Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]
Premier U-18, Merit Group 2, 2016-17
Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
Saturday 25th March 2017, 11am
SPURS v STOKE CITY
(White/Blue) (All Blue)
Brandon Austin 1 Mitchel Allen
Matthew Lock 2 Mouhamed Diallo
Jaden Brown 3 Vazoumana Karamoko
Tariq Hinds 4 Jake Dunwoody(C)
George Marsh(C) 5 Andrew Cuerdieu
Oliver Skipp 6 James Butler
Reo Griffiths 7 Rachid Balde
Dylan Duncan 8 Lasse Sorensen
Kazaiah Sterling 9 Suola Ayoola
Jamie Reynolds 10 Tyrese Campbell
Keanan Bennetts 11 Jacob Twyford
Nicholas Tsaroulla 12 Jaroon Greenidge
Charlie Freeman 13 Mate Deczki
Moroyin Omolabi 14 Scott Wara
Phoenix Patterson 15 Venanciao De Silva Monteiro
Pablo Gonzalez-Velasco16 Joel Kadbiba
Butler (o.g) 9 Campbell 36
Reynolds 11 Greenidge 89
John McDermott Kevin Russell
Referee:– Stuart Cheek
Assistants:– Conor Griffin & Jack Bloxham
This was the opening match of the second phase for Spurs due to their involvement in the Youth Cup semi-final with today's opposition from the Potteries, who were also in the semis. Both sides suffered defeats by six goals, Spurs losing 7-1 at Chelsea and Stoke losing 6-0 to Manchester City. Stoke still have the second leg to come but will need a miracle to get through. Stoke have already played one game in this group drawing with Fulham 2-2 last Saturday. As this was supposed to have been an International break Spurs lost players to the national sides while Stoke seemed to be at full strength. A minute's silence was observed before the start in respect of the deaths at Westminister.
Spurs lined up with Austin in goal behind a makeshift pairing of Marsh and Skipp with Lock at right back and Brown on the left. Hinds anchored the midfield with Duncan and Reynolds ahead of him flanked by Griffiths on the right and Bennetts on the left, in what looked like a diamond, in support of Sterling up front. The visitors were a lot taller than most of our lads with the front pair over six feet tall.
Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the North end into the wind and made a good start. Moving the ball quickly across the middle they pushed the visitors back and Bennetts got down the left riding the challenge of Diallo to whip in a cross to the near post for Duncan. The ball was turned past his own keeper by Butler.
Two minutes later it was 2-0 when Sterling was played in through the right channel and his ball inside was dispatched by Reynolds. Spurs kept the pressure on and a cross by Bennetts found Griffiths at the far post but his drive hit the far post before being cleared for a corner. Griffiths was pulled back but managed to get the ball to Sterling whose effort was blocked.
Reynolds sent Sterling away on the right and his ball inside to Bennetts was saved by Allen. Griffiths fired wide and Sterling headed over from a corner. Bennetts was the provider again from the left for a looping header by Griffiths that was pushed over by the keeper. Sterling played in Hinds for a good chance that he put wide. The lack of more goals proved costly as Duncan gave the ball away for Campbell to get round the back on the left and score. Campbell attacked the right post but was was blocked with Twyford's follow up also blocked before Balde won a corner from which Butler headed over. The last chance of the half fell to Griffiths who fired wide having been played in by Duncan.
Stoke made one change for the start of the second half replacing Ayoola with the taller Greenidge which meant that Marsh was giving away two feet in height. Brown had to make a saving tackle on Greenidge as Stoke began to play long balls for the strikers to chase. Played into the wind these balls held up allowing the strikers to get underneath and use their superior height.
Austin saved from Balde for a corner before Brown was booked for pulling Balde back as they chased a long ball. Dunwoody fired over from a cross by Karamoko before Lock got down the right and crossed for Sterling at the far post who had to take a touch before hitting a shot that Allen saved at his near post.
Spurs made a double change with Tsaroulla replacing Lock on the right and Patterson replaced Reynolds in midfield. Bennetts curled a free kick over the wall but Allen saved at the expense of a corner. Griffiths went down awkwardly and had to be replaced by Gonzalez-Velasco. Sterling fired wide and Patterson shot over with Bennetts driving wide before drawing a save with his next chance. Tsaroulla got down the right and crossed for Bennetts to fire over.
Spurs defence had been struggling to hold the two Stoke strikers challenging for long balls and they finally lost out when Greenidge met a cross from Twyford on the right to score the equaliser. Spurs were rocked and the visitors kept up a stream of balls into the Spurs area looking to take advantage of their height. Austin saved a direct free kick by Campbell tipping it away for a corner. Karamoko fired wide for a corner as we went into added time. Sterling drew a save as Spurs tried to take advantage as Diallo lay injured but we could not force a winner.
Overall it was a good performance by Spurs who were missing a number of regulars and conceding a lot of height in defence. They missed a couple of good chances to make the game safe but finally lost out to the bigger stronger Stoke lads who got their second draw in two games. Spurs have one point which is one more than next week's opponents Middlesbrough, who Spurs play away.
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