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Sutton Utd v Spurs XI, 11.08.09
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

             Pre-Season Friendly
          Gander Green Lane, Sutton
        Tuesday 11th August 2009, 7.30pm 

        SUTTON UTD    v      SPURS XI
       (All Yellow)        (White/Blue)
           4-4-2               4-4-2

            2(0)                1(1)
Sutton - Scriven(Smith 68), Hawes(Stannard 68), Bray (Chattaway 59), Goodliffe, El-Salahi (Roberts 55), Joseph (Beaney 46), Cobbs(Hann 55), Graham(Masabe 79), Phillips(Woods-Garness 55) Payne(Dunn 68), Gargan (McKimm 68).

Scorers - Payne(63), Goodliffe(78).

Coach:- P. Doswell

Spurs XI - Butcher, Byrne (Carroll 59), Cox(C), Mokotjo, Blackwood, Durojaiye, Fredericks, Parrett (Nicholson 82), Oyenuga (Zongo 46), Bostock(Ekim 59), M�Poku(McBride 59).

Sub - Jansson

Scorer - M'Poku(31).

Coach:- C. Allen

Referee:- J. Ryan
Assistants:- J. Kasey, D. Laughton
Attendance:- 1,188

Spurs lined up with Blackwood and Durojaiye at the back with Byrne on the right and Cox on the left. Parrett and Mokotjo played in the centre of midfield with Fredericks on the right and M'Poku starting on the left. Bostock played behind Oyenuga up front although he dropped further back to leave him as a sole striker.

Spurs kicked off attacking up the slope into the setting sun - after a retake due to incursion by two Spurs players. The home side gave our lads a little space which allowed them to pass the ball, unlike last week, and so looked the better of the two teams in the first half. Both wide players did well and the midfield passed the ball about creating openings.

Sutton had the first chance when Cobbs hit his free kick wide. Spurs should have gone ahead after only five minutes when Parrett's first time pass left Oyenuga free on goal but he snatched at the chance and miss-hit the ball wide. Bostock then played M'Poku in but Scrivens saved. Spurs did score after half an hour when the ball was worked across from the left to Byrne to cross for M'Poku to get in at the near post and score.

The referee made a number of bad calls which led to him telling Clive Allen to stay on the bench. He penalised Cox for diving after he was caught late and gave a corner when Joseph fired over. Hawes has a long throw for such a little guy and began to use it whenever they got close to the area. It was from one of these throws that Gargan headed over from about ten yards. Butler generally dealt with these as the centre backs did not dominate the box. Cobbs hit a free kick over as the half came to an end.

Clive made just one change for the start of the second half replacing Oyenuga with Zongo who went to the left side so that M'Poku could move up front. Sutton closed down Spurs in this half and were a lot tighter getting in tackles more than in the first. Gargan had his effort saved and M'Poku fired wide before Payne drew a save from Butler. Sutton started to make changes after ten minutes which saw a total of ten new players come on before the end. This included a goalkeeper by the name of Paul Smith!

M'Poku created an opening but drove just wide of the far post before Clive made three changes. M'Poku was replaced up front by McBride, Ekim went into midfield in place of Bostock and Carroll came on as left back for Byrne with Cox moving across to the right.

The home side began to increase the pace and put the visitors under pressure which produced an equaliser. It came from a free kick by Beaney on the left that Payne got above the rest to, heading into the top right corner. United came close to scoring again straight after when Woods-Garness got round Butler only to be denied by Cox on the line. Zongo hit a free kick that was deflected through the wall to McBride coming in from the left but Goodliffe blocked his shot.

Sutton were now attacking down the flanks and putting in crosses as they felt that was where we were weakest and it paid off. Spurs failed to clear a corner and the ball was played wide to Graham who flighted the ball to Goodliffe at the far post. Under no pressure he was able to pick his spot for the header and made no mistake. Spurs still had chances with quick breaks and Fredericks should have scored after he dispossessed Chattaway on the edge of the area and was clean through on goal but lifted his shot over the bar. Parrett also drove an effort over the bar from the edge of the area before he was replaced by Nicholson. Butler saved low to his right from Dunn to concede a corner before McBride had two chances to equalise. With three minutes to go he just failed to connect with a great cross from Cox on the right and in the last minutes following a throw in on the left he got into the area only to see his effort cleared off the line by Chattaway after beating Smith. Despite all the changes and stoppages the ref only allowed one extra minute.

This was a good game overall as our young players held their own against the home side. We do need to tighten up at the back and I have not been impressed by Blackwood. I hope that it is not because he was released by the gooners but he was having to do a lot or recovery from his own errors. Fredericks and McBride looked good. Our creative midfield should improve more as the players get to know each other better. Oyenuga does not look as sharp as last season but M'Poku has made up for that and looks the most likely to succeed from the group. The two South African U-20 players looked to have also settled in well.

As the reserves have no games these players are off to Eindhoven for a tournament that starts on Friday. Then most of them will head North for the opening Academy fixture at Middlesbrough on the 22nd August. Their first home game will be against Man Utd on the following Saturday.


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