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Aston Villa U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 04.10.14
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


       Premier U-18 League Southern group 2014-15
              Bodymoor Heath, Litchfield
           Saturday 4th October 2014, 12 noon

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

                 1(0)               1(1)

               Dylan Forth   1 Thomas Glover
               Ryan Strain   2 Kyle Walker-Peters
               Liam Hailey   3 Joseph Muscatt
                Jack Clark   4 Luke Amos
                 Rory Hale   5 Cameron Carter-Vickers
         Kodi Lyons-Foster   6 Anton Walkes
              Corey Taylor   7 Anthony Georgiou
             Harry McKirdy   8 Zenon Stylianides
    Rushian Hepburn-Murphy   9 Shayon Harrison
              Kalid Ards(C) 10 Joe Pritchard(C)
             Callum O'Hare  11 Ismail Azzaoui

               Harry Lewis  12 Armani Daly
                (11)66Mins     (11)75Mins
           Theo Richardson  13 Brandon Austin
                Jordan Cox  14 Charlie Owens
                               (8)48Mins
            Jake Humphries  15 Kazaiah Sterling
                 (7)81Mins     (3)68Mins
              Alex Prosser  16

Scorers:- 
            O'Hare 50          Harrison 9

Booked:-
            Ards 76(Foul)

Coaches:- 
            T. McAndrews       K. McKenna 

Referee: M. Barker
Assistants:- A. Amusa & D. Laska

Spurs travelled to Aston Villa seeking to recover from their first defeat (Chelsea last week), against a team that usually give them a hard time . The game started in a chilly rain storm which gave way to warm sunshine during the second half. Villa like Spurs have made a stuttering start to the season with only one win from five to Spurs' one from six. Spurs looked to have shuffled the pack, as there were a couple of players on the bench for the first time.

Spurs lined up with Glover in goal behind Carter-Vickers and Walkes with Walker-Peters at right back and Muscatt on the left. Amos anchored the midfield trio with Pritchard and Stylianides. Up front Harrison led the line with Georgiou on his right and Azzaoui on the left. On the bench were Austin and Sterling for the first time.

Spurs attacked the South end in the first half and they looked the liveliest of the two sides. Most of Spurs' best play was on the right with Georgiou and Walker-Peters linking well. Walker-Peters was causing O'Hare so much trouble that the Villa winger was spoken to by the referee twice for continued infringements before half-time. The referee told him that it was his last warning but it did not stop him from diving in afterwards.

It only took a minute for Harrison to have Spurs' first chance firing over from the left. Hailey got down the left with his cross cleared off the line. Georgiou crossed for Pritchard to fire wide. Spurs took the lead following a foul on Georgiou. The free kick found Harrison to the right of the goal and his volley was deflected in off a defender.

A corner from the left found Georgiou at the far post but he was flagged offside when I thought that it reached him directly. Georgiou crossed to the far post where Azzaoui headed back for Pritchard to draw a save from Forth. McKirdy was spoken to by the referee for another bad challenge on Walker-Peters before the half ended.

There were no changes for the start of the second half but Stylianides took a knock soon after play started and had to be replaced by Owens.

Against the run of play Villa equalised from a corner. The ball was played into the box where Glover went up to catch it. He appeared to be impeded by O'Hare dropping the ball at the Villa player's feet. O'Hare gleefully accepted the opportunity. The Spurs players protested strongly to no avail.

The goal gave Villa confidence to step up their game. Azzaoui crossed from the left and Owens saw his effort blocked on the line. Azzaoui played a through ball to Harrison whose shot was blocked, and Azzaoui - following up - also saw his effort blocked.

O'Hare was replaced by Lewis on the right and Spurs took off Muscatt for Sterling. This was a strange move, as Sterling went up front and Harrison dropped to left back and almost cost Spurs the game. Lewis got past Harrison to draw a save from Glover and then exchanged passes with Hepburn-Murphy to get into the area only to be tackled from behind by Harrison winning a penalty. McKirdy hit the crossbar from the spot to the Spurs striker's relief.

Walkes played a long diagonal ball to Georgiou, who got behind the defence on the right but Owens fired his cross over the bar. Daly replaced Azzaoui on the right as Spurs sought to freshen up the attack. Ards went into the ref's book for a foul on Walker-Peters cutting in from the right. The Villa captain tried to make amends drawing a save from Glover. Pritchard played in Daly but his effort was blocked. In the last minute of added time Villa won the ball in the middle and counter attacked three on two with Humphries netting but the goal was (rightly) ruled off side.

Spurs will consider it two points lost as they had the better of the play especially in the first half. Walker-Peters and Georgiou were so strong on the right flank that they drew fouls from O'Hare and Hailey that got more and more physical as the half wore on. Both of the players must have finished the game black and blue. They both looked as if they were limping at the end.

Spurs played at a high tempo with one touch passing from back to the front. The only problem seemed to be a reluctance to shoot first time while Hale made a number of vital saving tackles. Spurs should have had the cushion of at least another goal before the second half when they conceded that soft goal and had to rely on a missed penalty for the point.

That point keeps Spurs down in seventh place, three places below next week's opponents Brighton who lost today 3-0 to West Ham. That match takes place at Hotspur Way kicking off at noon.

Ray

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