Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]
Premier U-21 League, Elite Group
AFC Telford, Bucks Head Stadium
Monday 4th March 2013, 7pm
WOLVES v SPURS
(Gold/Black) (All White)
Aljaz Cotman 1 Lawrence Vigouroux
Sam Whittall 2 Ryan Fredericks
Jordan Cranston 3 Nathan Byrne
Lee Evans 4 Massimo Luongo(C)
Jamie Tank 5 Giancarlo Gallifuoco
Michael Ihiekwe(C) 6 Milos Veljkovic
Zeli Ismail 7 Jack Munns
Tim Jakobsson 8 Nabil Bentaleb
Liam McAlinden 9 Shaquile Coulthirst
Jack Price 10 Dean Parrett
Anthony Forde 11 Cristian Ceballos
Sam Winnall 12 Kevin Stewart
Jonathan Flatt 13 Liam Priestley
Jamie Reckard 14 Jack Barthram
John Gorman 15 KennethMcEvoy
Robbie Parry 16
Jakobsson 60 Coulthirst 5
Evans 66 Munns 29
McAlinden 80 Parrett 75
S. Weaver T. Sherwood
Referee:- G. Stretton
Assistants:- N. Hopton & J. Thornhill
Fourth Official:- A. Hall
It was a chilly evening for Spurs visit to Telford to play Wolverhampton Wanderers in their first away fixture in the second phase. Spurs had comfortably beat the Midlanders at Hotspur Way in the opening fixture 5-1 in blizzard conditions.
Spurs lined up with Gallifuoco and Veljkovic at the back with Fredericks at right back and Byrne on the left. Luongo anchored the midfield with Parrett and Bentaleb alongside him. Up front Coulthirst led the line with Munns on his right and Ceballos on his left.
Spurs defended the David Hutchinson end and were soon dominating the midfield with their passing and movement at pace. Coulthirst ran onto Parrett's through ball with only the keeper to beat, but Cotman saved his initial shot only for Coulthirst to net from the rebound.
Parrett hit a free kick over the bar after Jakobsson had fouled Bentaleb. Fredericks got down the right and whipped in a cross that just failed to reach Coulthirst. Fredericks blocked an effort by Forde before Coulthirst drove wide. After Ceballos fired wide, Munns put in a cross that found its way to Coulthirst who drew a save from Cotman.
Spurs increased their lead when a 30 yard shot from Bentaleb was not held by Cotman and Munns was quickest to smash the ball into the net. When Bentaleb was fouled by Evans, Ceballos took the free kick and dropped it into the middle of the area for Gallifuoco to draw a save from Cotman with a flying header. Parrett fired wide before Wolves won a free kick just outside the area. Evans took the kick forcing Vigouroux to concede a corner which provided Evans with a header that the keeper also saved.
McAlinden was played through but Vigouroux was out quickly to save at his feet. Gallifuoco headed Ceballos's free kick wide of the far post before the Spaniard drew a save from the keeper before the end of the half. (Ed:- Ceballos also spent some down down the right flank, after switching with Munns)
There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw the home side come out more determined to make an impact pushing up on the Spurs back line to stop them playing from the back. Forde had an early effort saved for a corner. Parrett dribbled through the Wolves defence only to be denied by Cotman. Ismail put the ball in the net from a cross by McAlinden only to see it ruled offside.
A long diagonal pass from Munns found Ceballos behind the Wolves defence but he failed to control the ball and the chance was gone. Jakobsson fired over and then when Spurs failed to clear the ball he was on hand to drive it beyond Vigouroux into the far side of the net.
Stewart replaced Fredericks before the restart going to left back with Byrne moving across to the right. After Ceballos drew another save from Cotman Ismail got the better of Stewart to cross the ball which was headed on by McAlinden to Evans coming in on the far post to head home the equaliser.
McEvoy came on for Bentaleb to work the left side with Munns moving into midfield. Ismail took advantage of Stewart's uncertainty to draw a save from Vigouroux before Spurs regained the lead. When the ball was played back from a corner it fell the Parrett who moved it onto his right and drove it over the keeper into the net.
Sherwood made his third change taking off Gallifuoco for Barthram moving the struggling Stewart into the centre and allowing Barthram to cover the left back spot. The home side pushed forward looking for another goal with Jakobsson firing wide. Ihiekwe got down the left and whipped in a good cross that McAlinden turned home. They now had their tail up and when Veljkovic dallied on the ball Winnall robbed him to set up McAlinden for a chance. Vigouroux saved his angled drive but Winnall was there to score from the rebound.
Stewart was shown a yellow card when he tried to win the ball by the corner flag as Wolves looked to waste time. Spurs then had to go for an equaliser themselves and went close when Munns worked space on the right side of the area but saw his low drive come back off the post as the game went into added time. There was still time for McEvoy to draw a save from Cotman before the whistle.
This was a bad game to lose as Spurs went into the break very much on top. The home side upped their game in the second but did not look like turning it around until Spurs were forced into making their first change. Ismail did not let Stewart settle forcing him into errors that led to their second goal and forcing Spurs into another change. Their winner coming from another mistake by Spurs.
Next monday Spurs play their last home game when West Brom are the visitors. After that they have six away games to play to finish the group matches.
As I went to this game, I though I would add some of my personal comments to Ray's excellent report:-
We were going so well at half time, with goals by Shaq Coulthirst, and then Jack Munns. This second goal came after a magnificent rocket drive of a shot by Bentaleb that the keeper could only parry, so Munns followed up.
I was really disappointed that we let slip a two goal lead. Wolves pressed us hard in all areas, and were more physical, with taller frames to go with that in places!
Spurs were guilty of playing the ball backwards too much. The defence got turned and/or wrong-footed too often, and Nathan Byrne had a hard time with their right winger Zelig Ismail, who I believe has a bit of first team experience. He's a fast winger, with good balance.
Veljkovic had a mare of a game in the second half, making several passing errors in the wrong half of the field, and making the key mistake for one goal. Whilst the announcer gave Wolves' third goal to one of their own, I though it was an own goal by Veljkovic.
Kevin Stewart was introduced for Gallifuoco in the second half, and played at left back, with Byrne moving to right back. Stewart struggled to pick up the pace of the game.
On the plus side, I thought that Dean Parrett had a cracking game. He was playing a more attacking role, and made a number of powerful runs. Dean scored a magnificent goal from at least 25 yards to make it 3-2 to Spurs.
I also noted some good combination work at the back, with Gallifuoco getting tight on his attacker, and Massimo Luongo on hand to collect the "second ball", before turning and skilfully moving the ball on.
Goalkeeper Vigouroux also looks handy. Tall and Lloris-like in his style, insofar as he too will come to the very edge of his box to assist his defence. Vigouroux made a couple of great saves too.
Spurs succumbed to a late winner by Wolves, but they did hit the post late on, and I thought this was thanks to another Parrett effort.
Clearly, the under 21s are missing one or two of their players who are out on loan.
Top of page | U-21 Team Fixtures and reports index