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Spurs U-18s v Cardiff U-18s, 10.12.11
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

          Premier Academy League, Group B
               Spurs Lodge, Chigwell 
         Saturday 10th December 2011, 11am

             SPURS       v    CARDIFF CITY
         (White/Blue)          (Blue/White)
             4-4-2                4-4-2

              2(1)                 0(0)

          Billy Granger  1  Liam Matthews
           Alex McQueen  2  Brad Wickham
         Oliver Modeste  3  Kane Owen
           James Yeboah  4  Bradley Williams
          William Ekong  5  Josh Yorwerth(C)
         Ruben Lameiras  6  Ben Nugent
         Kenneth McEvoy  7  Jordan Jackson
             Jack Munns  8  Jaye Bowen
  Victor Zapata-Caicedo  9  Jesse Darko
   Shaquille Coulthirst 10  Jordan Carter
   Roman Michael-Percil 11  Kevin Sainte-Luce

          Jack Barthram 12  Declan John
              (5)46Mins.    (7)55Mins.
         Liam Priestley 13  David Richards
             Grant Ward 14  Tommy O'Sullivan
             (11)82Mins.    (10)60Mins. 
              Sam Smith 15  Gethyn Hill
              (9)61Mins.    (9)73Mins.
          Ramil Sheriff 16  Luke Jones

      Zapata-Caicedo 21
      Coulthirst 88 

      A. Inglethorpe        N. Ardley
It was a cold morning, even though the sun was shining strongly towards the North End getting in the eyes of the players. There was a small crowd to watch the game. The team included Munns who was in Milan as an unused substitute. This was originially to be the away fixture with Cardiff, but it was reversed with Spurs winning 3-1 on October 15th. (Cardiff U-18s 1 Spurs U-18s 3)

Spurs lined up with Ekong and Yeboah at the back with McQueen at right back and Modeste on the left. Lameiras and Munns started in the centre of midfield with McEvoy on the right flank and Michael-Percil on the left. Coulthirst supported Zapata up front.

Spurs defended the North end in the first half but quickly put the visitors' defence under pressure via raids down the right by McEvoy. He twice put crosses over before putting the ball onto the crossbar. Cardiff came with a plan to close down the defence as they knew that Spurs liked to build from the back.

Jackson blocked a clearance by Ekong that Granger had to prevent from going into the net. Matthews was out quickly to block a shot by Zapata. With the visitors closing down quickly and getting in tackles they created some early chances with Yerwerth heading on a free kick that Granger saved. The keeper also saved when Carter latched onto a cross from Sainte-Luce.

Darko drove wide before Spurs made the breakthough. Following a short corner, Lameiras crossed to the near post for Zapata to score with a header. Cardiff kept looking for balls through the back line to chase and Darko got to one but fired wide. Darko was released by a cleaver back-heel by Jackson but was foiled by Granger. Munns fired over and Matthews saved a dipping volley from Coulthirst at the expense of a corner.

Coulthirst drove wide from another corner before there was a big scramble in the Cardiff box. McEvoy got round the back and along the line before pulling the ball back at the near post. Two white shirts missed it but the visitors failed to clear and Lamerias drove it back in. Matthews saved it and also the follow up from Munns, and when the ball fell to Percil he saved that as well. Percil did get the ball in the net at the second attempt but was flagged offside. Spurs were beginning to get away from the tight marking and looked set to improve in the second half.

Inglethorpe made one change at the interval with Barthram starting instead of Ekong. Spurs re-shuffled the back line with Barthram going to right back with McQueen moving to the other side and Modeste coming inside to partner Yeboah. Cardiff made two changes in the open quarter of an hour and Spurs also made a second change with Ward replacing Percil on the left wing.

Coulthirst ran onto a good through ball but angled it just wide when Matthews dived at his feet. Barthram fired high over from outside the area and Coulthirst drew a save from the keeper before Lameiras drove just wide. Lameiras had another chance on the edge of the area but his shot was blocked for a corner.

Barthram put over a cross and Ward turned it wide of the post before Inglethorpe sent on Smith for Zapata to close down the game. Spurs continued to press and Ward saw his effort come off the crossbar. As the game was nearing the end Lameiras received a short corner and found Coulthirst in the box to grab a second goal to make the game safe. Lameiras had the last chance when his drive was saved by Matthews.

Cardiff made it difficult for Spurs at the start by closing down and stopping them from playing which worked to an extent, but McEvoy could not be contained and once Coulthirst broke free of the attentions of Williams, Spurs began to open up the visitors defence. After a slow start Lameiras began to play some intelligent passes and while he failed to add to his run of goals he did set up both goals.

Next week is the last group game before the Christmas break when Spurs are at home to Watford. The Hornets lost today 1-2 to Bristol City and are now three points behind us. This will not be the last game this year as the under 18s will be going to Stevenage the following Wednesday evening for their FA Youth Cup 3rd round game.


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