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Spurs U-18s v Brighton U-18s, 11.10.14
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

             Premier U-18 League 2014-15
                Hotspur Way, Enfield
         Saturday 11th October 2014, 12 noon

             SPURS       v     BRIGHTON
         (White/Blue)        (Red/Black)
             4-3-3               4-5-1

              1(0)                5(2) 

             Harry Voss  1  George Hobb
       Christopher Paul  2  Josh Courtney 
         Joseph Muscatt  3  Dylan Barnett
          Charlie Owens  4  Will Collar
           Anton Walkes  5  Jamie Horncastle(C)
              Luke Amos  6  Ben White
       Anthony Georgiou  7  Conor Tigthe
     Joseph Pritchard(C) 8  Cam Wilshire
        Shayon Harrison  9  James Tilley
             Cy Goddard 10  Remy Meyer
         Ismail Azzaoui 11  Jordan Maguire-Drew

      Zenon Stylianides 12  Connor Pring
             (10)50Mins     (8)64Mins
       Thomas McDermott 13  Tony McGill
              Ryan Loft 14  Jack Ravehirst
             (11)50Mins     (9)78Mins
         Marcus Edwards 15  Tom Chadman
                        16  George Brown

         Harrison 49        Tilley 11, 47, 75
                            Maguire-Drew 39, 67 

         K. McKenna         S. Rusk

It was a cloudy breezy morning which threatened rain for the visit of new boys Brighton and Hove Albion. They have met the criteria for inclusion into this league as it expanded from last season. They have done well so far, winning four of their opening seven games to be in fourth place in the table. Last week they lost to West Ham 3-0 while Spurs drew their fifth game at Aston Villa having not won since the opening day of the season.

Spurs lined up with Voss in goal behind Walkes and Amos, with Paul at right back, and Muscatt on the left. Owens anchored the midfield with Pritchard and Goddard, while Harrison led the line, with Georgiou on his right, and Azzaoui on his left. This was a somewhat weak line-up due to it being an International break. Carter-Vickers was playing for the USA and his centre back partner was held back for Tuesday evening's U-21 game at Norwich. Spurs' in form full-back Kyle Walker-Peters also did not feature. Loft was on the bench having missed the last two games with an injury. He still had his left leg strapped as did Walkes. Edwards made his first appearance on a short subs' bench.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the East end with Azzaoui forcing an early save from Owens' pass. The winger followed that up with an effort into the side netting from a ball down the line by Muscatt. Harrison had the ball in the net from a through ball by Owens but it was ruled out for off-side.

With Spurs having most of the play they were caught out when they lost the ball in the middle and Tilley ran onto a ball over the defence to fire home, despite Voss getting a hand to the ball. Spurs continued to press but with poor passing and a compact Brighton defence they were having little luck.

Georgiou fired wide and Azzaoui was also wide. Spurs were doing better down the flanks as Georgiou crossed for Azzaoui to head wide at the near post. Pritchard saw a number of efforts blocked by a determined defence. Goddard found Harrison but the striker fired wide. Azzaoui drew a good save from Hobb for a corner.

With Spurs pushing forward they were always open to a quick counter and Maguire-Drew exposed the Spurs defence but fired over. Another break saw Tilley run into the area with Voss out to “save” at his feet. The visitors' appeal for a penalty was turned down by the referee, with the Spurs keeper looking relieved. The Spurs defence was looking very nervy as Tilley fired wide. Maguire-Drew got past Paul on the left and lifted the ball to the far post, where the ball sailed in over the head of Voss for 2-0.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw Brighton continue to look to beat the off-side trap. After two minutes Tilley was played through and scored at the second attempt as Voss blocked his first. Spurs finally scored two minutes later when Paul ran into the right channel and played in Harrison to score with the help of a deflection by a defender.

Before the re-start Spurs made a double change replacing Goddard in midfield with Stylianides and Azzaoui made way for Loft to lead the attack with Harrison moving to the right and Georgiou to the left. Paul drove over and Pritchard had two efforts saved as Spurs continued throwing players forward. Georgiou gave way to debutant Edwards who looked lively.

Amos lost out to Pring on the left and conceded a free kick. Maguire-Drew hit the kick into the near post as Voss anticipated a ball to the far post to regain the three goal lead. Edwards won a free kick on the edge of the area and took it himself curling the ball over the wall but Hobb pushed it onto the crossbar for a corner. Courtney sent Maguire-Drew away but Voss saved his effort.

Tilley completed his hat trick when a poor ball out by Voss was played through to him and he fired across the keeper into the far corner. Spurs continued to look for a second with Harrison heading over a free kick from Pritchard before drawing a save when put in by Edwards. Edwards had an effort of his own saved by Hobb in the last minute before Harrison fired over with the last chance of the game.

Spurs were well beaten by a well organised Brighton side that contained and broke well. Spurs never got their passing game going with only the two wingers looking dangerous. Inexperience showed when they went behind and as the game went on, they lost composure making the visitors' job easier. Spurs pushed forward leaving themselves exposed at the back and after the wingers were replaced, they became too narrow.

I saw one Brighton clearance go past the three mid-fielders who stood in a line one behind the other. Young Edwards looked good in his cameo appearance but Loft went in late on Hobb which was unnecessary. That's the second time I have seen him do it and while I like to see him put himself about against defenders it was not what you expect from a Spurs player.

Carter-Vickers and Maghoma would not have been caught out as much as Walkes and Amos were today and I hope they will be back for our next game which will be the derby against Arsenal who drew 0-0 with West Ham today, allowing Brighton to go above them into third place. The Arsenal game is on Friday morning at Shenley with the gooners discouraging visitors.


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