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Match Reports
Spurs U17s v Millwall U17s, 13.12.03

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List

Premier U-17 Academy League South
Spurs Lodge, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell
Saturday 13th December 2003, k.o. 11am


Spurs (4-4-2) - Forecast, Riley(Kyriacou 70), Wright, Lee(C), Welch, Peprah, Heller(Steffan ? 70), Maghoma, Thyer, Stevens, Daniels

Unused Subs unknown - As there was no team sheet I apologise for any errors.

Scorers - Stevens 26, Thyer 37

Booked - Lee 38 (Late)

Millwall (4-4-2) - Team unknown

Scorer - 9 80

It was a terrible morning with driving rain from the corner of the "Park Lane/West stand"(This is Ray's annotation to explain the direction of play making for slippery conditions underfoot and gusts to affect the flight of the ball. There was just a small band of watchers, which was not surprising due to the conditions to see a good performance from the first years.

Spurs defending the "Park Lane" lined up with Tom Welch and Nathan Peprah at the back with Chris Riley at right back and Mark Wright at left. Charlie Lee and Jack Maghoma were in central midfield with Richard Heller on the right side and Charlie Daniels on the left with Scott Thyer and Danny Stevens up front.

The Spurs youngsters dominated the first half with some good passing football and a determination to win the ball in the middle of the park. The first chance fell to the home side in the third minute when Thyer went through for the keeper to make a good save diving to his left. The ball was returned by Stevens across the box before falling to Wright some 20 yards out who fired in a shot hitting the crossbar.

Both Thyer and Stevens showed good vision and pace in breaking down the Lions defence, so well that the 5 was subbed after 30 minutes. Lee was leading by example with his non-stop battling in midfield and was booked for a late challenge immediately after being spoken to following a clash with the visitors 4. The opening goal was a scrambled affair following good work down the right by Heller. His centre resulted in the ball coming off a defender and past his own keeper allowing Stevens to toe poke it forward. It was stopped on the line by a defender throwing himself at the ball but the linesman ruled it had crossed the line.

The second goal was a beauty with Thyer playing a 1-2 with Stevens through the Millwall back line resulting in him meeting Stevens square ball in his stride and beating the keeper from 12 yards. Spurs were winning the midfield and stretching the defence and created enough chances to increase the lead and end the game but failed to score. It was not all one way as the visitors front two had chances to score early on when the exploited mistakes by the home defence to go close three times before spurs scored and did well with balls played over the midfield.

The second half started the same as the first finished with Spurs dominating the play with Heller, Wright and Lee all having a pop as well as Stevens and Thyer. Jimmy Neighbour made two changes after 70 minutes bringing on Kyriacou for Riley and Steffan ? for Heller. Stevens moved to the right so that Steffan ? could partner Thyer up front. Spurs then sat back on their lead preferring to hit the ball long to the front than pass it through the centre. The ref who had a good game then made a bad call as the ball was played up to Steffan ? who was fouled by the centreback with the ball running loose into the path of Thyer who had a clear run at goal. 30 yards out and only the keeper to beat the ref blew for the foul thereby denying us a goal scoring opportunity. It could have been costly as the Lions 9 seized on a mistake by Peprah to pull a goal back. The visitors pushed for a second and the home side pulled back defending deep giving them space but hung on till the end.

It was a fairly easy win but they could have blown it at the end. The turning point was when the substitutions were made as Stevens was moved to the wing and the tactics changed for his taller replacement up front. Danny Stevens is a pint sized little terror. He has pace, skill, vision and a good shot and ran rings round defenders twice his height. He is following in the footsteps of little strikers like Paul McVeigh and Wayne Vaughan who needed another foot in height to make an impression at the top. He is the top scorer with 10 goals from 16 games which is just amazing. This in an age when academies are producing whole teams at U-17 level over 6ft tall.

School's out now until next term when the first match back at the Lodge will be the U-19's who will be playing Norwich City on the 10th January. The Reserves will be back at Stevenage on the 12th to take on Coventry City.


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