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Spurs U-18s v Watford U-18s, 17.12.11
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


           Premier Academy League, Group B
                Spurs Lodge, Chigwell 
          Saturday 17th December 2011, 11am

               SPURS      v     WATFORD
            (White/Blue)     (Yellow/ Red)
               4-4-2              4-4-2

                1(0)               1(1) 

           Billy Granger  1 Jack Bonham
            Alex McQueen  2 Brandon Horner
           Kevin Stewart  3 Kyle Connelly
            James Yeboah  4 Jack Westlake
           William Ekong  5 Tommie Hoban(C)
            Dominic Ball  6 Aaron Tumwa
          Kenneth McEvoy  7 Michael Kalu
              Jack Munns  8 Stepen Hamilton
    Souleymane Coulibaly  9 Bernard Mensah
          Ruben Lameiras 10 Sean Murray
    Shaquille Coulthirst 11 Kamaron English

              Grant Ward 12 Jordan Willmore
              (2)83Mins.
              Luke McGee 13 Chimdi Akubuine
   Victor Zapata-Caicedo 14 Luke O'Nien
              (9)71Mins.    (7)46Mins. 
               Sam Smith 15 
              (6)71Mins.
    Roman Michael-Percil 16 Dereece Gardner
                            (9)54Mins.
                         17 Unknown

Scorers:-
         McEvoy 50          Murray 18

Booked:-
         Yeaboah 24(Late)

Coach:- 
         A. Inglethorpe     D. Hughes

Referee:– P. Forrester
It was a chilly morning with the snow changing to rain as I arrived at the Lodge. Thankfully the rain stopped before kick-off and the sun came out for the second half. Today's visitors Watford are always a tough team to play against and were only three points behind us.

Spurs lined up with Yeboah and Ekong at the back with McQueen at right back and Stewart on the left in front of Granger in goal. Munns and Ball started in the centre of midfield with McEvoy on the right wing and Coulthirst on the left. Lameiras supported Coulibaly for his first Academy game up front.

Spurs attacked the South end in the first half with McEvoy and Coulthirst driving down the flanks fed by Lameiras in the centre. Watford defended in depth throwing themselves into tackles to blunt the home attacks and looking to spring counters by their front pair.

Coulthirst cut in from the left and fired in a shot that Bonham got his hands on but still had to be cleared off the line at the far post. Ekong headed wide at the far post from Munns' free kick. Mensah set up Kalu for a chance that he fired wide. McEvoy got round the back and cut the ball back for Lameiras whose low drive hit the near post. Horner sent over a cross that Granger had to tip away at the far post before the visitors took the lead. A deep cross from the right evaded two defenders to allow Murray a free run into the area where he drew Granger and tucked the ball into the net.

Spurs responded with Stewart getting down the left to play in Coulthirst who drew a save from the keeper. Yeboah was shown a yellow card by the referee when he dived in trying to retrieve a loose ball and caught Hamilton. Coulibaly, looking to impress on his début, fired over and then went just wide with an overhead kick. The Ivorian then squared the ball for Lameiras to fire wide.

Watford made two changes for the second half as they looked to close down the home side's wide players. It did not work as Coulthirst got down the left and crossed for McEvoy to turn in at the far post to drew the sides level.

Coulibaly fired wide and Bonham saved an effort from Ball from the edge of the area. Gardner fired wide for Watford before Bonham saved from Coulthirst with the ball being put behind as McEvoy threatened. From the corner Lameiras saw his volley blocked and when it was not cleared Munns set up Coulthirst for a chance that was cleared off the line.

The "Hornets" countered quickly with Granger saving from Murray. Inglethorpe made two changes as he looked to keep the pressure on the visitors with Zapata replacing Coulibaly up front and Smith replacing Ball in midfield. Munns hit a free kick over the bar and Lameiras fired wide.

The referee messed up when he stopped play for a Watford player who had stayed down deep in the Spurs half. He told the player on the ball in the Watford half to put it out of play. The player received treatment and was waiting to come back on when the referee indicated that the throw-in to restart the game was in Watford's favour. The player on the side line waiting to come on took the throw-in deep in the Spurs half.

Ward came on for McQueen at right back to keep the momentum going and Stewart got forward before driving his shot wide. With time running out, Munns met a cross from the left to head against the post with the linesman flagging for offside. The referee only added a minute before blowing for time.

Watford are a strong physical side and always seem to cause us trouble as they did today. Spurs maintained pressure down the flanks through Coulthirst and McEvoy but Watford's defenders stifled play in the middle to frustrate Coulibaly and the advancing midfield. Coulibaly himself looked to be trying too hard on his first outing for the Academy and will need time to settle in and for the midfield to provide the right service.

The Academy take a break over Christmas but still have a FA Youth Cup tie to play on Wednesday evening at Stevenage. (7 p.m.)

Ray

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