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Reading U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 23.02.19
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

    Premier U-18 League, Southern Group 2018-19
Reading Training Centre, Hogwood Park, Finchampstead
       Saturday 23rd February 2019, 11.30am

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

              0(0)           2(1)

     Jokull Andresson  1  Jonathan De Bie(C)
       Jake Pemberton  2  Jibril Okedina
        Imari Samuels  3  Dennis Cirkin
          Dejan Tetek  4  Paris Maghoma
      Roberto Nditi(C) 5  Malachi Walcott
       Jeriel Dorsett  6  Luis Binks
         Khalid Simmo  7  Mauricio Pochettino
           Kian Leavy  8  Rafferty Pedder
 Nahum Melvin-Lambert  9  Tyrell Whittaker
      Claudiou Osario 10  Dilan Markanday
       Thierry Nevers 11  Rayan Clarke

Marcel Elva-Fountainc 12  Maxwell Statham
            (8)82Mins     (8)69Mins
       Harvey Collins 13  Joshua Oluwayemi
          Josh Hewitt 14  Matthew Craig
            (6)61Mins     (10)61Mins
      Talent-Aryeetey 15  Michael Craig
            (7)82Mins     (9)73Mins
       Lynford Sackey 16  Timmy Lo-Tutala

                          Markanday 25
                          Andresson 77 (o.g.)

       Tetek 53(Foul)

          David Dobbs     Matt Wells

Referee: Michael Smith 

Spurs travelled to Reading on a bright sunny morning for their first league game in over a month due to cup commitments. Their last game was at Brighton which saw them continue their unbeaten run with a 4-1 win at the cost of injury to Markanday. Reading also played Brighton in their last game losing 2-1. Last season Reading beat Spurs 1-0 at Hogwood and this season at Hotspur way they got a 1-1 draw.

Both sides lost players to injury and other match squads so U-16 players stepped up to fill the void. De Bie was in goal behind Walcott and Binks with Okedina at right back and Cirkin on the left. Maghoma anchored the midfield with the returning Markanday and Pedder ahead of him. They were flanked by Pochettino on the right and Clarke on the left in support of Whittaker up front. On the bench identical twins Matthew and Michael Craig joined young keeper Lo-Tutala. (Ed:- Ray confirms we had two goalkeepers on the bench)

Spurs defended the East end in the first half which saw the hosts sit deep looking to break but also press the Spurs midfield which due to the changes took a while to settle. Maghoma took an early free kick that Andresson saved, and was wide with another ten minutes later. In between Simmo played in Melvin-Lambert to fire wide. Spurs took the lead when Pedder sent Clarke away down the left and his cross was turned in by Markanday at the far post.

De Bie saved from Nevers at his near post and then turned over a drive by Tetek. A poor square pass by Maghoma was interecpted by Simmo who had the whole goal to aim at but De Bie saved to his right. Andresson saved Walcott's header from a corner while Nditi fired over from a corner at the other end. Another corner at the end of the half saw De Bie save from Nevers.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which began with a push by the hosts. They saw the only yellow of the game when Tetek caught Markanday from behind which led to the Spurs midfielder going off. He was replaced by Matthew Craig who slotted in quickly.

Reading came close to scoring when a cross from the left was not cleared and De Bie had to save a back-heel by Simmo right on the line. That was Reading's last chance as Spurs took control of the game. Statham came on for Pedder to play on the right of a five man defence and soon afterwards Michael Craig replaced Whittaker in midfield with Clarke going up front.

Maghoma broke clear and with only the keeper to beat he slipped over but managed to play the ball to Clarke to draw a save. The game was made safe when Hewitt played the ball back to his keeper who failed to stop it and it went into the net for an own goal. Despite a double change Reading could not muster another chance and Statham appeared in the Reading area having a shot blocked from a Maghoma pass near the end.

Spurs remain unbeaten in the league but have dropped to second place as local rivals Arsenal went top with two wins in the month. They lead by a point having played a game more and it is increasingly looking like the trip to their place next month will be the title decider. The Craig twins performed well and looked comfortable in the team with Matthew the better of the two. Spurs' next match sees the visit of West Ham United to Hotspur Way on the 2nd March. The "Hammers" Aston Villa 3-1 to move up to fourth in the table.


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