Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]
Premier Academy League, Group B
BCFC Training Ground,
Clevedon Rd., Failand
Saturday 25th February 2012, 12noon
BRISTOL CITY v SPURS
(All Red) (White/Blue)
Matt Sandiford 1 Luke McGee
Jamal Simms 2 Alex McQueen
Giani Kapika 3 Jack Barthram
George Rigg(C) 4 Ruben Lameiras
Lyham Douglas 5 Kevin Stewart
Callum Wright 6 Dominic Ball
Shelton Gooden 7 Grant Ward
Jamie Hogan 8 Nabil Bentaleb
Wes Burns 9 Darren McQueen
Jack Batten 10 Jack Munns
Lewis Hall 11 Shaquile Coulthirst(C)
Miles John 12 Oliver Modeste
Max O'Leary 13 Billy Granger
Alec Fiddes 14 Roman Michael-Percil
Elan Gordon 15 Victor Zapata-Caicedo
16 Nathan Oduwa
Burns 3, 23 D. McQueen 35, 59
J. Clayton A. Inglethorpe
Ref:- M. Halford
Asst. Refs:- M. Mills, P. Huntley
It was a bright sunny morning with a chilly wind for this away game which was a change from the rain that usually accompanies this fixture. The ground still looked heavy and caught out the players a few times. Team sheets were provided (which I am pleased to give credit to the club for) and hope more will follow suit. The kick-off was delayed (because of a problem with one of the goals) by five minutes.
Spurs lined up with Ball and Alex McQueen in front of McGee with Barthram at right back and Stewart on the left. Lameiras and Bentaleb started in the centre of midfield with Munns just in front and Ward on the right flank and Coulthirst on the left supporting Darren McQueen. Micheal-Percil was a late withdrawal and Oduwa made his first appearance on the subs bench.
Spurs defended the south end in the first half with City putting pressure on the midfield from the off giving the Spurs players a hard time as not all their challenges won the ball cleanly. They turned the ball over regularly in the first period before the visitors began to release the ball quicker and keep moving. This did affect the accuracy of the passing and Lameiras had a bad game in this respect.
The home side went in front when, having won the ball, it was cleared downfield over the back line. A mis-understanding between McGee and McQueen allowed Burns to rob Alex and draw Luke before scoring from a tight angle. It was a good finish but he should not have had the chance. Burns got past McQueen again before firing into the side netting. City were continuing to win a lot of the ball in midfield and had the early chances. Gooden drew a save from McGee before, on another turnover, Burns got between the two centre-backs and chipped the keeper for his and their second.
Spurs finally tested the keeper when Ward got on the end of a Coulthirst cross but it was the beginning of the midfield holding onto the ball and stringing together a few passes. When a ball was played into the middle a defender turned it back for the keeper to catch. Everybody expected the ref to award a free kick but he just waved play on.
Burns got in another effort that McGee saved before Inglethorpe made an early change bringing on Modeste for Barthram. I don't know if Barthram was injured as he took a big hit from Kapika earlier. Modeste partnered Ball with McQueen moving to right back. Modeste is a more experienced central defender and it was noticeable that Burns faded after his introduction and Alex is better bombing up the wing as a full back. Spurs scored almost immediately after the change with Darren McQueen scoring at the far post from a left-wing cross. I almost missed it as I was noting the change. McGee saved a free kick from Hall out on the left in added time.
There were no changes for the second half as City looked to repeat their success of the first half with Burns firing wide early on and Wright having his header saved from a free kick.
Spurs began to put pressure on the home defence and when Coulthirst hassled Simms on the left the full back under-hit his back pass to Sandiford which enabled McQueen to nip in and score through the keeper's legs. Spurs were now on top with McQueen firing over and Ward saw his effort deflected for a corner.
Inglethorpe replaced our scorer McQueen with Oduwa for his first taste of U-18 football. McQueen and Ward were continuously getting down the right and pulling the ball back without finding a white shirt but when Coulthirst got into the area from the left his centre was turned in at the far post by Munns. Zapata replaced McQueen on the right of midfield with Ward dropping to right back. Fiddes fired wide before Lameiras had a long range effort saved. City pushed for an equaliser as time was running out with Wright getting forward to draw a save from McGee. McGee also saved Hall's free kick right at the end.
City had done their homework, recognising that we are a strong passing side and set out to stop our midfield from operating. They could not keep up the pressure and once our players found space, if not time to operate, the game turned in our favour. I'm sure they are black and blue from the close attention they received today but they picked up three points. Oduwa looks like a useful player, good on the ball and is tall for his age.
Next Saturday the Academy go to Chelsea who beat the gooners today 3-2, also coming from behind. This will be an inter-group match as Chelsea are are near the bottom of Group A. Spurs remain in 4th in Group B.
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