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Leicester U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 13.10.07
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

       FA Premier Academy League, South  
      Middlesex Rd. Aylestone, Leicester 
      Saturday 13th October 2007, 12 noon

     LEICESTER CITY     v      SPURS   
       (All Blue)           (All White)   
          4-4-2                4-5-1
 
           3(2)                 5(2)

               Pentney  1 Lee Butcher
               OíNeill  2 Daniel Hutchins
                  Cobb  3 Yuri Berchiche
                   Cox  4 Yasser Kasim(C)
                Garner  5 Joe Martin
           Rowe-Turner  6 Takura Mtandari
          Robbie Burns  7 Kyle Fraser-Allen
           Billy McKay  8 Dean Parrett
             Billy Kee  9 Alex Olsen
       Ashley Chambers 10 David Hutton
               Beswick 11 Jonathan Obika

       Ricky Sappleton 12 Andros Townsend
            (7)70 Mins
                       13 James Dalton
                       14 Danny Rose
                          (7)46Mins
                       15 Adam Smith
            Andy King  16 Callum Butcher
             (8)         (5)46Mins

Coach:-
            J.Rudkin    A.Inglethorpe 

Scorers:-
      Chambers 8, 89    Parrett 16,
      McKay 28          Hutchins 32
                        Olsen 51
                        Hutton 61(Pen)
                        Rose 87

Booked:-
 Kee 55(Behind)         Parrett 37(Late)
 Chambers 73(Foot up)   Berchiche 73(Late)

Referee:- E.Smart

It was an overcast morning with a little Scotch mist in the middle of the game, but not too cold. A good crowd of around sixty watched a very good game of football.

There were no team sheets available and Archie Gemmill wanted money to see the names on his sheet, which I refused. (!!!)

Spurs lined up with Martin coming into the defence alongside Mtandari keeping Butcher on the bench. Hutchins started at right back to allow Berchiche the left back position. Parrett was alongside Kasim in the middle with Fraser-Allen on the right and Obika on the left. Olsen got a rare start up front with Hutton just behind in the hole.

Leicester kicked off attacking the right hand goal and showed why they won the title last season and started the day second in the table. The front pair of Chambers and Kee made a strong striker force with speed and strength closing down our defenders quickly and forcing mistakes. Chambers intercepted a back pass and crossed for Beswick to head goalward at the back post. Fortunately Mtandari recovered to clear off the line.

The visitors were not given any time to settle or dwell on the ball as they were closed down in the midfield and at the back, with strong challenges to get possession. This led to Chambers getting the ball on the left and coming inside before getting past Butcher to score. Kee chasing down a ball caught Butcher which the Spurs lads did not like and may have spurred them on.

Obika got away down the left and turned the full back and came inside releasing the ball as he was being closed down for Parrett to volley in from about 22 yards out. Pentney got a hand to it but could not stop it. This was only the second time Spurs had got into the last third but Obika was encouraged to exploit the left and Hutton was getting the better of the two big centrebacks to find space to work.

Obika got clear down the left and crossed to the unmarked Olsen but his shot was deflected wide. Hutchins fired wide from the following corner. The Foxes maintained the pressure at the other end of the pitch as our midfield was unable to get their passing game together. Chambers won the ball on the right and came inside before laying it off to McKay to score with a rising shot across the keeper.

The lead did not last long as Hutton was fouled on the edge of the area having worked an opening down the left. Hutton fired the free kick into the near post which Pentney managed to get across to save for a defender to hack clear. The ball was picked up by Hutchins 25 yards out to the left and he returned it past Pentney into the top right corner. Leicester kept driving forward and Parrett was booked for a late challenge but poor finishing prevented them from retaking the lead with Kee putting one over being the best chance.

Inglethorpe made two changes for the start of the second half. Rose came on for Fraser-Allen who had not made much impression on the right. Rose went into the hole with Hutton moving over to the right. The other change was Butcher for Martin. This had been Joeís first game and he was having a very bad time against the home strikers. The coach also moved Berchiche into the middle alongside Butcher with Hutchins swapping sides and Mtandari moving to right back. These changes turned the game on itís head in that it was Spurs now doing the pressuring and forcing the home side to defend which was their weakness in the first half.

After five minutes the home side were caught pushing forward by a ball over the top from Parrett. He found Olsen in the clear for the second time. This time he had the space to attack the keeper and slip the ball past him into the net. Berchiche hit a free kick wide as Leicester were forced into committing fouls to stem the attacks.

Kee was booked for a tackle from behind on Hutchins as the Spurs back line began to control their area. With Okiba on the left and Hutton/Mtandari down the right with Rose running through the centre or the left channel the tide was turning. Rose combined with Obika on the left to get round the back and into the box only to be pulled back for a penalty. Hutton stepped up to increase the lead with a firmly struck kick sending the keeper the wrong way.

Spurs were now attacking down both flanks creating chances in the middle for Olsen and Parrett twice in the space of five minutes before Kee forced a save from Butcher at the other end. Rudkin sent on the massive Sappleton to lead a 4-3-3 formation in an attempt to get back into the game. After Olsen had put another chance wide Berchiche got into a tangle with Chambers tripping him. The Foxes striker kicked him as he got up and was lucky that the ref only showed him a yellow along with Berchiche.

Parrett hit another chance over before Rose increased the lead. He again got round the left back and into the box before driving the ball low into the far corner of the net from a difficult angle. Leicester staged a fight back and pushed forward throwing caution to the wind and put Spurs under pressure. Hutton cleared a header from Garner off the line before Chambers got down the left and came inside driving the ball low across Butcher to reduce the arrears. Going into stoppage time Pentney even came up for a corner and nearly created a goal for the Foxes. He was back in his goal to save from Hutton as time ran out.

This was a great result for the Spurs youngsters as Leicester are one of the best teams at this level having beaten us twice last season on their way to winning the Academy title and were second in the table before this match. Their leading marksman Kee had already scored 13 goals in seven games. They showed why they are so good in the first half when we were lucky to finish level after they had dominated the game up to that point. By attacking them in the second half especially down the flanks using the skilful football of Hutton and Obika with the pace of Rose we found their weakness. Hutton showed the way in the first half as they could not handle him and Obika had the beating of the fullback. I was impressed with Chambers and would like him in our team.

Next Saturday the U-18ís are away again at Coventry before entertaining the MK Dons at the Lodge on the 27th October.

Ray

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