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Arsenal U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 24.04.10
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

     Premier Academy League, Group B
        Bell Lane, London Colney
    Saturday 24th April 2010, 10.45am

       ARSENAL      v       SPURS
     (Red/White)          (All Blue)

        4-4-2               4-4-2

         2(1)                2(1)

    Sean McDermott  1 Jordan Archer
 Right Back Gooner  2 Jack Barthram
      Cedric Evina  3 Zaine Francis-Angol
    Captain Gooner  4 Jake Nicholson
 Centreback Gooner  5 Nathan Byrne
     Ignasi Miquel  6 Oluimide Durojaiye
 Right wing Gooner  7 Alex Pritchard
 Centre mid Gooner  8 Dean Parrett
         Ben Afobe  9 John Bostock
      Luke Freeman 10 Tom Carroll
  Connor Henderson 11 Paul-Jose M'Poku(C)

 Unused Sub Gooner 12 Jamie Butler
 Unused Sub Gooner 13 Callum Tapping
        Sub Gooner 14 Laste Dombaxe
 Unused Sub Gooner 15 Kudus Oyenuga
    Daniel Boateng 16 

      Henderson 10    Parrett 18 pen.
      Afobe 90+3      Bostock 75

     No.14 78(Late)   M'Poku 90+4(Abuse)
     No. 8 90(Late)

          S. Bould    A. Inglethorpe

Ref:- R. Atkin
It was a warm sunny morning for this North London Derby at the Arsenal training ground. With the home side having already won Group A they were only playing to stop Spurs' faint challenge for Group B. Without a teamsheet it was not obvious if they fielded a strong side or used it as a run out for younger players. Spurs brought in Parrett and Bostock to strengthen a young side. No matter what the level, the players on either side know that this is a fixture to win as shown by their reactions when goals are scored.

Spurs lined up with Archer in goal behind Byrne and Durojaiye with Barthram at right back and Francis-Angol on the left. In central midfield Parrett joined Nicholson with Pritchard moving to the right side and M'Poku on the left. Carroll supported Bostock up front. Dombaxe and Oyenuga dropped to the bench.

Spurs defended the south end in the first half with the gooners pressing early. Henderson hit a free kick wide on the right before seeing Archer save his effort having denied Freeman earlier. Henderson did not miss with his next free kick taken from a wider position curling it in at the far post. Miguel headed over from a corner before Parrett had the visitors' first chance which flew high over the bar. A minute later the ball was worked down the left and played into Bostock whose drive was blocked by Evina with his hands to concede a penalty. Parrett stepped up to convert by firing the ball down the middle. Parrett had another chance soon after as Spurs began to win more possession. Dean put that chance over and Pritchard was played in by Bostock but he fired wide. The gooners responded with an effort that went wide before Evina drew a save from Archer who also saved from Freeman.

The home side made two changes for the start of the second half bringing on Boateng to stop M'Poku raiding down the left. The other sub had an effort saved by Archer before Inglethorpe made a change by taking off Barthram and sending on Oyenuga who took up a position on the right of midfield with Pritchard dropping to full back. The home side had a chance that was hit wide before Freeman collected a cross from the right and lifted the ball over Archer's dive but Durojaiye cleared off the line. Pritchard got down the right to play in Bostock but he drove the ball wide.

After Evina hit a free kick wide, M'Poku got down the left and won a corner when McDermott pushed his effort around the near post. Carroll was the next to test the keeper before Bostock ran onto a ball over the top and drew McDermott before slotting the ball under him to put Spurs ahead. Pritchard was caught late after clearing a ball that resulted in a yellow card for the aggressor. Tapping came on to play at right back in place of Pritchard soon after. Freeman drew a save from Archer before M'Poku played in Bostock who fired over. Afobe headed wide from a corner before the ref showed them another yellow card. Parrett won a tussle in midfield and was caught late as he got clear with the ball. Oyenuga was just wide from a free kick by Carroll which would have wrapped up the game in added time. Instead the gooners scored a minute later when Afobe turned in a cross from the right. Captain for the day M'Poku was shown the yellow card by the referee after he had blown for full time for what appeared to be for verbal abuse.

The draw means that Leicester win Group B and join the gooners in the semi-finals against the winners of the northern groups. Todays game was a well contested one with both sides having spells on top but after Spurs had gone 2-1 in front it looked like they would hold on as the home side began to look more ragged and desperate as time went on. The two yellow cards that the ref gave indicates that Spurs were on top as Mr. Atkin was letting a lot go. With so many changes over the last few weeks our passing game was not up to its usual sharpness and also the gooners were using their physical size in the challenge to win more of the ball so it was not a great performance from Spurs but should be look upon as two points dropped. Last week I credited our first goal to Oyenuga but on the official site Dombaxe was given the goal and as the Spurs bench had the better view I have to apologise for the error.

Next week Spurs go next door to play Watford on Wednesday in a re-arranged fixture kicking off at 11am. Then they entertain Aston Villa at the Lodge on Saturday morning, again with an 11am start. That will allow me to get to the Lane after for the Bolton game.


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