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Match Reports
Spurs U19s v Arsenal, 16.11.02

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List

     FA Premier Academy League U-19, Group D
           Spurs Lodge, Chigwell, Essex
       Saturday 16th November 2002, 10.30am 

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

	     2(0)            3(1)

	 Robert Burch 1 C. Holloway
	 Danny Foster 2 A. Bailey
	 Marcel McKie 3 N. Nicolau
	  Mark Hughes 4 A. Kamara
      Ronnie Henry(C) 5 J. Hoyte
	Stephen Kelly 6 R. Garry
	   Mario Noto 7 S. Larsson
	  Dean Marney 8 S. Bradley
	Jamie Slabber 9 A. Birchall
     Michael Malcolm 10 D. Bentley
	 Mark Yeates 11 M. Gordon

     David Galbraith 12 A. Roberts
          (7)54 Mins      (10) 85 Mins
     Paul Rutherford 13
       Walter Thomas 14 B. Freeman
         (11)68 Mins 
      Jonathan Black 15 W. O'Sullivan
         David Tyrie 16 O. Shiells
Scorers:- Bentley 43, 46, Hughes 74, Bradley 79, Marney 90

Booked - Garry 68 (foul)

Because of the afternoon clash of the first teams, this game was brought forward half an hour. The dew still lay on the ground which was springy and slippery from all the rain earlier in the week. The temperature was cool but warmed up with the rising sun. There were no first team players present, but a number of the reserves came down to watch including Les and Tim, O'Donoghue, Bortolozzo and suprisingly Lee Barnard. I also saw Calderwood and Ray Clemence.

Spurs lined up with Henry and Kelly at the back flanked by Foster on the right and McKie on the left with Marney and Hughes in centre midfield with Noto on the right and Yeates on the left supporting Slabber and Malcolm up front. Spurs kicked off attacking the left goal and had the better of the opening period in which neither goalkeeper had too much to do. Spurs' approach play was good creating, several chances for Slabber, Malcolm, Marney and Henry with the gooners' quick counters for Bentley, Bradley and Birchall at the other end.

The closest we came to scoring was a Slabber header off the post before the visitors broke down the left in the 43rd minutes whipping the ball across for Bentley to fire home from 10 yards. Despite all Spurs' possession it was Arsenal who scored.

Within a minute of the second half starting the gooners had doubled the lead. Bentley received the ball with his back to goal; turned his marker and chipped Burch from the edge of the box. The home side were stunned and allowed the opposition to take control of the game and did not look like getting back. Despite Holland bringing Galbraith on to provide width and Thomas to offer more attacking options, the well-drilled "Gunners" did not look in any danger of losing. Don Howe's voice could be heard driving them on.

Spurs won a free kick 20 yards out on the right after 74 minutes which was taken by Marney. The ball was flighted to the far post where Hughes stooped to head past Holloway to close the gap. For a few minutes the home side were lifted and pushed forward in seach of a second which left gaps at the back. Bradley found one as he run onto a through ball to shoot low past the advancing Burch, restoring the two goal cushion.

Spurs kept plugging away and Malcolm (who was having a hard time) was presented with the ball by the visitors but failed to beat Holloway, who smothered the ball at his feet. As the game went into stoppage time the gooners conceded a free kick in the D which Marney struck low around the wall into right hand corner of the goal. This was too late for Spurs to build on, but a little face was saved for the team.

Spurs had played well and matched their opponents well for much of the first half before conceding the second goal. Had they scored first, things might have been different. The younger element of the side - Noto, Yeates and Malcolm - struggled against the more experienced visitors, but I know that they can do better from previous games I have seen. No doubt some of the senior players will be playing in the reserve game on Monday at Stevenage against Charlton. There is no game at the Lodge next Saturday as both teams will be at Leicester so I can have a lay-in.


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