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Norwich U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 29.11.14
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


           Premier U-18 Southern League 2014-15
                 Colney, Norwich, Norfolk
            Saturday 29th November 2014, 12 noon

                 NORWICH     v     SPURS
              (Yellow/Green)    (White/Blue)
                  4-5-1            4-4-2

                   0(0)             3(1)

           Marcus Beauchamp  1  Thomas Glover
               Louis Ramsey  2  Joseph Muscatt
               Kofi Boateng  3  Anthony Georgiou
               Harley Black  4  Charlie Owens
                 Nathan Fox  5  Japhet Tanganga
                Ben Burgess  6  Anton Walkes
                Jamal Lewis  7  Lloyd Ross
             Louis McIntosh  8  Luke Amos(C)
       Lewis Byrne-Hewitt(C) 9  Ryan Loft
              Todd Cantwell 10  Joseph Pritchard
             George Couzens 11  Kaziah Sterling

                 OliverCole 12  Christopher Paul
                  (3)62Mins     (7)56Mins
            Aston Oxborough 13  Thomas McDermott
          Devonte Aransibia 14  Cy Goddard
                  (8)46Mins     (10)15Mins
                  Toby Syme 15  Armani Daly
                  (2)46Mins     (9)56Mins
                Josh Emmins 16 

Scorer:-
                                Loft 15
                                Goddard 58
                                Daly 59 

Booked:-  
                                Amos 74(Holding)

Coaches:-
          J. Gill               K. McKenna 

Ref: E. Reid
Assistants:- A. Hardy & C. Saunders

It was a dull morning for Spurs' trip to Norfolk to play Norwich City in their third match in eight days. Having had a hard physical game on Wednesday, McKenna had to bring in a couple of U-16 players to make up the numbers. Spurs beat the Canaries on the opening day of the season at Hotspur Way. Spurs cruised to a 4-0 lead before allowing Norwich to score twice in an open passing game.

Spurs lined up with Glover in goal behind Walkes and debutant Tanganga with Muscatt switching to right back and Georgiou filling in at left back. Owens anchored the midfield diamond with Ross and Amos ahead of him with Pritchard behind the front pair at the point of the diamond. Loft led the line with Sterling alongside him.

Spurs defended the West end in the first half which saw the home side try to play passing football against a Spurs side who thrive on the space given to them by such a team. Spurs were the superior passing side and soon pushed the Canaries back, dominating possession using the width of the pitch. The Norwich defenders were chasing shadows or clinging on to the shirt tails of the Spurs players.

Loft was pulled to the ground by Burgess at one point getting a talking to by the referee when a yellow card would normally have been shown. Sterling was making good runs behind the defence as Loft used his strength to get away from his markers. Norwich could not hold out for long , but it took a quarter of an hour before Spurs scored. Sterling held the ball up, before laying it off to a surging Pritchard who went down in the six yard box under pressure from defenders with the ball popping out for Loft on the right to put it in an empty net.

Pritchard paid a high price for his run as he was caught hard and suffered a fracture to his leg which saw the game held up for twenty minutes before he went to hospital. Goddard replaced him in midfield with Amos moving further forward.

Amos drew a save from Beauchamp for a corner a minute later. Sterling fired over before putting the ball across the box ahead of Loft. Georgiou got down the left and crossed for Sterling for a chance that was wide for a corner. Muscatt played in Loft for a shot that hit the far post and ran away to safety. Muscatt himself drew a save from Beauchamp with a long range effort. Sterling then dribbled through the centre of the defence to draw a save from the keeper and also failed to beat him when played through by Goddard in the last minute of the half.

Norwich made two changes at the start of the second half which saw Spurs continue to dominate the game. Spurs made two changes themselves ten minutes in. Loft, who had taken a knock, was replaced by Daly who went to the right of a front three. Paul replaced Ross going to right back which allowed Muscatt to move to left back. Georgiou moved to the left of the front three in support of Sterling in the centre.

Reverting to 4-3-3 saw some devastating attacking play which saw Spurs make the game safe. Muscatt over-lapped on the left and crossed to the far post where Daly headed the ball back for Goddard to score from six yards. A minute later Georgiou played the ball in to Sterling who stepped over it allowing it to run on to Daly who scored from ten yards.

Daly got clear on the right but instead of going for goal he held the ball up until playing it back for Owens to fire wide. There was a reluctance from the Spurs forwards to shoot as on a number of occasions they laid the ball off instead of shooting when well placed.. If Spurs had a finisher on the pitch he could have had a hatful from the balls played into the area.

Glover made his first save turning the ball round the post from Byrne-Hewitt. Georgiou drew a save from Beauchamp before Amos picked up the only booking of the match for pulling Aransibia back. Spurs eased up and Cole forced another save from Glover. Walkes released Daly on the right and he crossed for Sterling to hit the crossbar with a rising drive. In the last minute Cole drove wide for Norwich.

Norwich played into Spurs hands by trying to play passing football. As with the previous game, Spurs played them off the park. Both Tanganga and Sterling had good games and Georgiou playing as an attacking full back was no different from playing as a winger. Loft had a physical battle with Boateng and Burgess who should have been booked for pulling his shirt so hard that the Spurs player ended up on the ground. It was worse than the pulling by Amos that got him booked.

The win keeps Spurs in contention to finish top of the League. They join Chelsea and Leicester on 26 points at the top of the table. The win will put them in a good mood for the next match which will be the FA Youth Cup tie against Blackburn who sit on the bottom of the Northern League. Hopefully some of our injured players will recover in time for this match.

Ray

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