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Spurs U-18s v Birmingham U-18s, 17.10.09
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

          Premier Academy League
       Spurs Lodge, Chigwell, Essex
   Saturday 17th October 2009, 12.00am

       SPURS      v     BIRMINGHAM
    (White/Blue)       (All Black)
       4-4-2              4-4-2

        3(0)               2(1)

   Mirko Ranieri  1 Jack Butland
 Anton Blackwood  2 Jacob Hronec
   Francis-Angol  3 Luke Rowe
         Sam Cox  4 Ashley Sammons(C)
    Nathan Byrne  5 Jacob Rowe
Olumide Durojaiye 6 Daniel Preston
  Ryan Fredericks 7 Luke Hubbins
 Paul-Jose MíPoku 8 Mitchell McPike
    Kudos Oyenuga 9 Jake Jervis
    Harry Kane(C)10 Jordan Mutch
   Waller-Lassen 11 Nathan Redmond

  Jonathan Miles 12 Fraser Kerr
Cameron Lancaster13
     Jon Bostock 14 Brice Ntambwee
      (11)59Mins.   (10)30Mins.
     Tom Carroll 15 Shane Williams
  Jake Nicholson 16 Reece Fleet
       (6)41Mins.   (7)88Mins.

    A.Inglethorpe   T. Westley

       Oyenuga 53   Jervis 23
    Fredericks 80   Hubbins 70
       Carroll 81

    Fredericks 45   Ntambwee 40(Late)
(Kicked ball away)  Sammons 47(Handball) 

Referee:- T. Donnellan
It was a bright day with a chilly breeze for this match that was watched by a small crowd due to kicking off at noon. The game finished very late because of a serious injury to one of the Spurs players. Any of the Blues going onto the Emirates for their first team game would have missed a big part of it.

Spurs lined up with Ranieri replacing the injured Butler in goal with Durojaiye and Byrne in front of him and with Blackwood on the right and Francis-Angol on the left. Cox anchored the centre of midfield alongside M'Poku with Fredericks on the right and Waller-Lassen on the left. Kane again supported Oyenuga up front.

Spurs kicked off attacking the South end and with early pressure came close to opening the scoring. Blackwood linked with Fredericks down the right with the winger crossing to the far post for Waller-Lassen to hit the post with a diving header. This was followed a minute later by M'Poku hitting a shot on the turn that came back off the crossbar. Fredericks was put through by Kane but fired his effort wide before being fouled just outside the area for a free kick that M'Poku took hitting the wall. M'Poku was on hand to fire over from the resulting corner. Waller-Lassen then saw his effort blocked for a corner.

Ranieri saved at the feet of Rowe following a corner. Against the run of play City attacked down the right and swung a cross to the far post where Jervis got in front of Blackwood who pulled him back to concede a penalty. Jervis took the kick and drove it into the left corner to take the lead.

Spurs responded with a drive by M'Poku that was saved for a corner by the keeper. Byrne carried the ball out of his own half and drew a save from Butland with a strike from outside the area. Fredericks went wide again before Redmond went wide at the other end. Ntambwee was booked for a late tackle on Cox before Spurs lost two players due to a clash of heads. Durojaiye and Blackwood went for the same ball in the centre which knocked both players out. There was a long delay while both players received attention and despite getting onto his feet Blackwood was not fit to continue. Durojaiye had to be carried off on a stretcher and the second half was delayed as the Essex air ambulance landed next to the pitch just before an ordinary ambulance arrived to take him to hospital. When the game restarted Nicholson had come on into midfield to allow Cox to drop to right back with Carroll coming on at left back so that Francis-Angol could move inside to partner Byrne in the middle.

M'Poku fired wide as did Sammons at the other end. Fredericks then claimed a corner after his near post effort and kicked the ball away when the referee gave a goal kick which resulted in his name going into the book. M'Poku went wide again before the half ended.

The second half was only a minute old when Spurs were awarded a penalty. Waller-Lassen got down the left and hit a shot that hit an arm as it flew across the goal. Sammons was booked before M'Poku stepped up to take the kick. As with the kick he took last week the keeper saved down to his right and he failed with the follow up. Spurs kept pressing and M'Poku had his effort saved as did Waller-Lassen shortly after.

Spurs finally got the ball into the net when good work between Cox and Fredericks on the right resulted in a cross by Cox to the far post that was a simple finish for Oyenuga. Spurs went looking for another with first Fredericks and then Oyenuga firing wide before Bostock came on for Waller-Lassen.

Jervis drew a save from Ranieri before Kane saw his effort deflected wide for a corner. Birmingham went in front again when Kerr on the right crossed to the unmarked Hubbins on the left who volleyed high into the net. Jervis fired over before Spurs turned it around with two quick goals. Spurs worked the ball down the left before it was turned inside to Oyenuga who drew the defence before squaring for Fredericks to score with a low effort into the right corner. Spurs then attacked down the right and when the cross was knocked out to Carroll he drove it back in from outside the area into the goal. Spurs kept up the pressure until the end to hold on to the lead for the three points.

This was an important win for Spurs as they move up above Birmingham on goal difference and cannot afford to drop points if they want to catch leaders Leicester City. The loss of two defenders did not cause as many problems as feared against a side with big strikers. Ranieri needs to not kick the ball long as much as he did as our best football comes from playing out of the back on the deck. The football played by this season's youngsters is not as slick as last year's and so the quality needs to improve. Leicester are the only unbeaten side unlike last season when Man City, the gooners and Spurs went most of the season unbeaten.

Next week the Academy game will be on Friday morning with the re-arranged game against Watford at the Lodge.


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