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Coventry U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 01.10.11
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

        The Premier Academy League, Group B
         The Alan Higgs Centre, Coventry.
         Saturday 1st October 2011, 11.30am

         COVENTRY CITY   v     SPURS
       (Sky Blue/White)     (All Black)
             4-4-2             4-4-2

              2(1)              0(0)

Spurs:- Miles, Modeste(Michael-Percil 50), Ogilvie, Ball, Ekong, Sherriff(McQueen 46, Zapatta-Caicedo 59), Ward, Munns, Coulthirst(C), Angol, Bush.

Unused Subs. - Granger, Lamieras.

Coach - A. Inglethorpe

Coventry possible:- Burge, Christie, Henderson, Ruffels, Willis, Thomas, Richards, Clarke-Harris(Daniels 78),

Coach - G. Rioch

Scorers - o.g. Ekong 38, No.7 50

Booked:- Ekong (Foul)44, Coventry No.3 (Foul)62

Ref:- R. Dadley

It was a very hot morning for this away fixture at current group leaders Coventry where the players took as many drink breaks as they could. A good number of people turned up to watch as the home side came out late to delay the kick-off. All that was needed was a team-sheet to help us onlookers.

Spurs again had a young team out with Miles in goal after playing for the U-19 side on Tuesday evening. Ekong started in the centre of defence with the returning Sherriff with Modeste on the right and schoolboy Ogilvie on the left. Ball and Munns started in the centre of midfield with Ward on the right wing and Bush on the left. Angol supported Coulthirst up front. Munns, Angol and Ekong had also made the trip to Eindhoven in midweek as subs with only Jack Munns getting on against PSV.

Spurs defended the east end in the first half and were soon under pressure from the hosts. After their full-back had got forward to fire wide, Angol intercepted a weak back pass but could only fire wide. He was also wide with his next effort. The City left-side mid-fielder drove in a shot from a corner that was turned over for another. This was followed by more efforts that were off target as the Sky Blues tried to force mistakes and punished errors in the Spurs defensive formation.

Coventry had kept a high line and compressed the play into the middle third closing down quickly not allowing Spurs to play their normal game. Spurs had managed to contain the attacks in the final third to only three efforts before the home side went ahead. The referee gave a soft free kick wide on the left which was curled towards the far post. Under pressure Ekong headed it wide of Miles into the far corner of the goal. The unlucky Ekong was booked for a mis-timed tackle a little later as he cut out another raid just before the end of the 45 minutes.

Inglethorpe had planned to only give Sherriff half a game and replaced him at half-time with another returning player Darren McQueen. Ogilvie moved inside with Ward moving to left back with McQueen in front of him.

Coventry continued to play with a high line but began to play balls over and through the visitors' defensive line using the pace of their forward players to turn them. Spurs restricted them to two efforts over the bar before Miles had to make two saves before City increased their lead. Winning the ball in the middle it was quickly played through to Richards who having got behind Ekong drew Ogilivie before squaring to his right for the right sided mid-fielder to drive the ball past Miles from twenty yards. It was a good goal and would secure the points for the home side.

Following the goal, Inglethorpe replaced Modeste with Michael-Percil to add more pace on the right. City struck the bar from a near post header before another effort went wide. As Spurs struggled to beat the offside trap, McQueen went down and had to be replaced having been on the pitch for less than fifteen minutes on his come-back. He was replaced by Zapatta-Caicedo who joined Coulthirst up front. The City left back was then booked for a lunge at Percil in the corner as Spurs continued to struggle to make any headway.

Coulthirst broke free and crossed for Zapatta whose shot hit the crossbar. Richards drove over before Miles saved his looping header. Miles had to make one more save before Angol fired wide following a corner and as time was running out Ogilvie took the ball upfield and forced Burge to make a save. The referee was happy to blow for time without adding any time on for the various stoppages during the game and in truth it would have not made any difference to the scoreline.

This was a bad day for Spurs as they came up against a strong, well organised side that are on a high. The young players that we have will hopefully learn from this defeat and move on to be better by the end of the season. The lack of experienced players to help them during the game cannot be helped as they are called into Harry's cup squad and Tim Sherwood's development squad. The young players will have to grow up fast.

Next week the Academy will entertain Bristol City at the Lodge with a midday kick-off. The following week's home fixture against Cardiff has been switched to Cardiff so I have been informed.


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