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Spurs U-18s v Stoke U-18s, 25.03.17
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)
            4-1-4-1            4-4-2

              2(2)              2(1)

       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
            (2)59Mins     (9)46Mins
      Charlie Freeman 13  Mate Deczki
      Moroyin Omolabi 14  Scott Wara
                          (2)90+4
    Phoenix Patterson 15  Venanciao De Silva Monteiro
           (10)59Mins     (7)77Mins
Pablo Gonzalez-Velasco16  Joel Kadbiba
            (7)70Mins

Scorers:-
    Butler (o.g) 9 Campbell 36
    Reynolds 11           Greenidge 89

Booked:-
    Brown 47(Foul)

Coach:-
        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.

Ray

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