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Sunderland U-21s v Spurs U-21s, 10.12.12
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


      FA Premier U-18 Academy League, Group 2
       Sunderland Academy of Light, Cleadon
       Monday 10th December 2012, Midday K.O.

         SUNDERLAND     v       SPURS 
        (Red/White)          (Blue/White)
           4-4-2                4-3-3

            2(1)                 1(1)

            Ben Wilson  1  Lawernce Vigouroux
            Liam Marrs  2  Jack Barthram
        David Ferguson  3  Kevin Stewart
             Adam Reed  4  Massimo Luongo(C)
        Scott Harrison  5  Grant Hall
         Connor Oliver  6  Milos Veljkovic
         Adam Mitchell  7  Dean Parrett
           Alex Gorrin  8  Scott Parker
            Ryan Noble  9  Jonathan Obika
        Jordan Laidler 10  Alex Pritchard
         Roarie Deacon 11  Cristian Ceballos

            Wade Joyce 12  Souleymane Coulibaly
                           (7)60Mins.
       Jordan Pickford 13  Liam Priestley
     Anthony Callaghan 14  Jack Munns
                           (10)79Mins.
           Billy Knott 15  Giancarlo Gallifuoco
                           (6)79Mins.

Scorers:-
           Noble 32        Ceballos 18
           Oliver 38

Coaches:-
           K. Ball         C. Ramsey

Referee:- A. Greenwood
Assistants:- P. Keogh & M. Gillespie
It was a chilly morning up on Wearside. The Sunderland Academy is just north of the Stadium of Light. Visitors were provided with overshoes to protect peoples footwear and stop mud being trailed through the building. The pitch itself was sunken to give it a little shade from the wind, but does not help with flooding.

Spurs lined up with Vigouroux in goal behind a back four of Hall and Veljkovic flanked by Barthram on the right and Stewart on the left. Over-age Parker sat in front of the defence with Parrett and Luongo as the midfield trio. Obika led the attack flanked by Ceballos on his right and Pritchard on his left.

Spurs defended the South end in the first half with Vigouroux having to save from Noble after ten minutes as both sides settled into the game. Pritchard came in from the left but his effort was deflected across the goal-mouth where Ceballos drove in a shot that was blocked for a corner. Hall headed wide from the corner.

Noble set up Reed for a effort that was turned wide for a corner. From the corner Harrison headed over. When Wilson kicked the ball straight to Ceballos he was made to pay for it as the Spanish winger took the ball past two defenders before curling it into the far side of the goal.

Noble was proving to be the main danger man as he headed over a corner. Mitchell got down the right and pulled the ball back for Laidler to drive in from the edge of the area where Noble turned it in from close range to draw the home side level.

Ceballos fired a free kick wide while his opposite number Deacon hit a free kick over minutes later. Sunderland went ahead from a corner when Oliver headed in from the far post. The "Black Cats"' quick counters were causing Spurs problems as Laidler drove wide and Vigrourox saved from Deacon before the half ended.

Spurs stepped up a gear in the second half with Pritchard firing wide from a free kick and Obika driving wide. Spurs replaced Parrett with Coulibaly changing to 4-4-2.

Noble got free, running onto a long ball, but Vigouroux was out quickly to save. Parker fired in a long range effort that was easily saved by Wilson. Pritchard crossed for Coulibaly who smashed it wide. Noble played in Mitchell who missed an open goal. Munns came on for Pritchard and Veljkovic was replaced by Gallifuoco as Spurs went for the equaliser.

Spurs were pushing forward, pinning the home side in their half which allowed Noble to get a chance on the counter which was saved. With Spurs camped in the opposition's half, Obika fired wide, as did Parker. The last chance fell to Coulibaly who got on the end of a cross from Barthram but hit it over the bar.

This had been a good contest with the Spurs side playing passing football and Sunderland being more direct. I had seen Noble before and he impressed me then as he did today. With so much possession Spurs should have got a point but they did not get the luck on the day. Parker slowed the game down from the usual pace of the U-21's with a performance that was more controlled. He did play the full 90 minutes without a problem.

Next week Spurs play their last game of this phase against Aston Villa at Villa Park. Villa lost to Man Utd this evening which leaves them on the same number of points as Chelsea but with an inferior goal difference. They need a point to join us in the Elite group for the second phase.

Ray.

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