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Fulham U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 28.03.09
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

   Premier League Academy, South

     Motspur Park, New Malden

   Saturday 28th March 2009, 11am

      FULHAM     v     SPURS
  (White/Black)    (Black/Light Blue)

       4-4-2           4-4-2

        1(0)            4(2)
Spurs:- Jamie Butler; Adam Smith, Sam Cox, Dean Parrett(Chace O’Neill 81), Steven Caulker, Calum Butcher(C), Nathan Byrne(Coskun Ekim 73), Yaser Kasim, Kudos Oyenuga, Ryan Mason, Paul-Jose M’Poku(Jake Nicholson 15)

Unused Subs – Mirko Ranieri

Spurs scorers: Smith 20, Mason 24(pen), Byrne 58, Oyenuga 70

Booked – Parrett 60(Late)

Fulham – Unknown

Ref – I. Crouch

It was a cold windy morning for the start of this inter-group match with a short patch of driving rain during the second half before finishing with sunshine. A good sized crowd attended the game which meant they ran out of refreshments at half-time and it was a pity for them that no teamsheets were available. It appeared that the referee did not feel that the light blue shirts were sufficiently different from the home side as Spurs played in black shirts. This meant that the officials had to change their shirts to green. One linesman had to wear a Fulham goalkeepers top which produced a few smiles.

Spurs lined up with Butcher and Caulker at the back with Smith on the right and Cox on the left. Parrett and Kasim continued in the centre of midfield with Bryne on the right side and M’Poku on the left. Mason supported Oyenuga up front.

Spurs kicked off attacking the south end but took a little time to settle as the home side closed them down quickly forcing a few turn overs due to hurried passing. Fulham came close to opening the scoring when the left sided midfield player got down the left channel and drove a low ball in from a tight angle. Butler failed to hold the ball and just pushed it clear for a corner. Butler saved again from the same player again for a corner a few minutes later. Both Fulham strikers had chances that they put wide before Inglethorpe was forced to make a change when M’Poku pulled up with what looked like a recurrence of his ankle injury. Nicholson came on and went to right back with Smith going forward to allow Byrne to switch sides.

Spurs were beginning to threaten and a Fulham defender was booked for a tackle on Oyenuga. When the ball was worked down the left and crossed for Oyenuga he played the ball to the far post where Smith was in acres of space. Smith drilled the ball low into the far corner of the net and out the other side. For a moment I thought he had missed but the linesman on the far side in the Fulham top indicated a goal.

Straight after that Byrne provided a lovely cross for Mason that he fired over. Smith then received the ball deep and ran into the centre at pace but was stopped as he went into the area from behind for a penalty. Mason stepped up and put the ball into the same corner as the first goal, this time it stayed in the net. After Oyenuga caught a defender in the face the Fulham captain complained so much that the referee took his name. Butler made a good save and watched another effort fly over before Spurs had a chance to increase the lead. Mason was played throught on the right and crossed for Oyenuga but the keeper closed him down on the edge of the six yard box to deny him. Parrett tried his luck from distance with an effort that went over the bar.

There were no changes for the start of the second half as the home side put Spurs under pressure early on. After three minutes they won a corner on the right which was met at the near post by their tallest player who glanced it in. Their next attack ended with Butler picking up the through ball and then throwing it straight to one of their players on the edge of the area. He redeemed himself by saving his low drive to his left. Parrett was booked after a number of bad tackles as Spurs got back into the game. Parrett was then caught in possession with the ball swiftly played into the area, but Butler saved the shot.

Mason worked a bit of space on the left and fired in a shot that was well held by the keeper. Byrne picked up the ball in the middle and ran at the defence before letting fly from 20 yards low into the net to restore the two goal lead. Oyenuga tried his luck from the edge of the area when he should have passed providing the keeper with an easy save. Butler then pulled off a great save to keep Fulham out before Spurs made the game safe. Oyenuga beat the offside trap with a run from his own half and took on the keeper in a one on one throwing him a couple of dummies before slotting home.

Ekim came on for Byrne on the right side before moving into the middle when Parrett went off. Mason saw his effort saved and Ekim refrained from shooting at the far post squaring the ball instead. Ekim did have a crack from outside the area but saw it fly wide. Fulham had the last effort that went wide.

With Obika and Townsend going out on loan Inglethorpe had to make a couple of changes from the usual team which then looked to take a little while to settle. It did not help that M’Poku had to go off so early causing a reshuffle, but it still turned into a “normal” result. Villa lost to the gooners to fall further behind and increase the chance that we will come top of the group and play the arse, who have already won their group, in the southern play-off game at the end of the season. We are due to play the gooners at their place in a fortnight after we entertain Norwich next week at the Lodge.

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