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Birmingham U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 12.11.11
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


          Premier Academy League  Group B
             Wast Hills Training Ground,
                Hopwood, Birmingham
          Saturday 12th November 2011, 12am

          BIRMINGHAM CITY  v    SPURS
             (All Blue)      (White/Blue)
               4-5-1            4-4-2

                2(1)             1(0)

                 Joe Coll  1 Jonathan Miles
              Sam Westley  2 Ramil Sheriff
             Amari'l Bell  3 Daniel Day
         Callum Reilly(C)  4 Laste Dombaxe
           Brad Gascoigne  5 Jack Barthram
                James Fry  6 Jack Munns
        Fisayo Adarabioyo  7 Kenneth McEvoy
              Josh Hawker  8 Ronnie Hawkins
              Leon Newell  9 Daniel Akindayini
              Reece Hales 10 Lee Angol
          Mitchell Hancox 11 Grant Ward

            Charlee Adams 12 Shaquille Coulthirst
               (7)68Mins.   (10)58Mins.
                          13 Luke McGee 
            Kortney Hause 14 Dominic Ball
             Jean Kalenda 15 Ruben Lameiras
                             (4)85Mins.
           Callum Thomson 16 Roman Michael-Percil
                             (11)78Mins. 
             George McGee 17 
                (9)73Mins

Scorers:-
                 Hancox 1    Hawkins 78(pen)
                 Hales 84

Booked:-
                 Coll 77
(Preventing a goal-scoring Opportunity) 

Coach:-
               S. Spooner    A. Inglethorpe

Referee:- J. Clark
Asst. Refs:- C. Morby, P. Maisey
It was a chilly overcast morning for the trip to the Midlands. Spurs were looking to continue their good form against lowly City and stay ahead of Leicester City in third. Inglethorpe made a few changes to last weeks team as he rotated his squad. This year, for the first time, Birmingham provided team sheets for the match which makes my job easier.

Miles came into the side with McGee dropping to the bench. Full back Barthram and midfielder Dombaxe started in the middle of the defence with centre-back Sheriff at right back and Day on the left. Hawkins and Munns started in the centre of midfield with McEvoy on the right flank and Ward on the left. Angol supported Akindayini up front.

Spurs defended the east end of the pitch and made a bad start as the ball was knocked forward. Sheriff tried to head it away on the edge of the area as Miles came out of his goal to punch. The keeper's shout was too late and the two players collided leaving an empty goal for the home side to open the scoring. I was told that it had only been 9 seconds from kick off.

While Spurs took a while to recover from that setback, the "Blues" looked to take advantage. Despite being set up for a defensive game, Hales drew a save from Miles. McEvoy began to make runs down the right and from one run, his cross was met by Angol but Coll got across to save. The keeper was up quickly to save from Ward's follow-up effort. With City closing Spurs down from the front and stopping them from passing their way through the middle few chances were made in the first half. Hancox drew a save from Miles and Akindayini headed wide from a corner with Hales firing well over.

There were no changes for the start of the second half but you knew that Birmingham could not keep up their strong defensive display for the whole 45 minutes. A minute into the half McEvoy got down the right and saw his shot tipped over for a corner. It was McEvoy again with a cross to the far post that Ward turned wide followed by another corner from a deflected shot. Akindayini headed another corner kick wide before Inglethorpe made his first change replacing Angol with Coulthirst to partner Akindayini up front.

City were now penned into their own half defending in depth as the ball kept coming back. Hawkins' free kick came back off the wall to Sheriff who took the ball forward and crossed. Munns, the smallest man on the pitch, got up to head the cross goalwards but Coll saved. Akindayini got a shot on target but the keeper saved before a spell of home pressure saw Hales fire over, Hancox drive wide and Gascoigne head over from a corner.

McEvoy switched to the left and was found with a lovely ball that left him with only the keeper to beat. As he ran in on goal the keeper came out and dived at his feet to concede a penalty. The referee quickly showed him a yellow card which I thought was very lenient. Hawkins send him the wrong way from the penalty spot putting the ball low to the left.

Michael-Percil came on for Ward to apply pressure down the right flank but Spurs got caught by a long clearance that Dombaxe failed to clear. Under pressure he tried to dribble his way out as a midfielder would do but being the last man it was not the best option. He slipped under pressure and the ball was laid into the path of Hales who drove it past the diving Miles into the bottom left corner.

Inglethorpe took off Dombaxe for Lameiras and left three at the back as he tried to go all out for another goal to rescue the game. Birmingham went back into their defensive mode and looked to run the clock down. Being light at the back the Blues hit long balls for players to chase and Bell drew a save from Miles. With the game going into added time Coulthirst headed over from a corner. City held on for only their second win as Spurs were left to think of the two defensive errors that cost them so dearly.

Once they had recovered from the comical error in the first minute there was only one team trying to play football. That was Spurs. It took them a long time to break down the home defence and get back into the game only to lose another silly goal. Such was the pressure that Barthram spent much of his time in the City half with only Dombaxe in ours, and that was when he had not pushed forward as well. A neutral would have thought that Spurs were the home side.

Next week Spurs entertain Leicester City at the Lodge. If the "Foxes" won today they would go above us, so next week's game is an important one for both sides. This game has been switched from Leicester where they are having work done at their training ground. The game is scheduled for an 11am kick-off but may be put back to noon as Midland clubs like to have a lay-in.

Ray

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