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Spurs U21s v Sunderland U21s, 01.09.12
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

         Premier U-21 Reserve League, Group 2
             Spurs Lodge, Chigwell 
         Saturday 1st September 2012, 11am

             SPURS      v      SUNDERLAND
          (All White)          (All Blue)
             4-4-2               4-5-1

              2(1)                2(1) 

         Jordan Archer  1 Ben Wilson
            Adam Smith  2 Louis Laing
          Nathan Byrne  3 Blair Adams
         Kevin Stewart  4 David Vaughan
       Milos Veljkovic  5 John Egan
          Dean Parrett  6 David Ferguson
           Yago Falque  7 Adam Reed
          Ryan Mason(C) 8 Alejandro Gorrin
        Jonathan Obika  9 Ryan Noble
        Alex Pritchard 10 Jordan Laidler
     Cristian Ceballos 11 Craig Lynch

         William Ekong 12 Billy Knott
        Jonathan Miles 13 Joel Dixon
            Jack Munns 14 Roarie Deacon
         Laste Dombaxe 15 Liam Marrs
                       16 Mikael Mandron

         Pritchard 38     Noble 44
         Falque 58        Reed 82pen

         Parrett 69(Foul)
         Mason 81(Foul)

         T. Sherwood      K. Ball

Referee:- B. Holderness
Assistants:- N. Evans & S. Postin
It was an overcast morning for the visit of Sunderland to Spurs Lodge on what may be the last match before the move to Bulls Cross. The game was played on the first team pitch above the buildings. There was not a big crowd there, but I did see David Pleat watching the game and also caught sight of Gomes and Parker in for rehabilitation.

Spurs lined up with Archer in goal behind a defence of Veljkovic and Stewart with Smith at right back and Byrne on the left. Parrett and Pritchard started in the centre of midfield with the Spaniards Falque on the right and Ceballos on the left. Mason supported Obika up front.

Spurs kicked off attacking the north end and the first effort fell to Mason who fired over from the edge of the area. Gorrin drove over a couple of minutes later for the "Mackems". Our Spanish pair do like to work together so when Ceballos took a right-side corner he played it to the corner of the area for Falque to drive just wide of the goal.

Veljkovic found Falque with a long ball deep on the right, and Falque sent a pass to the left of the area for the advancing Parrett to shoot and draw a save from Wilson for a corner.

Noble chased a ball through the left channel but Archer was out quickly to beat him to the ball. Mason saw his effort deflected for a corner and Ceballos set up Falque for a shot that was saved. Gorrin fired wide as Spurs kept up the pressure with Falque providing a chance for Ceballos that was wide, before providing the pass for Pritchard to score. This was another cross-field ball that Pritchard took inside the defender and drilled low into the far side of the net.

The visitors responded with a ball played through for Noble to chase but Archer was out to block at his feet. Noble set up Reed with a square ball but he fired over. Spurs then conceded a free kick on the left. The ball was flighted to the far post where Egan rose to head it against the crossbar. Noble was quickest to react to head the rebound into the net for an unlikely equaliser. There was still time for Pritchard to fire wide from a Falque cross before the referee blew for half-time.

The visitors made one change for the second half, while Sherwood kept the same eleven. Obika saw his effort deflected for a corner which was followed quickly by another, from which Mason fired wide from the edge of the area. Lynch fired over before Egan headed wide from a corner.

Pritchard, who was now more to the left side, as Ceballos had moved inside, forced a save from Wilson. A cross from Byrne was headed down for Falque to drive home from ten yards and restore Spurs lead. Wilson prevented Spurs increasing their lead by saving Mason's free kick and also stopping a low drive by Ceballos from a Falque pass. Falque set Ceballos up again but the drive flew over.

Parrett was booked for a foul on the left which I failed to see. Pritchard fired in a shot that Wilson could not hold but the keeper foiled Ceballos who was following up. It did not count as the assistant's flag was up for off side. Mason drove over the bar before Sunderland were given a penalty. The ball was played into the near post from the left and Pritchard slid in to clear the ball. I could see nothing from our position on the side but the ref pointed to the spot. Reed sent Archer the wrong way firing low to his right.

Mason saw his effort fly wide before he was booked preventing a player getting past him and having a clear run on goal. Byrne got down the left and fired into the side netting. Laidler had the last effort that he put wide.

This was a disappointing result, as Spurs were always on top but could not open up a bigger lead to secure the result. They are still looking for that first win (Ed: Like the first team then!). There were good performances from the defence and midfield with some good passing. The finishing could have been better as Obika did okay but was being isolated as Mason dropped more into midfield. Mason used to have a good scoring record with efforts from the edge of the area but today most of his shots were off target. Ceballos and Falque along with Pritchard worked well creating opportunities with a high work rate but the Sunderland defence did well to keep them away from their goal early on and restricted them to attempts from outside the area. Spurs had the same problem on Wednesday against United but it all looks promising.

The next U-21 game will be another home match against Stoke City on Monday 17th September. This may be at Bulls Cross. Before then the U-18's will play Stoke away on Saturday 15th September. Hopefully I will be at both. (Ed: I hope to see the U-18 game too!)


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