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Spurs U-21s v West Ham U-21s, 04.02.13
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

           Premier Academy U-21 League 2012-3,
                      Elite Group 
            Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
            Monday 4th February 2013, 12 noon

                SPURS     v     WEST HAM
            (All White)       (Claret/Blue)
                4-4-2             4-4-2

                 3(2)              2(1)

         Jonathan Miles   1  Jake Larkins
        Ryan Fredericks   2  Callum Driver
         Ezekiel Fryers   3  Frazer Shaw
       Massimo Luongo(C)  4  Amos Nasha(C)
   Giancarlo Gallifuoco   5  Jordan Spence
        Milos Veljkovic   6  Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu
      Cristian Ceballos   7  Matthias Fanimo
            Tom Carroll   8  George Moncur
         Jonathan Obika   9  Wellington Paulista
             Harry Kane  10  Sebastien Lletget
           Dean Parrett  11  Elliot Lee

          Kevin Stewart  12  Kieran Bywater
         Liam Priestley  13  Sam Howes
           Nathan Byrne  14  Taylor Miles 
           John Bostock  15  Nathan Mavila

         Obika 25            Lee 41
         Kane 44             Paulista 55
         Gallifuoco 69

         T. Sherwood         N. Haycock

Referee: R. Hyde
Assistants: J. Marin & S. Moore
It looked like being a sunny morning going to this game but the clouds came over and a swirling wind made for a difficult game. The scouts were out in force as loan deals can still be made in the League. Loans played a part in the team selection as Kane was back but Mason, Pritchard and Townsend were out.

Spurs lined up with Miles in goal behind Gallifuoco and Veljkovic with Fredericks at right back and Fryers on the left. Luongo and Carroll started in the centre of midfield with Ceballos on the right and Parrott on the left. The returning Kane supported Obika up front.

Spurs started the first half attacking the east end and found that accurate passing was going to be difficult against a tight Hammers' defence, and the windy conditions. The visitors closed down quickly from front to back with strong physical challenges forcing Spurs to release the ball quicker than they would like resulting in few sustained passing spells. The Spurs midfield responded in kind to produce a midfield dominated battle with few chances for either side.

Ceballos cut inside and whipped in a volley from just left of centre which Larkins saved at his right post. Parrett drove wide before Lee cut in from the left to fire over. Larkins saved a long range drive from Kane that was cleared for a throw-in on the left. Kane collected the throw and got down the left and behind the defence pulling the ball back for Obika to slot home for the opening goal.

Kane fired over from just outside the area before Lee got behind the defence to fire wide. Fredericks had to come off after a run down the right to be replaced by Byrne. It looked like Ryan had not recovered from the knock he picked up in the last game. As half-time was approaching, Lee raced onto a through ball and beat Miles with a low drive that went in off the near post. Spurs responded well and restored their lead before the break. In a move that saw all four midfield players get involved to move the ball in from the right touchline for Carroll to feed the ball through to Kane. The young striker hit the ball from some 25 yards out to beat Larkins inside his right hand post.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw the visitors push for the equaliser. Lee's run and shot hit the far post and then he had another effort fly over. After Lletget drove wide, Lee got through again. This time as Miles came out quickly the striker lifted the ball over him only to see it drop onto the top of the net. The Hammers' pressure paid off when Lee crossed from the left for Paulista to net from inside the penalty spot.

Paulista had another chance that he fired wide before Spurs put the visitors' goal under pressure. Ceballos won two corners on the right in quick succession. From the second, Ceballos collected the short ball and crossed for Gallifuoco to rise at the far post and head in off the crossbar to regain the lead.

Obika got down the right and came inside to square the ball for Kane to fire just wide. Parrett conceded a free kick just outside the area and when the ball came off the wall Lletget drew a save from Miles.

The game had opened up now with the ball being moved quickly from end to end by both sides, hoping to catch defences on the back foot. Ceballos drove wide and Carroll saw his long range effort fly wide. Moncur got through the right channel but Miles saved at the near post.

Carroll received the ball on the halfway line and played it through first time into the path of Obika only for Larkins to save his effort. Ceballos had another chance from the right that he drove wide of the far post before Lee fired over. In the final minutes the visitors pushed players forward winning free kicks as they looked for a third goal to save the game but Spurs held out.

This was a well contested game with both sides seeking to attack. The speed of the play and the defending resulted in most of the game being played in the middle third with both sides trying to string passes together. Late in the game the play became stretched as they looked to free up the ball. The windy conditions did not help either side control the ball with the referee making allowances for this. Kane's return and the absence of Pritchard and Townsend to play on the left side probably meant the change to 4-4-2 from the usual 4-3-3. While the right backs pushed on down the wing Fryers did not look so confident on the left.

We move above Liverpool to top the group as their game away to Arsenal has been moved. Next Monday the U-21's will play Liverpool at Hotspur Way in a game that has been switched from Liverpool's training ground in a reversal of fixtures. Because of the early televised game on Saturday I will not be able to watch the U-18 game against Sunderland.


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