doesn’t need much introducing, Oliver is a hardworking, highly skilled and tenacious midfielder. The footballer who only yesterday signed a new long term contract with Spurs, has unfortunately been out injured for a while now. However, the 21 year old who has so far made 51 competitive first team appearances for Spurs, was always excellent at Academy level for the club, as he showed in that Southampton game, in his defensive-midfield role. The player who only last season helped Norwich City (on loan) to win the Championship, is a player who I really believe is capable of becoming a Spurs legend.

Harvey White: A midfielder and set-piece specialist, with the ability to make a decisive pass. Harvey White started the Southampton match just ahead of Oliver Skipp in central-midfield. Harvey scored a first half penalty kick in that match, and throughout the 2018/19 season, the midfielder from County Kent provided a great number of assists from midfield, and he also scored a good number of goals as well. The now 20 year old who during the second half of this season has often been on the bench for the Spurs first team, has so far made two competitive first team appearances for the Spurs first team. A regular for the Spurs Under 23 side over the last couple of seasons, Harvey White also spent the second half of last season (2020/21) on loan with League One side Portsmouth. 

Dilan Markanday: His skilful runs, excellent close ball control and ability to ride challenges, made Barnet born winger Dilan Markanday one of the most influential players in the Premier League South during the 2018/19 season. The player who I actually named man of the match in the game against Southampton in my match report, started that match on the right flank, as a winger. Markanday later went on to become a regular starter for the Spurs Under 23 side in the seasons that followed 2018/19, and the very skilful player was in exceptional form for the Spurs Under 23 side during the first half of this season, scoring 12 goals and providing eight assists, as well as making his first team debut for the Spurs first team. However, Markanday left Spurs to join Blackburn Rovers in the January of this year, but very unfortunately picked up a long term injury in his debut for the Championship club, in a league game with Hull City. Markanday is an excellent player with real potential, and I am sure that he will return stronger than ever from his injury.

Armando Shashoua: The inspirational captain (he was the first ever captain to lead a Spurs team out at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium) of the Spurs Under 18 side during the 2018/19 season, midfielder Armando Shashoua provided a great number of assists from his usual CAM role, as well as scoring a good number of goals. The younger brother of former Spurs player Samuel Shashoua, Armando’s all-round ability and excellent work off the ball, made him such an important player for the Spurs Under 18 side in 2018/19. Armando led by example throughout that season, and he was a player who I’d never seen have a bad game for Spurs at any levels. He would later play for the Spurs Under 23 side during the first half of the following 2019/20 season, before joining Spanish third tier side Atlético Baleares for the second half of that season. Armando left Spurs to join Atlético Baleares on a permanent transfer for the start of the 2020/21 season, and although he is currently out injured, Armando has established himself as a very important player for Atlético, since joining them, as they look to win promotion to the second tier of Spanish football.

J’Neil Bennett: The first ever scorer of goal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, unpredictable and skilful winger J’Neil Bennett opened the scoring with a fine goal, and he had a good game against Southampton on that day. Bennett started the match out on the left wing and he was often a starter for the Spurs Under 18 side during that 2018/19 season, as well as playing some matches for the Spurs Under 23 side during the same season. The 20 year old, who at the time of the 2018/19 season was a first year scholar, made a number of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during the following season, and has since gone on to become a regular for the Spurs Under 23 side. Bennett joined League One side Crewe Alexandra for the first half of the 2021/22 season, but since returned to Spurs because of injury. The player who made his competitive first team debut for Spurs earlier on in the season, has so far scored two goals for the Spurs Under 23 side this season.

Rayan Clarke: Although Rayan Clarke was a winger during his time at Spurs, he actually led the line for the Spurs Under 18 side in that game against Southampton, in the absence of a centre-forward. Clarke was having a good season for the Spurs Under 18 side during the 2018/19 season. The skilful and direct winger who would score a good number of goals for the side in 2018/19, had been at Spurs for a long time up until being released at the end of the following 2019/20 season, when he was with the Spurs Under 23 side. Clarke since went on trial with Sunderland, where he scored a goal for their Under 23 side from one Premier League 2 appearance during the 2020/21 season. However, since leaving Spurs in the summer of 2020, Rayan has unfortunately been without a club.

Kacper Kurylowicz: The substitute goalkeeper for the Southampton match, Kacper Kurylowicz was a first year scholar with the club during the 2018/19 season. The talented and brave goalkeeper only made a couple of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during his first season with the club, but he would make a good number of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during the following 2020/21 season. Currently on loan from Spurs with non-League side Potters Bar Town, the 20 year old is also with the Spurs Under 23 side.

Maxwell Statham: A solid, brave and reliable all-round defender, Maxwell Statham came on in the 79th minute of the Premier League South match with Southampton. The son of former Spurs player Brian Statham, Maxwell became an important member of the Spurs Under 18 side that came so close to winning the 2018/19 Premier League South. Maxwell was with the Spurs Under 23 side for the following 2019/20 season, before being released by the club at the end of that season. He has since represented Watford at Under 23 level, Hornchurch and now National League South side Welling United, where he is a very important player, and one who has done really well for them during this season, as they look to avoid relegation from that league.

Chay Cooper: A very clever winger with an eye for goal, former Spurs player Chay Cooper came on as a 71st minute substitute at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, in the game against Southampton. Cooper would establish himself as an important member of the Spurs Under 18 side during the following 2019/20 season, when he scored a number of goals and provided a good amount of assists. Following his release from Spurs at the end of the 2020/21 season, Chay signed for League Two side Colchester United, and he has been a mainstay of their Under 23 side this season, impressively scoring ten goals for them, as well as making four competitive appearances for the Colchester first team.

Elliot Thorpe: A skilful and direct midfield player, Wales Under 21 international Elliot Thorpe is a player who I’m a big fan of. He plays the game with a smile on his face, but he is a determined midfield player who loves to go on surging forward runs with the ball from deep. Thorpe was an unused substitute for John McDermott and Ryan Mason’s side in the game against Southampton. Elliot would make a good number of appearances for the Spurs Under 23 side over the next two seasons (he even scored a brace in an Under 23 game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium), before signing for Luton Town earlier on this season. The 21 year old has so far made one competitive appearance for the Championship side (in the FA Cup), and he even provided an assist in that game.

Maurizio Pochettino: A hardworking and direct winger, Maurizio Pochettino made a good amount of appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during his two seasons as a scholar at the club. The son of former Spurs head coach Mauricio Pochettino, Maurizio came on as a 79th minute substitute to replace J’Neil Bennett in the game against Southampton. After spending a season and a half with the Spurs Under 23 side, Pochettino signed for Watford in the January of 2021. He has since made one competitive appearance for their first team, and this season he has scored three goals for Watford’s Under 23 side.

Spurs Under 18’s 2-3 Chelsea: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 18 side traveled to Surrey on Tuesday, to face Chelsea at their Cobham training ground, in a Premier League South fixture. Spurs lost the match 3-2, but it was a game that they deserved at least a draw from. Adam Hayton started in goal for Spurs, while a back four of George Abbott, Alfie Dorrington, Charlie Sayers and Jordan Hackett started in front of him. Rio Kyerematen and Jez Davies started in central midfield, and Maxwell McKnight and Billy Heaps started out on the flanks, either side of captain Jamie Donley. Jaden Williams led the line for Spurs. It was Spurs who got the game underway, but it didn’t start how they would have wanted it to, with Chelsea taking the lead inside the first minute of the match. After Rio Kyerematen slipped, the ball was taken off of him by Chelsea player Louis Flower, who then passed the ball to Ronnie Stutter inside the Spurs box, and he then finished past Adam Hayton in the Spurs goal, 0-1. Adam Hayton then saved Edwin Andersson’s effort from the left side of the Spurs box shortly after, after he had received a pass from Zain Silcott.

Jamie Donley had an effort well blocked inside the Spurs box, before Spurs got an equaliser through Maxwell McKnight. After Chelsea goalkeeper Max Merrick had accidentally passed the ball to McKnight on the edge of the Chelsea box, the Spurs player powerfully finished into the empty goal, 1-1. Charlie Sayers blocked Ronnie Stutter’s effort on goal, and then a couple of minutes later a good Spurs move came to an end with Maxwell McKnight receiving the ball on the right side of the Chelsea box. He then passed the ball to Rio Kyerematen, who was in the centre of the box. However Kyerematen’s effort was saved by Max Merrick. Kyerematen had a good effort saved by Merrick, a couple of minutes afterwards. At the other end of the pitch Adam Hayton saved Ronnie Stutter’s effort, before then saving Louis Flower’s headed effort from a cross. Chelsea regained their lead in the 22nd minute of the match. After Sam Rak-Sakyi passed the ball to Edwin Andersson down the left flank, Andersson brought the ball into the Spurs box, where he finished into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 1-2.

Charlie Sayers received a yellow card shortly after the game got started again, before Brodi Hughes hit an effort wide of the Spurs goal. Jamie Donley had an effort blocked inside the Chelsea box by Luke Badley-Morgan, and then Chelsea goalkeeper Max Merrick made a really good save to stop Billy Heaps’ powerful dipping effort from distance, before Jaden Williams could tap the ball into the goal. Jez Davies received a yellow card, and then after Jamie Donley received a pass from Davies, the Spurs forward hit an effort over the Chelsea goal. Spurs managed to draw level soon after, as from a Billy Heaps corner-kick, the ball was headed over goalkeeper Max Merrick by a Chelsea player and into the path of Jamie Donley at the back post, and the England youth international was able to find the back of the goal from his first time effort, 2-2. Billy Heaps hit an effort wide from the edge of the Chelsea box, before a good defensive intervention was made by Jordan Hackett to stop a good Chelsea cross from being met at the far post. The referee sounded his whistle for half-time a couple of minutes later.

Chelsea got the second half underway. After Donley managed to find Rio Kyerematen down the left side of the Chelsea box, the Spurs midfielder hit an effort wide of the goal. Harrison Murray-Campbell then blocked an effort from Kyerematen inside the Chelsea box, before the unmarked Jaden Williams just missed connecting with a Jamie Donley cross at the back post of the Chelsea box. After the impressive Malik Mothersille received a pass from Jimi Tauriainen on the right side of the Spurs box, Adam Hayton made an impressive save with his feet to stop Tauriainen’s low effort from going in. Alfie Dorrington glanced a Billy Heaps free-kick wide, before Adam Hayton saved a low effort from Ronnie Stutter inside the Spurs box. Jaden Williams then curled an effort wide from the edge of the Chelsea box, as the game continued to see chances missed at both ends of the pitch. Chelsea substitute Leo Castledine then hit an effort wide from inside the Spurs box, after getting onto a loose ball. 

After being unable to volley a cross how he would have hoped to, Jaden Williams saw his effort from inside the Chelsea box go to Rio Kyerematen, and with only the goalkeeper to beat, he looked likely to score from close range. However, Chelsea goalkeeper Max Merrick somehow managed to save Kyerematen’s effort. The impressive Jez Davies had a deflected effort saved by the Chelsea goalkeeper, after going past a player with ease. Then Leo Castledine hit an effort over from the edge of the Spurs box, in what was a good chance for the home side. Riley Owen replaced Billy Heaps, before the Spurs substitute delivered a corner kick into the Chelsea box, which was nodded just wide of the goal by Charlie Sayers. Sayers then impressively blocked an effort from Ronnie Stutter inside the Spurs box. However, Chelsea took the lead again not long after, in what turned out to be the wining goal. Leo Castledine heading home Edwin Andersson’s corner kick into the centre of the Spurs goal, 2-3.

Late substitutes for Spurs saw Will Andiyapan and Leo Black replace Jordan Hackett and Rio Kyerematen respectively. Unable to create any further chances before the referee sounded his final whistle, Spurs’ winning league run came to an end. Their next Premier League South game is at home to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday. 

Player reviews:

  • Adam Hayton: The Spurs goalkeeper had another good game in goal for Spurs. He commanded his box really well again today and he made some impressive saves as well. 
  • George Abbott: From looking at the result and the fact that Spurs let in three goals, some might think that this couldn’t have been the greatest defensive performance from Spurs, but the Spurs back four did do well today. And midfielder George Abbott had a good game at right-back, making some good decisions and also bringing the ball forward well at times.
  • Alfie Dorrington: The right sided centre-half again showed a good understanding with left sided centre-half Charlie Sayers, and he made some good defensive interventions during the match.
  • Charlie Sayers: The left sided centre-half got better and better as the match went on, and his decision making and reading of the game was at times excellent. Sayers was also good in the air. He does at times remind me of former Spurs Academy player and defender Luis Binks.
  • Jordan Hackett: The left-back got up and down the left flank well, and he made some good blocks and clearances during his time on the pitch. 
  • Rio Kyerematen: Unlucky not to score a goal today, central midfielder Rio Kyerematen got forward well and into some good goalscoring positions.
  • Jez Davies: My man of the match, see below.
  • Maxwell McKnight: The right-back started the match as a winger and he scored an early well taken goal. McKnight was always looking to receive the ball out on the right flank.
  • Jamie Donley: The Spurs captain again showed his class this afternoon, as he worked really well off the ball, dropping deep to receive it and looking to create chances for teammates. Scoring his 15th goal of the season for Spurs’ Under 18 side against Chelsea in the first half, Donley worked really hard for the team.
  • Billy Heaps: This was another strong performance from the versatile midfielder. Heaps started the match on the left flank as a winger, where he showed some good skill on the ball. He got another assist, this time from a corner-kick, and his all-round performance was a good one.
  • Jaden Williams: The Spurs centre-forward worked really hard once again today, even though he didn’t have any real chances to score from.
  • Riley Owen: The second half substitute went out to the left flank where he played as a winger.
  • Will Andiyapan: The late substitute went to left-back following his introduction tothe game.
  • Leo Black: The late substitute went into central-midfield for the final minutes of the game.

My man of the match: Jez Davies. The central midfielder was really classy on the ball against Chelsea today, and he was always looking to receive the ball, bring it forward and try and go past Chelsea players for skill. Davies was really good on the ball and his many very good surging forward runs from midfield really helped Spurs out against Chelsea.