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St. Neots v Spurs XI, 28.07.09

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


           Pre-season friendly
     Rowley Park, St. Neots, Cambs.
     Tuesday 28th July 2009, 7.30pm

  ST. NEOTS TOWN    v      SPURS XI
     (All Blue)          (White/Blue)
       4-4-2                 4-4-2

        1(0)                 3(2)
St. Neots - S. Lomas

Unable to get the home team

Scorer:- Harrold 51

Spurs - C. Allen
Team - Jansson, Smith(C), Nicholson(Pritchard? 81), Parrett(Ekim 57), Blackwood, Durojaiye(Byrne 46), Fredericks(Carroll 57), Cox, Oyenuga(Lancaster? 74), Kane(O'Neill 70), M'Poku

Unused sub:- Ranieri

Scorers:- Parrett 7(pen), M'Poku 34, Kane 67

Referee:- P. Barnes

Assistants:- D. Pywell, P. Dobbs

Attendance - 1,177

With so many players either in China or out on loan it was a very young side that Clive Allen put out for this match. It fact it could almost be the Academy side which seemed appropriate as the home side displayed the three trophies that their youth side won last season.

Spurs lined up with Blackwood and Durojaiye at the back flanked by Smith on the right and Nicholson on the left. Parrett and Cox started in the centre of midfield with Fredericks on the right and M'Poku on the left. Oyenuga and Kane started up front.There was no list of substitutes so I have had to make a guess at a few I was not sure of based on Saturday game so apologies for any I have got wrong.

There was a delay in the kick-off as St. Neots had a group of Cheerleaders making their first performance and no one had the heart to stop them. Spurs kicked off attacking the South end and soon showed that they could play better football than the home side and would be no push over as in the second minute Smith hit a shot from the edge of the area that came back off the crossbar. Minutes later Parrett hit a low corner kick that Blackwood met attacking the near post and saw his effort come off the post. When M'Poku ran onto a through ball down the middle he was tripped in the area by the full back to concede a penalty. Parrett made no mistake hitting the ball to the keeper's right.

M'Poku and Fredericks were causing the Saints problems down the flanks and M'Poku drove just wide before Fredericks dribbled into the six yard box to be denied by the keeper for a corner. Parrett took the corner which found Blackwood, but his header was saved. St. Neots came close to scoring when the ball was whipped into the near post but Jansson got across to block. M'Poku fired over and Fredericks drove wide before Jansson save from the full back's 20 yard effort.

Spurs increased their lead when Smith made another strong run from deep before laying the ball into the feet of M'Poku to drive it low past the keeper. Fredericks shot into the near post netting before he mis-hit a cross but recovered quickly to pick up the ball and go past a defender before firing just wide of the far post. The only area where Spurs were weak was at the back with Harrold winning most balls in the air and he headed the ball on for his strike partner who could not beat Jansson at the near post.

Spurs made one change for the second half replacing Durojaiye with Byrne at the back. In the first minute Oyenuga, who was having a quiet game got his first shot in which was well saved. The home fans finally had something to cheer about when they scored. A free kick was floated to the far post onto the head of Harrold. His header was blocked, but he was able to hit the rebound in off the post.

The home side began to get more possession but M'Poku was still able to hit the post with a snap shot. Parrett played a through ball that left Oyenuga clear on the right and he drew the keeper before squaring the ball to Kane to score. Clive then took off Parrett and Fredericks for Ekim and Carroll. The Saints won another free kick in a dangerous place which was headed over with Jansson coming out. At the other end Kane took a free kick from just outside the area but fired it wide.

Lomas made two changes bringing on their own Crouch type striker with Clive responding in sending on the diminutive figure of O'Neill for Kane. Despite our lack of height at the back St. Neots failed to make the most of this player. I mean, when Cox challenged him for a ball he could only grab his sock! M'Poku saw his effort saved for a corner before Oyenuga made way for Lancaster and Nicholson was replaced by Pritchard after Harrold put a chance over. Smith ended a run into the home side's half with a shot over the bar. This was soon followed by an O'Neill shot saved Lancaster firing wide and Pritchard drawing a save. St. Neots finished with a shot blocked and an effort that flew over.

This was a good attacking performance, but we looked a little poor at the back. The level that St. Neots are at certainly was not enough to cause any real problems to what was basically our Academy side. So it was a good work out in preparation for the Eurofoot tournament this weekend.

Next week Clive should be able to field a stronger team when he goes to Crawley Town.

Ray

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