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Match Reports
Spurs U-18s v Leicester U-18s, 11.11.06

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

      FA Premier Academy League – South
    Spurs Lodge, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell
   Saturday 11th November 2006, k.o.12 noon
           SPURS    v   LEICESTER CITY      
    (White/Blue)        (Blue/White)
          4-4-2          4-4-2
           1(0)          1(1)
      David Button  1 Carl Pentney
   Takura Mtandari  2 Joe Magunda
      Cian Hughton  3 Joe Mattock
Archibald-Henville  4 Tom Tejan-sie
        Joe Martin  5 Scott Lycett(C)
       Leigh Mills  6 Scott Gardner
       Jamie Davis  7 Max Gradel
 Jake Livermore(C)  8 Andy King
     Tomas Pekhart  9 Billy McKay
        Ryan Mason 10 Ashley Chambers
      David Hutton 11 Ryan Beswick
        Kris Casey 12 Eric Odhiambo
        (6) 31Mins.    7)72Mins.
     Richie Stroud 13 Alex Cisak
 Kyle Fraser-Allen 14 Fraser Tuttle
   Daniel Hutchins 15 Lathaniel Turner
       (10)76Mins.     10)76Mins.
       Alex Smith  16 Steven Howard
      Livermore 85     Beswick 28

It was a cold windy morning for this meeting of first and third in the table.

The wind was blowing strongly from the South end and the ground was soft, causing players to lose their grip at vital moments. I was joined by Paul Smith and Andy Porter in the small crowd as Spurs lined up with Leigh Mills (back from a period on the sidelines due to injury) and Martin at the back flanked by Mtandari at right back and Hughton at left. Archibald-Henville moved into midfield to join Livermore with Davis wide on the right and Hutton on the left. U-16 Ryan Mason started up front with Pekhart. After a minute's silence, the visitors kicked off attacking the North end quickly showing why they are at the top of the table.

Leicester are a strong, quick side that chases down the ball and closes down any player on the ball. They attack with pace down the channels pulling players out to the wings allowing the midfielders to exploit the space created. The first chance fell to King who fired wide in the fourth minute.

Spurs, playing into the wind, kept the ball on the deck more, playing the ball to the wide men to attack down the flanks often switching sides during the build-up.

Mills' rustiness showed when he mis-judged the pace of a ball going to Button in goal allowing McKay to tackle the keeper who had to chase down the rebound clearing at the feet of Chambers. The next time Mills made a mistake he was not so lucky. He completely missed his header and McKay was able to collect the ball on the edge of the area and his attempted cross shot was fired into the net by the advancing Beswick. Shortly after Martin was injured, making a last ditch tackle on Beswick following a corner.

Spurs began to get some joy down the flanks with the full backs supporting the wide men, but with the Foxes defence well marshalled little was getting through to threaten Pentney in goal. Hutton had a couple of efforts and Pekhart threatened.

With the wind at their backs, Spurs started the second half brightly, Button finding Pentney with one kick before the wind died down. Long balls opened up the visitors, allowing Mason and Pekhart chances by getting behind the defence and Hughton twice got to the line only to delay the cutback too long. Pekhart did break through but fired straight into the keeper's arms.

The home side equalised from a free kick which found Livermore at the far post and he squeezed his shot inside the near post. With time running out the visitors pushed forward and nearly scored again when Button blocked Beswick’s shot after he got clear on the left.

This was a good point, earnt against a difficult side who did not make it easy for us to play football. Typical of the tactics was that players and Pekhart in particular were continually man-handled at set pieces without the referee or linesman doing anything to stop the infringements. One linesman was flagging for most of the holding and shirt pulls, but he was down the wrong end. It was like watching the Chelsea defence in action – what we could have done with was Graham Poll in charge! A point each was about right, but Leicester were marginally better than us, due to their organisation.

Next week spurs are away at Cardiff before hosting Coventry on the 2nd December. (Kick off for the Coventry game will be 11.30)


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