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Spurs U-18s v Birmingham U-18s, 14.01.12
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

          Premier Academy League, Group B
              Spurs Lodge, Chigwell
            Saturday 14th January 2012

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

               2(1)            0(0) 

           Luke McGee  1 Nick Townsend
        Ramil Sheriff  2 Sam Westley(C)
        Conor Ogilvie  3 Kortney Hause
         Alex McQueen  4 James Fry
      William Ekong(C) 5 Brad Gascoigne
         Samuel Smith  6 Emmit Delfouneso
           Grant Ward  7 Adam Ward
      Rueben Lameiras  8 Reece Brown
Victor Zapata-Caicedo  9 Deqwon Ebanks
            Lee Angol 10 Charlee Adams
 Roman Michael-Percil 11 Demari Gray

         Paul McBride 12 Reece Hales
           (3)46Mins.    (9)49Mins.
        Billy Granger 13
   Daniel Akindayini  14 Callum Thomson
           (2)59Mins.    (7)52Mins. 
         Harry Winks  15 Jean Kalenda
          (10)64Mins.    (11)80Mins.
                      16 George McGhee
                      17 George O'Neil

   Angol 18 pen 
   McBride 49 

Sent off:-
                         Delfouneso 17(Last man)
                         Hause 40(2 footed)

   A. Inglethorpe        S.Spooner

Referee:- C. O'Donnell
It was a frosty morning which meant the pitch was a little frozen despite the midday kick-off. Todays visitors won the reverse fixture by sitting deep and absorbing our pressure without committing much to attack.

Spurs lined up with Ekong and McQueen at the back with Sheriff on the right and Ogilvie on the left. Lameiras and Smith started in the centre of midfield with Ward on the right and Percil on the left. Angol supported Zapata up front.

Spurs defended the South goal in the first half which saw the visitors adopt the same tactics that won them the earlier game. A free kick saw Adam Ward's effort cleared of the line. Angol saw his free kick tipped over for a corner. City defended well keeping Spurs in front of them and looked set to frustrate them for 90 minutes.

Birmingham were undone when Ekong had no one free to pass to so flighted a long ball over the top. Zapata was quick off the mark and Delfouneso tried to pull him back. Unfortunately for him he continued pulling as Zapata got into the area. The referee blew for a penalty and showed the City defender the red card. Angol took the kick and placed it low to the right sending the keeper the wrong way.

Birmingham continued with two banks of four with hardly any loss of effectiveness as the home side still had difficulty in breaking them down. Grant Ward fired wide before City broke out and Ebanks had his effort cleared off the line by Sheriff. Townsend saved from Percil before Hause dived in on Ward to receive a red card for the dangerous tackle. The visitors held out until half time when both coaches kept the teams by the side of the pitch for the half-time team talk.

Inglethorpe introduced McBride on the left in place of Ogilvie by going to three across the back. City made no changes as their coach was happy the way they had contained Spurs.

It only took four minutes for that to change as McQueen carried the ball deep into the City half before playing McBride in on the left. McBride advanced and drove the ball across the keeper into the far corner of the net to increase the lead.

Smith hit his free kick over the bar after being brought down by Adams in the D. Townsend saved from McBride before Inglethorpe replaced Sheriff with Akindayini to increase the pressure on the City defence. As in the previous meeting Spurs became entrenched in the City half and Akindayini had an effort saved, followed by Ward also being denied. Zapata saw his effort blocked for a corner before Lameiras fired wide. City held out for the rest of the half preventing Spurs from having any more chances.

City were a well drilled defensive unit, showing little adventure to attack. They were so well drilled that even when reduced to nine, they prevented Spurs from running rampant. While players were rested from the Youth Cup victory at Cardiff, you would have expected the eleven players that did take part for Spurs to create more chances.

Next week Spurs are away at Leicester City with a midday kick-off. Leicester beat Cardiff today with a last minute goal to remain above us in the group table. The Foxes will play their 4th round Youth Cup tie during the week at Charlton so may not be at full strength for our match. (Spurs have to play the winners in the next round)


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