Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
FA Premier Academy U-19 League, Group D
Spurs Lodge, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell, Essex
Saturday 20th March 2004, ko 12am
SPURS (0)0 V ASTON VILLA (0)1
SPURS (4-4-2) - Eyre, Ifil, McKie(C), McKenna, Lee, Dobson, Maghoma(Price 68), Allen, Malcolm, O'Hara, Daniels
Unused subs. - Francis, Hodges
VILLA (4-4-2)- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11(C)
Scorer - 7
Booked - McKie 6(late)
On an overcast morning with a strong wind from the South end that made the temperature a lot colder than it was, these two teams tried to play football. The ground was soft from the rain the previous day with a small crowd shivering on the sidelines.
Spurs lined up with Charlie Lee playing alongside Dobson at the back with McKie and Ifil as the fullbacks. O'Hara and Maghoma played in the centre of midfield with McKenna on the right and Daniels on the left. Malcolm up front was partnered by new boy Ollie Allen, who played for the U-17's last week.
Spurs kicked off with the wind at their back defending the South end and had the better of the play due to the conditions. Allen had an effort saved and Eyre pushed out a strike from 9 inside the first five minutes. Marcel McKie wearing the captains armband dived in with both feet on the 8 to earn a yellow card early on. Malcolm dribbled into the area before drawing a good save from the keeper , who also saved O'Hara's follow-up. Jamie O'Hara also had a 20yd thunderbolt pushed away later.
It was a hard fought game with both sides committed and few shirked the challenges. So long as the ball was kept on the deck it was moved around fairly well by both teams, but when in the air it was more of a lottery as long balls from the home side went too long and Villa saw their kicks held up and fall back towards them. This of course was reversed in the second half.
The wind moved round to the south west for the second half which meant that a lot of balls went out of play which caused much annoyance to the strikers who wanted accurate balls down the line. The Villains had more attacking chances in this half but Lee had a good game especially as both the strikers were bigger than him, but Nicky Eyre had to be sharp in goal. Just before the hour the deadlock was broken when 7 picked the ball up in the middle and played 10 in in the area. As he went down under pressure the ball ran loose into the path of the 7 who fired in a rising shot to Eyre's right.
Jacques Maghoma had played well in the midfield but gave way to Owen Price as Pat Holland looked to put pressure on the visitors. Price started on the right with McKenna moving inside before swapping wings with Daniels as the wind kept the ball on the other side. Having just come back from a broken leg Owen was a little apprehensive to begin with but after switching wings began to look a bit like his old self. Unfortunately he was not able to influence the game enough and it ended with victory to the visitors.
It was a close game which could have gone either way as both sides had a couple of good strikes on goal and battled well in the middle of the park with neither side dominant over the other. Young Ollie Allen did not get much out of the Villa defence, but did manage a few efforts and did better late in the game when he played with his back to goal laying off the ball. It should have pleased his dad (Clive) who had come down to watch from the reserves training session. I was impressed with Lee at the back although I think after the last game I saw when he played in the midfield I would like to see him alongside O'Hara. It was good to see Owen back and if he regains the form he had before then we should have the makings of a formidable midfield next season. Next week the U-19s will be at London Colney to play Watford which I will try to get to. Before that the reserves play their last home game at Stevenage on Monday when they play Forest.
© Ray Lo
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