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Arsenal u-18s v Spurs U-18s, 17.03.07

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

         FA Premier Academy League 
     Arsenal Training ground, London Colney
     Saturday 17th March 2007, ko 10.45am

            ARSENAL  v    SPURS            
          (Red/White)  (Light Blue/Navy Blue)
             4-4-2        4-4-2
              0(0)        3(3)

         Lee Butcher 1 David Button
      Craig Eastmond 2 Adam Smith 
          Jay Thomas 3 Cian Hughton
      Henri Lansbury 4 Yasser Kasim  
        Carl Parisio 5 Leigh Mills
       Rene Steer(C) 6 Joe Martin 
       Giorgos Efrem 7 David Hutton
            Wilshere 8 Jake Livermore(C) 
         Rhys Murphy 9 Dag Alexander Olsen
       Van Den Berg 10 Daniel Hutchins
       Cedric Evina 11 Andros Townsend
                    12 Luke Medley
         (8) 57Mins    (9)46 Mins.
                    13 Richard Stroud
                    14 Jamie Davis
        (11) 57Mins    (11)62 Mins
        (3) 46 Mins
                    16 Ryan Mason
                       (10) 78Mins
            S.Bould    A.Inglethorpe
Scorers:-              Olsen 23
                       Livermore 29
                       Hutchins 40
  Parisio 62

The morning was overcast with strong gusts of wind to make it difficult for long high balls. There was a good size crowd of around a hundred and I stood next to David Pleat for the first half. As there were no teamsheets at the gooners training ground I had to get the home team from a fan and gave him ours. Spurs lined up with Martin alongside Mills at the back with Smith at right back and Hughton on the left. Livermore returned to central midfield alongside Kasim with Hutton wide right and Townsend wide left. Making his first appearance since joining in January, Norwegian Alex Olsen started up front with Hutchins.

The home side kicked off attacking the north end of the George Armstrong memorial pitch but were soon on the back foot with Spurs' first chance falling to Olsen in the seventh minute before Murphy tested Button with a fierce shot two minutes after. This was matched a minute later when Butcher had to save from Olsen. The visitors were playing the ball around and being first to the ball with only occasional incursions by the home side into their half.

Hutchins was put through on the keeper but his effort was saved as the gooners struggled to get to grips with the pace of the Spurs movement. The opening goal came from a free kick conceded on the right by Thomas on Hutton. Hutton’s kick was headed in by Olsen stooping low at the far post. The second followed soon after when again the provider was Hutton with Livermore hitting a low drive from the edge of the area. Button had to save from Efrem before Hutchins was put through down the left channel and he finished neatly past Butler. Only 40 minutes gone and we were three up with the home side unable to mount any pressure.

Olsen was replaced by Medley for the start of the second half with the game continuing in the same fashion as the first. The next chance fell to Medley with a shot from the right which was blocked as well as the follow up from Hutton. The Arsenal coach made a triple substitution in an attempt to change the game and to combat the passing game of the visitors. It became noticeable that they were becoming more physical in the tackle.

Inglethorpe brought on Davis on the left and his first contribution was to make a run down the flank and cross the ball. Parisio was booked for a bad foul on Hutton as they continued to struggle to stop us. Butcher had to save from Davis before Hutchins was replaced by Mason and we settled to closing out the game. This finally allowed the home side to get some possession and string some passes together and they forced a few corners which resulted in the ball being cleared off the line in stoppage time.

This result has to be considered a very good one as Arsenal sit comfortably on the top of their group and have reached the youth cup semi-final. Their team contained at least half of the regular side so they cannot claim it was a weakened one. Alex Olsen was injured when he came to us and this was his first game in which he looked a little slow. The club have great hopes for him, so I have to assume he will get better. Luke Medley who came from Barnet has not settled well and still struggles in the games I have seen. Congratulations to the whole team for a fine performance over the gooners and hope that they will continue in the same vein next Saturday when they go to West Ham who are second in the gooners' group. Before that the reserves are playing away to Chelsea on Monday afternoon at Aldershot. I hope to post a report on that game after the FA Cup replay.


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