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Arsenal U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 19.10.19
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


   Premier U-18 League 2019-20, South
       Bell Lane, London Colney
    Saturday 19th October 2019, 11am 

        ARSENAL     v     SPURS
      (Red/White)      (White/Blue)
        4-2-3-1          4-1-4-1

          2(1)             2(0)

    Hubert Graczyk  1  Thimothee Lo-Tutala
    Matthew Dennis  2  Kallum Cesay
Joel Lopez Salguero 3  Dennis Cirki
    Charlie Patino  4  Yago di Santiago Alonso
    Daniel Oyegoke  5  Marques Muir
   Mazeed Ogunbo(C) 6  Dermi Lusala
    Ryan Alebiousu  7  Tarrelle Whittaker
      Miguel Azeez  8  Nile John
    Alfie Matthews  9  Kion Etete(C)
    Catalin Cirjan 10  Max Robson
 N. Butler-Oyedeji 11  J'Neil Bennett

         Alex Kirk 12  Rafferty Pedder
                       (4)67Mins
     Remy Mitchell 13  Kacper Kurylowicz
       Luke Plange 14  Chay Cooper
                       (7)77Mins
     Zane Monlouis 15  Romaine Mundle
         (7)76Mins
    Marcelo Flores 16
        (10)56Mins

Scorers:-
Butler-Oyedeji 42, 67  Bennett 71
                       Etete 90+4

Booked:-
 Alebiousu 63(UGC)     Cirkin 63(UGC)
 Patino 67(Foul)
 Matthews 90+3(Foul)

Coaches:-
      Ken Gillard      Matthew Taylor

Referee: Harrison Blair

Spurs travelled to Arsenal's training ground on a sunny but chilly morning with both teams in mid-table. Like last season Spurs had a two point lead over their North London rivals before this game. Last season Spurs came here just needing a point to win the league from their hosts with an unbeaten record. They took a two goal lead before having a player sent off in the first half and held out until the last five minutes before conceding three goals that gave Arsenal the title.

Spurs lined up with Lo-Tutala making his first start in goal behind Muir and Lusala with Cesay at right back and Cirkin on the left. Alonso (aka Santiago) anchored the midfield in his first start with John and Robson ahead of him. They were flanked by Whittaker on the right and Bennett on the left in support of Etete wearing the captain's armband up front.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the South end and had the first chance when John played in Bennett to fire wide. The hosts had the better of the play in this half which saw Lo-Tatala having to make saves from Alebiousu and Cirjan. Matthews saw his effort go wide for a corner from which Salguero fired over.

Cirjan had an effort fly over before the home side took the lead when Butler-Oyedeji cut in from the left to curl the ball inside the far post. Butler-Oyedeji almost got a second at the end of the half following a corner but Bennett cleared off the line.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw the referee tell the hosts that he was wise to them wasting time. Spurs pushed forward more leaving space at the back. Arsenal tried to take advantage, with Butler-Oyedeji firing over. A melee happened on the far side off the ball which got very heated with players being dragged away. Once it had calmed down the ref booked Cirkin and Alebiousu for their part.

When Spurs failed to deal with a corner, Butler-Oyedeji curled the ball into the far corner for his and Arsenal's second. Spurs made their first change before the restart with Alonso being replaced by Pedder. The introduction of Pedder with his more direct running began to turn the game Spurs' way and they soon reduced the arrears when Bennett scored with a great effort from outside the area on the left inside the far post.

Etete had been having his best game for Spurs, winning almost every ball in the air which saw Monlouis introduced by Arsenal to combat him in a back three as they looked to see out the game. They were still a danger on the break and Lo-Tutala came to Spurs rescue when Butler-Oyedeji got through for a one on one. The Spurs keeper also got across to his right post to turn away a free kick by Azeez over his wall. He had to make a save from the corner from sub Flores.

Cooper replaced Whittaker on the right and his dribbling skills caused problems for the home defence. Matthews was booked in added time as Arsenal tried to see out the game. But it was not to be as Cooper worked his way down the right and whipped in a cross from which Etete scored at the far post. Spurs had pinched a point which they had worked hard to get.

This was a good performance having to withstand the pacy attacking flair of the home side. Spurs had more possession but only two efforts on goal. Lo-Tutala had a good game while Alonso took a little while to get into the game and looks more like an attacking midfielder than a holding one.

Bennett - back from his injury - started slowly but grew into the game as his confidence improved (he had been nobbled by Arsenal in last season's home game). Etete had a good game winning plenty of balls played up to him but needs to improve his lay-offs. Spurs remain two points ahead of Arsenal and had players rested for the important Champions Youth League game on Tuesday aaginst Red Star at Hotspur Way. They will then welcome Stoke City in the Premier League Cup on Saturday morning. I will miss that game as I will be in the Midlands for the U-23 game against Wolves.

Ray

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