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Spurs Reserves v Arsenal Reserves, 14.04.09

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

      Premier Reserve League, South
        Brisbane Road, Leyton, E10
     Tuesday 14th April 2009, 7.00pm

        SPURS      v       ARSENAL
    (White/Blue)         (Red/White)
        4-4-2               4-4-2 

         2(1)                1(0)

      Ben Alnwick  1 Wojciech Szcesny
      Alan Hutton  2 Craig Eastmond
         Gilberto  3 Tom Cruise
 Jake Livermore(C) 4 Emmanuel Frimpong 
    Ricardo Rocha  5 Kyle Bartley
 Pascal Chimbonda  6 Luke Ayling
    David Bentley  7 Mark Randall(C)
Kyle Fraser-Allen  8 Francis Coquelin
 Fraizer Campbell  9 Giles Sunu
     Jamie O’Hara 10 Sanchez Watt 
       Garth Bale 11 Jay Emmanuel-Thomas

     David Button 12 Rhema Obed
     Cian Hughton 13 James Shea
  Takura Mtandari 14 Cedric Evina
  Jacques Maghoma 15 Luke Freeman
       (8)60Mins.    (10)85Mins.
     John Bostock 16 Benik Afobe

         C. Allen    N. Banfield

   Bentley 28, 68    Watt 69

   O’Hara 90(Late)   Bartley 53(Late)

Referee:- N. Kinseley
Assistants:- S. Leaf, N. Leaf, J. Lengthorn
It was a cool clear evening for the visit of Arsenal for the second meeting inside a week. Both sides had strengthened since the first meeting with Spurs bringing in first team squad players while the visitors using more reserve players.

Spurs lined up with Gilberto and Rocha at the back and Hutton on the right and Chimbonda on the left. Livermore and O’Hara started in the centre of midfield with Bentley on the right and Bale on the left. Fraser-Allen partnered Campbell up front.

Spurs kicked off attacking the north end and the more experienced players initially showed their class, whilst the visitors started by attempting to knock them out of their stride.

Bentley and Bale got down the flanks to provide crosses which were of variable quality. Bentley did find Chimbonda at the far post but his header was saved. The visitors did create chances earlier than in the first game due mainly to errors by Spurs with Eastmond firing wide and Frimpong drawing a save from Alnwick.

Campbell found space on the right and chipped the ball over the keeper and the bar. Alnwick saved from Frimpong again with Livermore driving wide at the other end. Spurs took the lead when Bale got past Eastmond and crossed to the far post where Bentley met the ball with a skipped volley that flew across the keeper into the far corner. Szczesny saved from Bale and then O’Hara and followed that by catching Bale’s header from Bentley’s cross. As the half ended Alnwick saved from frimpong and Randall fired over. Sunu got round the back and crossed for Watt, but the striker failed to connect properly from two yards.

The second half started like the first with Szczesny saving from Chimbonda’s header. Watt drove a chance wide before Bale got down the left and cut inside only to be fouled as he got to the area. The ref booked Bartley and gave a free kick which Bentley fired over.

Clive replaced Fraser-Allen with Maghoma and it was his driving run that was stopped on the edge of the area for another free kick. This time Bale took the kick and saw it come out off the inside of the right post. The ball was played back to him and this time he drove wide off the post into the side netting. Two minutes later Gilberto played the ball out of defence to Bale who played a one two with Chimbonda and drove into the area but saw his low shot hit the same post and run to safety. A minute later the ball was played square to Bentley from the left about 30 yards out. Bentley hit it first time high into the roof of the net for his and Spurs' second.

That two-goal lead only lasted a minute when Sunu got past Chimonda and crossed for the unmarked Watt to sidefoot home. Maghoma nearly added a third when he drove into the area on the right and saw his cross shot pushed away by Szczesny. The ball was quickly taken up the other end where Emmanuel-Thomas went past a stationary Hutton, dummied Rocha but shot wide of the near post.

O’Hara conceded a free kick which was taken by Randall. The gooner captain hit the ball so high it got stuck in the roof behind the goal. Spurs won another free kick on the left side of the area which Bentley hit low into the near post. Szczesny pushed away Rocha’s touch on for a corner. The visitors made all three changes quickly to put fresh legs on in search of an equaliser. Campbell was played in on the left and he ran into the area but the keeper came out and blocked his effort for a corner. The keeper also saved another drive from Bale and also one from Maghoma as time was running out. O’Hara went into the ref's book for another late challenge .

This was another win that cut the lead of Villa at the top of the table but Spurs showed no urgency in cutting back the goal difference. In fact some of the more experienced players were too complacent on the night. Chimbonda for instance would not play the simple ball continually trying to walk the ball past defenders and losing it 9 times out of 10. Bentley started well beating his full back with pace and tackling back but later in the game he drifted out of it. Too many times players tried to do clever things instead of the simple thing which meant that the visitors were let off a hiding. The win takes us into third place a point behind Fulham and five behind Villa. If Fulham can take points off Villa in their game on Monday then we have a chance to close the gap even more on Wednesday when we play Stoke.


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