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Aston Villa U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 27.09.08
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

           Premier Academy League
Aston Villa Training ground, Bodymoor Heath.
   Saturday 27th September 2008, 12noon

       ASTON VILLA    v     SPURS

     (Claret/White)       (White/Blue)

          4-4-2             4-5-1

           0(0)              2(0)

        Thomas Dau    1  Oscar Jansson
      Sam Simmonds    2  Adam Smith
    Calum Flanagan    3  Nathan Byrne
      Ciaran Clark(C) 4  Yaser Kasim
      Nathan Baker    5  Calum Butcher
      Will Grocott    6  Steven Caulker(C)
     Jason Lamplin    7  Dean Parrett
      Barry Bannan    8  Ryan Mason
     James Collins    9  Jonathan Obika
   Andreas Weimann   10  John Bostock
   Harry Forrester   11  Andros Townsend

      Gary Gardner   12  Jamie Butler
                     13  Coskun Ekim
     Ryan Simmonds   14  Sam Cox
      Duggan Berry   15  Jake Nicolson
         Jack Dyer   16  Anthony Jack
       Kofi Poyser   17

Scorers:-                Ekim  90
                         Byrne 92

  Collins 39(Dissent)
  Grocott 92(Dissent)

       T. McAndrews      A. Inglethorpe

Referee:- T. Hollidge

There was a good sized vocal crowd for this match which was played in warm sunshine. Villa started the game with Clark and Bannan from the team that beat our reserves earlier in the season, while Smith and Townsend started that match on the bench. Spurs lined up with Caulker and Butcher at the back, with Smith on the right and Byrne on the left. In front of them Kasim and Mason and Bostock played with Parrett on the right and Townsend on the left in support of the lone striker Obika.

Spurs defended the south end with the sun behind them and started some controlled possession football with one touch passes while the home side closed down quickly with strong tackles, while also trying to play through the middle. With so much play in the middle that had some good interplay, few chances were made.

Mason fired wide and Townsend also had an effort wide before Dau saved from Obika. Grocott fired over from a corner before Lamplin drew a save from Jansson. The ref had to warn McAndrews on the touch line for comments he was making and threatened him with being sent to the dressing room as there was no stand. Weimann fired over before Bannan had his drive saved. Collins was booked when he won a free kick and complained too strongly for more. He was lucky not to get another when he fouled Parrett a minutes later. The ref had a talk with him before play continued. From the free kick Townsend dropped the ball into the six yard box and Parrett’s attempt was cleared off the line. Dau had to make saves from Townsend and Mason in time added on.

Villa changed their tactics after the break and became more direct with more long balls over the top which had Jansson saving from Weimann in the opening minutes. Dau saved well from a long shot from Kasim before Collins got through and fired over. Forrester hit a chance wide as did Kasim at the other end before Jansson pulled off the save of the match diving full length to push away Bannan’s effort. From the corner Grocott fired wide.

Villa were putting the visitors under pressure forcing the midfield to drop back into their own half more. Collins had a goal chalked off for off side and Jansson had to save from Bannan and Flanagan before Inglethorpe made changes. He sent on Ekim into centre midfield and Cox came on at left back which allowed Byrne to move to the right side of midfield in place of Parrett. It did not look like it had any effect as Villa kept pushing forward looking for the goal that their pressure warranted.

Weimann could only put a chance wide before Obika countered with an effort over the bar when he had options either side. Bannan then put his free kick just over the bar before the dramatic final minutes. With Villa committing so many players forward Ekim played a long ball out of his half which found Townsend on the left. Townsend cut inside and laid the ball back into the middle for the advancing Ekim who struck it first time from around 25 yards out. The ball beat Dau and went in off the left hand post.

With time running out, the home side redoubled their efforts only to be caught out again when Townsend picked up the ball on the left and advanced down the channel before playing the ball across the goal to Byrne coming in at the far post. While the spurs players celebrated Grocott said something to the ref and got a yellow card in return. The second goal had knocked the stuffing out of the home side as well as their supporters with the final whistle a minute later.

This was one of the games spurs needed a result from, as for the past two seasons Villa have been very strong. After an even first half which Spurs had just shaded due to their play in the middle of the field they conceded most of the second to the home side. It was your typical snatch and grab result. This means that Spurs have moved four points clear of Villa. If Birmingham dropped points yesterday then we will be top of the table. Next week the U-18’s will entertain Reading at Spurs Lodge.


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