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Leicester U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 21.01.12
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


           Premier Academy League, Group B
           Leicester City Training Ground,
                    Belvoir Ave.
             Saturday 21st January 2012
                      12.30pm


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

                 4(1)            6(2)

                             1 Billy Granger
                             2 Alex McQueen 
                 Theo Brown  3 Jack Barthram
                 Joey Jones  4 William Ekong
               Steven Smith  5 Oliver Modeste
                             6 Kevin Stewart
           Robert Paratoure  7 Victor Zapata-Caicedo
        Harrison Panayiutou  8 Jack Munns
               Tom Hooper(C) 9 Grant Ward
              Josepth Dodoo 10 Ruben Lameiras
               Michael Cain 11 Shaquile Coulthirst(C)

                            12 James Yeboah
                            13 Harry Voss
                            14 Kenneth McEvoy
                               (7)87Mins.
                            15 Roman Michael-Percil
                            16 Mason Bush
                               (10)64Mins.
                            17
                 ?(9)79Mins.
     Louis Greenway-Tambini 18 
                  (8)87Mins.

Scorers:-
     Panayiotou 44             Zapata-Caicedo 34, 39
     Hooper 64, 70             Coulthirst 72, 75
     Greenway-Tambini 90+4     Smith o.g. 78
                               Bush 90+6

Booked:-
                               Ekong 66(Kicked ball away)

Coach:-
     T. Peake                  A. Inglethorpe

Ref:- A. Fox (Some irony here!)

I arrived early after having driven through rain to find the sun shining, but there was a chilled wind that drove across the pitch and delivered a shower of rain during the second half. As usual the home side did not provide a team-sheet so I apologise for any errors.

Spurs lined up with Modeste joining Ekong at the back with McQueen on the right and Barthram at left back. Stewart played as a defensive midfielder alongside Munns in the centre of midfield. Zapata played wide right and Coulthirst wide left with Lameiras in support of Ward up front.

Spurs defended the north end in the first half and came under early pressure as the young Foxes looked to unsettle the visitors. Leicester have always been a strong physical side and today was no exception as they looked to take control.

Granger saved from Paratoure and Hooper as Spurs were put onto the back foot. Spurs slowly got to grips and began to exploit their pace on the flanks. Coulthirst got round the back and fired in a shot that the keeper turned over for a corner. The home side did what they needed to do to prevent Spurs from from getting through and out-muscled Lameiras to stop him from getting forward. Ruben did play three good balls through and Ward was unlucky not to finish one of them.

City kept the pressure on with Hooper firing wide and then playing in Paratoure to force Granger into a save. City used long throws into the box throughout the game with Hooper heading wide from the first. Another attack down the left ended with a cross to the far post for the advancing full back who screwed his effort wide of the far post with only the keeper to beat.

The misses proved costly as Spurs broke down the left when Coulthirst sent Munns away on the left and his low hard cross was met by Zapata arriving in the box to open the scoring. Five minutes later and Spurs repeated the feat when Ward fired in the cross and Zapata again arrived to finish.

Leicester fought back and after a long throw was met by Smith, Barthram cleared off the line for a corner. From the corner the ball was drilled in low and Panayoitou was there to turn it in. As the half ended Dodoo fired wide.

Leicester re-grouped for the second half but took a while to create their first chance which Paratoure drove wide. Jones fired over before Dodoo got a shot on target for Granger to save. Spurs gave the ball away in the middle of the pitch and City played it forward quickly to Hooper which caught Spurs out and the striker had an easy finish to level the scores.

Inglethorpe replaced Lameiras with Bush in the centre to strengthen the midfield. Spurs wavered as City gained confidence with Ekong being shown a yellow card for kicking the ball away after conceding a foul to prevent the Foxes taking the free kick quickly. Spurs shot themselves in the foot again when Modeste gave the ball away on the edge of the area to Hooper who advanced past Ekong to beat Granger and put the home side in front.

The lead did not last long as McQueen hit a long diagonal towards Coulthirst on the left. Bush, who was outside of him, collected the ball and fed Coulthirst, who drove into the area and score low under the keeper.

The game was becoming more open as both sides pushed forward which benefited Spurs more as Coulthirst played in Barthram to drive just wide of the far post. Coulthirst beat the offside trap to leave him with a clear run on goal. He drew the keeper before cutting back and firing home off the head of Brown on the line to put Spurs back in front.

Spurs next attack was cleared out of the area to the right and when it was fired back in Smith turned it past his own keeper to increase the gap to two goals. City heads fell and Peake began to make changes to his side. Inglethorpe himself made another change to waste time by replacing Zapata with McEvoy.

The replacements did put a spring in the step of the home side. They headed over from a corner and then Greenway slipped Modeste and advanced to pull a goal back in added time. Any small chance of saving the game was quashed when Bush received the ball on the edge of the area and he had time to control the ball before firing past the keeper for Spurs sixth goal. The referee gave them a couple more minutes before finally blowing for time.

Leicester always give Spurs a hard game and had the better of the play in the game at the Lodge earlier in the season when Spurs equalised late on to earn a 3-3 draw. The two matches provided 16 goals with the second half today featuring 7 as the game opened up. Stewart's position today did not work as he expected to have the time than he is used to in defence which City denied. I thought at first that Inglethorpe was going to play with three at the back and use wing backs. Lameiras was also not given the space to work and had to be replaced as he was not strong enough to hold off the City players.

The win sees Spurs move above Leicester into third place by one point with City having a game in hand. Next week Spurs go to second placed Reading for an 11.30am kick-off for another tough game.

Ray

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