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Derby U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 13.05.17
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

       Premier U-18 League, Merit Group 2, 2016-17
          Derby County Training Ground, Oakwood
            Saturday 13th May 2017, 12 noon

                 DERBY     v     SPURS
             (White/Black)    (All Yellow)
                4-4-1-1         4-1-4-1

                  3(2)            3(1)

            Matthew Yates  1  Jonathan De Bie
             Jayden Bogle  2  Matthew Lock
           Matthew Taylor  3  Nicholas Tsaroulla
             Jack Haywood  4  George Marsh(C)
            Joe Bateman(C) 5  Moryan Omolabi
           Fuseine Rashid  6  Japhet Tanganga
   Jayden Mitchell-Lawson  7  Jamie Bowden
             Connor Dixon  8  Jack Roles
        Cameron Cresswell  9  Kazaiah Sterling
              Luke Thomas 10  Jamie Reynolds
         Morgan Whittaker 11  Keanan Bennetts

               Adam Davie 12  Brooklyn Lyons-Foster
               Joe Fryatt 13  Charlie Freeman
               Ayo Jibodu 14  Paris Maghoma
               (11)60Mins     (7)58Mins
  Russell Carter-Thompson 15  Rayan Clarke
               Henry Wise 16 

        Bogle 12              Roles 43
        Mitchell-Lawson 41    Maghoma 67 
        Cresswell 54          Sterling 85

                              Tsaroulla 25(Trip)

        Rory Delap            John McDermott

Referee: Steven Abbott 

It was an overcast morning as Spurs travelled to fourth placed Derby County for their last game of the season in second place in group 2. Spurs were a point behind leaders Aston Villa knowing that a slip-up by the unbeaten "Villans" would open the door for them to finish top of the group. The last time Spurs played Derby was back in August 2010 when Harry Kane scored both Spurs goals in a 2-1 away win.

Spurs lined up with the retuning De Bie in goal behind Tanganga and Omolabi with Lock at right back and Tsaroulla on the left. Marsh anchored the midfield with Roles and Reynolds ahead of him flanked by Bowden on the right and Bennetts on the left in support of Sterling up front. The short bench was made up of all U-16 players.

Spurs kicked off attacking the east end but found a resilient Derby defence that defended in numbers and played long balls to the quick attacking players to turn the Spurs back line. As Spurs tried to settle into their passing game the "Rams" sought to get behind, for example when Taylor crossed for Dixon to draw a save from De Bie.

Roles played in Bowden to fire over before Spurs conceded a corner on the right. Haywood's kick found the head of Bogle to open the scoring for the home side. Rashid headed over from another corner and Cresswell had a free kick saved as the quick counter-attacking caused Spurs problems. Tsaroulla was booked for a trip on Thomas as he got past him.

Spurs had a good call for a penalty earlier as Sterling was caught in the area. Thomas hit a free kick over before Derby increased their lead. Dixon collected a long ball on the left and skipped pass the last defender and fired in a shot that De Bie saved but Mitchell-Lawson coming in from the right drilled in the rebound. Spurs responded quickly as Roles rode a tackle to find space to fire home from outside the area into the left corner so that Spurs went in at the break only a goal down.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw Spurs have an early chance when Sterling could not get to a cross from Bennetts in the middle of the goal. Marsh headed wide from a corner as Spurs looked for the equaliser pushing players forward. They were caught out when Cresswell out-paced Tanganga to a long clearance and was able to score through the legs of De Bie.

Spurs began to make changes with first Bowden being replaced by Maghoma and then a double change with Lyons-Foster and Clarke replacing Roles and Reynolds. The changes paid off as Spurs put the home side under pressure. Maghoma took a free kick on the left and curled the ball over the wall into the near side to pull it back to 3-2.

Spurs now had momentum and Sterling was played in on the right and his cross-shot was cleared off the line onto the head of Maghoma. The midfielder's header hit the post and was cleared. Derby were still a danger on the break as Dixon sent Cresswell away to force a save from De Bie. Spurs drew level when Clarke played in Sterling to drill in at the far post. Spurs almost won it when Bennetts' free kick struck the bar and Tsaroulla headed over the rebound but Derby held out for the draw.

Spurs had problems with the Derby tactics getting caught at the back too often while finding it hard to pass their way through a tight defence. Three games in a week meant that the squad had to be rotated as not all the players were available for all the games with the most experienced players being able to play at Everton. The result in the end did not matter as Villa won their last game to finish top of the group. Spurs second half-season form has been good with a fine end to the first phase and only one defeat in the second while they had a good run in the Youth Cup. There is plenty to look forward to next season.


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