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Crawley v Spurs XI, 21.08.07

Whilst White Hart Lane and Spurs Lodge was the focus of the news media over the Martin Jol situation, my good friend Ray Lo went to see the Spurs XI play at Crawley Town for their last Friendly before the Reserve season starts next week.

           Friendly Match
     Broadfield Stadium, Crawley
      Tuesday 21st August 7.45pm
    CRAWLEY TOWN   V    SPURS XI            
     (All Red)          (All White)
      4-4-2              4-4-2/4-5-1
       2(0)                3(2)

      Ashley Bayes 1 Radek Cerny
    Bradley Thomas 2 Takura Mtandari
   Jamie Lovegrove 3 Cian Hughton
Tyrone Thompson(C) 4 Jake Livermore
       Curtis Ujah 5 Phil Ifil (C)
     Jamie Stevens 6 Calum Butcher
     Dannie Bulman 7 Jacques Maghoma
     Stephen Evans 8 Jamie O’Hara
         Guy Madjo 9 Terry Dixon
      Magno Viera 10 Andy Barcham
 Jon Paul Pittman 11 Adel Taarabt
   Joseph Clapham 12 Tommy Forecast
   Robert Bartley 13 Mark Clare
   Joseph-Dubois. 14 Alex Olsen
     (9)65Mins       (9)31Mins.
       Ben Judge. 15 Sam Cox
     Ronnie Bull  16 Daniel Hutchins
      Jamie Cook  18 Ajet Shehu
    Mithun Nayee  19 Sol Asijle

Joseph-Dubois 72, 86  O’Hara 15
                      Barcham 25, 82
Attendance:- Approx. 2,000

Referee:- F. Graham
Assistants:- E. Smith, H. Lennard, C. Overall
Spurs beat the "Red Devils"! It's a headline that we don’t see often and hopefully a precursor for Sunday.

It was a cold, windswept evening with light rain during the second half of this hastily arranged friendly for Clive Allen’s Spurs XI. With internationals being played his side was a mix of reserves and academy players with Radek Cerny having a rare game.

Spurs lined up with Ifil and youth defender Butcher at the back with Mtandari at right back and Hughton on the left. In midfield O’Hara was partnered by the youth team captain Livermore with Maghoma on the right and Taarabt on the left. Dixon made his first appearance following his injury up front with Barcham.

Spurs kicked off attacking the south end and settled into a good pattern of play although Madjo brought the first save of the night from Cerny. This was followed immediately by a shot from Barcham going for a corner.

The "Red Devils" won a free kick just outside the area in a fairly central position. This was taken by Evans who drove it low through the wall, but Cerny saved. Two minutes later O’Hara showed them how it was done with a free kick just to the right and a similar distance. He curled the ball around the wall into the far corner of the net.

Bayes saved from Barcham just after and then Taarabt showed what he could do with a run at Thomas that include six step overs before firing just past the near post. Dixon played the ball into the corner for Mtandari to chase and cross for Barcham to score at the near post.

Spurs were dominating play with good passing and dribbling which carved open the Crawley defence. Taarabt was continually trying to take the mickey and gradually the home side put more bite into their challenges and held onto the white shirts more.

Dixon was replaced by Olsen after 30 minutes without any signs of reaction which was good to see. Barcham had another effort saved before we had a spell of Crawley pressure where Viera had a couple of efforts wide and Pittman also went wide while Bulman drew a save from Cerny. Viera also flashed the ball across the goal mouth with red shirts running in.

The second half opened with Barcham setting Olsen up with a chance that he put wide before the home side had a couple of attempts at the other end. Thomas was injured trying to stop Taarabt getting a loose ball and had to be replaced. Maghoma made a run through the left channel but his effort hit Bayes chest and was cleared.

The Reds then made two more changes which saw Joseph-Dubois come on and give them pace down the right. This lad caused our reserve side problems last season playing for Reading and he did the same for Crawley. Cerny had to save a Ujah header from a corner by Evans. Evans then put in a free kick which was not cleared and fell to Joseph-Dubois near the penalty spot. He drove the ball low past Cerny.

The crowd began to get behind the home side and Joseph-Dubois went close again. Butcher came off with a knock and was replaced by Hutchins who went to the left back position with Hughton moving infield. Soon after Ifil had to come off also with a knock. Cox came on and went into the midfield with Livermore dropping into the centre back position. The captains armband went to O’Hara.

Barcham had moved to the right, leaving Olsen as the lone striker, and he was found by a cross field ball from O’Hara. Andy controlled the ball took it past two defenders and lifted it over the keeper. Maghoma then played in Olsen who failed to hit the target with just Clapham to beat. Crawley then grabbed a second when Cerny failed to hold Pittman’s shot allowing Joseph-Dubois to tap in the loose ball. Cerny had to save from Bulman as the "Red Devils" pushed for the equaliser. Taarabt and Olsen had shots saved in the closing minutes with the final effort going to Pittman who missed the target.

This was another good result against a Conference side. (Ed: Now of course Blue Square Premier League!) Crawley were not as physical as the other two sides and showed a little too much respect to the visitors at the beginning. With a week to go before the first Reserve game at Derby it was a good work-out although the Rams should be a tougher prospect. Before that the U-18’s have their first game at the Lodge on Saturday when Everton are the visitors.


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