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Spurs U-18s v Coventry U-18s, 22.11.08
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

        Premier Academy League, Group B
         Spurs Lodge, Chigwell, Essex.
      Saturday 21st November 2008, 11.30am

          SPURS      v     COVENTRY CITY
      (White/Blue)        (All Sky Blue)
          4-4-2                4-4-2

           6(3)                 6(2)

      Oscar Jansson  1  Neil Collett
         Adam Smith  2  Curtis Wynter
            Sam Cox  3  Chris Holust
        Yaser Kasim  4  Sean Fraser
   Steven Caulker(C) 5  Nashan Cameron
      Calum Butcher  6  Bradley Jones
       Nathan Byrne  7  Ashley Cain
       John Bostock  8  Adam Walker(C)
     Jonathan Obika  9  Shaun Jeffers
         Ryan Mason 10  Robert Ogelby
    Andros Townsend 11  Jacob Blackwell

      Mirko Ranieri 12  Matthew West
          (1)9Mins.     (11)62Mins.
        Coskun Ekim 13  Michael Quirke
       Dean Parrett 14  Suliman Leluu
         (7)46Mins.     (10)73Mins.
   Paul Jose MíPuku 15  Joel Granison
        (11)65Mins.     (9)89Mins.
                    16  Jamie Greenway

     A.Inglethorpe      G. Rioch

   Mason 14, 39, 70     Jeffers 41, 45+2, 57
   Townsend 21          Ogelby 63
   Obika 56             Cameron 65
   Parrett 87           West 71

Referee:- W. Norcott

It was a sunny morning, but with a biting cold wind. The pitch was heavy from rain during the week, but which did not prevent a goal fest from the top two sides of the group. The crowd of around sixty were entertained to an amazing match.

Spurs lined up with almost the same side from last week with the exception of Byrne starting in place of MíPuku. So Caulker and Butcher were at the back with Smith on the right and Cox on the left. Bostock was alongside Kasim in the centre of midfield with Byrne on the right and Townsend on the left. Mason supported Obika up front.

Spurs defended the North end in the first half and began to play their usual quick passing game, but the visitors closed down quickly in the middle and looked to release Jeffers and Ogelby. In the fourth minute Ogelby played the ball in from the left and Jansson had to go down to save at the feet of Jeffers. In making the save he injured his knee and after a break of five minutes had to make way for Ranieri to replace him for his first game.

After the restart, Spurs began to gain momentum and Obika got free on the left to cross low for Mason to fire over. The next attack produced a free kick which Townsend took and when it was not cleared Mason drove it in to take the lead. Cain got free on the right and his cross was met by Walker, but Ranieri saved low to his right. Spurs increased their lead when Mason crossed from the left for Townsend to head on. The Coventry defender at the far post tried to head clear but only managed to head it over his keeper. Townsend spared his blushes by meeting the ball on the line.

Collett could not be blamed for that goal but he was at fault for the third. He failed to control a simple back pass and was robbed by Obika who had time to turn and cross for Mason to take a touch before scoring.

Coventry were not out of it and a long ball found Ogelby on the left and his cross was driven home by Jeffers. They followed up with Cain crossing from the right for Blackwell to put it wide. Ogelby headed on a free kick which Ranieri saved. Kasim fired over from a corner. Ranieri came out of his area to head a ball played over the top which fell to a sky blue shirt but Butcher got back to clear. Another ball over the top had Butcher and Jeffers chasing for it. Ranieri came out and tried to clear but his kick rebounded off Jeffers and into the net.

The second half started with Parrett on in place of Byrne who had not done well in the first half. The opening spell was evenly contested with only a Mason effort over the bar when Spurs won a free kick on the right. When the ball was played into the box Obika went up and challenged Collett for it. Collett fumbled and Obika put in the loose ball. The visitors appealed for a foul but the ref waved play on. It must have had an effect on the Coventry players as from the restart they went down and scored. The ball was played in from the right and Ranieri saved Blackwellís shot but Jeffers was on hand to knock in the loose ball.

This led to a good spell from the Sky Blues with Walker having a shot saved before Mason fired over at the other end. Coventry sent on another striker and his first touch set up their equaliser. Collettís kick was headed on by West for Ogelby to get behind the defence on the right and drive low into the far corner. Their celebrations were not as large as when they went in front barely two minutes later. A corner on the right was headed in by Cameron at the near post.

Having gone from 3-0 to 4-5 Inglethorpe made his second change by sending MíPuku on to play on the right side and moving Parrett to the left. Parrett proved a cross from the left that Obika put wide as Spurs pushed for a goal. The goal came when Smith got down the right and crossed. Coventry failed to clear and Mason drove in from about ten yards.

Before the celebrations had died down, the visitors were back in front when West drove the ball home after Spurs had failed to clear it. Coventry removed one of their strikers for a midfielder to hold on to the lead which was probably a mistake. From a corner Kasim drove the ball in and when it was not cleared Parrett fired wide. Butcher headed over from a corner and MíPuku had an effort that was inches wide just before Spurs equalised for a second time. Obika got clear on the left and his cross was met by Parrett at the near post.

West tried to score from the restart but Ranieri saved to his right with the ball going wide anyway. Following a corner Butcher found himself to the right of the goal but he could only fire wide. Despite taking off another striker to protect the point they had, Cameron had the last chance when he headed over.

This was some game with fortunes swinging both ways during the ninety minutes and I am sure both coaches would have been delighted and furious at some of the goals that were scored. They never like to see goals conceded. Coventry played well and must go home wondering how they could score six away from home and not win. Spurs, who have been scoring at will in recent games, have had a bit of a scare. They have only conceded ten goals in the previous eleven games and ended a run of three games without conceding while scoring 15. The draw means that we maintain our two point lead over the Sky Blues.

The next game for the academy is the FA Youth cup tie at White Hart Lane on the 2nd December. This is strictly an U-18 competition so there maybe a few changes to the line-up. The U-18ís (who are allowed to play a limited number of over-age players)will then play Bristol City away on the Saturday. Before that the reserves will play Stoke City at Brisbane Road this Monday.


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