Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]
FL Leasing.com Trophy, Southern Gp.A
Priestfield Stadium, Gillingham, Kent
Tuesday 12th November 2019, 7pm.
GILLINGHAM v TOTTENHAM U-21
Gillingham:– Walsh, Hodson, Garmston, Ogilvie(C), Ndjoli, Charles-Cook, Cisse, Marshall, Jakubiak, Woods(O'Keefe 78), Tucker.
Unused Subs:- Bonham, Ehmer, Mandron, Fuller, Lee, Hanlan
Scorers:– Jakubiak 19, Tucker 79
Booked:– Jakubiak 63(Late)
Coach:– Paul Raynor
Spurs:– Whiteman; Eyoma(C), Oakley-Boothe(Patterson 46), Tracey, White, Lyons-Foster(Pochettino 80), Shashoua, Bennett, Binks, Richards(Clarke 74), Okedina.
Unused Subs:– Oluwayemi; Dinzeyi, Hinds, Thorpe.
Coach:– Wayne Burnett
Referee:– Craig Hicks
Assistants:– Paul Lister & Aaron Farmer
Fourth Official:– Robert Whitton
It was a cold damp evening for the last group game between the bottom two sides in the group. Gillingham came into it with two defeats while Spurs had two points from the draw at Colchester United. Spurs record in this competition has been very poor with only one win in nine games. That win was against the hosts 4-0 when everything went right for Spurs in a game played at Charlton instead of Priestfield last season. This season Gillingham, while still struggling, are doing better than last. With it being an International break Spurs were without a number of players that would possibly have been included such as Austin, Bowden, Walcott, Maghoma and Parrott.
Spurs lined up with Whiteman in goal behind Eyoma and Binks with Okedina at right back and Lyons-Foster on the left. White anchored the midfield with Oakley-Boothe and Shashoua ahead of him. They were flanked by Tracey on the right and Bennett on the left in support of Richards up front. Gillingham made ten changes to the side that played Sunderland at the weekend with former young spur Connor Ogilvie the only one to play and he was given the Captain's armband.
Spurs attacked the East end in the first half with Bennett having an early chance that he curled in from the left for Walsh to save. Gillingham were more determined and pressed Spurs in all areas of the pitch to break up their passing game and forcing errors. Charles-Cook had an effort wide before Tracey could not get on the end of a Bennett cross to the far post.
Ogilvie headed wide from a free kick before the home side took the lead. Cisse picked up an attempted clearance and played in Jakubiak in the left channel to drive inside the far post. Having taken the lead, the "Gills" grew in confidence and began to play more passing football using Marshall on the right. Lyons-Foster had to clear off the line from a Tucker header before White fired over from a pass by Shashoua. Shashoua also played in Richards to fire wide. The last chance of the half fell to Woods who was wide after his first effort was blocked.
Spurs made one change for the start of the second half as Oakley-Boothe picked up an injury and was replaced by Patterson.
Spurs began the half well pushing the hosts back but failed to make the most of it. Richards was presented with a golden opportunity by Bennett but hit it over the bar. Jakubiak was booked for catching Eyoma late when he got forward. Spurs' second change was to replace Richards with Clarke up front while Gillingham had to replace the injured Woods. Gillingham then got a second when a free kick was only cleared to Marshall on the right and his far post cross was met by the diving Tucker.
With nothing to lose Spurs went to three at the back by taking off Lyons-Foster and sending on Pochettino allowing Tracey to join Clarke up front. Bennett fired over and when Pochettino played in a cross into the near post for Clarke it was blocked for a corner. Whiteman saved from Marshall for a corner as the game became more open. White was booked for being late on Clarke-Cook with Jakubiak forcing a save from Whiteman at the end.
This was not a great performance from Spurs who still have a lot to learn at this level. They finished bottom of the group which in the context of the competition is not great but few of the U-21 teams do well in it. Games are becoming close contests with Spurs holding their own more than at the start. Jack Roles, who played in these matches last season, and is out on loan at Cambridge United was voted league player of the month which is encouraging.
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