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Spurs U-18s v Coventry U-18s, 23.01.10
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

         Premier Academy League
       Spurs Lodge, Chigwell, Essex
    Saturday 23rd January 2010, 11.30am

        SPURS     v    COVENTRY CITY
    (White/Blue)     (Light Blue/Blue)
        4-4-2             4-4-2

         8(6)              1(0)

     Jamie Butler 1 Michael Quirke
     Nathan Byrne 2 Curtis Wynter
      Tom Carroll 3 Jamie Greenway
   Jake Nicholson 4 Luke Bottomer
Olumude Durojaiye 5 Nathan Cameron(C)
    Calum Butcher 6 Jermaine Grandison
  Ryan Fredericks 7 Ashley Cain
     Dean Parrett 8 Conner Thomas
    Kudus Oyenuga 9 Sean Jeffers
    Harry Kane(C)10 Callum Wilson
Paul-Jose M’Poku 11 Joel Grandison

   Jordan Archer 12 Jacob Blackwell
 Anton Blackwood 13 Conner Gudger
    Paul McBride 14 Suliman Leluu 
       (7)66Mins.  (10)54Mins.
  Alex Pritchard 15 Cyrus Christie 
  Callum Tapping 16 Luke Adam

   A.Inglethorpe    G. Rioch

   Oyenuga 9, 24    Christie 65
Kane 13, 48, 90+2 
       M'Poku 18
    Nicholson 33
      Parrett 41

       Durojaiye   Bottomer
      90+1(Foul)    29(Holding) 

Referee:- M. Downey
Assistants:- P. Jago, T. Hemmings
It was a cold, overcast morning with the pitch soaked from rain that caused some slipping during the match. The crowd barrier was also moved back because of the waterlogged ground where we normally stand.

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

Spurs kicked off attacking the South end and soon got their passing game working although the visitors had the first chance of the match when Jeffers saw his effort go wide. Coventry looked good going forward but were open at the back where Spurs took advantage as they attacked with pace.

From a free kick wide on the left taken by Parrett, Oyenuga headed in at the far post to take an early lead. This was followed soon after by a second when the ball was played in from the right to Kane on the edge of the area. With his back to goal Harry flicked the ball over his marker, turned and stepped forward to volley the ball into the net.

The Sky Blues responded winning a free kick just outside the area that Cain took and saw deflected for a corner. Kane then found M'Poku with a cross-field ball wide on the left. The Congolese player was away down the line before cutting inside leaving the full back for dead and scoring with a strike across the keeper into the far side of the goal.

Butler tipped over Joel Grandison's header before Spurs scored again. This time Carroll carried the ball into midfield before threading a pass through to Parrett beating the offside trap. Dean drew the keeper before laying the ball off to Oyenuga on his left to finish. Fredericks crossed low from the right for M'Poku coming in from the left, but his effort was saved by Quirke with Oyenuga putting the rebound wide. Bottomer was booked by the ref for pulling Parrett back as he made a run through the centre. Fredericks tried his luck next but saw his weak drive saved.

On the next Spurs attack Nicholson received the ball just outside the area and dribbled his way through to hit a rising shot past the hapless Quirke. Butler mis-hit a clearance to Thomas who hit the ball over the bar when he should have done better. Carroll got down the flank to cross for Oyenuga, but his effort was saved. Byrne attacked down the right and passed to Kane who played Parrett in to score a sixth goal. Coventry still came forward and Jeffers had another chance saved at the expense of a corner.

There were no changes for the start of the second half and Spurs did not let up scoring soon after the restart when M'Poku got down the left and crossed for Kane to turn in for his second. Bottomer fired wide before the visitors got a goal back when, following a corner, Christie knocked in the loose ball. Inglethorpe made his first change by replacing Fredericks with McBride at the same time as Coventry made their third. After Jeffers hit a free kick wide Blackwood came on for Parrett who had taken a knock.

Blackwell took a free kick that Butler saved before our two subs created the next chance with Blackwood sending McBride away with a ball through the middle but Quirke saved. McBride was released again but was caught before he could get a shot away. Inglethorpe gave a début to Tapping as the game was winding down. Jeffers saw his effort go wide and Durojaiye was booked for a tackle before Spurs finished on a high with an eighth goal. Byrne got down the right and crossed for Oyenuga who turned it wide of the far post. M'Poku collected the ball before it went out and fired the ball back low across the goal for Kane to apply the finish for his hat-trick.

Last season this fixture finished incredibly 6-6 so while there was not as many goals this time at least most were in the right net for us. This was more like the football that the U-18's have been playing for the last couple of years featuring quick passing and moving using both flanks, as well as going through the middle. This ended the run of two defeats against Portsmouth and MK Dons where the finishing was not as clinical as today. M'Poku looks to have recovered from his injury and Durojaiye had his best game so far. Coventry had their chances but were undone by a weak defence. Bottomer provided the steel in the middle but too often channelled his aggression in the wrong areas with the ref giving him a final warning before the end of the first half having already booked him earlier.

Next Saturday the Academy entertain third place Aston Villa at the Lodge.


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