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Spurs U-18s v Leicester U-18s, 14.03.09
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

      Premier Academy League, Group B
        Spurs Lodge, Chigwell, Essex
     Saturday 14th March 2009, 12.00am

         SPURS    v    LEICESTER CITY
     (White/Blue)       (Blue/White)
         4-4-2             4-4-2 

          4(1)              2(0)

   Oscar Janssen  1 Robert Ambrusics
  Jake Nicholson  2 Luke O’Neil
         Sam Cox  3 Joe Cobb
    Dean Parrett  4 Nathan Hicks
  Yuri Berchiche  5 Cian Bolger
 Calum Butcher (C)6 Tom Parkes
    Nathan Byrne  7 Jorrin John
     Yaser Kasim  8 Robbie Burns
   Kudos Oyenuga  9 Billy Kee(C)
      Ryan Mason 10 Ashley Chambers
    David Hutton 11 Elliott Chamberlain

   Mirko Ranieri 12 Adi Yussef 
Olymide Durojaiye13
      Harry Kane 14 Ben Milnes
       (9)83Mins.   (5)90Mins.
     Coskum Ekim 15 Oliver Norburn
   Chase O’Neill 16 Jeffrey Schlupp

   A.Inglethorpe    S. Beaglehole

Nicholson 31        Hicks 62
Mason 49(pen), 61   Yussef 74
Hutton 86

Mason 77(Late)      Parkes 57(Late)
It was a cloudy morning with a strong breeze that kept the temperature low in the sun. Inglethorpe lost some players to Clive’s reserve squad, so had to make a number of changes to the team. He did get the services of two players from Clive’s squad but still had some new names on the bench.

Butcher had Berchiche alongside of him at the back with Nicholson at right back and Cox on the left. Parrett and Kasim were in the centre of the midfield with Byrne on the right wing and Hutton on the left. Mason supported Oyenuga up front.

Spurs kicked off attacking the South goal, but were soon on the defensive as the visitors made a strong start. Cobb fired over from a free kick and Chamberlain drove wide. Jansson saved when Hicks drove straight at him from 10 yards. Burns put the ball over from the resultant corner.

The Foxes were camped in the Spurs half with Kee driving wide before Chamberlain saw his effort saved by Jansson. Chambers had a chance that he sent high and wide just after that and Jansson had an easy pick up from Chamberlain before Spurs' first chance went to Butcher who hit the ball over in the 28th minute after Hutton had headed a corner back across the goal.

Spurs now began to move the ball, but a bit of luck saw them take the lead. Nicholson out on the right touch line hit a long high cross to the far post which caught the keeper out as I think the wind helped it into the net. Ambrusics saved from Hutton‘s far post header when he met Mason’s corner. Chamberlain fired over and Chambers drove wide as Leicester tried to regain the initiative.

Spurs started the second half better with Oyenuga driving over before Chambers went wide at the other end. Byrne and Hutton had swapped wings for the restart and it was Byrne who collected a clearance and played Mason in down the right channel. Under pressure from Parkes Mason got in his shot but the keeper had closed him down and blocked his effort. Instead of a corner the referee pointed to the spot as he saw something which I could not as the linesman was in the way. Mason put the kick to the keeper's right to increase the lead.

The visitors were rattled and Parkes went into the ref's book for a late challenge on Parrett in the Spurs half as he looked to be getting away. The massive Bolger headed over at a corner as Leicester pushed everybody forward. This left them light at the back which Spurs exploited. Hutton went down the right before coming inside to play a square ball to Mason just outside the area. Mason likes to strike the ball from that distance and was on target as the ball went low inside the right post.

Leicester replied quickly when a left wing cross was not cleared and Hicks drove the loose ball past Jansson. The keeper saved from Burns as the visitors pushed forward. Beaglehole sent on another forward in search of another goal and it was Yussef who got through one on one with Jansson, but the keeper saved. Mason was again played through but the keeper saved his effort and Bryne went wide following up. Byrne had another chance a minute later which was deflected for a corner. Yussef saw his effort turned away for a corner, from which Kee headed wide.

Leicester were now putting more pressure on the Spurs defence and when Burns saw his effort pushed out for a corner everybody went up for it. The corner found Yussef in the middle of the six yard box and he turned it in to reduce the arrears to one. They were still pushing players forward which allowed Spurs to break away and Mason set Oyenuga up only for the keeper to save. Mason was booked for a challenge during the build-up. Mason responded by putting another effort over.

Parkes went close from a free kick before Oyenuga was caught and had to be replaced by Kane. O’Neil headed over from a corner as the Foxes pushed forward. Kane was left on his own up front and he did well with his back to goal. His second touch was to lay the ball off to Mason who played it into the path of Hutton to his right. Hutton ran clear and turned it wide of the stranded keeper to increase the lead back to two. Spurs should have had another goal minutes later when Mason got down the left and crossed for Kane to slide in. The ref ruled it out as he had seen that Bolger had blood on his face from a cut and wanted him to go off. The game restarted with a goal kick which made the ref's decision even more strange. With time running out Kee saw his effort go wide.

This was a good result for Spurs as Leicester put them under pressure for long periods of the game and showed determination to hold on. The back four and the midfield, especially Kasim, did well under the pressure while Oyenuga struggled early on against the big centre backs. Once Oyenuga began to win balls and hold them the midfield started to create chances. I thought that Kasim was outstanding and hardly ever lost the ball and his passing was accurate throughout the game. It was the first time that I have seen young Kane and he did not look overawed. He looks slightly built but won headers against the bigger defenders and directed them to team-mates.

The win keeps Spurs clear at the top of their group with a trip to visit Chelsea next Saturday morning. The reserves will also play Chelsea on Monday evening at Brisbane Road where the likes of Townsend, Caulker and Bostock could feature.


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