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Spurs U-21s v Reading U-21s, 27.04.14
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.


            Premier U-21 League 2013-14
              Lamex Stadium, Stevenage
            Sunday 27th April 2014, 2pm

               SPURS     v     READING
           ( White/Blue)     (All Yellow)
               4-3-3            4-5-1

                4(2)             2(0) 

          Jordan Archer  1  Stuart Moore
          Aaron McEneff  2  Sean Long
           Alex McQueen  3  Shane Griffin
        Milos Veljkovic  4  Aaron Tshibola
   Giancarlo Gallifuoco  5  Jake Cooper
      Jan Vertonghen(C)  6  Pierce Sweeney(C)
         Kenneth McEvoy  7  Jack Stacey
         Etienne Capoue  8  Liam Kelly
      Daniel Akindayini  9  Gozie Ugwu
         Nabil Bentaleb 10  Craig Tanner
         Ruben Lameiras 11  Tarique Fosu

          Laste Dombaxe 12  Niall Keown
              (5)80Mins
         Jonathan Miles 13  Dan Lincoln
          Filip Lesniak 14  Sam Fridjonsson
              (8)61Mins
Channing Campbell-Young 15  Shep Murombedzi
              (9)81Mins
                        16  Harry Cardwell
                            (9)80Mins

Scorers:-
      Bentaleb (pen), 7     Stacey 57
 Lameiras (pen), 35, 75     Sweeney 67
            McEvoy 90+3

Sent off:- 
Bentaleb 40(Violent Conduct)

Coaches:-  
              P. Brush      M. Kuhl

Ref: C. Hatzidakis
Assistants: C. Bodell & R. Bloy
Fourth Official: L. Grimsey

Spurs travelled to their old reserve home for the last of this season's U-21 matches. The opponents were Reading who had just won the inaugural U-21 Premier League Cup beating Manchester City 2-0. Spurs did not enter the Cup competition. With nothing to play for, Spurs included some U-18 players as well as a run out for first teamers Jan Vertonghen and Etienne Capoue recovering from injury.

Spurs lined up with Archer behind Vertonghen and Gallifuoco with McEneff at right back and McQueen on the left. Veljkovic anchored the midfield trio with Bentaleb and Capoue as the more advanced of the trio. Akindayini made his first start with McEvoy on his right and Lameiras on his left. Academy players Lesniak and Campbell-Young started on the bench.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the South end but the visitors had the first chance when Ugwu fired over from a pass by Tanner. Bentaleb sent McEvoy away down the right and his cross was turned over the bar by Akindayini. McEvoy put in another cross that Bentaleb challenged for to win a corner. From the corner by Lameiras Gallifuoco headed over.

The Spurs midfield was in control with all three players starting attacks with forward passes or by making strong runs at the Reading defence. Capoue linked with McEvoy on the right and made a run into the area which was halted by Tshibola for a penalty. Bentaleb stepped up and scored to the keeper's right as he went the wrong way.

McEvoy's next cross found Lameiras at the far post who lifted the ball over the bar. Capoue played a ball inside the full back for McEvoy to attack but it was cleared for a corner. From the corner, Veljkovic was wide at the near post. Another corner came out to Vertonghen who fired over. Capoue made a 30 yards run before drawing a save from Moore.

Tshibola got forward to shoot wide before Capoue fired wide from about 30 yards. McQueen got round the back to cross for Akindayini who could not control the ball. Stacey fired wide before Capoue played in Lameiras for an effort that was saved and Akindayini followed up to fire wide.

A McEvoy cross was cleared as far as Bentaleb who forced a save from Moore. Lameiras got past Long and into the area but the full back fouled him to concede another penalty. Capoue asked Lameiras if he could take it but the young Portuguese player took it himself hitting it inside the left post.

Stacey played in Ugwu for a chance that was deflected wide. From the corner Ugwu headed wide. When Bentaleb was fouled by Tanner he got up and shoved the Reading player which the referee considered bad enough to warrant a red card. The loss of Bentaleb stopped Spurs control of the game.

Lameiras dropped into midfield for the second half as Reading looked to make their one man advantage tell. Archer saved from Fosu and Ugwu hit the crossbar before they pulled a goal back. From a corner the ball was played back to Stacey who fired into the top corner from twenty yards.

Ugwu fired over from a pass by Kelly before playing in Tanner to shot wide. After an hour Capoue was replaced by Lesniak. Tanner hit a shot that was deflected wide off Ugwu before Spurs had a chance to increase their lead when Akindayini passed to Lesniak to play in McEvoy at the far post, only for the winger to fluff his shot. The miss was costly as Reading equalised from a corner when Sweeney headed home.

Vertonghen went forward to fire over before Tshibola won a corner. Lameiras intercepted a ball out from Moore and advanced into the area driving the ball low straight at the keeper. Moore let the ball go through his legs and into the goal to put Spurs back in front.

Archer saved from Fosu while Lameiras forced a save from Moore. Ugwu was played in but Archer saved at his feet only to lose the ball to the striker who fired wide of the far post. Spurs replaced Gallifuoco with with Dombaxe who went into midfield. Veljkovic dropped into the back four and Lesniak took his place in front of them. Campbell-Young replaced Akindayini up front.

With Reading pushing forward, Cooper fired wide but they left space at the back. Lameiras crossed from the left for McEvoy but it reached Moore who hit his clearance straight to McEvoy. Moore got a hand to his shot as it went into the far side of the net. There was only just enough time for the game to re-start before the ref blew for time.

Spurs' last game ended in victory despite playing half the game with ten men. With Capoue and Bentaleb controlling the midfield it looked like an easy game until Nabil lost control of himself. Capoue was truely awesome in the first half while Vertonghen did very little. McEvoy provided plenty of crosses from the right and Lameiras with his quick feet was difficult to defend against. The win means Spurs finished 12th in the table after a season where players went out on loan or were called into the first team squad. It did not do a lot for stability and we will have to see how they change things for next season.

Ray

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