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Spurs U-18s v Watford U-18s , 04.02.06

Ray Lo and I were at Spurs Lodge today for our first Youth Team game of the year. Pat Holland was able to field a strong side, as there is no Reserve team fixture in the forthcoming week.

No less than seven of the Spurs team today took some part in Monday night's Reserve fixture. One of our unused subs for that game (Claude "Steff" Seanla) was in the Watford team today!

Spurs ran out convincing winners, in their best result of the season (5-0), with five different scorers. The way the official site is going, this may be the only place where you'll get the chance to read about our up and coming players! Thanks Ray!

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


   FA Premier Academy League, South
    Spurs Lodge, Chigwell, Essex
     4th February 2006, ko 11am

      SPURS      v     WATFORD
 (White/Blue)        (Yellow/Black)
      4-4-2             4-4-2

       5(2)              0(0)

    David Button 1 James Beasant
    Alex Smith   2 Marvin McCoy
    Joe Martin   3 Jordan Parkes
    Stuart Lewis 4 Adrian Mariappa
    Leigh Mills  5 Marvin Homand
    Charlie Lee  6 Toumani Diagouraga
    Jamie Davis  7 Alex Campana
  Jake Livermore 8 Ben Gill
  Simon Dawkins  9 Joel Grant
  David Hutton  10 Kyle Matthews
  Andy Barcham  11 Claude Seanla

Subs.
     Greg Lake  12 Theo Robinson
    (6)83Mins.     (10)51Mins.
 Richard Heller 14 Kieran Forbes
    (9)77Mins      (11)51Mins. 
 Nathan Peprah  15
 John Kyriacou  16
    (7)83Mins. 

    Scorers -   16  Dawkins
                34  Davis
                51  Barcham
                77  Heller
                90+ Lake

Booked -        25  Seanla
                90+ Parkes
It was a cold cloudy morning for the visit of Watford on my first match of the New Year. I was joined by Paul Smith and Andy Porter in a small crowd.

Spurs lined up with Mills and Lee at the back with Smith at right back and Martin on the left. Livermore partnered Lewis in the centre of midfield with Davis on the right wing and Barcham on the left. Hutton started up front with Dawkins.

Spurs defended the North End in the first half and started the game strongly. As in the away game Watford were very physical, but were matched by the home side this time. IMO if this had been a Premier league match there would have been a lot more bookings which could have led to red cards. The ref handled the game in a more lenient manner with his voice heard more than his whistle.

The Hornets keeper was called into action more than Button in the Spurs goal, but with little getting through, it was quite tight with most of the play in the middle third until Hutton unlocked the door with an intelligent ball over the top into the path of Dawkins who was in the clear and only had the keeper to beat, which he did with a low finish to his right.

With so many solid challenges allowed it was a suprise to see Seanla booked for a soft high tackle on former team-mate Lee, more mis-timed than anything. Matthews came close to equalising when his lob came back off the bar. The pace of Davis took him clear of the defence when he latched onto a ball played down the channel and he finished with a shot across the keeper into the bottom right corner. Spurs continued to have the better of the play.

Watford started the second half in more determined mood and pinned the home side into their own half with Button being called upon to keep them out. The tide swung after a really good save by Button, diving to his right and preventing Grant from scoring. Button then released the ball for Davis to threaten Beasant at the other end.

The killer goal came from a Lee clearance that found Barcham on the left. Controlling the ball Andy swept past his marker and into the box beating the keeper from a tight angle with the ball going in at the far post.

Watford brought on both their subs to freshen up the attack, but Pat Holland dropped Hutton into the midfield leaving Dawkins up front. The pace of Davis and Barcham continued to cause Watford problems which Holland added to by bringing on Heller for Dawkins. Barcham moved up front to allow Heller to play on the wing.

Heller popped up in the middle of the park after being on the pitch a couple of minutes to receive a square ball from the right. His turn took him passed the incoming tackle and the space to fire in a shot from over 20yds into the top right corner of the net.

Holland replaced Lee with Lake and Davis with Kyriacou for the final few minutes. It was well into stoppage time that Parkes was given a yellow card for a trip on Heller and following another attack the clearance fell to Lewis some 25yds out. His drive was deflected by Lake into the net. There was just time for the game to restart before the final whistle.

It was a good all round performance from a weakened team that had to call on Lee and Barcham from the reserves with Lewis continuing his fine work, as seen in the reserve game earlier this week. This was the first game I had seen Hutton in, and he did well showing skill and vision topped off with a well executed overhead kick on target. The Academy team matched the five goals that the reserves put past Watford reserves just before Christmas. I noted that 10 members of the Watford team today were also in that reserve team.

Unfortunately I cannot confirm the next match at the Lodge as the new website does not carry upto date information on the Academy or for that matter the reserves.Ed: I have written to the official web site re this. It looks like the under 18s play Milton Keynes Dons at The Lodge next Saturday. If that is the case, Spurs Odyssey will be there to keep you informed! Thanks to Ray for another exclusive, incisive report

Ray

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