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Match Reports
Spurs U19s v Wimbledon, 08.11.03

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List

Premier Academy U-19 League
Spurs Lodge, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell
Saturday 8th November 2003, ko 11am


SPURS (4-4-2) - Eyre, Ifil, McKie, Hicks, Foster(C), Dobson, Barcham, Malcolm, Slabber, O'Hara, Wettner.
Subs. - I could only recognise Barnett and Jenkins out of the four.

Scorers - Malcolm 36, 45

DON'S (4-4-2) - 1(13 HT), Charlie?, Billy ?(16 65), Nick ?, 5(C) (Oyedele HT), 6, Jason ?, 8(C HT), Morgan(12 75), Fish ?

As you can see, the ability to properly report on Youth games is being thwarted by the club's peristence in not allowing team sheets to be distributed

It was a chilly morning with a heavy pitch as Spurs faced high flying Wimbledon at the Lodge. The home side lined up with Foster and Dobson at the back with McKie on the right and Ifil on the left. With O'Hara and Hicks in the centre of midfield Barcham retained his place on the right and Wettner on the left supporting the front pairing of Slabber and Malcolm.

The Dons kicked off attacking the Park Lane and soon had the home side pushed back into their own half. The Wombles(Ed: Probably an incorrect nickname, now they are based at MK) kept the pressure on for most of the half with the Spurs youngsters only breaking out occasionally but dangerously. It was one of those strange games as the visitors dominated possession pinning the home side back, yet, the most skilful side was definitely Spurs with O'Hara outstanding.

Despite the possession the visiting keeper was the busiest of the two with Slabber and Malcolm always looking a threat near goal. Spurs made the breakthrough after 35 minutes when Nicky Wettner collected a long ball and went past his fullback before turning inside and sending the ball to Barcham at the far post. Andy controlled the ball and squared it to Malcolm for an easy tap-in.

The Dons kept the pressure on winning a number of corners and free kicks with little joy. The tactic at corners deserves a mention as it involves 4 or 5 players standing in line one behind the other in the D who break in different directions as the corner is taken, I've seen this before by some other side years ago - Watford? The home side showed the visitors how it's done when they had a corner in added time. O'Hara flighted the ball to the far post for Malcolm to head home.

The second half was a much more evenly balanced game with the Wombles, having made changes, not so confident allowing a more end to end game. This meant that the pressure on the visitors' goal intensified with Foster heading a O'Hara corner into the side-netting early on. The substitute keeper turned a Slabber shot past the post before turning an O'Hara corner onto the bar and later denying the same player by tipping over his 25 yd blast. With O'Hara and Hicks breaking down the Dons midfield continually now, the keeper was becoming the busiest player on the pitch as he came out to block another Slabber effort which left him on the ground for a few minutes before getting attention. Hicks, who has improved markedly as a ball-winner, was replaced by Barnett in a straight swap having had a solid game and subdued the visitors midfield. The game finished with Spurs on top pushing for a third.

Spurs started slowly with unforced errors and being caught in possession allowing the visitors to pin them back, but got out of it by being the more skilful side. If the Dons had got an early goal it might have been different. The 4 and 9 played well as did the 7 who was danerous at deadball situations. A good all round performance from what looks to be a settled team giving Nicky Eyre in goal little to do. It was good to see Owen Price at the game despite being on crutches due to his injury. Spotted Fredi who appeared to be walking comfortably - good news for the first team. Next week the U-19's go to Chadwell Heath to face West Ham while the U-17's entertain Southampton. This match is scheduled for Myddleton House but may be played at the lodge. I hope to be there whatever the venue before seeing the Reserves on the Monday (17.11.03)at Stevenage play Charlton.


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