Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.
Premier Academy League, Inter Group
Spurs Lodge, Chigwell, Essex.
Saturday 20th August 2011, 11am k.o.
SPURS v EVERTON
Jonathon Miles 1 James Fitzgibbon
Roman Michael-Percil 2 Matthew Pennington
Grant Ward 3 Ibou Touray
Callum Tapping 4 Ben Henegan
William Ekong 5 Eric Dier(C)
Alex McQueen(C) 6 Gethan Jones
Kenneth McEvoy 7 Ryan Higgins
Dominic Ball 8 Jasper Johns
Lee Angol 9 Anton Forrester
Ruben Lameiras 10 Chris Long
Shaquille Coulthirst11 Adam Thomas
Freddy Champion 12 Danny O'Brien
Billy Granger 13 Conor Roberts
Oliver Modeste 14 Oliver Shannon
Zapata-Caicedo 15 Curtis Langton
Samuel Smith 16
A. Inglethorpe K. Sheedy
Ref:- I. Kitchen
It was an overcast morning with rain in the air for the opening match of the new Academy season. The opposition today were Everton from the Northwest group. As usual we saw a number of new players making their first appearance for the our U-18 side as I am sure we did for the visitors.
Spurs lined up with the experienced Miles in goal behind Ekong and McQueen with Percil at right back and Ward on the left. Tapping and Ball started in the centre of midfield with McEvoy on the right wing and Coulthirst on the left. Lameiras supported Angol up front.
Spurs kicked off attacking the South goal but found the visitors tough opponents. From the start the "Toffees" showed that they had a hard centre. They were quicker to the ball and very solid in the challenge whereas Spurs took time to settle.
The first chance fell to the visitors when Thomas saw his effort blocked for a corner. Long drew the first save from Miles before McEvoy, cutting in from the wing, forced Fitzgibbon into a save. McEvoy then popped up on the left to send Lameiras away to the line but his cross went begging.
We then saw a period of Everton pressure starting with a free kick that dropped into the middle of the area. Dier laid this ball off to the near post for Thomas to volley. Miles' reaction save was equal to the effort turning the ball away from the danger area. The Spurs defence could not get the ball clear and Forrester saw his drive saved by the keeper. After Forrester fired wide, Miles saved a free kick from Dier.
Everton worked the ball down the left and crossed to Long at the far post who had time to control it before shooting. McQueen got across to the post to block the strike and also Long's follow up effort. The pressure finally told when Long picked up a loose ball some 25 yards out on the right, and calmly fired it past Miles, who was caught flat footed.
Spurs began to see more of the ball, and Angol connected with a ball that came in near the penalty spot, but it was blocked by a blue shirt. Fitzgibbon saved Ball's header from a corner. Everton were still on top with Thomas firing over and Higgins shooting wide. McQueen carried the ball out of defence as the visitors for once held back and allowed him to fire just wide of the post.
There were no changes made at the interval but Spurs looked sharper as Tapping fired wide. When Fitzgibbon dallied on the ball Angol slid in to rob him but, by the time he got to his feet and steadied himself, a defender had managed to get back to block his effort on the line.
Inglethorpe made a double substitution, replacing Angol with Caicedo and taking off McEvoy for Modeste, who went to right back with Percil moving forward. The side looked more balanced and after Long had fired over it was Spurs that began to get on top. Fitzgibbon saved from Lameiras at his right post but could not hold the ball. The ball then bounced around the area for a while, until Ball connected with a high volley only to see a defender get a block in. Minutes later Ball had a clear sight of goal but the keeper saved his effort. Modeste got down the line and crossed for the advancing white shirts.
A near post effort was blocked. Another attacker struck the ball, which was also blocked, and finally Caicedo saw his effort at the far post blocked. Everton were on the back foot and Inglethorpe replaced Percil with Champion in the middle to provide more options. Modeste crossed from the right and Coulthirst met it with his head but could only guide it wide of the far post.
Everton were now dropping deeper and relying on quick counters, such as when O'Brien got through the middle to draw a save from Miles. McQueen was booked for pulling back Forrester on another break. This led to an attack that saw Forrester slip the ball through to O'Brien, who came around behind the defence to score. Spurs kept the pressure on the visitors' goal with Caicedo firing wide. A cross to the far post by Modeste was met by Champion, who could not get his effort on target. Champion hit a rising shot over from the left. Ball got to the line on the right, and fired in a cross that Fitzgibbon punched clear from the head of Caicedo. Everton held on for the whistle to take the points.
Spurs started slowly and were knocked out of their style by a strong tackling side who were quicker to the ball and which closed down the space to force errors. They settled better in the second half and began to have more of the play taking the game to the visitors. Everton were deserved winners and defended well when they needed to with players prepared to throw themselves into the line of fire. It is early days for a lot of our players and once they settle into the style of play that Inglethorpe likes then I am sure we will see more of the attacking play that we had in the second half.
Next week Spurs go to play Huddersfield of the North-east group who lost their opening match away to Watford on Friday. Thanks to the Europa League I will be able to go to this match.
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