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Aston Villa U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 25.02.17
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

       Premier U-18 League, Southern League, 2016-17
              Bodymoor Heath, Warwickshire
           Saturday 25th February 2017, 12 noon


                 2(2)              1(1)

Aston Villa(4-2-3-1): Team unknown

Scorer: Williams 22, 42

Booked: No.7 (Foul 82)

Spurs (4-3-3): Charlie Freeman(C); Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Jubril Okedina, Moyaran Omolabi, Matthew Lock(Luis Binks 30); Jamie Reynolds, Jamie Bowden(Amando Shashoua 82); Paris Maghoma; Rayan Clarke, Jeremie Mukendi(Nonso Madueke 82), Phoenix Patterson

Unused Sub:- Joshua Oluwayemi

Scorer: Patterson 20

Spurs travelled to Villa's training ground on an overcast cold morning, having made an arrangement with the Midland club to play the match with an U-17 team as both sides had played during the week. Spurs beat Swansea 3-0 on Tuesday and Villa lost to Manchester City 2-1 in the Youth Cup on Wednesday. The match was not played on the normal pitch due to it being waterlogged so we got to see the Villa Academy centre at the back of the site.

Spurs had four players Lock, Bowden, Reynolds and Patterson who had appeared for the U-18 side in a squad today which consisted mainly of U-16 players. Spurs lined up with Freeman in goal behind Okedina and Omolabi with Lyons-Foster at right back and Lock on the left. Bowden anchored the midfield with Reynolds and Maghoma in support of Mukendi flanked by Clarke and Patterson up front. For those with long memories or a passion for facts Lyons-Foster, Maghoma and Shashoua have older brothers who have passed throught the Spurs system or still here.

Spurs defended the South end with the wind at their back and soon pushed the home side back. Maghoma headed wide at a corner and Patterson hit a free kick over before they took the lead. Spurs moved the ball through the middle before Reynolds played in Patterson on the left and the little winger advanced before hitting his shot which went across the keeper, hitting the far post before going in.

Spurs kept the pressure on but were caught out when they lost possession in the middle and the ball was played forward for Williams to take a touch before firing in from the right of the area. This was Villa's first chance in a game when Spurs had been dominating. Birch hit a Villa free kick over as Spurs continued to push forward. Patterson played in Mukendi for a shot wide for a corner. Lock had to be replaced when he was caught raiding down the left. His replacement Binks almost scored at the far post from the next corner.

Patterson made a run and his shot was saved with Maghoma putting the rebound over the bar. Lyons-Foster crossed for Maghoma to draw a save from the keeper and he was followed by Bowden making the keeper save again. Approaching half-time Villa broke down the left through Birch and his cross was pushed wide by Freeman under pressure to Williams out wide on the right. The Villa man whipped the ball in from a tight angle and it may have been diverted into the goal. Villa had scored two goals from two chances.

Villa made one change for the start of the second half in which they began to show more much more aggression as they got to grips with Spurs' midfield. (Good thing the shirts stretch well!). The game became more end to end than before and in the closing stages Villa were forced back to protect their lead as Spurs mounted a strong finish.

Mukendi drew an early save before Patterson fired wide when Maghoma played him in. After Patterson fired over Villa made a double change which did not stop Spurs getting on top again. Maghoma had a shot deflected just wide for a corner. Spurs almost came unstuck when Okedina under-hit a back-pass. Freeman had to come out quickly to save with his feet from one of the subs, outside his area. Villa had another chance which was hit over before Spurs made a double change of their own. Shashoua replaced Bowden in midfield and Madueke took over from Mukendi in attack.

The home side got the first yellow card when Patterson was fouled to stop him making a run through the middle. After Villa had another chance from a break down the right Spurs had a goal disallowed when Patterson got down the left and his cross was turned in in a crowded box. Maghoma was booked trying to win the ball. The referee did the pointing around the field to indicate it was a totting up booking like the Villa one except Paris was booked for three fouls as opposed to the home player's five. Spurs kept pushing until the end with Madueke forcing a save but they could not get a second goal before the three minutes of added time the local referee added.

The defeat means that Spurs will finish in the second group for the second phase of the League programme. They have one game left to play in this phase which is next Saturday when they travel to Arsenal. Before that they travel to Newcastle for the Youth Cup on Monday evening.


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