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Sunderland U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 13.05.09
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

        Premier Academy League
         Semi-Final Play off       
     Stadium of Light, Sunderland  
     Wednesday 13th May 2009, 7pm

      SUNDERLAND   v    SPURS 
      (Red/White)    (All White)
         4-5-1          4-4-2

          1(0)           2(2)

 Michal Misiewicz  1 Oscar Jansson
     Liam Bagnall  2 Adam Smith
      Blair Adams  3 Nathan Byrne
     Liam Noble(C) 4 Sam Cox
      Michael Kay  5 Steven Caulker
    Niall McArdle  6 Calum Butcher
   Liam O’Mahoney  7 Andros Townsend
        Adam Reed  8 Dean Parrett(C)
       Ryan Noble  9 Jonathan Obika
  Conor Hourihane 10 Ryan Mason
  Martyn Waghhorn 11 Danny Rose

    Nathan Wilson 12 Jamie Butler
    Martin Hunter 13   
         Ben Wood 14 Yaser Kasim 
 Matthew Flecther 15    
    Joe Cornforth 16 Coskun Ekim
                  17 Paul Jose M’Poku
                  18 Jake Nicholson

    Noble 70(pen)    Mason 39(pen)    
                     Townsend 44    

         K. Ball     A. Inglethorpe

Ref:- S. Rowntree
Assistants:- A. Duffy, P. Yates, P. Brown

Attendance - 314
It was a chilly evening up on Wearside for this penultimate game of the season. I had expected a bigger crowd for such an important match with some Spurs fans making the long trip from London to join the few from the region.

Spurs lined up with Butcher and Caulker in front of Jansson in goal. Smith at right back and Byrne moving to left back. The more defensive Cox played alongside Parrett in the centre of midfield with Townsend moving to the right wing to accommodate Rose on the left. Mason supported Obika up front but in a more withdrawn role.

Spurs kicked off attacking the North end and despite a cautious approach had an early chance when Townsend worked his way forward on the right before squaring to Parrett who laid the ball into the path of Mason. Unfortunately he hit it wide.

Both sides were showing signs of reluctance to open up so a lot of play revolved around the midfield. Spurs' Obika and especially Noble for the home side were being isolated as the chances were few. Spurs were showing better during this period and Townsend was played in on the right side but the keeper was out quickly to clear at his feet. Bagnall was playing tight on Rose on the left side with a couple of physical challenges but failed to prevent him getting in a shot that was saved for a corner. He also put over a cross to the far post that Townsend headed over.

Mahoney drove wide before meeting a free kick to draw a save from Jansson. Noble then got free and saw his effort saved for a corner. The ref kept the game flowing as best he could but had the habit of stopping play after no advantage was gained, well after the foul had been committed, which caused a lot of irritation in the stand as well as on the field. The nearest to a booking came when Rose was penalised after a challenge with Bagnall and he protested a little too strongly for his own good.

Rose had another shot wide on the half hour before winning the free kick that led to the opening goal. Mason’s kick hit a player in the wall who had put his arms up and the ref whistled and pointed to the spot. Mason gratefully accepted the chance and scored to the keeper's right.

Spurs increased their lead when Townsend weaved across field from the right before playing the ball to Obika. He could not turn and returned the ball to Townsend who hit it low into the far corner of the net. When Parrett tried to carry the ball into the area the ball ran loose to Mason who found the net with a snap shot only for the goal to be disallowed. In added time Ryan Noble headed over from a free kick by Liam Noble.

The Sunderland coach changed his formation for the second half by bringing a second striker on and switching O’Mahoney to the left. Spurs looked like they were going to settle for the two goals that they had even though Rose set up a chance for Obika which he put over.

New striker Wood drew a save from Jansson just under the hour mark. Noble had a good chance but fired wide before he was given another chance from the penalty spot. Like Spurs the penalty came from a free kick. This time it looked like a push by Butcher in the area. Noble drove the ball to Jansson’s left. This gave the home side a boost and they pushed forward for an equaliser. Spurs took advantage of this with Mason firing wide and Rose headed wide from a corner.

Inglethorpe replaced Rose with M’Poku making another return from injury. Misiewicz made a save from Parrett and later saw Mason fire over and Townsend drive wide. A late flurry from Sunderland saw a 20 yard drive from Liam Noble hit the bar and a Kay effort deflected wide for a corner.

Both coaches took a cautious approach to this match which reduced the number of chances made. The home side started with only one up front and Spurs had Cox sitting in front of the back four in place of the more attack minded Kasim. Sunderland showed more promise in the second half with Wood supporting Noble and O’Mahoney getting down the left.

The win sets up a final at WHL against Arsenal this Sunday. The last time they met at the Lane was in the Youth cup in March when Spurs lost to two late goals. This was in front of a crowd of over 20,000. Since then they played an inter group match which ended 2-2. The kick off time has not yet been announced, but if you can make time for it, then come and support the lads. (Ed: Now confirmed as a 4 p.m. kick off)


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