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Reading U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 10.09.16
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

            Premier U-18 League 2016-17
            Hogwood Park, Finchampstead
        Saturday 10th September 2016, 12 noon

             READING     v     SPURS
           (Blue/White)     (All Yellow)
             4-2-3-1          4-2-3-1

               4(3)             3(1)

       Billy Collins     1     Brandon Austin
          Teddy Howe     2     Tariq Hinds
       Cameron Green     3     Jaden Brown
        Ade Shokunbi     4     George Marsh(C)
        Akin Odimayo     5     TJ Eyoma
        Harry Philby     6     Jonathan Dinzeyi
      Joel Rollinson     7     Reo Griffiths
      Tyler Frost(C)     8     Oliver Skipp
           Ben House     9     Armamide Oteh
          Dan Loader    10     Jack Roles
    Jordan Holsgrove    11     Keenan Bennetts

       Ethan Coleman    12     Tashan Oakley-Boothe
           (4)69Mins           (8)66Mins
       James Hillson    13     Jonathan De Bie
Ramarni Medford-Smith   14     Joy Mukena
        Jazz Wallace    15     Pablo Gonzales-Valsaco
           (6)78Mins           (11)77Mins
         Jack Denton    16     Dylan Duncan

            House 19           Roles 33
  Loader (pen)38, 44           Oteh (pen) 50
          Odimayo 60           Griffiths 57

            D. Dodds           J. McDermott

Referee: R. Cox

Spurs travelled to a wet Berkshire to play Reading. Last season the two sides played out a 0-0 draw. The "Royals" had their first victory by beating Fulham 3-2 in their last game.

Spurs lined up with Austin in goal behind Eyoma and Dinzeyi with Hinds at right back and Brown on the left. Captain Marsh anchored the midfield with a first start for Skipp alongside him. Roles started in front of them flanked by Griffiths on his right and Bennetts on his left in support of Oteh up front. Oakley-Boothe was among the subs having played at Stamford bridge the previous evening for the U-23 team.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the North end and pushed the home side back, pinning them in their own half. The "Royals" defended well and against the run of play made a break down the right and crossed for House, who was getting into the area. The striker hit his shot straight at Austin and as he dropped to the ground he headed in the rebound for an unlikely opening goal.

Spurs kept the pressure on with Roles hitting a free kick wide before Skipp was given the ball in acres of space in the centre. His pass into Roles was converted as the midfielder fired across the keeper. Spurs should have pushed on from there but conceded a penalty when Eyoma was adjudged to have tripped House. Loader stepped up to send Austin the wrong way to regain the lead. Griffiths came inside to force a good save from Collins before Loader got his second goal of the game, firing in when Spurs failed to clear an attack to send his side into the break with a two goal lead.

Reading made one change for the second half and had an early chance which Austin saved at his near post. Bennetts came in from the left and won a corner when Collins saved his strike. Spurs were awarded a penalty when Griffiths was caught by Philby. Oteh stepped up and beat Collins to his right to reduce the home side's lead.

Eyoma headed wide from a corner before Spurs were level as Griffiths picked up the ball just inside the Reading half and advanced to beat the keeper. Both sides went looking for a winner with Odimayo seeing his header cleared off the line from a corner. The big defender did better when he met a free kick at the far post to head home minutes later.

Austin saved from Rollison before Spurs made their first change. Oakley-Boothe replaced Skipp in midfield. Frost fired wide and Oteh drew a save from the keeper before Gonzales-Valasco replaced Bennetts on the left. Reading were now dropping deeper defending their lead but Frost had another effort that was wide. Spurs made their last change taking off Brown for Duncan as they pushed for a fourth goal leaving three at the back. Austin was called on to save a free kick from Green and also the follow up by Rollinson. It was all Spurs in the final minutes as they sought to get that fourth goal with Oteh drawing a save, but the Reading defence held out to the final whistle.

It was a little like watching the first team sometimes in that Spurs had loads of possession but did little with it, passing the ball around looking for an opening finding it difficult to break down defences. Reading defended well and took their chances. They did not sit back all the time, but were pushed back by Spurs breaking when they could. Spurs were so on top that they committed more players forward leaving space at the back which gives opponents chances on the break.

Next week Spurs entertain Norwich City who beat Chelsea 5-4 today which suggests that the defence will be tested again. Before that Spurs play their first Champions League Youth game on Wednesday afternoon against AS Monaco at Hotspur Way. Monaco finished second in their French U-19 league last season so it should be a good match.


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