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Match Reports
Spurs U19s v Chelsea, 27.09.03

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List

Premier Academy U-19 League
Spurs Lodge, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell
Saturday 26th September 2003, ko 11am


As there was no team sheet it was a case of identifying the players by sight so if there is a mistake then I apologise.

Spurs (4-4-2) - Eyre, Ifil, Francis, Barnett(Hicks 75), Foster(C), Dobson, Price(McKenna 80), Barcham, Slabber, Black, O'Hara

Unused subs. included Hodges

Scorer - Slabber 30 Mins. (Ed: The official site reports that Andy Barcham was credited with the goal)

Chelsea (4-4-2) - Unknown

A start of a new era at the Lodge for the Youth team as they reverted to a 4-4-2 line-up with Foster and Dobson at the back with Ifil and Francis as fullbacks. Barnett and Black in the centre of midfield flanked by Owen Price on the right and O'Hara on the left. Jamie Slabber was partnered up front by Andy Barcham in place of the injured Malcolm.

There was just a small band of watchers for this game despite a bright morning with most of the coaching staff turning out with Pleat and some of the former U-19's dropped by. Andy Porter and listee Paul Smith were also around.

Without doubt this is the best formation for the these lads as they dominated the visitors from the off. They were sharper and quicker than their West London opponents. With O'Hara doing most of the prompting Barcham and Slabber had a number of chances to open the scoring in the first half hour. At the other end Nicky Eyre had little to do as Foster and Dobson defended so well. With the midfield so quick in the tackle and passing accurately that it was surprising that it took so long to find the net. The blues keeper, a big lad from Belgium, had a good game, apart from his holding ability, made one brave save diving at Barcham's feet when he had broken into the area which required both players to need treatment. Slabber got the goal when he received the ball on the edge of the area with his back to goal, came off his marker and took the ball to the right before hitting it across the keeper into the far corner via a defenders boot.(Ed: The official site reports that Andy Barcham was credited with the goal) It may have been going wide before Watts poked it in but I'm sure it will go to Jamie.

The visitors made three changes at half time and shuffled the side with their captain, Holland, joining the two up front in an effort to get into the game. This worked somewhat as Eyre had some work to do early in the half as they had more possession with the 9 hitting the bar. The home side gradually regained control thanks mainly to the hard working O'Hara, which, but for a hatful of missed chances by Slabber the game would have been over as a contest. In the end they had to withstand a final flourish by Chelsea pushing for an equalizer.

This was a much better performance than last week if against weaker opposition. Last week they started with 3-5-2 and only improved when they switched to 4-4-2 whereas here they started with 4-4-2 and looked a very compact unit with each one supporting each other and not getting isolated. Despite getting a knock in the first half I would say that Jamie O'Hara was the pick of the side starting so many of the attacking moves and breaking up much of the Chelsea midfield play. If they can keep this standard of play up they should do well in the Youth Cup as most of them, I believe are young enough to play.


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