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Match Reports
Spurs Under 19s v Ipswich U 19s, 18.10.03

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List

Premier Academy U-19 League
Spurs Lodge, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell
Saturday 17th October 2003, ko 11am


It now appears that the club has decided not to issue team sheets for academy matches - I don't know if there is a requirement for them to do so - therefore I have changed the format of my reports as I cannot give equal space to the opposition team. Thanks to Andy Porter for filling in the blanks.

SPURS (4-4-2) - Eyre, Ifil, Jenkins(Dobson 58), Hicks, Hodges, Foster(C), Barnett (Price 58), Malcolm, Slabber, Wettner, Black
Unused sub. Seanla

Scorer - Malcolm 58, 88.

Booked - Wettner Late 76

IPSWICH (4-3-3 changing to 4--5-1)

Scorer - 8 48 Mins.

It was a lovely sunny morning if a little chilly for the small band of watchers. There was a minutes silence for the mother of Liam Francis who had died unexpectedly during the week.

Spurs lined up with Hodges and Foster at the back with Ifil at right back and Gareth Jenkins coming in for Francis at left back. Hicks and Wettner played in centre midfield with Barnett on the right and Black on the left with Malcolm and Slabber up front.

Spurs kicked off attacking up the slope to the left (Park Lane) and were soon on top in a very entertaining game. The tractor boys played and adventurous 4-4-3 in the open style of youth football of old, with none of the professionalism that Premier clubs instill into their academy setups. The problem being that the price of the open style is that the opposition are better drilled in winning the ball and how to maintain possession by fair means or foul. The result was that we looked the likely winners once the game settled down after the first few minutes.

Black had the first shot on the visitors goal in the 3rd. minute when he fired a shot in at the far post from Ifil's deep cross which the Ipswich keeper saved well. The extra man in midfield allowed spurs to have most of the possession and created a lot of good approach play which the visitors struggled to contain. The keeper was not tested as much as he should have been due to much of the crosses being overhit and what did fall right was wasted.

Slabber saw a powered header pushed over the bar by the keeper before Ipswich had their first attempt on target when the 6 hit a freekick through the wall for Eyre to save low to his left. Slabber missed a great chance to put the home side in front when, after doing the hard part - beating three defenders - he pulled his shot wide from about 10 yards.

Despite the amount of control Spurs had, the adventurous nature of the visitors play looked like they could actually get something which they did three minutes into the second half. The 3 played the ball through down the left for the 11 to centre to the back post for the 8 to loop a header over Eyre. The goal coming against the run of play changed the shape of the match as Ipswich dropped players back to defend the lead leaving one striker up front. This meant that with more bodies in the middle of the park most of the passing was breaking down and Spurs began playing more long balls in from all parts of the field.

Malcolm got between two defenders to head one of this balls past the keeper just before the hour to bring the home side level. Holland immediately made two changes on the left side, Dobson to stiffen the defence and Price to open up theirs. Ipswich maintained their formation playing long balls out of defence for the 9 to chase and others to support but apart from Eyre having to save at the feet of the 8 the home defence had few problems.

Wettner was cautioned after a crunching tackle on the 4 which was one too many for the ref. The winning goal finally came from an Ifil centre which Malcolm, sandwiched between two defenders, headed firmly past the stranded keeper.

This was a good result from a game of played between two sides playing open passing football which you don't see much these days. If the club is listening then bring back the teamsheets as it makes my life easier and gives respect to the club. Next week the U-19's entertain Millwall at the Lodge while the U-17's go to Reading.

Ray Lo

Editors note:- Thanks to Ray as always for his report.

I was shocked to hear about Liam Francis's Mum, as I remember meeting her several times last year. Like many parents of boys playing at this level, she was a most enthusiastic supporter (although I do seem to recall she had a level of sympathy for certain famous opponents of ours), and it was a joy to witness her exuberance.

Regarding the team sheet issue, I have asked for this matter to be raised with the club, and await the reply.

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