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Spurs U-18s v Wolves U-18s, 02.02.13
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

         Premier Academy U-18 League 2012-3, Group 2
             Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
            Saturday 2nd February 2013, 12 noon

                 SPURS     v      WOLVES
              (All White)      (Gold/Black)
                 4-3-3             4-4-2

                  1(0)              1(1) 

               Luke McGee  1 Jonathan Flatt
               Grant Ward  2 Dominic Iorfa
           Connor Ogilvie  3 Ben O'Hanlon
        Nabil Bentaleb(C)  4 James Kellerman(C)
             Dominic Ball  5 Ahtonie Bolanol
            Laste Dombaxe  6 Ryan Schofield
     Roman Michael-Percil  7 David Moli
              Harry Winks  8 Declan Weeks
      Shaquile Coulthirst  9 Ibrahim Keita
           Ruben Lameiras 10 Dominic Dell
           Kenneth McEvoy 11 Dylan Stringer-Moth

            Aaron McEneff 12 Luke Ifil
           Liam Priestley 13 Scott Dutton
          Emmanuel Sonupe 14 Andre Streete
             Nathan Oduwa 15 Tendai Matinayze
               (7)58Mins.    (11)86Mins.
        Daniel Akindayini 16 Ryan Raihey

        Bentaleb 59 pen      Moli 27 pen

        Oduwa 75(Behind)

        K. McKenna           M. Halsall

Referree: M. Chisholm
It started out as a bright sunny morning with a chilly wind, but it got steadily colder and blustery as the game wore on. This game was moved back due to the Youth Cup game at West Ham after the Liverpool fixture(due today) was also moved.

Spurs lined up with Dombaxe and Ball in the middle of the defence in front of McGee with Ward at right back and Ogilvie on the left. Bentaleb anchored the midfield trio with Winks and Lameiras supporting Coulthirst up front flanked by Michael-Percil and McEvoy.

Spurs kicked off attacking the East end against a strong Wolves defence that were determined to keep our players away from their goal. They closed down quickly across the midfield challenging hard, restricting Spurs to long range attempts initially.

Lameiras had the first effort which was easily saved by Flatt. Winks drew a save for a corner before Keita fired wide for the visitors. A deep centre from Michael-Percil found Coulthirst in space to head the ball into the top far corner only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.

Ward was adjudged to have tripped Keita as he tried to drive into the area and the referee awarded the visitors a penalty. I was told that the initial contact was outside the area but it was close. Moli stepped up to score from the spot to give Wolves the lead.

Instead of just defending in numbers Wolves pushed their back four up to the halfway line to compress the play making it tight for the quick passing game of Spurs through the middle.

Spurs had a chance when Lameiras sent Michael-Percil away down the right to cross but McEvoy was not quick enough to reach it as it passed the far post. Coulthirst whipped in a shot to the near post that Flatt saved. The Wolves keeper had to make saves from Winks and Michael-Percil shortly after as Spurs pushed for a goal. Michael-Percil had been sent through the middle and took his effort early as Flatt came out quickly to save. Bentaleb drove over as did Ward and at the end of the half Coulthirst drew another save.

There were no changes at the start of the second half as Spurs continued trying to break through the middle. Coulthirst got down the right and crossed for McEvoy to turn wide at the far post. A free kick by Bentaleb was turned over by Coulthirst as the home side continued to press.

Moli broke away but saw his volleyed effort saved, despite it taking a deflection on the way. McEvoy cut inside for an effort that was saved, before Spurs made their first change replacing Michael-Percil with Oduwa who went to the left side allowing McEvoy to switch to his favoured right.

Moli was providing Wolves with an outlet and drew a save from McGee at his near post winning a corner. McEvoy got down the right and crossed for Coulthirst to win a corner from Flatt's save. Coulthirst beat the offside trap to go one on one with the keeper who tripped him as he took the ball past for a penalty. Bentaleb stepped up to put his spot kick into the left corner with the keeper going the other way.

Coulthirst played in Lameiras for an effort that was turned wide for a corner. Oduwa was booked for a tackle from behind when Iorfa got the better of him. Spurs continued to press for a second with Ward popping up on the left to collect a pass inside from Oduwa but hitting it wide.

Akindayini came on for McEvoy as Spurs switched to 4-4-2. Flatt conceded a corner saving from Coulthirst who on the next attack played in Lameiras for a drive that flew over the bar. With Spurs committed to attack the visitors made a couple of changes and tried to counter more. Stringer-Moth fired over from a good position and Dell drove wide. Akindayini had an effort saved and Oduwa headed wide from Winks cross. Ifil drove wide just before the final whistle.

Spurs made hard work of winning their first point in the group. Wolves provided a solid barrier across the centre of the park, compressing the play, making Spurs passing game harder by weight of numbers. I would have liked to see more balls over the top or down the line to make them think. Wolves were very determined not to let players get away from them and were unhappy with the number of fouls they were conceding getting quite heated with the referee who I thought should have booked al least one of their players for not retreating 10 yards from free kicks during the game. Spurs need to learn how to vary their game more, when they cannot pass their way through the opposition's midfield.

The Academy have another home game next saturday when Sunderland are the visitors for an 11.30am kick off. Before then, on Monday, the U-21 side face West Ham at Hotspur Way. The Hammers lost their opening fixture to the gooners who take on early leaders Liverpool on the same day.


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