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Spurs U-18s v Man Utd 18s, 25.08.12
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


         Premier Academy League, Group 2
       Spurs Training Ground, Bulls Cross
         Saturday 25th August 2012, 11am

           SPURS     v    MANCHESTER UTD
         (All White)        (Red/Black)
           4-3-3            4-4-1-1

            3(2)              4(2) 


         Luke McGee  1 Peirluigi Gollini
         Mason Bush  2 Donald Love
          Sam Smith  3 Louis Rowley
     Nabil Bentaleb  4 Patrick McNair
       Tom Gardiner  5 Liam Grimshaw
       Dominic Ball  6 Ben Pearson
     Darren McQueen  7 James Weir
      Joshua Onomah  8 Joe Rothwell(C)
      Shaquile 
      Coulthirst(C)  9 Sam Byrne
     Ruben Lameiras 10 Mats Daehli
     Roman
     Michael-Percil 11 James Wilson

      Laste Dombaxe 12 Declan Dalley
        (10)53Mins.    (9)61Mins.
         Harry Voss 13 Jonathon Sutherland
     Victor
     Zapata-Caicedo 14 Ryan McConnell
        (11)46Mins.    (6)85Mins. 
        Harry Winks 15 
     Conor Ogilvie  16 
         (7)74Mins.

Scorers:-
    Coulthirst 24      Byrne 5
    McQueen 45         Daehli 33
    o.g. Rowley 74     McNair 51
                       Pearson 85

Booked:-
Bentaleb 34(Late), 44(Late) – Red card
Coulthirst 63(Late)

Coach:-
    A. Inglethorpe    P. McGuinness

Referee:- J. Garwood
It was a bright sunny morning for my first visit to the new training ground at Bulls Cross.There is still work to be done but it looks good. Only Academy matches are being played here at the moment and today's was the first home match of the season.

Spurs lined up with Ball and Gardiner at the back with Bush at right back and Smith on the left.Bentaleb was in the centre of midfield with Lameiras on the right and Onomah on the left. Up front Coulthirst was central with McQueen on the right and Michael-Percil on the left.

Spurs kicked off attacking the west end but United made the early running. Wilson got down the left and crossed for Weir to see his effort turned wide. From the corner, the ball was headed on at the near post for Byrne to score at the far post. Weir drew a save from McGee having been put through by Daehli. Byrne saw an effort saved by McGee before seeing his shot fly wide following another good run by Wilson.

Love fired wide following the corner and McGee saved a effort from Pearson before Spurs equalised. Onomah's chipped pass saw Coulthirst get through on the right and his whipped ball in was deflected past the the keeper. Coulthirst drew a save from Gollini minutes later.

Pearson struck the bar from a free kick which was followed by a drive by Michael-Percil hitting a post. When Spurs failed to clear, Daehli fired in from the edge of the area to put the visitors back in front. Wilson seized on a weak pass and advanced to drive the ball against the post with Daehli blasting the rebound over the bar.

Lameiras drew a save from Gollini before Bentaleb caught Perason late and went into the ref's book. A good ball into the box saw McQueen denied by the keeper. Bentaleb was booked again for a late tackle on Pearson where the United player had jumped in front of him and the cry of “pain” helped the referee to his decision to give Bentaleb a second yellow, and therefore a red card.

Spurs struck back despite being a man down when Michael-Percil crossed for McQueen to score from six yards. Wilson saw his effort deflected over for a corner from which Rothwell fired wide.

Spurs re-organised for the start of the second half replacing Michael-Percil with Zapata-Caicedo. Coulthirst dropped deeper. Gollini saved from Onomah for a corner. Wilson won a corner before United went in front again. When the ball was not cleared Rothwell drove in from the edge of the area.

Dombaxe replaced Lameiras in midfield and after Rothwell drew a save he got forward and fired over. United brought on another defender to hold onto their lead. Coulthirst was booked after another challenge on Pearson who felt the need to emit a cry of pain. A mistake by Love saw Zapata-Caicedo get into the area and drive for goal which was blocked on the line. Coulthirst followed up but his effort was also blocked on the line only for the rebound to come off Rowley into the net for a third equaliser to Spurs.

This time it was Spurs who sought to hold out by replacing McQueen with Ogilvie. McGee saved from Wilson and Rothwell before Pearson drove in from the edge of the area. The visitors were so overjoyed that Pearson was injured in the goal celebrations and had to be replaced. With time running out Wilson drew a save from McGee, and in a last push by Spurs, Coulthirst had an effort saved. He also struck a post. United held on to register their first win and Spurs lost their first game at Bulls Cross.

Having lost our main driving force in midfield to two yellow cards in quick succession it was always going to be a tough ask but Spurs nearly made it. Spurs showed some good approach work. Bush, despite being given a hard time by Wilson, got down the right a number of times getting in crosses. Spurs had three midfield players in the back four, and this led to them wanting to play the ball out more often, thus giving the opposition a chance to get a foot in. With an aggressive midfielder like Pearson, who was not afraid to dive in, you are always going to lose the ball in dangerous situations. He is also good at winning free kicks. It was good to see Spurs not give up and to keep fighting until the end.

Spurs play United's U-21 side on Wednesday evening at Altrincham (Ray and your webmaster will be there!)and then Sunderland U-21 at Spurs Lodge on Saturday morning. The next Academy game is away to Stoke City on the 15th September which will be after the NextGen game against Barcelona at White Hart Lane. (September 13th).

Ray

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