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Match Reports
Spurs U-18s v Man Utd U-18s, 27.08.05

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

FA Premier Academy League
Spurs Lodge, Chigwell, Essex
Saturday 27th August 2005, 11am

SPURS 1(1) MANCHESTER UNITED 2(0)

Spurs(4-4-2) - (White/Blue)
Button; Kyriacou, Martin, Wells, Mills(C), Riley, Davis, Lewis, Hamed(Seanla 65), Maghoma, Dawkins(Heller 80)
Unused Subs - Forecast, Smith and others

Man.U (4-4-2) - Unknown due to no team sheet. 4(14 80), 9(12 75)

Scorers - Hamed 32, ? 46, 6 49.

The first game of the season at the Lodge saw the Youth team entertain the Red Devils on a cool overcast morning. A good sized crowd turned up to watch who like me had to rush over to WHL afterwards for the first team game. I noted that David Pleat and Mitchell Thomas were at pitchside as were what looked like the U-16 squad. Johnny Jackson made an appearance after the reserves had finished their training session.

Despite the lack of a teamsheet it did not take too long in identifying the Spurs line-up. Spurs lined up with David Button in goal in place of the late arriving Forecast with Chris Riley playing alongside Captain Leigh Mills at the back with John Kyriacou at right back and Joe Martin at left. Stuart Lewis and Matthew Wells played in the centre of midfield with Jamie Davis on the right and Jaqcues Maghoma on the left in support of Simon Dawkins, who started wide on the left and Radwan Hamed playing down the middle.

Spurs attacked the South end in the first half and were soon putting the visitors under pressure with Lewis dominating midfield Maghoma making runs through the middle and Davis down the right with just the final ball missing. United were slow to get started but Shawcross at the back did well in marshalling his defence, Evans showed great skill down the left and Burns pace up front caused Mills and Riley problems. Overall Spurs had the better of the half and deserved to go in front when Hamed fired home after good work by Davis down the right. Main danger for Spurs was Burns who won a few freekicks with his pace with Mills having problems keeping him quiet.

Early in the second half the game changed as the Reds scored from nothing. A through ball was fumbled by Button and as a player came in he failed to grab the ball and with Riley trying to get a foot in the United player poked the ball home while on his back. That was the turning point as the visitors raised their game and had the home side on the back foot from then on. A couple of minutes later and Burns latched onto a through ball and was fouled by Mills as he went past him for a penalty.The 6 scored low to Button's right from the spot.

The home side lost ground and struggled to create chances after that and Pat Holland tried changing things by putting Claude Seanla on in place of Hamed. Seanla made some strong runs and linked well with Dawkins, but as at the end of last season his final ball was lacking although this may have had something to do with the strapping on his thigh. Kyriacou and Davis were still having some success down the right which may be why Richard Heller was introduced on the left.

United came close to increasing their lead on a couple more chances including hitting the post before the end.

Spurs started well but lost confidence with the two quick goals. They miss the drive of O'Hara with his replacement Wells doing okay tackling but lacking the distribution. It's not all doom and gloom as Kyriacou looks to have improved from last season and Davis has grown without any loss of pace. Lewis and Maghoma are as good as they were last season and I have been told we have a few good prospects coming through.

Next week the U-18's will be entertaining Millwall at the Lodge.

Before that I hope to be at Stevenage on Tuesday when the reserves play Norwich City with quite a few of last season's youth team now promoted to it and Sean Davis is expected to have a run out as he returns from injury.

Ray Lo

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