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West Brom U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 02.05.15
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

Premier U-18 League Play-offs 2014-15
West Bromwich Albion Training Ground
Saturday 2nd May 2015, 12 noon
West Bromwich Albion 3 - 0 Spurs

West Brom(White/Blue) 4-2-3-1
Team No teamsheet
Scorers:-
Wright 43, 46
Edwards 56

Spurs(All Black) 4-2-3-1
Team - Voss, Muscatt, Paul(Mukena 61), Walkes(C), Tsaroulla, Owens, Stylianides, Daly, Goddard(Marsh 61), Georgiou, Loft Unused Sub:- McDermott

Spurs travelled to the Midlands to play West Bromwich for the third time this season as they sought to improve on their play-off position having made a bad start. They would not have had to play the"Baggies" if the result of the first match had stood as they would not be in the same play-off group. Spurs came into today's game on the back of last week's defeat to Manchester United at Hotspur Way while the hosts lost 3-1 to Chelsea.

Spurs arrived with a small squad of players that included youngsters Joy Mulkena and Nick Tsaroulla who had not started before at this level. Voss played in goal behind Paul and Walkes at the back with Muscatt at right back and Tsaroulla on the left. Owens and Stylianides opperated in front of them while Goddard played as attacking midfield with Daly on his left and Georgiou on his right behind Loft up front.

Spurs defended the North end in the first half which saw them put under heavy pressure by a strong and quick West Brom side. Spurs were unable to get their passing game going due to the pressure on them, giving the ball away under pressure.

Wright fired wide from close range when Paul fluffed his clearance early on and Hallahan fired over a minute later. The home defenders were also quick to close down as Loft found out when he had a shot blocked. Smith's cross was turned over the bar by McCourt while Walkes blocked a Wright effort when he got through on the right.

McCourt and Wright had further efforts fly over before Voss had to save from Scrivens when he was set up by Wright. Scrivens' follow-up went wide for a corner. Spurs managed to string a few passes together which saw Owens draw a save from the keeper, before Stylianides turned, shot, and hit the post.

The pressure on the Spurs goal continued and Voss had to make two saves before the ball went for a corner. Voss then saved Smith's effort from the corner. After a glancing header by Loft went wide of the far post, the "Baggies" finally got the ball in the net. Scrivens sent Wright clear to beat Voss and give them the lead before half-time.

There were no changes for the start of the second half, which saw Spurs concede inside a minute. Spurs kicked off and played the ball back to Paul who lost the ball to Wright. Wright advanced and fired low inside the far post.

Voss saved from Hallahan diving to his right, and recovered quickly to save the follow-up from the same player. West Brom eased up a little which allowed Spurs enough space to put some passes together and Stylianides saw his effort go wide for a corner. Owens fired wide from Georgiou's cross.

The game was settled when the home side broke out from a Spurs corner that was cleared to the half-way line. Edwards played it out to the right to Scrivens who put in a cross to the far post where Edwards turned it in. Spurs made a double substitution using both their outfield players. Marsh replaced Goddard in midfield while Mukena replaced Paul at the back. Prompted by Marsh, Owens fired over and Stylianides went wide. Spurs' best chance came from a ball by Marsh to Stylianides who sent Loft clear through the middle. However, the striker hurried his effort which went over the bar. The home side finished the game strongly with Voss having to save from Smith and Hallahan.

Spurs were well beaten by a strong physical side who stopped them from playing. It did not help that the referee allowed the home side to push players off the ball with Tsaroulla getting a strong hand in the back in the area late in the second half. West Brom were only in the play-offs because they were given a reprieve by the referee who called off the first game after Spurs had scored in a game played in terrible conditions. Instead of continuing the game for another minute, which he had intended to do, in which case the result would stand, he stopped the game and West Brom won the replayed match 3-2 which enabled them to qualify for the play-offs.

Next week Spurs will play Aston Villa at Hotspur Way. Villa lost today 4-1 to Everton. Spurs are currently two points better than Villa in sixth place.

Ray

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