Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.
Premier Academy League – Group B
Spurs Lodge, Chigwell
Saturday 24th September 2011, 11am k.o.
SPURS v ASTON VILLA
Billy Granger 1 Callum Barrett
Roman Michael-Percil 2 Seb Jenkins
Daniel Day 3 Reece Caira
Lee Angol 4 Malcolm Melvin
William Ekong 5 Richard Bryan(C)
Conor Ogilvie 6 Lewis Kinsella
Kenneth McEvoy 7 Darius Darkin
Grant Ward 8 Charlie Ward
Shaquille Coulthirst 9 Connor Taylor
Dominic Ball 10 Samir Carruthers
Mason Bush 11 Joshua Barton
Oliver Modeste 12 Juan Serrano De La Cruz
Luke McGee 13 Matthew Coton
Samuel Smith 14 Umit Eminoglu
Zapatta-Caicedo 15 Michael Nelson
Ruben Lameiras 16 Daniel Williams
Ball 73 Barton 3
A. Inglethorpe T. McAndrews
Ref:- Mr. Gray
It was a warm sunny morning for our first Group B match with Villa being the opponents. It must be the start of winter as the yellow balls were used today. Usually this match kicks off at midday but for a change it started at our normal time of 11am. With midweek european games to come in the NextGen and Europa League today's team had a very young feel to it with a couple of new faces.
Spurs lined up with Granger in goal behind Ekong and new boy Ogilvie with Percil at right back and Day on the left. Angol and Ward started in the centre of midfield with McEvoy on the right flank and Bush on the left. Ball played behind Coulthirst up front but more as a fifth midfielder as Angol sat in front of the back four. With Granger getting his first start in goal, McGhee came in for his first appearance on the bench.
Spurs defended the North end of the pitch in the first half and were soon under pressure from the visitors, going behind to a 25 yard strike by Barton that beat Granger at his near post. Villa closed down from the front, forcing the centre backs to pass back to Granger more often than they would have liked and with the midfield dropping to collect the ball we were left light up front.
Coulthirst as captain dropped back looking to lead his side which left no white shirt in the Villa half of the pitch for spells. Carruthers had a shot that was deflected for a corner and Ward fired wide. Villa's Charlie Ward took a free kick that hit the crossbar and hit Granger on the back of the head before going out for a corner. Granger was able to continue after treatment. Coulthirst was played in but his effort was blocked for a corner. McEvoy was caught by a sliding tackle that left him on the deck and had to be stretchered off with Modeste coming on in his place. The young Spurs players were having a hard time adjusting to the physical level of play and having no confidence to take the game to the visitors but after the break were more up for the contest.
Zapatta replaced Bush for the second half and played more up front with Coulthirst who did not drop back as much as he did in the first half. This gave Spurs a cutting edge and they took the game to Villa from the off. Angol fired over from a free kick before Barrett saved from Zapatta with Spurs' Grant Ward hitting thr rebound over. Angol's next free kick was put into the 6 yard box for Ball to head past Barrett for the equaliser.
Villa were now on the back foot and a wicked cross from Modeste flashed acros the goal-mouth with two white shirts failing to get a touch.Villa still posed a threat from breakaways with Barton firing wide for a corner. Granger saved from Carruthers with Melvin putting the rebound wide. De La Cruz fired over and Nelson blasted well wide. Inglethorpe replaced Percil with Smith to strengthen the midfield to counter the breaks. Grant Ward still had a chance that he fired wide, and Zapatta put his effort wide in the dying minutes.
Having lost the early goal and struggled to make headway in the first half, Spurs were much better in the second. Villa were diving in with some iffy challenges as they tried to hold on to their lead. Ekong was superb at the back and Ogilvie had a good game as well. Angol who is more an attacking player did a good job in front of the defence. The rest of the midfield were a little too cautious in the first half which allowed the visitors to put pressure on. The second half was much better as they pushed forward.The draw keeps Spurs one point ahead of Villa.
Next week the Academy go to Coventry who beat Cardiff today, before entertaining Bristol City the week after.
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