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Aston Villa U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 21.11.09
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

        Premier Academy League 
     Bodymoor Heath Lane, Tamworth 
   Saturday 21st November 2009, 12am

     ASTON VILLA   v    SPURS 
    (Claret/Blue)     (White/Blue)
       4-4-2            4-4-2

        4(2)             2(1)

       Thomas Dau  1 Jamie Butler
  William Grocott  2 Jesse Waller-Lassen
     Ellis Deeney  3 Nathan Byrne
    Daniel Devine  4 Jake Nicholson
 Derrick Williams  5 Olumide Durojaiye
   Gary Gardner(C) 6 Calum Butcher
    Jason Lampkin  7 Ryan Fredericks
   Richard Blythe  8 Dean Parrett
      Kofi Poyser  9 Kudus Oyenuga
    Ryan Simmonds 10 Harry Kane(C)
 Samir Carruthers 11 Paul-Jose M'Poku

    Durrell Berry 12 Jonathon Miles
   Callum Barratt 13 Tom Carroll
    Tomos Roberts 14 Paul McBride
    Connor Taylor 15 Anton Blackwood
   Daniel Johnson 16 Zaine Francis-Angol
       (2)79Mins.    (5)56Mins.

         Poyser 7    Fredericks 23 
      Simmonds 45    Kane 67
       Lampkin 64 
       Gardner 86

Berry 82(Not 10yds)  Butcher 21(Behind)
Carruthers 88(Late)  Byrne 51(Foul) 

       T. McAndrews  A. Inglethorpe

Ref:- B. Hobson
Assts.:- A Fannel, A. Scriven

The rain held off for most of the game but there was a strong wind blowing from the southern end which looked to cause Spurs the most trouble. I heard that the ref wanted to get away quickly as he was a season ticket holder at Villa Park and some of his decisions reflected that.(Ed:- In fairness, as Villa were away, I do not think this was the case, although a couple of years ago Ray and I did meet the father of the match referee, and they were indeed Villa season ticket holders!)

Spurs lined up with Butcher and Durojaiye at the back with Waller-Lassen at right back and Byrne on the left. Nicholson and Parrett started in centre midfield with Fredericks on the right wing and M'Poku on the left. Kane supported Oyenuga up front.

Spurs defended the north end facing the wind in the first half and had to face a determined home side who pushed up to squeeze the middle ground and close down the midfield with sharp tackling and pushing the ball through to their front men.

Butler had to save from Poyser in the first minute and then save the follow up by Gardner - blocked before Simmonds fired wide. Oyenuga was left on his own up front to harass the Villa defenders and closed the keeper down quickly to block his clearance with the ball going wide. Villa were soon back on the attack and a through ball found Poyser free to fire past Butler to open the scoring.

The visitors were able to counter-attack with balls behind the defence that Oyenuga was able to chase and stretch the defenders. M'Poku had a free kick saved by the keeper who also saved from Oyenuga. Oyenuga fired wide after being played in by Kane. Gardner had a strike that was deflected for a corner before bringing a fingertip save from Butler with another cracker.

Butcher was shown a yellow card for a tackle from behind before Simmonds fired across the face of goal from a narrow angle. Parrett won the ball in the middle and played the ball out to M'Poku on the left who got down the flank before crossing the ball. The ball reached Fredericks on the far side and he had time to control it before driving it back across the keeper into the net.

After Butler saved again Spurs began to create more chances with M'Poku firing over and Oyenuga going wide before M'Poku got one on target but Dau saved. Poyser had an effort go wide before Oyenuga saw his attempt turned wide for a corner. The experience of Butcher held the defence together by being in the right place for most of the time but after he blocked a centre the ball was picked up by Simmonds to drive home.

There was a quick turnaround for the second half without any changes and with the wind behind them it was Spurs that made the early running with Oyenuga seeing his effort saved. The ref showed a yellow card to Byrne for a tackle before giving Spurs a free kick when Dau held onto the ball for too long. When the kick was played back Kane drove it to the left but it was turned away by the keeper for a corner.

Inglethorpe took off Durojaiye for Francis-Angol moving Byrne into the centre. Waller-Lassen was pushed up to the right wing with Fredericks moving to the left side and M'Poku moved into the centre of midfield to allow Nicholson to drop to right back. From his new position M'Poku fired over and played in Fredericks who saw his effort saved. One of the Villa coaching staff appeared behind their goal to give his team advice and it took a while for the ref's attention to be drawn to this. There was also a player not involved in the game who did get involved by interfering with a throw in by the Villa bench to stop an attack.

Villa had been reduced to occasional counter attacks but made one tell by getting down the left and crossing the ball. It passed behind the players in the centre and reached Lampkin on the right who was able to fire home and extend their lead. Inglethorpe made two changes by replacing Nicholson with Blackwood and taking off Oyenuga for Carroll pushing Kane up front.

Parrett won the ball deep in his own half and evaded several challenges as he drove forward before playing the ball out to Fredericks on the left and collected the return to play in Kane who accepted the pass and turned inside his marker to fire past the keeper and reduce the lead. Spurs pushed forward in search of the equaliser with Blackwood putting a corner wide and Carroll also going wide. Kane was played through and fired in a shot from outside the area which was blocked by a defender near the penalty spot with his arm. Somehow the ref did not see it and gave a corner.

Fredericks had an effort go wide and Parrett was also wide as Spurs kept the pressure on. Berry was booked for not retreating ten yards as he prevented Butler from taking a free kick. Johnson won the ball on the right and got round the back to cross for Gardner to score from near the spot with a rising effort. Carruthers was booked for catching Parrett late as they looked to close out the game. Poyser fired wide and Butcher made a run out of the back before shooting wide with two minutes left.

This defeat allows Villa to lift themselves up to our level but five goals behind. It was a game that both sides played well with the wind behind them but had the ability to counter the wind with some adjustment to play. Villa had the better of the game overall as they stifled Spurs midfield preventing the normal passing game for much of the match while setting up attacks for the strikers. Butcher played the full 90 minutes and his experience kept Spurs in the game until they could turn back the tide. Spurs may have got something from this game if the ref had given the penalty for the handball. They would have had to score from the spot to do so which is not a certainty this season but it could have knocked the stuffing out of Villa as Spurs were the better side at the time.

There is now a weeks break before they play Cardiff City at the Lodge on 5th December then they travel to Wigan for the Youth Cup.


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