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Spurs U-18s v Arsenal U-18s, 17.05.09
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


           Premier Academy League
             Play off Final
        White Hart Lane, Tottenham
        Sunday 17th May 2009, 4pm


          SPURS      v    ARSENAL
       (All White)      (Red/White)
          4-4-2            4-5-1 

           0(0)             1(0)

      Oscar Jansson  1 Wojcieh Szczesny
         Adam Smith  2 Craig Eastmond
       Nathan Byrne  3 Tom Cruise
            Sam Cox  4 Emmanuel Frimpong
     Steven Caulker  5 Kyle Bartley
      Calum Butcher  6 Luke Ayling
    Andros Townsend  7 Henri Lansbury
     Dean Parrett(C) 8 Francis Coquelin
     Jonathan Obika  9 Rhys Murphy
         Ryan Mason 10 Gillies Sunu
         Danny Rose 11 Jay Emmanuel-Thomas(C)

       Jamie Butler 12 Sanchez Watt
                      (10)65Mins.
                    13 James Shea
        Yaser Kasim 14 Henderson
          (3)58Mins    (9)80Mins
                    15 Cedric Evina
                       (3)61Mins
     Jake Nicholson 16 Danny Boateng
       John Bostock 17    
          (8)86Mins
         Harry Kane 18

Coaches:-
      A.Inglethorpe    S. Bould

Scorers:-
                       Murphy 49  

Booked:-
    Cox 20(Foot up)    Ayling 24(Late)
    Smith 90+3(Late)   Frimpong 27(Foul)
                       Emmanuel-Thomas 55
                      (Throw ball away)
Sent off:-
                       Ayling 70
                      (2nd Yellow – Late again)

Referee:- C. Berry

Assistants:- A. Aylott, D. Jaceko, J. Comley

It was an overcast afternoon for the last Academy League game of the season at White Hart Lane. The visitors were Arsenal with the Academy League title up for grabs. The visitors have already beaten the other three group winners – including ourselves in the Youth Cup on the way to the final. In the Youth cup there was a crowd on about 20,000 at the Lane whereas today it was only between 2-3,000.

Spurs lined up with the same side that beat Sunderland to reach the final. Butcher and Caulker at the back in front of Jansson with Smith on the right and Byrne on the left. Parrett and Cox in the centre of midfield with Townsend on the right wing and Rose on the left. Mason supported Obika up front.

Spurs kicked off attacking the Park Lane and the pace on the flanks provided early pressure on the visitors. Rose fired wide and Obika had a weak effort minutes later.

The gooners are a physically imposing side who used their strength to disrupt any flowing football that Spurs tried to put together. The ref tried to let the game flow which suited the visitors as they pushed their tackles to the edge. The tough approach produced a number turn overs and launched counter attacks.

Murphy fired over before Sunu had his shot saved and Murphy drove wide. Lansbury broke down the right and drew a save from Jansson which resulted in a corner. Cox received a caution when he caught a player with a raised foot and he was followed into the ref's book by Ayling for a late tackle on Byrne and Frimpong for a professional foul to stop Townsend going through. Byrne put his effort wide before the visitors almost scored from a corner. Coquelin’s powerful header was half saved by Jansson with Rose clearing off the line. Lansbury then dispossessed Byrne and went clear on the right but fired wide as Jansson came off his line.

There were no changes for the second half and Townsend got in an early cross which flew across the six yard box without Obika and Rose making contact.

Arsenal then took control of the game with Murphy driving over before he scored the only goal. The goal came from a strong run on the right by Sunu passing Byrne and drawing Caulker out of the middle before crossing to the far post for Murphy to hit a rising drive into the roof of the net. Emmanuel-Thomas drove through the defence all the way to the line before failing to hit his shot before crossing the line. He picked up the ball and threw it away in frustration which earned him a booking.

Inglethorpe tried to change things by sending on Kasim for Byrne with Cox moving to left back. It did not make any difference as Lansbury drove wide. Emmanuel-Thomas then got through and drove low straight at Jansson as he came out to block. The ball flew up and was dropping under the bar until Butcher headed over. Ayling dived in late and was shown a second yellow reducing Arsenal to ten men.

Spurs tried to take advantage of the situation and Smith went into the area after releasing the ball and was in the right place when Obika laid the ball off only to put his effort wide. With time running out Bostock was sent on in place of Parrett to work the right side with Rose moving into the centre in front of Mason. Butcher was also sent up front as Spurs reverted to hitting long balls.

Jansson pushed away a strong angled shot from Watt for a corner. A short corner routine saw Lansbury clear on the right but his effort went wide. Another run down the left resulted in the ball being pulled back for Frimpong on the edge of the area. His drive came off the underside of the crossbar and was cleared. Spurs continued to go forward and Mason fired wide after getting down the left channel. Smith went into the ref's book with a late tackle as he tried to keep one attack going but it was all to no avail as time was running out.

Spurs were out played by a physically strong side that stopped them playing their quick passing game using some crunching tackles and buffeting to knock them out of their stride. Obika was dominated by the two big centrebacks and Townsend and Rose found themselves double marked most of the time. Townsend did well to get past as many times as he did. Spurs were simply overpowered by the better side which does not bode well for the future. This was possibly our best youth side for years and yet the gooners produced an even better one. Most of these players may possibly meet again next season in the reserves where Clive Allen will look to improve things.

I now look forward to the summer break and wish to thank everybody who has had to put up with my reports and thank those that have found them useful.

Editor's note My sincere thanks go to Ray who has followed Spurs Reserves and their youngsters up and down the country, providing excellent and detailed reports, usually before the official site

Ray

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