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Spurs U-18s v Ipswich U-18s, 31.03.12
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

       Premier Academy League, Intergroup
         Spurs Lodge, Chigwell, Essex 
        Saturday 31st March 2012, 11am

           SPURS    v    IPSWICH TOWN
       (White/Blue)      (Blue/White)
           4-4-2            4-4-2

            2(0)             4(2) 

      Billy Granger 1 Cody Cropper
       Alex McQueen 2 Callum Bennett(C)
          Sam Smith 3 David October
       Dominic Ball 4 Sean Meikle
      William Ekong 5 Lewis Acott
     Ronnie Hawkins 6 Gunnar Thorsteinnssen
     Kenneth McEvoy 7 Tommy Winter
         Jack Munns 8 Mark Timlin
     Darren McQueen 9 Jack Marriott
Shaquile Coulthirst10 Byron Lawrence
   Rueben Lameiras 11 Joe Whight

        Grant Ward 12 Carel Tiofack
         (3)66Mins.   (9)61Mins.
    Liam Priestley 13 Conor O'Donnell
    Nabil Bentaleb 14 Jonathan Leddy
        (11)46Mins.   (8)61Mins. 
    Zapata-Caicedo 15 ElliotScotcher
        (7)68Mins.    (4)61Mins.

    Coulthirst 52, 70 Whight 37pen
                      Marriott 43, 50
                      Winter 66 

                      Whight 14(Late)

    A. Inglethorpe    R. Osman

Referee:- J. Wynne
It was a cold cloudy morning for the visit of Ipswich Town to Spurs Lodge. It was a bit of a shock to the system after such a warm week. Ipswich came fresh from a 3-1 win last week over Birmingham although they are still bottom of Group A. Spurs did not have a match last week which allowed skipper Shaquile Coulthirst to be fit for a return to action.

Spurs lined up with Ball alongside Ekong at the back with Alex McQueen at right back and Smith on the left. Hawkins and Munns started in the centre of midfield with McEvoy on the right flank and Lameiras on the left. Coulthirst supported Darren McQueen up front.

Spurs kicked off attacking the South goal, but found it difficult to break down the Suffolk side's defence. Town were happy to sit back with two banks of four keeping a high line and sending the ball forward quickly for the front two to chase. Spurs continued to try and play the ball through this defence which tended to catch the forwards offside, when I thought that a couple of early long balls over the top may have made the defenders think twice.

Winter had the first chance of the game when he fired wide, after the ball was laid back to him. Whight was shown a yellow card when he slid in late on Lameiras on the left side. Cropper saved Munns' opening effort for the home side, while Winter was played in to draw a save from Granger.

Whight was played in through the middle and got past the centre backs, advancing on Granger. Coulthirst got back and knocked him off the ball to concede a penalty. He was lucky that the referee did not feel that he was the last man. Whight sent Granger the wrong way with a low kick to the left for the opening goal. Ipswich increased their lead when Marriott bore down on goal. Ekong got in a tackle but the ball went to the wide player on the left side who returned the ball for Marriott to finish low past Granger.

Inglethorpe made one change for the second half replacing Lameiras with Bentaleb on the left side of midfield. Spurs looked to stretch the Ipswich defence by spreading the ball wide more and by using the pace of McEvoy and Coulthirst. A clearing header from Thorsteinnssen was deflected into the path of Marriott who had a clear run on goal. The striker made no mistake as he scored across the keeper.

Spurs responded well as they upped their game. Bentaleb got down the left to cross. Cropper got a hand to it but Coulthirst was in the right place to finish with a chest high volley. The goal spurred on the home side with Munns firing over and a low drive from Bentaleb was saved. Darren McQueen was played through the middle and was caught by Cropper as he went past him. He recovered quickly but the chance had gone. The referee did not give a penalty and McQueen did not protest strongly. Tim Sherwood on the sideline did have a go at the referee, as Ipswich made a triple change.

The visitors sought to hold onto their lead, defending in depth with all ten players retreating into their own half for long periods. Spurs pushed players forward in search of another goal with Coulthirst having a drive deflected over for a corner. Hawkins' corner reached Ekong at the back post but his downward header was saved on the line. Ipswich then scored on the break through Winter, before Inglethorpe made his second change. Ward came on for Smith to use his pace on the left. Zapata followed him on shortly afterwards, in place of McEvoy, to lead the line with Darren McQueen moving to the right in front of his cousin Alex.

Bentaleb got through the left channel to receive a pass from Munns which he laid off to Coulthirst who finished with a low drive past Cropper to reduce the deficit. Cropper saved an effort from Zapata and Coulthirst turned Ward's pass wide of the far post as Spurs continued to press. Both Ball and Ekong had attempts before the end, but Spurs could not find the net again.

Like the first team, the youth side have a problem in breaking down a defensive side. They also made too many mistakes at the back in the first half. They persisted in trying to pass their way through the Ipswich defence and not simply hitting it over once or twice to make them think. The good thing is that they never gave up and kept going.

There is no Academy game next week as it is the Easter break but they will be going to Dusseldorff in Germany to compete in a tournament. I would have gone but for the Norwich home game.


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