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Match Reports
Spurs Under 19s v Millwall Under 19s, 25.10.03

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List

(With apologies in particular to Millwall fans, as Spurs do not currently allow us to have team sheets)

Premier Academy U-19 League
Spurs Lodge, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell
Saturday 25th October 2003, ko 11am


SPURS (White/Blue)(4-4-2) - Eyre, Ifil, Jenkins, Hicks, Hodges, Foster(C), Barcham, Malcolm, Slabber, O'Hara, Wettner.

Subs. - I could only recognise Barnett.(Ed: I recognised Ricky Dobson!)

Scorers - Barcham 9, Malcolm 18, Hicks 46.

MILLWALL (Green/White)(4-4-2) - Numbered 1 - 11 with 12 and 14 coming on in the second half.

Scorer - 10 3 Mins.

It was a sunny but chilly morning with a smaller than usual crowd - maybe something to do with Luxborough Lane being flooded. As with last week Spurs lined up with Foster and Hodges flanked by Ifil and Jenkins at the back. O'Hara and Hicks were in the centre of midfield with Barcham on the right and Wettner on the left giving good support to Malcolm and Slabber up front.

Spurs defended the Paxton Road* (Ed: See explanation below) end in the first half and were caught out by an adventurous Lions side who forced a corner on their second attack. The far post corner was headed goalwards for the 10 to glance a header wide of the keeper. Spurs soon settled down and began stringing their passes together and gradually took control. In the 9th minute a cross from Wettner found Barcham outside the far post. Controlling the ball quickly he beat his marker and came inside beating a second defender before firing past the keeper low to the right.

The home side were just quicker to the ball and they were passing better, which meant that they had control of the midfield and with the back line coping well from a strong striking duo it was our front two causing the visitors defence the most problem. They were able to find space behind the defence as well as receive the ball well in front of it playing in our midfield runners. The second goal came when having laid the ball out to the left Slabber collected the through ball from Wettner and squared it for an easy finish from Malcolm in the middle of the goal. Despite the dominance of the home side Millwall kept attacking and missed three good chances to draw level while almost every time we got into the last third it looked like we would score.

I almost missed the third goal as we got back to the pitch for the second half after it had started. As we were crossing the ground towards the East stand* (Ed: See explanation below)viewing area we could see Spurs winning a corner on the right which was quickly taken. The young Lions failed to clear it and after two blocked attempts the ball came out to Hicks patrolling the 18yd line. His low shot flew through a mass of bodies into the net.

The second half went much the same way as the first with Spurs on top but Millwall not giving in. Malcolm and Slabber had at least half a dozen chances between them and Hicks and O'Hara also had efforts but even then Eyre had to make a couple of good saves to keep out the visitors. Millwall looked dangerous at corners where Eyre was having trouble with his positioning - something that needs to be looked at as he came and missed too many. As the second half wore on the game got more physical with a number of players going down after the ball had gone or stayed down after a tackle. The ref who's name I don't know because we have no team sheets controlled the game well and did not book anyone preferring to give them a good talking to. There were two occasions where I felt he should have produced it when players dived in with two footed tackles. The first was by Wettner on the far side and the second was not long after right in front of me when the visitors captain dived in on Barcham as he had just slipped two defenders going down the line. I was one of many calling it for what it was, but the ref just pointed to where Wettner had taken out the player on the far side suggesting a like for like trade off. Spurs maintained control of the game and Holland was happy enough not to make changes before the end.

This was a good victory for the home side, as good as the week before with good football being played by both sides with the difference being the type of opposition. Ipswich played the game in a more naive way whereas Millwall were more professionally organised . Both sides played to win although Ipswich tried to sit on a goal lead for a time and paid for it but they kept coming forward allowing us to play as well. Millwall played more physically in the second half but not dirty and both sides shook hands at the end.

Next week the U-19's go to Norwich and the U-17's entertain Wimbledon which may be played at the Lodge. As we are at home to Bolton on that day I will not be at the youth game, but will be there the following week when the U-19's play Wimbledon.

Terminology:- * As the pitch for the Youth games is roughly north to south for reference purposes I will use WHL terminology in reports. The north end nearest to the "lane" - that is Luxborough Lane will be called the Paxton Road while the southern end will be the Park Lane. This means that the side the we view the matches from is the East Stand and the dugout is where it should be, in front of the West Stand. I hope nobody objects to this and if anybody at the Lodge has names for the sides then I hope they will get in touch and tell me.


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