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Spurs v Sunderland (EPL2), 20.02.17
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


        Premier League 2, Divison 1, 2016-17
      Lamex Stadium, Broadhall Way, Stevenage
          Monday 20th February 2017, 7pm

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

              1(1)             0(0)

            Pau Lopez  1  Max Stryjek
       Joseph Muscatt  2  Josh Robson
   Nicholas Tsaroulla  3  Denver Hume
      Filip Lesniak(C) 4  Dan Wright
      Japhet Tanganga  5  Dan Casey
    Christian Maghoma  6  Michael Ledger
      Shayon Harrison  7  Luke Moylneux
    Zenon Stylianides  8  Ethan Robson(C)
        Shilow Tracey  9  Joe Asoro
     Joseph Pritchard 10  Elliot Embleton
     Kazaiah Sterling 11  Rees Greenwood

           Cy Goddard 12  Sam Brotherton
           (11)87Mins
        Thomas Glover 13  James Talbot
        Charlie Owens 14  Owen Gamble
           (10)79Mins
         Oliver Skipp 15  Brandon Taylor
          (8)90+1Mins
                      16  Jean Yves Poame

Scorer:-
          Sterling 4

Booked:-
    Goddard 90+1(KBA)     J. Robson 32(Holding)

Coach:-
          U. Ehiogu       A. Welsh

Attendance:- 372

Referee: D. Treleaven
Assistants: D. Austin & A. Blake
Fourth Official: D. Nicholson

It was a chilly evening at Stevenage for the visit of Sunderland for this important match. Defeat in Spurs' last match at Anfield saw them drop into the relegation zone. A win for Sunderland would see them move to within a point of fourth place but they had not won in their last four games. Spurs gained a point in the away game coming from 2-0 down thanks to a brace from Shilow Tracey.

Spurs lined up with Pau Lopez in goal behind Maghoma and Tanganga with Muscatt at right back and Tsaroulla on the left. Lesniak anchored the midfield with Stylianides on his right and Pritchard on his left. Up front Tracey was again given the lead role with Harrison on his right and Sterling on his left. On the bench Oliver Skipp became the youngest Spurs player to selected for this level.

Spurs defended the South end in the first half and the attacking formation employed by Ugo put pressure on the visitors' defence. When the ball was played back to Stryjek he did not see Sterling closing him down until too late. The Spurs striker won the ball and rolled it into an empty net. The game settled into an open style with both sides producing good approach work supplemented by long balls over the top.

Moylneux just failed to connect with a Sunderland cross before Sterling played in Pritchard but Stryjek saved his effort. Greenwood got past Muscatt to cross. Asoro slipped at the vital moment with the ball falling for Wright to hit a shot that was saved by Lopez. Asoro played in Embleton for a chance that was saved.

Spurs were beginning to get on top and Robson was booked for pulling back Muscatt as he got past. From the free kick Pritchard went for the near top corner but Stryjek got a hand to it to tip it onto the crossbar. With both defences keeping the attacks at bay Maghoma tried his luck from over 30 yards seeing his effort fly wide. Tracey played in Muscatt to fire wide before half-time.

There were no changes for the second half which saw both sides continue to get forward. Lopez had to make an early save from Greenwood. Stylianides played in Pritchard to fire wide before a long ball saw Asoro hit an early effort that hit the inside of the right post beating Lopez with such power that it went out for a throw-in.

Stylianides played in Tracey to fire wide before Pritchard squared the ball to Tracey who slipped Sterling in, but Stryjek was out quickly to block. Ethan Robson hit a free kick over before Spurs made their first change. Owens replaced Pritchard after he took a knock just before Harrison fired in from the right for Stryjek to save.

Owens took a free kick on the left that went all the way to Sterling outside the far post but the striker could only put it into the side netting. Embleton fired over before Spurs made their second change with Goddard coming on for Sterling that suggested they were going to settle for the only goal. Goddard was booked for kicking the ball away after a free kick was given as the game entered added time. Skipp came on for Stylianides to waste a few more seconds as they played out time.

This was a good defensive display by Spurs with both full backs getting forward in support of the midfield. The midfield worked hard with Stylianides and Pritchard covering plenty of ground and Lesniak providing the anchor for them to go forward. The Sunderland defence had more to do than us, keeping the Spurs forwards in check. The win moved Spurs up from eleventh to seventh place in the table which was reward for playing such an attacking formation. Hopefully they can continue to improve in their next match as they go to Arsenal on the 3rd March.

Ray

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