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Match Reports
Spurs U-18s v Arsenal U-18s, 18.03.06

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.


       FA Premier Academy League
      Spurs Lodge, Chigwell, Essex
     Saturday 18th March 2006, 11am

       SPURS     v      ARSENAL
   (White/Blue)         (Red/White)
       4-5-1             4-4-2

        1(1)              2(1)

    David Button 1 Lee Butcher
   John Kyriacou 2 Paul Rogers
    Cian Hughton 3 Armand Traore
   Matthew Wells 4 Henry ?
      Alex Smith 5 Sean Kelly(C)
      Joe Martin 6 Carl Parisio
     Jamie Davis 7 Mark Randell
 Stuart Lewis(C) 8 Fabrice Muamba
    Radwan Hamed 9 Jay Simpson
    Terry Dixon 10     
Jacques Maghoma 11 Shane Tracy

      Greg Lake 12 Abboo 
     (2)26Mins     (4)26Mins.
 Tommy Forecast 13 
   (14)82 Mins.     
 Richard Heller 14  ? 
    (7)79Mins.     (9) 82Mins.
                15 Rene Steer
                   (2)63 Mins.

Scorers:- 
     Lewis 42      Tracy 34, 54

Booked:- 

Button 54(Handling outside area)    
Lewis 90 (Ungentlemanly conduct)

Sent off:-
Button 82(Foul) - Red card for 2 yellows
Randell 90 (Striking a player) - Red card
On a bitterly cold morning with a strong wind blowing from the North End, Spurs played host to their local rivals in a game played in difficult conditions that did not allow great football.

Spurs lined up with a back four of full-backs. Martin and Smith played in the centre with Kyriacou on the right and Hughton on the left. Lewis and Wells with Dixon just in front of them played in central midfield with Davis on the right wing and Maghoma on the left.

It looked as if Lewis won the toss as he elected to defend the North goal and have the wind behind him. Both teams started brightly. Spurs had the better chances early on, with Davis seeing a shot rebound off the inside of the left post, as well as a goal bound flick by Hamed being blocked. Lewis also had a couple of shots from outside the area.

The gooners had a couple of efforts including a shot from Henry ? which injured him and led to his early departure. This was about the same time as Kyriacou also had to be replaced by Lake. Lake went to left back with Hughton going to right back.

With the gunners coming more into the game it turned into a midfield scrap with Lewis in the thick of it and Randell getting stuck in for the visitors. The gooners took the lead when an attack down the right was broken up the ball came to Hughton on the left and as he dithered Tracy dispossessed him and fired past Button.

Lewis played a one-two with Hamed to go clear with only the keeper to beat, but was called back when the linesman flagged for Dixon being off-side. Hamed was then brought down when clean through from a long ball over the top which led to a freekick just outside the D. Lewis curled the kick over the wall into the top left corner.

Spurs started the second half strongly with good passing and runs by Davis down the right. Dixon was showing good touches in the centre, but on occasions overdid it. The visitors again took the lead while being second best. A long ball had Button coming out of his area to collect which, because of the wind, he misjudged the flight and ended up underneath it. Having received a yellow card for handball he was caught napping by Tracy who took the kick quickly - a la Henry - over the forming wall.

The gooners began to gain more control as the half wore on with tough tackling coming in quickly, forcing the home side to release the ball quicker. Hamed did get to the line and despite an elbow from Traore got past him but failed to beat the keeper. Davis was not getting into the game and was replaced by Heller who played down the left with Hamed moving to the right and Dixon forward in the centre. Tracy was put through on the left with only Button to beat and was brought down when David dived in feet first. The ref gave him a second yellow and he threw his gloves away in disgust which will surely get him into more trouble.

Liam Brady replaced Simpson while waiting for the penalty to be taken despite the fact that he was getting more into the game. Holland also took the opportunity to bring on Forecast for Heller. When the kick was finally taken by Tracy he missed the target. The final twist in the game came when Lewis tackled Randell hard and with the game stopped for a the freekick, Randell lost it. Lewis baited him saying come on then, and Randell put his head in his face. The ref had no option but to send him off and book Lewis. Brady was seen reading Randell the riot act.

With both sides finishing with 10 men the gooners have to be most satisfied with the win. The game itself lacked the quality that both teams are capable of which is more down to the conditions and loss of players. The fact that Holland had no centre-backs shows how depleted his squad is. He could've done without Nathan Peprah going to Sheffield Wednesday on trial.

Because Arsenal are in a different group to Spurs this is the only game that they will play this season, so there is no second chance for revenge. Lewis as captain should not have done what he did to get a player sent off even remembering that he was sent off in the corresponding game last season due to Lupoli's dying swan act.

Next saturday the U-18's have a rearranged game at Leicester which with their current form will be very difficult. For some of our lads it will be the second trip in a week as the Reserves will play at Leicester on Tuesday.

Ray

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