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Aston Villa U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 30.10.13
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

         Premier Academy U-18 League 2013-4
             Bodymoor Heath, Litchfield
        Wednesday 30th October 2013, 12 noon

          ASTON VILLA    v     SPURS
         (Claret/Blue)      (White/Blue)
             4-3-3             4-3-3

              2(1)              2(1)

            Aiden Grant  1  Luke McGee
            Ryan Strain  2  Kane Vincent-Young
        Courtney Wildin  3  Kyle Walker-Peters
           Henry Cowans  4  Anton Walkes
      Kodi Lyons-Foster  5  Cameron Carter-Vickers
            Kevin Toner  6  Christian Maghoma
           Jordan Lyden  7  Emmanuel Sonupe
         Jerell Sellars  8  Joseph Pritchard
          Thomas Strain  9  Daniel Akindayini
         Khalid Abdo(C) 10  William Miller(C)
        Riccardo Calder 11  Anthony Georgiou

         Tomas Zazrivec 12  Channing Campbell-Young
            Dylan Forth 13
         Daniel O'Brien 14  Cy Goddard
              (9)84Mins     (11)62Mins
          Harry McKirdy 15  Shayon Harrison
            Harry Lewis 16 

         Sellars 43         Miller 4
         Strain T. 58       Maghoma 90+1

         Strain T. 64
         (Kicked ball away) 
         Cowans 69(Foul on Sonupe)
         Calder 90+1(Abuse)

         T. McAndrew        J. McDermott 

Referee: R. Cairns
Assistants:- C. Morby & P. Maisey

It was a sunny, if windy, afternoon in the Midlands for this re-arranged fixture. This was originally a December fixture that was moved to early September, but called off at the last minute. Villa like Spurs have only lost once so far this season, but were held to a draw on Saturday.

Spurs lined up with Carter-Vickers and Maghoma in front of McGee with Vincent-Young at right back and Walker-Peters on the left. Walkes sat in front of the defence with Miller and Pritchard in midfield. Akindayini led the line with Sonupe on his right and Georgiou on his left.

Spurs defended the south end in the first half with the wind at their back and they made the better start to the game. Miller picked up the ball in the centre of the park and ran with it beating two tackles before being stopped just outside the area winning a free kick that he took himself. He curled the ball over the wall and into the near top corner to put the visitors in front.

The home side were up for this game and responded well with Sellars drawing a save and Calder firing over. Ryan Strain got down the right and crossed for Lyden to test McGee. Abdo beat McGee but Maghoma blocked on the line. The home side were beginning to get the upper hand forcing Spurs back as Sellars drove wide for a corner. Grant saved from Miller but the visitors chances were drying up as Lyden won a corner from a save by McGee. The pressure finally told when Spurs lost possession and Sellars got clear to beat McGee for the equaliser. As the half neared its end, McGee kept Spurs in the game with a double save from a corner.

The second half started with Villa pushing forward with the strengthening wind behind them. The defenders were able to push up to the halfway line as McGee's kicks were held up in the wind barely making it that far.

Thomas Strain steered a cross inside the far post that was cleared off the line with McGee beaten. Cowans fired a free kick over before Spurs broke out via a run by Georgiou. He passed inside to Miller who laid it off to Sonupe to draw a save from Grant.

With Villa closing down deep in the Spurs half they were forcing corners and from one of these they scored to go in front. Strain headed in Cowans' left side corner at the far post to put them ahead for the first time.

Spurs replaced Akindayini with Harrison up front but he was being starved of the ball as well. Wildin had space to drive the ball onto the underside of the bar and out. Spurs next change was Goddard on in place of Georgiou switching to 4-4-2.

To give defenders time to get back when conceding free kicks, Villa slowed things down but the referee booked Strain for kicking the ball away on one such occasion. When it looked like Sonupe was getting away, Cowans took him from behind to become the second player to go into the ref's book. The "villans" were in control and looked to score every time they attacked. Calder became the next to waste a chance when he fired over.

Spurs last change saw Campbell-Young come on for Pritchard, taking over at right back allowing Vincent-Young to move into midfield. Wildin still had space on the left to drive over before Sellars drew a save from McGee. With Villa pushing for another goal they left themselves open to a final attack from the visitors. Conceding a throw-in on their right, they reacted too slowly to the quickly taken throw to Sonupe. The winger got down the left and crossed for the advancing Maghoma to score the equaliser. Calder was booked for abuse to the referee as Villa protested but they had only themselves to blame for leaving the door open.

Spurs came away with a point when they should have been buried by a strong Villa performance. McGee and Carter-Vickers kept them in the game during the barrage of the second half. It would be easy to blame the wind for pinning them into a confining space, making it difficult to avoid being closed down but they lacked the ability to pass their way out. An interesting tactic by Villa at free kicks was to have two players standing in front of the ball to shield the kicker. On one occasion the ball was played short to one of them allowing three players to run at goal.

Spurs remain top of the group and Villa fourth. The Academy play their third game in eight days on Saturday at Hotspur Way when Sunderland are the visitors. Sunderland drew with Villa in their last game.


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