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Spurs U-18s v Arsenal U-18s, 01.10.16
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

         Premier U-18 Southern League 2016-17
          Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
           Saturday 1st October 2016, 11am

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

                 2(1)             4(0) 

          Alfie Whiteman  1  Joao Virginia
             Tariq Hinds  2  Jordi Osei-Tutu
             Jaden Brown  3  Tolaji Bola
          George Marsh(C) 4  Marcus McGuane(C)
         Japhet Tanganga  5  Joseph Olowu
           Timothy Eyoma  6  Kostas Pileas
    Tashan Oakley-Boothe  7  Donyell Malen
            Oliver Skipp  8  Josh Da Silva
           Reo Griffiths  9  Eddie Nketiah
            Dylan Duncan 10  Vlad Dragohir
         Samual Shashoua 11  Trae Coyle

        Jonathan Dinzeyi 12  Danny Ballard
          Brandon Austin 13  Alex Crean
      Nicholas Tsaroulla 14  Josh Benson
              Jack Roles 15  Joe Willock
               (8)72Mins     (10)54Mins
            Aramide Oteh 16  Nathan Tella

        Griffiths 45, 67     Pileas 59
                             Willock 65, 76
                             Coyle 90+4

          Marsh 83(Pull)     Malen 42(Trip)
                             Da Siva 90+3(Foul)

               N. Gibbs      K. Ampadu

Referee: A. Anastasiou

It was a wet chilly morning for the visit of League leaders Arsenal to Hotspur Way. Arsenal are top on goal difference from the "Hammers", having beaten Leicester 5-0 last week. Last time out, Spurs only managed a 2-2 draw with bottom club Swansea. Spurs have a good home record over their North London rivals winning the last four matches including a 4-0 win last season. The last time Arsenal beat Spurs was in the Play-off final in 2009 which was played at WHL having already knocked Spurs out of the FA Youth Cup quarter-final in front of 20,000 also at WHL.

Spurs lined up with Whiteman in goal behind Tanganga and Eyoma with Hinds at right back and Brown on the left. Captain Marsh was partnered by Skipp in front of the back four while Duncan was ahead of them flanked by Oakley-Boothe on the right and Shashoua on the left in support of Griffiths up front. Spurs also had an experienced bench with players for each position.

Spurs defended the South end in the first half which saw the visitors put Spurs on the defensive as they pressed high. Malen had an early effort wide for a corner which he headed over. A short free kick by Dragomir was driven wide by Da Silva. Whiteman saved from McGuane when he was played in and a minute later saved from Da Silva with Nketiah putting the rebound over the bar. Nketiah was not having a good game as he was being well marshalled by Tanganga and when he did get free, he fired wide.

Spurs were pinned back and they were having little joy except when they managed to break out. Spurs' first real effort came after more than twenty minutes. Shashoua got down the left and crossed for Griffiths who had to control the ball before hitting it on the turn only to see Virinia save. Griffiths had got the ball in the net earlier but it was ruled out for offside. The Arsenal pressure was relentless with a Malen effort blocked, before the ball ran to Coyle who was also blocked. Finally, Dragomir fired wide.

A free kick taken by Shashoua found Duncan but his effort was saved. Brown and Malen had been having a good battle down the visitors' right but the referee finally booked the Arsenal wide man for one too many fouls when he tripped the Spurs full back as he got the better of him. Skipp played a ball up the middle which Shashoua flicked into the path of Griffiths who drew Virginia before going round him and slotting home. Completely against the run of play Spurs went in at the break in the lead.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which Spurs started brightly with Shashoua down the left to draw a save inside the opening minute. The ball was released quickly to Dragomir who tried to catch Whiteman off his line from 40 yards. The ball flew over the crossbar. Coyle played in Malen for a chance that was wide for a corner. Malen drew a save before the visitors made their first change bringing on Willock.

Good work by Duncan on the right allowed him to cut inside and force a save from the keeper. Coyle fired over before the gooners equalised from a corner. Malen floated it over to the far post where Pileas fired in. It was not long after that they took the lead when Willock had time to turn in the area to drill home a cross from the right. That prompted Spurs to make their first change with Tsaroulla replacing Shashoua on the left. Spurs were level two minutes later when more good work by Duncan on the right saw him play in Grffiths to score his second at the near post.

Spurs made another change, replacing Skipp in midfield with Roles. Griffiths was looking for a hat-trick when he fired a shot from the left side of the area which was pushed past the post by the diving Virginia. The game was becoming more open with Tsaroulla drawing a save at the near post and Pileas driving wide from distance. Marsh was booked for Pulling back Willock with Coyle hitting the free kick over. Tanganga was forced off with injury being replaced by Dinzeyi who went to the left spot as Eyoma moved across.

Griffiths drew a save from the keeper but the ball was going wide anyway. Spurs were then caught out when Roles was clearly tripped as he cut inside but the referee allowed play to continue with Spurs appealing. The ball was played to Willock who scored at the near post. The Spurs players complained to no avail. Deep into added time Da Silva fouled Duncan in the centre circle and was booked. Spurs pushed players forward for the free kick and were caught out when the ball was played upfield in a three on two situation that left Coyle unmarked to score with the last kick of the match.

Spurs could have been out of it before half-time but for some good defending and instead went in with a goal lead. With that confidence they began the second half well and the game was well balanced at 2-2. But as so often happens the gooners got the break of a missed decision that allowed them to get the next goal. The win moves Arsenal clear at the top of the league with Reading moving up to second following a 7-4 win at Brighton. Chelsea move above the "Hammers" into third, thanks to a 1-0 win, as Spurs drop to seventh. There are no matches next week so Spurs travel to Leicester on the 15th. Leicester lost today to bottom team Swansea 3-0.


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