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Spurs U-18s v Aston Villa U-18s, 19.11.05

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


        FA Premier Academy League
   Spurs Lodge, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell
    Saturday 19th November 2005, 12am ko

     SPURS          V     ASTON VILLA
(White/Blue)             (Claret/Blue)
     4-5-1               4-4-2

     2(1)                   7(2)

       David Button 1 Henderson
       Chris Riley  2 Lund
       Joe Martin   3 Green
       Stuart Lewis 4 O'Halloran(C)
     Leigh Mills(C) 5 Shane Lowery
Archibald-Henville  6 Isiah Osborne
      Matthew Wells 7 Scott Bridges
     Jake Livermore 8 Craig Gardner
       Terry Dixon  9 Adam McGurk
   Jacques Maghoma 10 Sam Williams
     Claude Seanla 11 Zoltan Stieber

      Cian Hughton 12 Herd
       (7 72Mins)
    Tommy Forecast 13 Royce
       Jamie Davis 14 Matt Saunders
        (8 62 Mins)   (72 Mins)
       Alex Smith  15 Tobias Mikaelsson
                       (10 59 Mins)
        Greg Lake  16 Morgan Evans
                      (9 80 Mins)

 Scorers: - 
  Dixon 6              Gardner 4, 50, 67,   
  Seanla 80            Stieber 22
                       Williams 55,
                       McGurk 73
                       Bridges 90

On a chilly morning, despite the sun shining low over the South end of the pitch, Spurs entertained the League leaders on a hard pitch with a soft top. I, like the small crowd of watchers arrived to find that the car park had a new covering of tarmac complete with white lines which, the parking attendant tried to keep clean with his usual enthusiasm.

Spurs lined up with a now usual back four of Mills and Archibald-Henville in the centre and Riley at right back and Martin at left. The five across the midfield had Lewis, Maghoma and Livermore in the centre with Wells on the right and Seanla on the left. With Hamed out from the Watford game young Terry Dixon took the striker role.

Right from the start Villa showed they meant business as Button had to tip over a 20 yd. drive from Gardner inside a minute. Just after that Gardner had another chance which Button held low to his left. The visitors were not to be denied and a long diagonal ball over the top was collected by I think Gardner on the left and smashed past Button in the 4th minute. The lead did not last long as Spurs began to get into the game and a move down the right was cut back by Maghoma for Dixon to score unmarked 10 yards out.

There followed a period of end to end play with Button the hardest pressed keeper before the villains went in front again. That man Gardner received the ball on the right and chipped it over the keeper. David Button is a tall lad and he was able to reach the ball as he back-pedalled. It was then that he realised that he was going over the line so he released the ball which fell nicely for Stieber following up to tap in. The Spurs centre backs were having a hard time and never really got to grips with the quick long balls over the top and while the action was still end to end it was gradually moving more into our half as the midfield were dropping back more.

The second half started as the first finished with the visitors pushing forward. Pat Holland had moved Seanla up in support of Dixon before pulling the youngster back into the midfield. Five minutes after the restart the game was over as Villa won a free kick just over 20 yds out which Gardner curled low around the wall into the right hand corner. Five minutes later and Williams headed in at the far post from a corner as it became one way traffic.

Holland brought on Davis whose first contribution was to make a 20yd run down the right before losing the ball when he came inside. But the momentum was with the visitors as the home side were being run ragged. Halfway through the half and Gardner scored direct from a freekick wide on the left which curled into the top right corner despite Button getting a hand to it. Hughton came on in place of Wells, who had moved to the left, and made a few runs down the wing setting up a chance for Seanla.

Villa were strolling as Spurs were not able to string many passes together and players became uncertain what to do so it was no suprise when Archibald was dispossessed while dwelling on the ball by McGurk who turned into the box before scoring low to Button's right. Seanla got a goal back after good work by Maghoma down the left, but Villa had the final say when Bridges turned in a cross from the left at the far post on full time.

Looking at the table, Spurs started the day with a chance to go second behind Villa if they had won. The difference between the two teams is great as can be seen by the scoreline which did not flatter the winners. The U-18's could still go second if they win their next game which is away to Leicester on the 3rd December. They have a lot to do to get the team back on the rails before then. Maghoma needs another attacking midfielder to help as until the substitutions he was the only outlet and helped set up both goals. By the time Hughton was getting down the left and Davis was available down the right the team had lost its shape.

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