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Spurs U-18s v Fulham U-18s, 10.03.12
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

        Premier Academy League,
         Spurs Lodge, Chigwell 
    Saturday 10th March 2012, 11am

       SPURS     v     FULHAM
   (White/Blue)     (All Black)
       4-4-2            4-4-2

        4(3)             2(1)

   Billy Granger 1 Max Oberschmidt
    Alex McQueen 2 Oliver Monguel
       Sam Smith 3 Tom Richards
Nabil Bentaleb(C)4 Lasse Christensen(C)
   William Ekong 5 Solomon Samboy
   Kevin Stewart 6 Daniel O'Reilly
  Kenneth McEvoy 7 Derek Safo Tieku
      Jack Munns 8 Mahrez Bettache
  Darren McQueen 9 Cauley Woodrow
 Reuben Lameiras10 Muamer Tankovic
      Grant Ward11 Lyle Della Verde

 Zapata-Caicedo 12 Robert Maloney
     (3)62Mins.    (5)62Mins.
 Liam Priestley 13 Alex Brister
   Nathan Oduwa 14 Ronny Minkwitz 
   Dominic Ball 15 Omri Altman
     (4)77Mins.    (9)62Mins.
                16 Charles Banya

   Munns 30, 58    Tankovic 23 
   McEvoy 41       Christensen 73
   Ward 43

                   Maloney 78(Late)

   A. Inglethorpe  K. Symons

Referee:- N. Evans
It was a cool clear morning for the visit of Fulham to the Lodge. The delay in posting is because I went north straight after this match for the away game at Everton which may mean that my memory of events is a little hazy.

Spurs lined up with Stewart and the returning Ekong at the back with Alex McQueen at right back and Smith filling in on the left. Bentaleb was given the Captain's armband and started in the centre of midfield alongside Lameiras with McEvoy on the right wing and Ward on the left. Munns supported Darren McQueen up front. Our usual captain Shaquile Coulthirst had a protective boot on his right leg from the injury he received last week at Chelsea. He is hoping that it will be off in a couple of days.

Spurs defended the South end in the first half and it was noticeable that the back four took a while to settle, giving the ball away cheaply under pressure from the visitors' front pair. Christensen intercepted a pass from Ekong to play in Tankovic who fired over. Munns had an effort that was deflected wide for a corner. From the corner Bentaleb drove wide. Darren McQueen got his head to a cross by Ward from the left which reached McEvoy at the far post. The Irish winger did not expect it and could not get it on target.

Tankovic was given another chance that Granger saved. Woodrow won the ball and drew a save from Granger. Following up was Tankovic who put the loose ball into the net for the visitors to take the lead. Lameiras drew a save from Oberscmidt before Bettache played in Tankovic, who fired wide. Granger was almost caught out when Tieku tried to score direct from a corner having to reach behind to make the save.

The Spurs midfield began to gain control of the middle and put pressure on the visitors' defence. Munns corner was headed back by Ekong for Bentaleb , who fired over. McEvoy got down the right and crossed for Munns to drill home for the equaliser. Bettache played in Woodrow who was denied by Granger while Lameiras saw his effort saved.

Woodrow headed over from a centre before forcing a save from the keeper. Ward played in McEvoy to drive past the keeper to put Spurs in front. Bentaleb tried his luck from over 30 yards which was an easy save for Oberscmidt who then threw the ball out to his right. Ward reacted quickest to the ball and curled it past the stranded keeper to increase the home side's lead before the interval.

There were no changes for the second half with Spurs continuing where they left off. Lameiras fired wide before Darren McQueen had to be replaced by rookie striker Oduwa. Spurs increased their lead when Munns was given the ball by Lameiras near the halfway line and advanced and struck a beautiful effort from over 25 yards that flew into the top corner of the visitors' net.

With the game as good as over both sides made changes with Inglethorpe replacing Smith with Zapata who played on the left of midfield with Ward dropping to left back. Lameiras drew a good save from the keeper before Fulham reduced the lead. Tieku got down the right and crossed for Christensen to drive in from 10 yards.

Altman drew a save from Granger before Ball replaced Bentaleb in midfield. Having recently being used as a centre-back Ball took a while to settle giving the ball away cheaply. Stewart took the Captain's armband. Maloney was booked for a late tackle on Oduwa as he attacked through the left channel. Tankovic put a free kick wide as the visitors looked to reduce the arrears further. Granger had to save from Christensen and Bettache fired over in added time.

This was a good result against a well organised Fulham team. Our defence made mistakes during the early part of the game and Bentaleb kept dropping deep to pick up the ball which in turn put the midfield under pressure. Once they sorted themselves out, the midfield effectively took control of the game with the visitors left to pick up any mistakes.The Fulham keeper was in a dark blue kit which was almost indistinguishable from the black kit of the outfield players.

Next saturday the Academy will be away to Portsmouth. With an 11am kick-off. I should be able to go and be back in time for the Bolton match.


Ed:- Many thanks to Ray for his commitment. You'll be pleased to know he made it in time for kick off at Goodison, as i saw him briefly before the game.

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