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Spurs U17s v Wimbledon, 07.12.02

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List


    FA Premier Academy League U-17, Group D
  Spurs Lodge, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell, Essex
       Saturday 7th. December 2002, 11am 

	   SPURS    v     WIMBLEDON
	White/Blue)         (Red)
  	   3-5-2            3-5-2

            1(0)             0(0)

         Nicky Eyre 1  David Martin
	Charlie Lee 2  Joe Howe
        Mark Wright 3  James Puncheon
         Joe Watson 4  Nick McKoy
        Andy Hodges 5  Anthony Holmes
    Ricky Dobson(C) 6  Charle Emery
         Iyad Ahmed 7  Luke Wildy
     Kieran McKenna 8  Ryan Jerwood
    Fola Orilonishe 9  Shahed Ahmed
        Owen Price 10  Serge Makofo
    Gareth Jenkins 11  Thomas Carter

       David Hicks 12  Sam Page
    Tommy Forecast 13
      Liam Francis 14  Kieron Murphy
      Andy Barcham 15  Tyrone Smith
          (9)66Min    (11)68Min
         Phil Ifil 16  L. Walker
	              (3)33Min
                   17 Chay Morris(GK)

Scorer - McKenna 77
Booked - Jenkins (high tackle)33

On a cold windswept morning with a light drizzle on a soggy ground we saw an entertaining match against the fourth placed side in the group. A good sized crowd watched the game, but only Dean Marney dropped by to watch the Juniors from the senior staff. Spurs lined up with Hodges at the centre, flanked by Lee on the right and Dobson on the left. Watson moved into midfield to join McKenna and Jenkins, with Ahmed on the right wing, and Wright as the left wing-back. Orilonishe joined Price up front for his first start. Some of the boys are unfamiliar and are probably from the U-16 team, stepping up for lads being rested after the victory at Portsmouth during the week.

Spurs defended the left-hand goal in the first half and the Dons had two early chances, due to mistakes at the back, before the game settled into a midfield battle with neither side able to maintain possession for any length of time. There were few chances created at either end with the home side's best two falling to Orilonishe, picked out by Price from the left. Ahmed made good runs down the right, providing a number of chances which were not taken.

The visitors had the best two chances of the half,and should have gone in two up. The first chance fell to Makofo, whose cross shot was cleared off the line by the impressive McKenna. Despite the net bulging, and protests from the "Wombles", the referee played on. The second chance came after 36 minutes, when Hodges allowed the ball to run to the advancing Eyre, only for Shahed Ahmed to nip past him, getting to the ball at the same time as Eyre. The Wimbledon player was sent sprawling. The referee pointed to the spot despite strong protests by Eyre that it was outside the box. Nicky made up for conceding the penalty by diving to his right to block Ahmed's kick. Ahmed followed up, but put the rebound over the bar.

The second half was played mainly in the visitors' half of the field as Spurs stepped up a gear. Despite the tight defending, Iyad Ahmed and Price managed to create chances down the flanks. Orilonishe who had a good game, was replaced by Barcham who created the goal from nothing in the 77th minute. Wimbledon had broken out for a couple of chances on Eyre's goal and pushed up their back line in support. A Spurs through ball into the left corner was left by both sides but hit the corner flag and stayed in. A Wimbledon defender stood over the ball instead of putting it out which allowed Barcham to steal the ball and run into the box unchallenged, before playing it into the path of McKenna coming in at the far post. It was a costly error by the visitors.

Wimbledon continued to defend well and prevented any more goals with Price coming closest with a 40 yard chip which Martin managed to get back and tip over the bar.

This was an entertaining game played in good heart without any of the bad tackling that is becoming the norm at this level. Spurs deserved to win the game due to their second half performance, but with the chances missed in the first by the Wombles it could have been different. The young players who came in for this game did well enough that the regulars on the bench, apart from Barcham, were not needed.

The next game at the Lodge is another U-17 one against Ipswich Town on the 14th, which will be the last before the Christmas break. The reserves have a game on Monday at Stevenage where Fulham will be the visitors.

Ray

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