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Man Utd v Spurs (EPL2), 15.05.17
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


       Premier League 2, First Division 2016-17
               Old Trafford, Manchester
              Monday 15th May 2017, 7pm.

              MAN UTD      v      SPURS
            (Red/White)        (White/Blue)
              4-2-3-1            4-1-4-1

                3(1)               2(0)

           Joel Pereira(C) 1   Brandon Austin
        Matthew Olosunde   2   Tariq Hinds
           Tyrell Warren   3   Jaden Brown
             Regan Poole   4   Filip Lesniak(C)
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson  5   Christian Maghoma
            Tosin Kehinde  6   Connor Ogilvie
            Joshua Harrop  7   Samuel Shashoua
          Matthew Willock  8   Luke Amos
          Devonte Redmond  9   Shayon Harrison
             Joshua Bohui 10   Shilow Tracey
           Callum Gribbin 11   William Miller

           Ethan Hamilton 12   George Marsh
                (3)53Mins
            Max Johnstone 13   Alfie Whiteman
 Darren McIntosh-Buffonge 14   Cy Goddard
                (9)79Mins      (11)71Mins
         Zachary Dearnley 15   Ryan Loft
               (11)64Mins      (7)66Mins
                Max Dunne 16   Anthony Georgiou
                               (10)75Mins

Scorers:-
        Harrop 36, 78, 85      Brown 46
                               Shashoua 49

Booked:-
                               Maghoma 41(Late)
                               Amos 85(Late)

Coaches:-
               Nicky Butt      Matthew Wells

Referee: Andrew Miller
Assistants: John Matthews & Benjamin Speedy
Fourth Official: Sam Bulhall 

On a rainy evening Spurs travelled to Old Trafford to play Manchester United in the last game of the season . Both teams were low down the table, United in eighth and Spurs tenth separated by one point. The game was originally due to be played last month but was postponed when coach Ugo Ehiogu sadly passed away. His place this evening was taken by Matt Wells. All the important places have been decided with Everton as champions and Reading and Southampton being relegated.

As the lower leagues have finished Spurs welcomed back players who had been out on loan as well as some of the Academy players who finished their season well. Spurs lined up with Austin in goal behind Maghoma and Ogilvie with Hinds at right back and Brown on the left. Lesniak sat in front of them with what looked like a midfield diamond in front of him. Amos anchored the diamond with Shashoua on the right flank and Miller on the left with Tracey behind Harrison up front.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the Stretford End and had an early chance when Harrison played in Shashoua on the left but his effort went past the far post. Both defences restricted chances at either end but Spurs were getting close. A move started by Shashoua to Tracey was squared to Miller but his effort was blocked. Miller slipped Tracey in on the right but Pereira was out quickly to get to the ball first. Similarly at the other end Austin was out quickly when Gribbin tried to play in Bohui.

Lesniak had a chance from a corner that was blocked and when Ogilvie carried the ball out of defence his pass was deflected to Harrison out left who advanced but fired wide. Harrison had another chance when played in by Miller but drove the ball wide of the far post. Pereira made the first save of the game when Miller played in Tracey. Good work by Tracey on the right gave Shashoua a chance that was blocked.

Miller also had an effort blocked before Olosunde rode two tackles to find Harrop on the edge of the area. The wideman placed his shot inside the left post to put the home side in front. It was hard on Spurs who had had so many chances and continued to do so. Miller whipped a cross in from the left that Harrison could not reach. Tracey got through on the right but Pereira saved at his near post for a corner. Maghoma was booked for a hard challenge on Harrop but the half ended with Pereira saving a long range effort from Harrison.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw Spurs continue to have the better of the play. Hinds got down the right exchanging passes with Shashoua and crossed to the far post where Brown was unmarked having time to control the ball before putting it into the net for the equaliser. Spurs soon had a second when good work by Tracey on the left set up Shashoua for a low drive into the bottom corner.

Shashoua could have had another minutes later when Tracey played him through but Pereira came to United's rescue saving one on one with the ball rebounding just wide of the right post. The keeper had to do it again when Tracey got through pushing the ball away for a corner. Tracey was so strong that one United defender could not hold him back as he clung to him for over ten yards. That should have earned him a booking but the referee let him off. Lesniak drove wide from a half-cleared corner before Spurs made their first change. Loft came on for Shashoua going up front with Harrison moving to the right flank.

Harrop played in Redmond on the right but he fired into the side netting. Goddard came on for Miller in midfield and his corner was deflected to Tracey who hit it wide minutes later. Spurs' last change saw Georgiou make a welcome return from injury replacing Tracey on the left of midfield. Harrop played the ball out to Willock and went into the area for the return which he drove low into the net for his and United's second. Austin saved from Bohui and Loft fired over as it was becoming more end to end.

Harrop curled wide before Amos was booked having been warned before for a mistimed tackle. Harrop turned up at the near post and beat two defenders before scoring his third goal of the night. Harrison played in Georgiou on the left who came inside and let fly but Pereira was again United's saviour turning the ball around the back post for a corner. With a minute to go Dearnley got through but his effort was cleared off the line for a corner.

This was a hard game to lose as Spurs had the better of the chances and should have wrapped it up before United had the opportunity to win it. Mourinho who was watching the game, I'm sure would say that there was only one team in it and they lost. For all the good work they did and the chances they created it was depressing to see them lose. The passing was not as good as normal as the returning players needed time to re-aquaint themselves to the other players, but such a strong showing bodes well for next season. The win moved United up to sixth and Spurs ended the season in tenth. Next season Spurs have trips to Swansea and Wolves who were promoted at the expense of Southampton and Reading.

Ray

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