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Leicester U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 10.10.09
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

     Premier Academy League, Group B
     Leicester City Training Ground,
          Alyestone, Leicester
    Saturday 10th October 2009, 12 noon

    LEICESTER        v         SPURS
  (Blue/White)             (White/Blue)
     4-4-2                     4-4-2

      4(0)                     2(2)
Leicester:- Ambruscis; Moore, Taft, Milne, Parkes, Bolger, John, Norbum, Schlupp, Yussef(Tebbutt 87), Hicks
Unused:- Byrne, Knight, Hoban, Gill

Goals:- Yussef 52, 83, John 72, Hicks 74

Booked:- Schlupp 40(Late)

Spurs:- Butler(Ranieri 33); Blackwood, Franis-Angol, Byrne, Durojaiye, Waller-Lassen, Nicholson(Fredericks 76), M'Poku, McBride(Lancaster 66), Kane, Oyenuga

Unused:- Carroll, O'Neil.

Scorers:- Oyenuga 15, M'Poku 29

Booked:- Oyenuga 41(Pushing)

Referee:- P. Maton

The weather started out overcast but brightened later as the wind blew from the west which helped raise the temperature.

Spurs lined up with Byrne and Durojaiye at the back with Blackwood at right back and Francis-Angol on the left. Nicholson and M'Poku started in the centre of midfield with Waller-Lassen on the right and McBride on the left. Kane started in support of Oyenuga up front but dropped more into midfield to counter the home side's attacking intentions.

Spurs defended the West end in the first half which started with both sides striving to get into any rhythm. Spurs looked to get the ball wide and use pace down the flanks while the Foxes looked to get their two strikers behind the defence. Spurs looked to be getting something using the width of the pitch as the home side's defenders were having to drop back to cover early on. Kane got away from his marker to force the keeper to save full length to his right. McBride followed up to put the ball wide with the linesman flagging for off side. Straight after that, Waller-Lassen won a corner on the right.

The home side had a lot of six-footers in their side and it looked like one of them headed into his own net from the corner with Oyenuga taking the credit. Waller-Lassen was a thorn in the side for Taft on the right and he wriggled through to draw a save from the keeper before being brought down in the area on his next attack. Kane normally takes the penalties but as he had missed the last two M'Poku grabbed the ball. It made no difference as his kick was saved by the keeper going to his right. The Congelese midfielder made amends when the ball was centred from the corner and he ran to the near post to glance a header in at the far post. The home side responded by finally getting in a shot on goal. Butler saved to his right from one striker and got across to his left to save at the feet of the other one. Unfortunately he suffered a facial injury and had to be carried off and substituted by Ranieri.

Ranieri had to make an early save pushing a stinging effort. Because of the importance of the game to both teams there were some hairy tackles with Nicholson lucky not to get booked for a late effort. Schlupp did see yellow for a late lunge at Durojaiye and Oyenuga followed him after reacting to a challenge by shoving his tormentor. Taft headed wide from a corner as the half ended.

There were no changes during the interval as the wind was now blowing into the visitors faces. Leicester were quickest off the mark with Schlupp firing wide and Yussef drawing a save from Ranieri. Yussef used his strength to hold off Byrne to latch onto a through ball and scored to the keeper's right. The goal galvanised the home side who had looked out of it after going two goals down, and they increased the pressure on the visitors' defence.

Schlupp fired wide and was followed by Hicks, and Yussef, who saw his effort saved. Inglethorpe took off McBride to add another attacker to support Oyenuga as Kane was spending more time in his own half than theirs. Lancaster went close to reaching a rebound from an Oyenuga effort but chances were becoming fewer. Schlupp fired wide again and M'Poku hit a good chance over. Spurs then conceded two quick goals which turned the game Leicester's way.

An attack down the right saw the ball loop up from a block which dropped nicely for John to volley coming in on Blackwood's blindside. They went in front when Hicks ran onto a diagonal pass that left him in acres of space to beat Ranieri with a low cross shot. Inglethorpe responded by sending on Fredericks to attack down the right. He took off Nicholson and moved Waller-Lassen inside. Waller-Lassen had provided an outlet down the right, making Taft's job difficult all game and Fredericks made a quick impact by getting to the line and put in a cross that just needed a touch by a Spurs player but a blue shirt got there first. Leicester made the game safe when Schluff beat Blackwood on the left and then Durojaiye when he came across before getting to the line and crossing for Yussef to finish from 10 yds.

Neither side dominated the game and Spurs while going two goals in front did not look that much better than Leicester. They may have sat back at the beginning of the second half feeling that the Foxes heads had dropped at the end of the first. Leicester did improve in the second half being more direct using the physical strength of Yussef to force a way through the defence. Their second had a touch of luck about it which gave them more confidence to attack. Spurs conceded more space which did not allow them to counter effectively and get back into the game.

Spurs need to bounce back next Saturday when they play Birmingham at the Lodge with a noon kick off.


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