Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]
FA Premier Academy U-19 League, Group D
Spurs Lodge, Luxbourogh Lane, Chigwell
Saturday 8th March 2003, 12 noon
SPURS v LEICESTER CITY
Paul Rutherford 1 C. Logan
Dean Marney 2 N. Matthews
Marcel McKie 3 G. Campbell
Danny Foster 4 T. Williamson
Ben Bowditch(C) 5 L. Tozer(C)
Ricky Dobson 6 B. Mortimore
Lee Barnett 7 S. Dawson
Owen Price 8 J. Doyle
Michael Malcolm 9 T. Wright
Mark Yeates 10 K. Larvin
Jonathan Black 11 A. Deen
Mark Hughes 12 C. O'Grady
(11) 46 Mins (10) 88 Mins
Jamie Slabber 14 C. Howard
(7) 46 Mins
Daniel Perry 16 L. Dodds
Scorers:- Williamson 36, Wright 45, Malcolm 86
Booked - Marney 35(late), Foster 62(talking), Matthews 62(late)
On a chilly morning with a strong wind blowing from left to right,
supplimented with driving rain in the second half, and a soaked ground, a
small group of hardy souls gathered to watch the senior youth side (ten of
the squad were U-17's) take on Leicester City who had the same number of
points as the home side. Calderwood and young Henry were spotted along with
Kerslake, watching from the sidelines.
Spurs kicked off attacking the left-hand goal and kicking into the wind
with Bowditch flanked by Foster and Dobson with the returning Marney on the
right and McKie on the left as wing-backs. The midfield saw Barnett and
Black in the centre with Yeates just in front of them behind Malcolm and
Price. The "Foxes" played a very physical style of game with all of their
players closing down quickly wanting to prove that they were as good as the
Premiership side. They did well, battling for the ball and breaking when
they could with Dawson hitting the bar halfway through the half.
The home side were having trouble maintaining their passing game against a well
organised side. I have to say the the physical aspect of the game unsettled
the players which, coupled with the referee wanting to play the advantage meant that
tempers became a little frayed. There were quite a few stoppages for
players to receive attention, and we had seven minutes of added time.
The opening goal came from a free kick conceded by a late tackle by Marney on
Larvin 24 yards out. Williamson hit the kick low through the wall into the
left corner. Spurs had few chances with Yeates and Marney firing wide and
Malcolm just failing to reach a couple of through balls. There was another opportunity when Yeates broke through but he delayed his pass to Malcolm and lost the chance.
Leicester increased their lead from another set-piece routine. A free kick to the far
post was headed down for Wright to hit across the keeper into the far corner.
Pat Holland rang the changes at half time with McKie dropping back to a
traditional full back and Bowditch moving to right back. Marney moved into
midfield where Black and Barnett had been replaced by Hughes and Slabber.
Slabber was pushed up front with Price moving to the wing. With the wind at
their back, Spurs attacked the visitors with more purpose and with greater
Marney and Hughes provided more bite in the middle and Slabber
greater height up front as they set about the opposition. The referee also
started to use his whistle more when no advantage was gained which had both
sides appealing more loudly and the expletives increased. In the 62nd
minute Matthews lauched himself at McKie as he went for a loose ball
leaving both players needing treatment. Foster said something to the referee
and was booked for it as did Matthews when he got up.
Bowditch, Marney and Price were linking well down the right but Owen's delivery was not good. Slabber made an amazing run into the box beating three defenders before
forcing a corner and Malcolm, Yeates and Hughes all had attempts with
Rutherford having to dive full length to stop a shot at the other end.
Spurs finally got a goal back when Yeates' centre was met by Slabber. Jamie's
effort was beaten out by Logan but Slabber followed up and took the ball to
the right-hand post before turning it into the middle for Malcolm to tap
over the line. The "Foxes"' protests were waved away by the ref but Leicester increased
their resolve and they pushed forward, pinning the homeside in their own
half for most of the remaining time. Spurs tried to hoof the ball up field
for Malcolm and Slabber, but due to the wind tended to over-hit it. Malcolm
did have a confrontation with a defender having ended up inside the goal
chasing one centre but the referee did not have to do anything apart from
telling them to get back on the pitch.
The match ended without too much added time and the visitors left with a
hard fought victory which on balance they deserved as they stopped the
normal passing game of the home side and battled away in the middle to
create openings to attack. Hard work was the key with Wright, (even one of
their supporters called him a "dirty bugger") being the sort of player you hated, but wished he was playing for you as he left a few players on the ground in pain. On another day our skill level would overcome their work-rate as we create more chances from open play as well as from deadball situations.
The U-19's have four games left of which three are at home starting with
Wimbledon next week. Thanks to the Liverpool game being moved to Sunday I
will now be able to see this one.(Ed: And so will I!)
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