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Southampton U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 10.09.11
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

         Premier Academy League, Inter Group
        Staplewood Training Ground, Marchwood
       Saturday 10th September 2011, k.o.12.00

            SOUTHAMPTON     v       SPURS
         (Red/White/Black)       (All Purple)
               4-4-2                4-5-1

                2(1)                 2(0)

           Steve Mowthorpe  1 Jonathan Miles
         James Ward-Prowse  2 Jack Barthram
             Fraser Colmer  3 Alex McQueen
              Dominic Gape  4 Laste Dombaxe
              Matt Young(C) 5 William Ekong
           Jordan Turnbull  6 Daniel Day
            Calum Chambers  7 Kenneth McEvoy
             Harrison Reed  8 Dominic Ball
             Jake Sinclair  9 Shaquelle Coulthirst
                Joe Curtis 10 Jack Munns
               Sam McQueen 11 Roman Percil

              Bevis Mugabi 12 Grant Ward 
                (4)56Mins.    (11)64Mins.
               Chris Johns 13 Billy Granger
               Corby Moore 14 Oliver Modeste
                (8)56Mins.    (4)85Mins.
              Greg Ariyibi 15 Freddie Champion
                 Omar Rowe 16 Lee Angol

              Chambers 35     Coulthirst 46
              Moore 79        Ward 90+2

                              Munns(Behind) 86

                 J. Dodd      A. Inglethorpe

Referee:- A. Dine
Assistants:- T. Moisey, R. Hanslip
It was a warm rainy morning for this Inter-group away game. Southampton's training complex includes the former Marchwood AFC ground on which today's game was played. I was able to sit in the stand out of the rain for a change. After I enquired about team-sheets they were duly supplied albeit with a number of spelling errors.

Spurs lined up with Day and Ekong at the back with Barthram on the right and Alex McQueen at left back. Dombaxe, Ball and Munns started in the centre of midfield with McEvoy on the right flank and Percil on the left with Coulthirst as the lone striker.

Spurs defended the north end kicking up a slope in the first half. The Saints used the slope to attack at pace, mainly down the right where Chambers was a big handful. Both sides took a while to settle into any form of rythym before Sinclair turned on the edge of the area to fire in a rising effort that Miles pushed onto the bar. When the corner was not cleared, Gape drove the ball wide. Coulthirst fired wide, and after getting down the right Barthram also drove wide.

Coulthirst got up to back-head a centre which was easy for Mowthorpe. Curtis saw his effort loop up in the air dropping near the far post for Miles to catch. The keeper mis-judged the ball and it went for a corner. The home side worked hard to close down the visitors and were quick into the tackle and deserved to go in front. A lucky rebound allowed Sinclair to get into the area on the left and fire in a low cross-shot that Miles saved, only for the ball to run into the path of Chambers at the far post for a simple tap-in. Mowthorpe saved from Coulthirst before Curtis fired wide. A corner kick was defected to the far post for Gape to hit but Miles saved well. Munns drove forward avoiding several challenges only to see his effort hit the side netting.

There were no changes for the start of the second half with Spurs getting off to a flyer. Alex McQueen took a throw-in deep in his own half. The ball was thrown down the line and headed on by Coulthirst to Munns. The little midfielder dribbled his way to the edge of the area before laying it off to the advancing Coulthirst to drive it low into the net for the equaliser.

Spurs pushed forward in search of a second with Coulthirst firing wide. After Reed fired over from the edge of the area McEvoy was sent away down the right pulling the ball back for Munns to drive wide. Munns had another run and shot that went wide before Southampton put over a deep cross to the far post from the right which Sam McQueen met with his head. Day cleared off the line. This signalled a change in tactics as the Saints began to put over crosses whenever they could.

As Spurs dropped deeper the home side found space in front of goal with Sam McQueen firing over and Sinclair drawing a save from Miles. Inglethorpe replaced Percil with Ward to give fresh legs down the flank and he was sent away immediately. Ball fired wide. Another deep cross to Sam McQueen at the far post saw Barthram block his header on the line.Coulthirst played the ball through for McEvoy to take on the keeper but the young Irishman delayed a fraction too long allowing Mowthorpe to get close enough to smother his effort.

Saints' McQueen got the ball in the right corner and out-muscled two players before crossing for Moore to score in the centre of the goal. Spurs' Alex McQueen was replaced by Angol on the left with Ward dropping to full back. Sinclair's shot on the run was deflected for a corner and his next effort flew over the bar. Inglethorpe was forced to make his last substution when Dombaxe limped out of the action. Modeste took his place.

Munns was booked chasing back and catching his man from behind. Mowthorpe saved from Coulthirst before Barthram blocked a header by Ward-Prowse at the far post on the line again. Moore saw his effort saved as Spurs pushed bodies forward in search of the equaliser. Munns' corner routine to McEvoy at the near post saw the ball fly well over the bar. As the clock was running down, Barthram attacked through the right channel and drove a low shot in that Mowthorpe saved. As the ball ran out past the near post Barthram continued his run and turned the ball back off the line for Ward to run onto, driving the ball into the net for 2-2. Southampton only had enough time to kick off before the final whistle it was that close to the end.

This was a hard-fought game with the home side not quite holding out. They were strong in the tackle, which Spurs only began to match halfway through the second half. Teams are beginning to close Spurs down from the start of games which prevents them from playing out from the back and unsettling their style of play. I am sure that as the season develops they will be able to counter this better and improve their passing game.

Next week the Academy entertain Charlton Athletic at the Lodge and Aston Villa the following week.


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