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Spurs U-21s v Wolves U-21s, 14.01.13
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
           Monday 14th January 2013, 1pm

            SPURS     v     WOLVES
         (All White)     (Old Gold/Black)
            4-3-3           4-4-1-1

             5(1)             1(0)    

      Jonathan Miles  1 Aaron McCarey
     Ryan Fredericks  2 Dominic Iorfa
      Ezekial Fryers  3 Jamie Reckford
     Milos Veljkovic  4 Sam Whittall
          Grant Hall  5 Michael Iheikwe(C)
      Jake Livermore  6 Jamie Tank
         Yago Falque  7 Robbie Parry
        Ryan Mason(C) 8 Jack Price
      Jonathan Obika  9 Liam McAlinden
      Thomas Carroll 10 Sam Winnall
     Andros Townsend 11 John Gorman

 Shaquile Coulthirst 12 Tim Jacobsson
      Liam Priestley 13 Aljaz Colman
       Kevin Stewart 14 Jordan Cranston
Giancarlo Gallifuoco 15 Jim Kellerman
        John Bostock 16 David Moli

    Townsend 13         McAlinden 73
    Carroll 66
    Obika 76, 90+1
    Falque 90+2

                       Ifora 54(Foul on Townsend)
                       Moli 74(Late on Livermore) 

Coach :-
     T. Sherwood       S. Weaver

Referee:- I. Cooper
Assistants:- K. Bailey & A.Da Costa

Dancing round Wolves in the snow

It was a cold snowy afternoon for the opening match in our Elite Group. The visitors were Wolverhampton Wanderers who are the only non-Premier side in the group. There was a good sized crowd despite the weather which was mainly made up of scouts from other clubs looking for players. I spotted Teddy Sheringham and David Pleat among the observers.

Spurs lined up with Veljkovic and Hall in front of Miles with Fredericks at right back and new signing Fryers on the left. Livermore sat in front of the back four with Mason and Carroll as the midfield trio. Obika led the line with Falque on his right and Townsend on his left.

Spurs attacked the West end in the first half moving the ball well, using the wide areas to stretch the visitors. Falque and Townsend crossed over a lot, as they looked to play in Obika. Mason was caught from behind by Whittall as he drove through the middle for a free kick just to the right. Townsend stepped up and curled it with his left foot into the far top corner of the net to open the scoring.

A Townsend corner found Mason who fired over before the Townsend drove a shot over the bar himself. A run through the middle by Mason ended with the ball finding its way to Obika who had a one on one with McCarey who saved his effort. Obika headed over from a Fredericks cross before Wolves had their first chance. A free kick by Whittall was turned over by McAlinden.

An attack down the right saw Price float on a deep cross for McAlinden to head over. Spurs continued to have most of the possession with Mason drawing a save from McCarey and Townsend driving over. Hunt headed on a corner for Livermore but his effort was blocked as half-time approached.

After a well earned break in the warm both sides took the field again without any changes. The ground staff had cleared the lines as the snow was getting heavier.

Wolves had an early chance when Whittall headed Gorman's centre wide of the near post. Obika was played through on the left and McCarey saved at his near post with the ball coming out to Mason. His low drive was cleared off the line. Iorfa was shown a yellow card for fouling Townsend as he was released down the left as pressure mounted on the visitors goal.

Miles was called upon to save an effort from Gorman on the break. A chip over the defence by Mason saw Obika head wide of the post. A run and shot by Townsend was saved for a corner by the keeper. The pressure finally told when Townsend came inside and gave the ball to Carroll, then played the return into the area for Carroll to run onto and score under McCarey.

Wolves respond by sending on another striker in an effort to get back into the game. Falque set up Veljkovic for a chance that he sent over the bar. The extra striker helped make room on the left for a cross to the far post where McAlinden came in unmarked to head home. This raised the hopes of the visitors and Moli's over-eager attempt to win the ball saw him booked for a late challenge on Livermore.

Miles saved from Price before Spurs regained their two goal lead. Mason got down the right and pulled the ball back for Obika who had time to control it before hitting it on the turn low into the far corner. Obika had another chance when he ran onto a through ball but McCarey was out quickly to save at the expense of a corner.

With the game won Spurs took their foot off the gas and played keep-ball until the game went into added time Townsend got down the left and crossed for Obika to score attacking the near post. A minute later Obika dispossessed a defender allowing Falque to run through and score a fifth goal.

This was a good result in difficult conditions sweeping away the opposition and getting off to a good start in the second phase of this new set-up. The passing was good and the link up play in all parts of the field good, considering the conditions. Fryers looked settled on the left side supporting Townsend well. In truth, Wolves did not provide a difficult test skill-wise relying on knocking Spurs off balance and moving the ball quickly for McAlinden to chase.

Next week Spurs are away to West Brom which should be a tougher game, and then we entertain Southampton the following week. Standing in the freezing snow for this match does remind me that in the regulations for this competition the Premier League wanted teams to play in a stadium setting and stipulated that training grounds should have covered accommodation for five hundred supporters if used. I must raise it at the next AGM. (Ed:- Do we get AGMs any more?)


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