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Spurs U-21s v Leicester U-21s, 21.10.13
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

             Premier U-21 League 2013-4
          Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
            Monday 21st October 2013, 1pm

             SPURS      v     LEICESTER CITY
          (All White)          (All Blue)
            4-2-1-3               4-5-1

              1(1)                 1(1)

        Jordan Archer   1  Conrad Logan
      Ryan Fredericks   2  Alie Sesay(C)
       Ezekial Fryers   3  Zoumana Bakayogo
      Milos Veljkovic   4  Ryan Watson
         Dominic Ball   5  Sean St. Ledger
      Kevin Stewart(C)  6  George Taft
       Kenneth McEvoy   7  Harry Panayiotou
       Nabil Bentaleb   8  Michael Cain
    Cameron Lancaster   9  Tom Hopper
           Harry Kane  10  Jeffrey Schlupp
  Shaquile Coulthirst  11  John Dodoo

           Grant Ward  12  James Pearson
   Lawrence Vigouroux  13  Liam Sharpe
       Ruben Lameiras  14  Callum Elder
       Darren McQueen  15  Rob Paratore
            (7)46Mins      (8)81Mins
 Roman Michael-Percil  16  Adam Dawson

        McEvoy 29          Schlupp 16 pen

        T. Sherwood        S. Beaglehole

Referee: N. Lugg
Assistants:- C. Kidd & M. Lee

It was a heavily overcast afternoon and while the rain held off there was a wind blowing from the east to west down the pitch. Today's visitors arrived with a poor record at this level but did win their last match 2-1 away to Stoke. Leicester came with a strong experienced side that included Irish international St. Ledger and Ivorian defender Bakayogo as over-aged players to back up Logan in goal. They also had Schlupp who came through their academy and recently earned his first cap for Ghana. Harry Kane spent some time with Leicester last season on loan scoring twice in thirteen games.

Spurs lined up with Archer in goal behind Ball and Stewart with Fredericks at right back and Fryers on the left. Veljkovic anchored the midfield with Bentaleb. Kane was behind the front three of Lancaster, McEvoy and Coulthirst.

Spurs defended the west end in the first half playing into the wind which handicapped Archer when kicking. Spurs had an early chance when the ball was played down the left for Lancaster to run onto and shoot. A defender got a foot on it to divert it onto the near post and out for a corner. Logan saved another deflected effort from Lancaster before Schlupp was played through getting behind Ball who brought him down in the area to concede a penalty. Dodoo sent Archer the wrong way to put the visitors in front from the spot.

Sherwood was not happy with Archer and withdrew him in favour of Vigouroux, much to the annoyance of the young Scottish keeper who had to be restrained. Vigouroux was soon in action when the ball was given away by Spurs to the ever dangerous Schlupp, saving well at his near post. Leicester's hands-on approach prevented the home side from settling into their usual passing game and ball retention.

McEvoy started a move with a long diagonal ball that was laid off to Kane who took it to the right side of the area before managing to squeeze it inside for the advancing McEvoy to drive. Logan half saved but could not stop it going in for the equaliser. Kane had an effort that flew over while Dodoo saw his shot deflected for a corner before half-time.

Spurs replaced McEvoy with McQueen for the second half which saw Spurs begin to have more possession as they moved the ball quicker around the pitch. Veljkovic had a drive saved before Dodoo broke away hitting the post with his effort. Lancaster played in Kane for an effort that was wide before Taft went right through him to concede a free kick. There was a delay as Lancaster had to go off and change his bloodied shirt before Kane took the free kick clipping the wall for a corner.

Ward came on for Fryers and helped set up Kane for a shot that the keeper saved with his out-stretched foot. Cain got through and fired wide before Schlupp forced a save after a strong run. Vigouroux saved from Watson at the expense of a corner while Kane was again off target with another effort. The last chance of the game fell to St. Ledger who put the ball wide from a corner.

Spurs were never in control of this game as the more experienced visitors upset their rhythm with their hands-on tactics. It is something our young players will have to get used to as they play more games at this level. While not physically aggressive the pushing and pulling caused Spurs problems all game as they lost the ball in dangerous areas. Schlupp is a dangerous striker who has caused Spurs problems since he first appeared in the City Academy side with his strength and pace scoring a number of goals including a hat-trick.

The next game for the U-21 side will be another home game on the 4th November when Reading will be the visitors. This is also likely to be a tough game judging by past Academy games and they always played strong sides in the reserve league. I remember losing 4-0 at Brisbane Road when Reading played a near full first team (they were due to play ManU in the cup with a weakened side).


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