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Spurs U-21s v Man Utd U-21s, 15.02.13
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

              Premier U-21 League 2012-3,
                    Elite Group 
           Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
          Friday 15th February 2012, 12am Noon

              SPURS      v   MANCHESTER UTD
           (All White)         (All Red)
              4-3-3              4-5-1

               3(1)               1(0) 

         Jonathan Miles  1  Sam Johnstone
           Nathan Byrne  2  Marnick Vermijl
         Ezekial Fryers  3  Sean McGinty
         Jake Livermore  4  Reece Brown(C)
          Kyle Naughton  5  Tom Thorpe
       Massimo Luongo(C) 6  Michele Fornasier
           Dean Parrett  7  Larnell Cole
            Tom Carroll  8  Ryan Tunnicliffe
         Jonathan Obika  9  Adnan Januzaj
             Harry Kane 10  Nick Powell
      Cristian Ceballos 11  Jesse Lingard

          Kevin Stewart 12  Tyler Blackett
             Harry Voss 13  Jonathan Sutherland
   Giancarlo Gallifuoco 14  Charni Ekangamene
             Jack Munns 15  Tom Lawrence
             (11)81Mins.    (9)69Mins.
                        16  Gyliano Van Velsen

       Obika 35, 50, 90     Thorpe 48

                            Tunnicliffe 84 (Dissent) 

       T. Sherwood          W. Joyce

Referee:- S. Daly
Assistants:- N. Dunn & S. Postin
It was a sunny morning but a little chilly for the second Elite group match of the week for the U-21s at Hotspur Way. Having beaten Liverpool on Monday, Spurs entertained Manchester United today. United were in our group for the first phase before Christmas, when after losing 2-1 away we beat them 4-2 at Hotspur Way in October.

Spurs made one change from the starting line-up against Liverpool with Naughton replacing Veljkovic in defence. He joined Livermore at the back with Byrne at right back and Fryers on the left. Luongo partnered Carroll and Parrett in the midfield in support of Kane starting central up front with Obika on his left and Ceballos on his right.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the east end. United closed Spurs down quickly all over the pitch, preventing their quick passing game from the back, and succeeding in breaking up the play without creating much themselves. They did get the ball in the net via Januzaj who was well off-side.

The first chance fell to the home side half way through the half when Luongo fired over from distance. It was another ten minutes before the next chance, which saw Obika drive wide. Spurs were now beginning to find space and string passes together, and when Fryers got down the left his low cross was met by Obika at the near post. Johnstone saved his initial effort but in the scramble for the loose ball Obika knocked it in. I was not sure who scored but his team-mates were congratulating him.

Luongo fired over and Obika had a low drive saved before he put another chance over the bar. In the last minute of the half Parrett played Obika through the centre but the keeper saved his drive.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw United come out quickly looking for an equaliser. They got it when a corner was not cleared and Lingard turned the ball back for Thorpe to thunder it in the top corner from over twenty yards.

Spurs were quickly back in front when, after a right sided corner was cleared to the far side, Naughton chipped it in for Kane at the far post. His header came back off the crossbar for Obika to score with a diving header.

Luongo passed for Obika to fire in a shot that was saved. A United free kick was headed wide by Brown. A turn and shot by Kane was turned away by Johnstone and picked up by Ceballos who went outside the full back before curling the ball under the bar which the keeper turned over for a corner. Obika was played in again and when his effort was saved by the keeper, Carroll, following up headed the ball over the bar.

United began to push players forward and take the game to Spurs with Powell firing wide and Tunnicliffe hitting the post with a low drive. Substitute Lawrence also fired wide before Obika, who looked to have adopted a shoot on sight policy, drew a save from Johnstone.

Spurs made a change replacing Ceballos with Munns after he had been caught by a couple of heavy challenges. Munns was soon into the action when he cut inside carrying the ball across the pitch before it fell to Kane who forced a save from the keeper. The referee finally had enough of the United players talking back to him everytime something did not go for them and booked Tunnicliffe for abuse after a ball to hand incident in the Spurs area.

After the visitors made their last change the game became very open which suited Spurs most as they were able to counter attack when United attacked which is usually how United prefer to play. Parrett carried the ball out of defence and played in Obika who fired over as time was running out. On the ninety mark Parrett again broke out and played in Obika who had time to pick his spot to score low past the keeper for 3-1 and a hat-trick. In added time Blackett's effort from the edge of the area was saved by Miles just before the final whistle.

The game started with United putting the man on the ball under pressure forcing errors but they could not keep it up, and once Spurs began to find space they settled into the fast pace passing game that they like. The visitors did very little until they went behind but showed little of the pressurising game at which their first team excel.

In the second half Obika moved more central with Kane dropping off and looked more determined to score even when other players were better positioned maybe looking for the hat-trick goal focused his mind. Fryers had a better game today after a stuttering start but he was not as good as Byrne on the right side. I think that the referee did not want to book anybody today as he let play continue when he could have pulled players up. He had to hold up play a couple of times because of abuse from United players until he had had enough. I could hear him say so when he did finally produce a card.

That was the second game this week and I have to say that Liverpool were a harder test on Monday than United were today. The win opens the gap to seven points on Liverpool and West Ham who have games in hand. The next game for the U-21s is another home game the sixth when the visitors will be Arsenal. This game is on Saturday the 23rd February.

              ELITE GROUP 

Pos                  P  W  D  L  F-A   GD  PTS 
1  Tottenham U21     5  4  1  0 14-6    8   13 
2  West Ham  U21     3  2  0  1  6-3    3    6 
3  Liverpool U21     3  2  0  1  4-3    1    6 
4  Man Utd   U21     3  1  1  1  6-6    0    4 
5  West Brom U21     3  1  1  1  2-3   -1    4 
6  Arsenal   U21     3  0  2  1  3-5   -2    2 
7  S'hampton U21     4  0  2  2  5-8   -3    2 
8  Wolves    U21     4  0  1  3  5-11  -6    1 


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