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Chelsea U-21s v Spurs U-21s, 09.08.13
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

            Premier U-21 League 2013-4
           Recreation Ground, Aldershot
          Friday 9th August 2013, 7.50pm.

           CHELSEA     v      SPURS
         (All Blue)        (White/Blue)
            4-3-3             4-3-3

             2(1)              4(3)

      Mitchell Beeney  1  Jordan Archer
  Andreas Christensen  2  Ryan Fredericks(C)
   Nathaniel Chalobah  3  Alex McQueen
        Nathan Ake(C)  4  Giancarlo Gallifouco
         Kevin Wright  5  Dominic Ball
           John Swift  6  Kevin Stewart
         Alex Kiwomya  7  Iago Falque
   Ruben Loftus Cheek  8  Thomas Carroll
         Isaiah Brown  9  Shaquile Coulthirst
     Joshua McEachran 10  Harry Kane
         Jeremie Boga 11  Nabil Bentaleb

          Lewis Baker 12  Grant Ward
          (10)34Mins.     (3)74Mins.
           Ben Killip 13  Jonathan Miles
           Alex Davey 14  Aaron McEneff
          Islam Feruz 15  Ruben Lameiras
          (6)46Mins.      (6)67Mins.
     Isak Ssewankambo 16  Darren McQueen
          (3)70Mins.      (9)76Mins.

      McEachran 17pen.    Falque 30, 40
      Brown 87            Kane 41
                          Coulthirst 56

                          Stewart 31(Foul)
                          Ball 45+2(Foul)
                          Bentaleb 79(Foul)
                          & 89(Foul) -Off
                          Carroll 86(Foul)

      D. Drummy           C. Ramsey

Attendance: 2973

Referee: A. Young
Assistants:- N. Phillips & T. Hancock
Fourth Official: T. Greaves

The long awaited opening of the new season was longer than expected as Spurs arrived late due to trouble on the M25, which saw the 7pm kick-off delayed. The Spurs squad was basically the same as for the Spurs XI game at Cambridge on Tuesday evening with the addition of Kane and Carroll to add experience to the side.

Spurs lined up with Archer in goal behind the pairing of Ball and Stewart at the back with Fredericks at right back and McQueen on the left. The midfield trio was anchored by Gallifouco with Carroll and Bentaleb alongside him. Kane led the line with Falque on his right and Coulthirst to his left. The only player of note in the Blues' team was McEachran, although Brown scored the equaliser for Wolves in last seasons U-18 away game.

Spurs kicked off attacking the South end in a fast-paced attacking game by both sides. Bentaleb drove wide in the opening minute and not long afterwards, Beeney lost the ball to Kane, who pulled it back for Falque to fire wide. Archer saved from Brown before a run at the heart of the defence by Cheek caused problems. When he slipped the ball to Boga he was caught by Stewart to win a penalty. McEachran stepped up and sidefooted it to his right as the keeper went the other way to put the home side in front.

Spurs responded well with Kane firing just over from a free kick. Falque's shot at the far post from a corner was saved by Beeney, who also saved from Kane. A mistake in the Chelsea defence saw Coulthirst pick up the ball and take it wide before passing inside to Kane who crossed to the far post for Falque to drill home for the equaliser.

Stewart was booked for a two-footed tackle on Kiwomya on the left touch-line before Falque fired wide. McEachran went down during the build-up and had to be replaced. Spurs' quick passing was beginning to tell as Kane drove wide, and after Swift had drawn a save from Archer, Spurs went in front. Coulthirst ran onto a through ball for a one on one chance with the keeper who saved his effort, only for the ball to fall nicely for Falque, who was following up.

A minute later Kane seized on a loose pass by Swift to beat the exposed Beeney with a low drive to make the score 3-1. Chelsea responded with an effort by Cheek at the near post that went into the side netting and when Boga attacked through the middle he was stopped illegally just before getting into the area by Ball who was booked. Boga took the free kick himself and drew a good save from Archer.

Chelsea made one change for the second half bringing on a second striker and switching to 4-2-2. The change did not help them as Spurs took control of the game with Carroll forcing a save from the keeper. A Spurs attack down the right saw the ball played into Kane going through the right channel. His effort hit the inside of the near post and came out to Coulthirst who drove it in to extend the visitors' lead.

Coulthirst drew another save from Beeney before a string of substitutions were made. Spurs took off Stewart for Lameiras who went into the midfield to allow Gallifouco to drop into the back four. After Wright limped off, Ward replaced McQueen at left back and Darren McQueen came on for Coulthirst.

Bentaleb fired wide before he was booked for a tackle from behind. Beeney saved a low drive from Kane at the second attempt as the ball neared the line. Falque sent Fredericks away on the right. Falque got into the area to meet Fredericks' cross with his head but saw it fly wide. Beeney saved from Gallifouco when he got forward to head the ball.

Carroll was booked for a scything tackle before Brown ran onto a ball over the top to beat Archer with a low finish to cut the deficit. Spurs still looked likely to score every time they went forward with Kane firing wide. Bentaleb received a second yellow for another tackle from behind and was sent off. Despite being a man short Spurs continued to look dangerous with Beeney saving from Ward and then twice from Kane before Boga went down with cramp and had to go off to leave Chelsea with ten players as well. As soon as the game re-started, the referee blew for time.

This was a good result for Spurs and gets their new campaign off to a great start. The high tempo the game was played in suited Spurs better than Chelsea. Once they were in front they gained confidence and the passing got better and it was a case of how many they would score. They should have scored more and by continuing to push forward they conceded a second goal.

The next game for the U-21's is at home to Manchester City on Monday 19th August. The venue has not been set yet, but it is scheduled as a 12 noon kick-off, so it is likely to be played at Hotspur Way. Before then a Spurs XI will be going to Chelmsford City next Tuesday evening.


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