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Arsenal U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 25.04.09
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

        Premier Academy League
   Bell Lane, London Colney, St.Albans   
     Saturday 25th April 2009, 11am

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

          2(1)             2(2)

            Gooner  1 Oscar Jansson
       Mark Gooner  2 Adam Smith
    Cedric Evina(C) 3 Sam Cox
            Gooner  4 Dean Parrett(C)
            Gooner  5 Steven Caulker
            Gooner  6 Calum Butcher
            Gooner  7 Nathan Byrne
            Gooner  8 Yaser Kasim
       Benik Afobe  9 Kudos Oyenuga
      Luke Freeman 10 Ryan Mason
       Rory Gooner 11 John Bostock

        Sam Gooner 12 Jamie Butler
     Sub GK Gooner 13 Jake Nicholson
       John Gooner 14 Coskun Ekim
         (7)58Mins.   (9)48Mins.
        Sub Gooner 15 Chace O’Neill
        Sub Gooner 16   

           Freeman 39  Mason 8(pen) 
            Afobe  72  Bostock 21 

          S. Bould     A. Inglethorpe

Ref:- M. Foley 
It was a sunny morning with a cool breeze blowing across the pitch for this inter-group match between the top teams in Group A and B. The match was delayed by a quarter of an hour due to Spurs forgetting to pack their kit on the coach – I kid you not. Despite most of the Spurs lads being involved in the reserve game during the week they were included in todays team. The home side also had a game on the same evening where they beat Man City in the FA Youth cup and their coach rested most of the players and fielded a younger team. I cannot tell you who they were as no team sheet was made available.

Spurs lined up much as expected with Butcher and Caulker at the back with Smith on the right and Cox on the left. Parrett and Kasim started in the centre of midfield with Byrne on the right and Bostock on the left. Mason supported Oyenuga up front.

Spurs kicked off attacking the North end and Bostock whipped in a cross under the crossbar which the keeper tipped over the bar for a corner. The quick passing and movement of Spurs put pressure on the home side in the build-up but they were not finding the final ball.

Oyenuga was played in down the left channel and only stopped by the centre-back in the area by giving away a penalty. Mason took the kick and placed it to the keeper's right side to put the visitors ahead. Oyenuga had to have treatment before the kick was taken and also just after play had restarted, but he stayed on to continue to harry the defenders and make good runs off the ball.

Butcher headed over from a corner and Oyenuga put his effort wide from a Bostock centre. Spurs increased their lead when Mason released Bostock down the left who cut inside to score with a low drive across the keeper.

Oyenuga met a right wing cross at the near post but it was blocked for a corner. Oyenuga got the ball into the net running onto a through ball from Parrett but it was ruled offside. Freeman saw his effort saved by Jansson and then had another chance when he was played through. With the keeper coming out to the edge of the area quickly he drew him to the right and slipped the ball to his left, but Jansson reacted quickly to save. Both the number nines jumped in feet first for one ball and caught each other in the process resulting in both players needing treatment. With the visitors on top, Caulker carried the ball out of defence and gave it away. The ball was swiftly played through the middle for the now unmarked Freeman to have a free run on goal to score past the keeper.

There were no changes for the start of the second half but it soon became apparent that Oyenuga was still suffering from his earlier knock and was replaced by Ekim on the right side with Byrne moving up front. This reduced the attacking threat despite the good approach play.

Kasim got forward but his effort was deflected for a corner. The home side made their first change by bringing on a big lad who added more bite to their midfield with the job of putting himself about to break up Spurs dominance of the midfield. It worked to some extent but chances still came. Smith crossed to Bostock at the far post, but he mis-hit his effort wide.

Afobe got in at the near post but his effort was blocked by Butcher. Jansson saved well from Rory Gooner and also from a poor effort by Afobe. To stop Bostock making so many runs down the left Bould replaced the right back without really improving the situation. When Bostock laid the ball inside, the keeper had to make a save to prevent Byrne from scoring in the top corner.

The home side scored on a quick counter when Freeman got to a long ball on the right first and slipped his marker to cross for Afobe to score when the ball was not cleared. Parrett worked an opening on the edge of the area only to see the keeper make a great save to prevent the ball going in the top corner. Inglethorpe took off Parrett in added time and sent on Nicholson who went to left back with Cox moving into midfield. Smith took the armband and lead the last attack going down the right flank but over-hitting his cross.

The draw keeps Spurs top of Group B with a game in hand over the chasing teams. The gooners have shown that they are the best side this season having beaten all the other three group leaders in the Youth cup in getting to the final. Spurs should finish top of their group and will play Sunderland in the first play-off. If they win then they could play the gooners again in the final match. Group B is the only one not decided and Spurs can still be caught if they were to slip up. Next Saturday they entertain the Hammers at the Lodge before playing Watford at WHL.


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