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Watford U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 08.11.08
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

     Premier Academy League, South ĖGroup B
       UCL Sports Ground, Shenley, Herts.
     Saturday 8th November 2008, 10.30am

        WATFORD      v        SPURS
     (Yellow/Red)         (White/Blue)

         4-4-2                4-4-2

          0(0)                 4(2)
Spurs team:-
Butler;Smith, Cox, Kasim(Nicholson 89), Caulker(C), Butcher, MíPuku(Ekim 81), Bostock(Byrne 64), Obika, Mason, Townsend

Unused subs Ė Jansson, Jack

Coach:- A. Inglethorpe

o.g. 10, Mason 29 (pen), MíPuku 75, Obika 85

No team sheet but included Brooks, Whichlow, Otshudi, Mingoia, Angus, Oshodi

Coach:- S. Dyche

Referee:- C. Breakspear

It was a cold overcast windy morning with showers of rain blowing into the faces of the dedicated vocal crowd of around eighty. Due to a lapse of memory I missed most of the first half but the team had lined up with Caulker and Butcher at the back with Smith on the right and Cox again on the left. Bostock fresh from his cameo appearance on Thursday joined Kasim in the centre of midfield with MíPuku on the right side and Townsend on the left. Mason supported Obika up front.

Spurs attacked the East end to our left in the first half and went ahead when MíPukuís centre was turned in at the near post by a defender who got his foot to the ball in front of Obika. The lead was increased when Obika was through on goal only to be pulled back. Mason slotted home the penalty. Just before the end of the half Obika hit the post with a volley in the area.

Watford started the second half strongly. Whichlow fired wide in the first minute and they had another effort wide a few minutes later. They were let down by the final ball on many occasions, otherwise Butler may have had more work to do. The keeper started Spurs first attack of the half when he threw the ball out to Cox who played a long ball down the line for Obika to get behind the defence. Obika came inside but fired over.

Bostock who had been playing well Ė the best I have seen him play for the Academy Ė was replaced by Byrne who went to the wide right position with MíPuku moving inside. Otshudi got behind the defence and lifted the ball over the advancing Butler only to see Butcher appear and clear off the line. If the Hornets had scored then they may have come back stronger but within five minutes the game was put out of their reach when MíPuku latched on to a bad clearance and drove the ball into the net.

Kasim saw his low drive saved before Ekim came on for MíPuku shortly before he (Kasim) was taken off. Luckily it was not before he won the ball and set up Obika to score the fourth. Mason had a low drive saved for a corner. Kasim was replaced by Nicholson in the closing minutes. Brooks who had been the best Watford player saw his effort deflected for a corner. From the left wing corner they won another on the right. When Spurs cleared that corner it set up Mason for a run at goal which was stopped by the centre half in the D for a free kick and a yellow card for the defender. The last action of the game was when Masonís kick was blocked.

Inglethorpe has got a settled side that is playing well and as a team they know where players are going to be. This was the difference between the sides as Watford had too many balls going astray which allowed Spurs to keep the pressure on. Bostock and MíPuku are probably the weakest in the side as they are new and are most likely to put a pass astray. Nicholson and Ekim are being eased in gradually and have good passing skills but look a little lightweight in the tackle. Byrne came in at full back this season and settled quickly and shows that his pace on the right of midfield adds another string to his bow. If I remember next week the Academy will be entertaining Birmingham City at the Lodge.


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