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