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Spurs Reserves v Stoke Reserves, 24.11.08

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

       Premier Reserve League, South
         Brisbane Rd., Leyton, E10
       Monday 24th November 2008, 7pm

        SPURS      v     STOKE CITY
    (White/Blue)        (Yellow/Red)
        4-4-2             4-4-1-1

         0(0)              2(1)

      Ben Alnwick  1 Steve Simonsen
  Takura Mtandari  2 Andy Wilkinson
         Gilberto  3 Carl Dickinson
   Kieran McKenna  4 Nathaniel Wedderburn
 Dorian Dervite(C) 5 Andrew Davies
    Ricardo Rocha  6 Ibrahima Sonko
Kyle Fraser-Allen  7 Michael Tonge
     Hossam Ghaly  8 Glenn Whelan(C)
     Adel Taarabt  9 Demar Phillips
          Boateng 10 Vincent Pericard
  Charlie Daniels 11 Danny Pugh

      Lee Butcher 12 Louis Moult
   Yuri Berchiche 13   
  Jacques Maghoma 14 Tom Harrison
     David Hutton 15 Salif Diao
  Daniel Hutchins 16 Andy Nicholls
                  17 Tom Unwin

         C. Allen    M. O’Conner

Scorers:-            Pugh 45+1
                     Tonge 56

Boateng72(Foot up)   Wilkinson 70(Late)
                     Whelan 88(Not 10Yds.)

Referee:- M. Thompson
Assistants:- J. McGann, S. Leaf and T. King

Attendance – 100
It was a cold evening with a heavy shower at the start of the second half for the small crowd that braved the weather. Spurs lined up with Dervite and Rocha at the back with Mtandari at right back and Gilberto on the left. McKenna returned to partner Ghaly in the centre of midfield with Fraser-Allen in the right and Daniels on the left. Taarabt and Boateng started up front, but as in the last game they did not remain there. Taarabt moved to the left with Daniels popped up on the right and Fraser-Allen found himself leading the line again.

Spurs kicked off attacking the North end and Taarabt drove an effort in from the right which was blocked for a corner. Dervite met the corner at the far post but Simonsen took the ball comfortably. Ghaly had a shot on target that was saved by the keeper low to his right. Stoke closed down quickly in the midfield with some rough challenges which upset the Spurs players especially Taarabt. The ref could have been a little firmer but they did their job in disrupting the play in the middle.

Spurs' cause was not helped by the tendency of players wanting to put a foot on the ball. Pericard was also giving Dervite and Rocha a hard time with Phillips dropping off and moving wide to create space. Dervite was caught in the ribs by the arm of Pericard on one occasion.

Pugh put an effort wide before hitting a free kick over. Pericard then headed a free kick over before Taarabt saw his effort saved. Boateng played Taarabt in but his shot was blocked for a corner. Daniels fired over from the right and Taarabt had saw another drive saved by Simonsen. Wedderburn forced a save from Alnwick before the "Potters" took the lead. A cross from Phillips on the right found Pugh free outside the far post. He had time to control it before beating Alnwick at the near post. From the angle it looked like it hit the keeper on its way in.

Allen made two changes for the start of the second half with Hutchins and Maghoma replacing Dervite and Gilberto. Hutchins went to right back with Mtandari moving inside and Daniels going to left back. Maghoma went into the centre of midfield to help McKenna with Ghaly moving more to the left.

For a period Taarabt played more central with Fraser-Allen on the right before they swapped over. Taarabt picked up the ball deep and ran at the visitors defence finishing with a shot that hit the near post. Stoke were still forcing errors which allowed Pugh a chance that he fired over. Pericard played Tonge in and he drove the ball past the advancing Alnwick to increase their lead.

Allen replaced McKenna with Berchiche who went to left back allowing Daniels to push up the wing again. Boateng hit a free kick well over the bar. Wilkinson was shown a yellow card when he caught Taarabt late from behind. Boateng was also booked when challenging for a high ball. Alnwick saved from Phillips and Pericard put his effort over. Simonsen saved from Maghoma and Rocha put the resultant corner wide. Fraser-Allen got past Sonko on the right but Simonsen turned the ball out for a corner. Alnwick then had to save a free kick from Tonge.

With time running out, Spurs won a free kick just over 20 yards out which Taarabt took. With the ref having to make the Stoke wall retreat he booked Whelan for encroachment before the retaken kick was hit over the bar. Clive Allen shouted a protest to the ref and did not wait for him to come to the touchline before departing down the tunnel. Alnwick had an easy save from Tonge in added time.

With no recognised striker again the only player capable of scoring was Taarabt who preferred to play deep. With Barcham and Pekhart out on loan there was also no place for Olsen to provide a threat in the area. Stoke came and were physical in all areas of the pitch not giving any time to play constructed football. Our midfield six still showed touches of skill but were not allowed to play in a crowded middle third.

. The reserves' next game is away to Fulham on Tuesday 9th December at their Motspur park training ground before entertaining Aston Villa at Brisbane Road on Monday 15th December.


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