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Spurs U-18s v Sunderland U-18s, 08.12.12
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

      Premier Academy U-18 League 2012-3, Group 2
          Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
          Saturday 8th December 2012, 11am

            SPURS      v     SUNDERLAND
         (All White)         (Dark Blue)
            4-3-3              4-4-2

             4(2)               0(0) 

          Luke McGee   1  Peter Burke
        Alex McQueen   2  Ryan Ellison
          Grant Ward   3  Thomas Robson
       Laste Dombaxe   4  Ross Holland(C)
      Connor Ogilvie   5  Ross Colquhoun
        Dominic Ball   6  Jassem Sukar
Roman Michael-Percil   7  Stephen McCarthy
      Nabil Bentaleb   8  Ethan Robson
Shaquile Coulthirst(C) 9  Nathan Thomas
       Joshua Onomah  10  Senesie Koroma
      Kenneth McEvoy  11  Jordan Blinco

     Thomas Gardiner  12  Michael Ledger
      Liam Priestley  13  Gregg Purvis
       Filip Lesniak  14  Jake Pickard
      William Miller  15 
         Harry Winks  16

Coulthirst 4, 82, 87
Michael-Percil 17 

       J. McDermott       E. Dickman

Referee:- I. Corner
Spurs welcomed Sunderland, the third placed team, to Hotspur Way for the last Group match knowing that a win would allow Spurs to finish third. While Spurs fielded an experienced side the visitors came with a young team that included two trialists.

Spurs lined up with Ball and Ogilvie at the back in front of McGee with McQueen at right back and Ward on the left side. Dombaxe provided protection for the defence with Onomah and Bentaleb in midfield. Up front was Coulthirst flanked by Michael-Percil and McEvoy.

Spurs kicked off attacking the West end in the first half and quickly had the visitors back-pedalling. Inside two minutes, Coulthirst headed wide from McEvoy's cross. Coulthirst made no mistake when Ward got to the line and crossed, losing his marker to turn the ball home.

Ward's next raid saw him come inside and drive wide. Bentaleb's turn and volley from nearly 30 yards was pushed over the bar by Burke for a corner. Bentaleb had another effort saved from closer range before Spurs scored again. This time Coulthirst took the ball down the right and crossed for Michael-Percil to drive in from near the penalty spot.

The Spurs midfield kept moving the ball across the middle until releasing the wide players to attack down the flanks. McQueen provided support for Michael-Percil on the right and Ward did the same for McEvoy on the left. Then, just to change things, the midfielders would step up and push through the middle.

McQueen fired over after coming in from the right, and Onomah drove over. Coulthirst released Michael-Percil on the right and he chipped over the advancing keeper from about 20 yards. The referee gave a corner when the ball went wide of the far post. Dombaxe fired wide and saw his next effort deflected up allowing Burke to save comfortably. The keeper saved from Onomah and Ward fired over.

Bentaleb released McEvoy for a run and shot that was saved. McGee had not had to make a save until after the 40th minute when he kicked a clearance straight to Thomas just outside the area. Ball conceded a free kick to stop him getting into the area. McGee saved the kick low to his right. I think that he was bored with nothing to do and so gave the ball away. There was still time for Coulthirst to fire wide, Onomah draw a save and Bentaleb to drive over.

Sunderland made a change for the second half and looked more determined to get a tackle in and be more physical. Spurs carried on from where they left off in the first half winning a corner in the first minute. Ogilvie headed wide of the far post from the kick.

The visitors won a corner and the ball was played back to Holland who crossed to the far post where Ball cleared off the line. Pickard drove wide for another corner. Michael-Percil was sent away on the right but drove into the side netting.

Sunderland made more changes including the goalkeeper who was soon in the action saving from Michael-Percil at the expense of a corner. Bentaleb fired wide before Onomah released Michael-Percil on the right and from his cross Coulthirst turned the ball wide of the net.

McEvoy linked with Ward down the left and when Ward crossed Coulthirst scored at the second attempt when the keeper blocked his first. Not long after that McEvoy came inside and made space for a low drive that hit the left post. Coulthirst was on hand to knock in the rebound for his third and Spurs fourth goal.

McEvoy was replaced by Miller for the re-start on the left, but the next attack came from the right. Michael-Percil came inside but his effort was blocked with the ball falling for Coulthirst on his right. The striker's low drive hit the outside of the right post and out of play. The visitors were happy to hear the ref's whistle, after only one minute had been added to the ninety.

This was a very good performance from Spurs who totally dominated the game. McGee had one save to make and a few collections and he set up the save himself. Spurs were dangerous down both flanks while the midfield trio contributed with shots when they got close the the eighteen yard line. While Sunderland came with a weak squad Spurs did not take it easy and finished this group in third place. The loss to Villa in the last home game meant they finished with fewer points than Crystal Palace who take the last berth in the Elite group for the second half of the season.

In the second half of the season Spurs will play in the new Group 1 alongside today’s opponents Sunderland and Aston Villa again. We are joined by Liverpool and Wolves from group 3 and West Brom from Group 1 with either Blackburn or West Ham. If Blackburn fail to beat the gooners away next week then we avoid the Hammers. To qualify for the finals we not only have to finish top of this group but have to beat the winners of the new group 2 which include Arsenal and Man City.


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