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Spurs U-19s v Chelsea, 23.02.02

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List


     FA Premier Academy League U19 Group A
	    Spurs Lodge, Chigwell
       Saturday 23rd February 2002, 11am 

	    SPURS    v    CHELSEA
        (White/Blue)    (All Yellow)
	    4-4-2          4-4-2

	     0(0)           0(0)

	 Shwan Jalal 1 Lenny Pidgeley
       Stephen Kelly 2 Andrew Ross
        Marcel McKie 3 Scott Cousins
         Mark Hughes 4 Valerio Di Cesare
     Ronnie Henry(C) 5 Patrick Baldwin
     Paul O'Donoghue 6 Robert Huth
         Dean Marney 7 Alexis Nicolas
       Walter Thomas 8 Danny Jeffreys
       Jamie Slabber 9 Carlton Cole
        Lee Barnard 10 Sebastian Kneissi
      Nicky Wettner 11 Filipe Olivera

        John Sutton 12 Dean Smith
          (8)88Mins.  (8)62Mins.
       Robert Burch 13 Glenn Wizik
         (1)88Mins.
      James Quilter 14 Danny Hollands
          James Lee 15 Antonio Martella
 Christopher Herron 16 Filipe Morais

Booked:- Hughes 66 foul, Di Cesare 80 foul

This was a game played under very difficult condictions which made good football almost impossible. Coupled with a referee who did not appear to be playing the same game as the others on the pitch, it led to a frustrating morning for the lads and some of the watching crowd of around 50. I left home after a snow shower and arrived at the lodge in warm sunshine which quickly disappeared due to the gusting wind. The wind was gusting from the left veering towards us with such strength that it nearly knocked us off our feet. This made judging the flight of the ball difficult for the players, as well as control.

Spurs started the first half kicking into the wind with Henry and O'Donoghue at the back with Kelly on the right and McKie on the left. Hughes anchored the midfield with Thomas and Marney alongside him with Wettner providing the width on the left. Both sides tried passing the ball but were unable to string many passes together due to the conditions and so it became a little scrappy as frustration set in.

Matters were not helped by some eccentric refereeing which caused many four letter words to be uttered in the official's direction. The "Blues" had a big lad in Cole who was not averse to throwing his weight about, catching Barnard with an elbow early on and Huth, another big lad, being very physical in the tackle. Both goalies were called into action due to the inability of either side to hold onto the ball. The only move of the half came from Spurs when they strung together five passes ending with a shot on target.

The second half went much the way of the first with both sides looking for errors to exploit. Marney used the wind when he lifted the ball beyond the far post. The ball came back, just missing the top corner, stranding the keeper. Marney also delivered a lot of low balls into the area to minimise the effect of the wind, at least I hope he was:-)

Hughes was booked for a foul on the edge of the area more for his verbals to the referee than for the tackle. Jalal was injured diving at the feet of an attacker racing onto a through ball. This happened just as Pat Holland wanted to bring on Sutton. Jalal was replaced by Burch and Sutton came on for Thomas, playing up front with Slabber as the target man. Barnard dropped deep. The game ended all square but not without efforts to break the deadlock.

The result means Spurs remain five points behind Chelsea in third place.

Ray

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