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Norwich U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 21.04.12
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


           FA Premier Academy League
                Inter-group
            Colney Training Ground
           Hethersett Lane, Norfolk

        Saturday 21st April 2012, 11.30am

         NORWICH CITY  v    SPURS
        (Yellow/Green)   (White/Blue)
             4-4-2          4-4-2

              3(1)           5(3)

        David Wootton  1 Harry Voss
       Cameron Norman  2 Jack Barthram
         Harry Barker  3 Sam Smith
        Dean Florence  4 Dominic Ball
        Kyle McFadden  5 Giancarlo Gallifuoco
      Taylor McKenzie  6 Kevin Stewart
         Rian Carroll  7 Kenneth McEvoy
          Jason Dobbs  8 Nabil Bentaleb(C)
         Jacob Murphy  9 Souleymane Coulibaly
           Jamar Loza 10 Jack Munns
          Josh Murphy 11 Victor Zapata-Caicedo

       Michael Clunan 12 Ruben Lameiras
            (7)46Mins.   (5)11Mins.
             Joe Gill 13 Luke McGee
     Cameron McGeehan 14 Grant Ward
            (6)11Mins.   (3)81Mins.
       Carlton Morris 15 Nathan Oduwa
            (9)73Mins.   (11)73Mins.
          Kevin Lokko 16

Scorers:-
       Dobbs 1           Munns 31*
       Murphy 50         McEvoy 33*
       Loza 74           Barthram 54*
                         Stewart 73
                         Coulibaly 81

Booked:-
       Loza 56*(Late) 

* After a delay of about 10 minutes in 1st half

Coach:-
       R. Martin         A. Inglethorpe

Referee:- M. Potkins
Assistants:- L. Choate, S. Mower
The morning started with bright sunshine but with showers including a downpour during the second half which drove into the faces of the Spurs players. The rain drove most of the spectators under cover while I endeavoured to keep my notes dry.

Spurs lined up with U-15 keeper Voss in goal, with Ball and Stewart in the centre of defence flanked by Barthram on the right and Smith on the left. Bentaleb and Gallifuoco started in the centre of midfield with McEvoy on the right wing and Zapata on the left. Munns was behind Coulibaly up front, but dropped into a five man midfield due to the home side's open attacking set-up.

Spurs defended the west end in the first half and found themselves a goal down inside a minute. Loza got to the line at the near post where he cut the ball back for Dobbs, who was attacking the far post, to fire back across the keeper. The "Canaries" kept the pressure on Spurs in all parts of the pitch much like their seniors did at the Lane, unsettling the visitors and causing mistakes. One of these allowed Josh Murphy a chance to the left of the goal, but he missed the driven cross.

McEvoy was providing an attacking threat down the right which he kept up throughout the game. He won a corner which Munns took flighting to the far post. Gallifuoco jumped to meet it as McKenzie jumped in front of him. The resulting clash of heads stopped the game for about 10 minutes with both players leaving the field on stretchers to await an ambulance.

Lameiras came on for Gallifuoco and with his close ball control allowed the Spurs midfield to gain a foothold in the middle of the park. He set up a chance for Munns which was fired over the bar. Lameiras put in a centre that Zapata headed on to the far post where McEvoy tapped home. Unfortunately he was ruled offside. Spurs got a goal that did count two minutes later after Coulibaly was fouled on the edge of the area. Munns took the free kick and hit it low into the left corner of the net.

Spurs were soon in front when Wootton punched the ball out from a corner from the left which was played out to McEvoy on the right who drove it low inside the far post. It may have been a cross but it was just reward for the Irish winger.

The home side were still causing problems in the Spurs defence and when they won a free kick on the left it was quickly taken. The visitors were caught out with Voss watching the ball come back off the far post before it was cleared for a corner.

Bentaleb saw his effort deflected for a corner while Coulibaly headed over from McEvoy's cross. A mistake let in Josh Murphy to play in Jacob Murphy for a strike that Voss saved. Barthram gave McEvoy plenty of support on the right, and found himself inside the winger with space in front of him, so he hit a dipping volley from around 20 yards to increase the visitors' lead. Loza was shown a yellow card for clattering Lameiras after the ball had gone.

Norwich made one change for the second half and again were quick out of the blocks with Loza drawing a save from Voss at the near post having got past Ball. Jacob Murphy also had a good strike saved by the keeper before City got a goal back through Josh Murphy.

Spurs responded with an effort by Coulibaly that Wootton saved. Lameiras flighted a cross from the left that found McEvoy at the far post. His stooping header was saved by Wootton but fell kindly for Stewart to score and re-open the two goal lead.

Bentaleb fired wide, as did Murphy for City, and when Murphy blocked a clearance by Voss, Loza could not get his effort on target. Inglethorpe replaced Zapata with Oduwa on the left.

Norwich pulled another goal back when they won the ball in the centre and released Loza down the right. His pace took him clear to score across Voss into the far corner. Norwich began to throw caution to the wind and pushed players forward which left them light at the back.Munns took advantage of this when he received the ball in the centre circle and sent Coulibaly away between the City centre-backs to score past the advancing keeper.

Inglethorpe took off Smith for Ward to play at right back with Barthram moving across to the left. Ward got forward to set up Coulibaly who put the ball over. Coulibaly was sent away again and looked to have earnt a penalty when McGeehan caught him with both feet. The referee waved away the appeal as he had done earlier when a City player went down in the Spurs area. With Spurs looking to see out the game, Clunan saw his free kick saved and also had an effort saved for a corner.

This was a good win by Spurs against a strong Norwich side that closed down quickly and strongly but also played in an open attacking way. Spurs' midfield got the upper hand when Lameiras came on for the injured Gallifuoco. His movement gained that yard of space to open up the play. Bentaleb was given no space and began to lose his cool during the second half due to the attention he was receiving. It was a good open game with both sides attacking from beginning to end with the Spurs centre-backs looking vulnerable and the left side of Norwich continually being taken apart by McEvoy. Late in the game McEvoy tormented the full back by overdoing the step-overs instead of just skinning him.

Next Saturday the Academy travel to Aston Villa for their last game of the season comfortably in fourth place in Group B. The game kicks off at noon at Villa's Bodymoor Heath training ground.

Ray

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