Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]
Premier Reserve League, South
Thursday 9th April 2009, 7pm
ARSENAL v SPURS
James Shea 1 Ben Alnwick
Craig Eastmond 2 Alan Hutton
Thomas Cruise 3 Cian Hughton
Fran Merida 4 Jake Livermore(C)
Kyle Bartley 5 Ricardo Rocha
Luke Ayling 6 Gilberto
Mark Randall(C)7 Takura Mtandari
Emmanuel Frimpong 8 Dean Parrett
Sanchez Watt 9 Kyle Fraser-Allen
Amaury Bischoff 10 Ryan Mason
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas 11 Jacques Maghoma
Giles Sunu 12 David Button
Francis Coquelin 13 Sol Asajile
Cedric Evina 14 Jake Nicholson
James Dunne 15 Nathan Byrne
Scorers:- Gilberto 10
Merida 85(Late) Gilberto 38(Late)
Hughton 74 (Dissent)
N. Banfield C. Allen
Ref - R. Whitton
Assistants – N. Cooper, S. Essex
Fourth Official – G. Gray
It was an overcast cool evening in Barnet for the first of two games in a week against the gooners. The crowd was not as large as last season but just as vocal.
Spurs lined up with Rocha and Gilberto at the back and Alan Hutton on the right and Hughton on the left. Livermore and Parrett started in the centre of midfield with Mtandari on the right and Maghoma on the left. Mason supported Fraser-Allen up front. The home side had quite a few of the Youth Cup side playing.
Spurs defended the goal at the south end which is at the bottom of the slope. Despite this disadvantage they had the better of the first half. The first chance fell to Fraser-Allen at the near post when Hutton played the ball in from the goal line. The ball flew up into the air for Shea to collect. Mtandari was brought down as he drove into the area on the right to win a free kick. Gilberto took the kick and beat the keeper at the far post to put Spurs ahead.
Livermore then fired over after being played in by Mason. Shea then saved from Mason with Mtandari collecting the rebound but putting the ball wide of the far post. Gilberto and Rocha were keeping the home forwards away from Alnwick until Merida tried from long range which the keeper got down well to. Emmanuel-Thomas then tried his luck but Alnwick saved again. Alnwick came out quickly when Watt tried to reach a through ball to clear. Merida took a free kick from about 20 yards which clipped the wall and went for a corner. Frimpong fired over before Gilberto was booked stopping Watt getting away. Gilberto came out of defence to fire his effort wide from distance. As the half ended Bischoff fired wide and Watt saw his effort saved.
Early in the second half Arsenal won a free kick on the right and Merida flighted it to the far post where Bartley met the ball with his head, but Alnwick saved for a corner. Bartley again won the ball at the far post heading down with the keeper saving after it took a deflection. Hutton headed over from a corner a minute later. After Maghoma drove wide Shea saved from Mtandari. Alnwick saved from Watt for a corner before Parrett was replaced having not recovered from a knock. Byrne replaced him on side with Mtandari moving inside. Byrne used his pace to get on the end of a through ball but his effort was saved.
The gooners then replaced both strikers in an attempt to provide more threat up front. It did no good as the visitors increased their lead from another free kick. The kick was from the same place as the first one and Mason joined Gilberto over the ball as Shea lined up his wall to cover the near post. The keeper was expecting the left foot of Gilberto and took up a position near the far post. Unfortunately for the keeper Mason curled the ball round the outside of the wall and in off the post after Gilberto had run over it.
Fraser-Allen picked up a through ball and played in Hughton on the left, but his effort was wide. Hughton was booked for throwing the ball away when he originally thought that it was a Spurs throw. Livermore dispossessed Ayling and drew Shea before slotting the ball into the net for Spurs third. That was enough for some of the home supporters who set off early for Woolwich.
Mtandari moved to the left so that Maghoma could come inside and won a corner that Hutton headed wide. Merida took a couple of kicks at Maghoma after the ball had gone and was booked by the ref. Hutton headed another corner wide before Livermore was booked for a late challenge. With time running out, Spurs got another free kick from the same place as the previous ones. This time Shea saved the kick from Mason at the far post. The ref blew up as the keeper cleared the ball.
This was the first of the two wins that Spurs need to keep the pressure on Villa at the top of the table. This game is normally a game of two halves as the team playing down the slope have the advantage. On this occasion the home side did not make the first half tell and for the second season in a row Spurs won easily. Spurs will be at home to the gooners next week when they meet again on Tuesday evening at Brisbane Rd.
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