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Spurs U-18s v Norwich U-18s, 16.08.14
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


            Premier U-18 League 2014-15
               Hotspur Way, Enfield
         Saturday 16th August 2014, 12 noon

             SPURS      v    NORWICH CITY
          (White/Blue)      (Yellow/Green)
             4-3-3              4-3-3

              4(2)               2(1) 

            Harry Voss  1  Aston Oxborough
            Lloyd Ross  2  Toby Syme
    Kyle Walker-Peters  3  Ray Grant
             Luke Amos  4  Thomas Walters
     Christian Maghoma  5  Ben Burgess
     Zenon Styianidies  6  Louis Ramsey
       Shayon Harrison  7  Jamie Eaton-Collins(C)
    Joseph Pritchard(C) 8  Harley Black
             Ryan Loft  9  Benard Ashley-Seal
            Cy Goddard 10  Todd Cantnell
      Anthony Georgiou 11  Lewis Jamal

      Christopher Paul 12  Christian Scales
             (4)78Mins     (8)46Mins
      Thomas McDermott 13  Marcus Beauchamp
       Charlie Hayford 14  Kofi Boateng
             (8)67Mins     (4)62Mins
           Armani Daly 15  Kieran Higgs
            (11)67Mins     (7)82Mins

Scorers:-  
          Loft 7, 59       Ashley-Seal 19
         Georgiou 20       Jamal 88
    Walker-Peters 76 

Booked:-   
   Pritchard 66(Foul)      Black 45(Holding)
                           Grant 70(Foul)

Coach:- 
         K. McKenna        J. Gill

Referee:- R. Butcher
Assistants: J. Young & M. Lee

The opening game of the season saw Spurs entertain Norwich City who we beat last season 3-1. I am not happy with the later kick-off time for many of the U-18 games this season as it means I will not see all the game if Spurs are playing at WHL on the same day with a 3pm kick-off. Hopefully we will have a long run in the Europa League so that more matches are moved to Sunday.

Spurs lined up with Voss in goal behind Maghoma and Stylianidies with Ross at right back and Walker-Peters on the left. The midfield trio was anchored by Amos with Pritchard and Goddard alongside him. Loft led the line with Harrison on his right and Georgiou on his left.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the West end pressuring the Canaries defence. With the visitors dropping deep they left the big Ashley-Seal up front to win long balls played up to him. The striker got behind the defence on the left in the third minute but Voss closed him down to save. Pritchard found the gap with a forward pass which Loft got to first to beat the keeper with a low shot on the turn.

Spurs kept up the pressure with Walker-Peters crossing for Harrison for fire over. Ashley-Seal capitalised on an error between Maghoma and Voss to score an equaliser against the run of play. Norwich did not have time to celibrate as Spurs went up the other end to score their second. The ball was played out to Georgiou on the left, he cut inside and scored with a low effort into the far corner.

Ross played the ball into Loft who with his back to goal laid it off for Harrison to fire wide. Oxborough saved from Pritchard before watching a free kick by Goddard go wide of the near post. He then had to save an effort by Loft from Goddard's pass. Georgiou put over a cross that was just too high for Loft before Ross played a one two with Pritchard to get into the area only to see his shot saved.

Ashley-Seal won the ball in the middle and laid it off to Jamal who playing in Cantnell for a shot that Voss saved. When Black lost out to Amos in the middle he pulled back the midfielder to be the first name in the ref's book just before the half-time whistle.

The visitors made one change for the second half which began in similar fashion to the first. Oxborough saved from Georgiou when the winger had two players better placed if he had looked up. Voss saved from Eaton-Collins before Spurs increased their lead. The ball was worked down the left and crossed by Georgiou for Loft to drive in under the keeper. I say drive, but as the keeper half saved it, the ball crawled just over the line with the assistant on the far side giving the goal.

When Grant nicked the ball off Pritchard, the midfielder took his foot and was booked. That was Pritchard's last contribution as he was replaced by Hayford with Georgiou going off as well, to be replaced by Daly. Spurs eased off a little as Cantnell drew a save from Voss with Grant booked for a foul in the build-up. Daly played the ball to Ross on the far side to drive in but Oxborough saved at the near post.

Spurs increased their lead when Walker-Peters cut in from the left to drive the ball in off the crossbar. Spurs replaced Amos with Paul as they sought to see out the game. With a couple of minutes to go, Jamal picked up a half clearance by Styianidies to strike a curling shot past the diving Voss into the left side of the goal.

This was a good performance from Spurs in their opening game with a fairly strong team. I was surprised to see Styianidies at the back as in the few games I have seen him he was in midfield where he has done well. He was not put under much pressure but made a few mistakes showing inexperience and it may have been a late change. Loft did well up front scoring a brace and laying the ball off intelligently. I did not see enough of the three subs to tell how well they will do. The U-16 side also won beating Norwich 7-3 to make it a win double. Can the first team make it three? (Ed:- Yes they can!)

Next Saturday Spurs travel to Southampton for a midday kick-off. Hopefully Saints will have finished their improvements and not restrict access.

Ray

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