Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
FA Premier Academy League U - 19, Group D
London Colney (Watford) Herts.
Saturday 27th March 2004, ko 10.30am
WATFORD (4-4-2) - 2(1) - 10, 7
SPURS (4-4-2) - 1(0) - Malcolm
Watford (Yellow/Black) - Team unknown
Spurs (White/Blue) - Eyre, McKenna(C), Wright, Maghoma, Sammy ?, Lee,
Mascarenhas, Barcham, Malcolm, O'Hara, Price(Daniels)
unused subs included Foster.
Booked - Lee(late)
This is not a complete report as I missed the kick-off and the team sheets
that Watford supply, but I also did not have a watch for time keeping.
The morning was overcast with sleet which made the pitch soft and
slippery. There was a small crowd of around forty with thirty or so behind
us watching the Watford U-17 play Bristol City. The pitches were close
enough for ball going out of play landing on the other pitch.
Spurs had lined up with Charlie Lee at the back with a new lad to me whose
first name was Sammy. They were flanked by Kieran McKenna on the right
wearing the captain's armband and Mark Wright on the left. Jamie O'Hara was
joined in central midfield by Jack Maghoma with Brian Mascarenhas wide
right and Owen Price on the left with Andy Barcham returning to partner
Micheal Malcolm in attack.
The home side opened the scoring as I arrived when the 10 came in at the far post to slot a low ball across Eyre. For the rest of the first half it was the home side making the running with both
wide men pushing down the wings supplying good balls into the front two.
Despite giving away height and weight to both strikers, Lee had a good share
of the ball, he has a great leap for his height. The midfield was also
quick and strong, giving O'Hara no time to dwell on the ball. Barcham and
Malcolm were stranded up front with little supply from the midfield. Most
of the balls they got were long balls from a pressurised defence which with
a very tall number 4 made little of. Nicky Eyre in goal did not have a good
first half as his handling was poor in trying conditions, but then the
Watford keeper also had problems in the second half so it may not have been
all down to him. He was called upon to make some good saves blocking or
turning over some good strikes while I can't remember the home keeper doing
The second half was more even with both sides carving out chances and both
keepers having to make saves. Eyre did not drop anything as his handling
was improved even holding on when shoulder charged. The keeper at the other
end while not holding every shot did make important saves. Price who seemed
to hold back during the first half started taking on the defenders and
showed bits of his skills and it was his centre that we equalised. The ball
fell to the advancing Malcolm whose header was parried by the keeper but he
followed up to head it into the empty net. This came in a spell of good
spurs pressure which was patchy during the half and was fueled mainly by
quick raids down the flanks.
The Hornets were still buzzing and Eyre had to
be alert. Lee who was having a good game in defence dived into a 50:50
challenge with the 3 and got a yellow card, either of them could have got
the caution, but the ref ruled that he was last in. Pat Holland took off
the disappointing Price for Charlie Daniels who did more in the time left
than Price did before. I don't want to knock Owen as he has just recovered
from a broken leg but I think it is still in his mind.
It was becoming end
to end stuff as both sides were looking for the win with our attempts
looking the more dangerous as Nicky Eyre made it look easy at his end.
Unfortunately with about ten minutes to go Watford won a free kick just
outside the box on the left. Standing behind a four man wall Nicky did not
see the ball curled low around the right side until too late which also
bounced just in front of him. A superb strike from the 7 to win the game.
Spurs threw caution to the wind in the closing minutes as they pushed
forward in search of a goal forcing the keeper to make saves from Barcham
and Malcolm as the home side held out.
We were outplayed in the first half but matched them in the second. With
being only one down at the interval it looked like we could snatch a win as
we looked the more dangerous in front of goal. They had the more attempts
but we handled them better. Again I was impressed by Lee who battled well
against bigger opponents. There were a few of the U-17's, in fact as I
check, all of them playing today qualify for the U-17's which is good
experience for them next season as there will only be a U-18 side meaning a
lot of the U-19's will have to get into the reserves or move on.
The U-19's last game is next Saturday at the Lodge when they entertain
Leicester City. I will not be there as Chelsea are the visitors to the Lane
on that day. The reserves will be away next week (April 6th) to second placed Derby.
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