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Stevenage v Spurs XI, 01.08.15
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

             Spurs XI Pre-Season Friendly
               Lamex Stadium, Stevenage
             Saturday 1st August 2015, 3pm

             STEVENAGE     v     SPURS XI
            (Red/White)        (Blue/Black)
              4-2-3-1            4-2-3-1

                0(0)               2(1)

               Chris Day   1  Thomas Glover
             Mark Hughes   2  Kyle Walker-Peters
            Jerome Okimo   3  Connor Ogilvie
             Dale Gorman   4  Milos Veljkovic
           Fraser Franks   5  Cameron Carter-Vickers(C)
              Dean Wells   6  Dominic Ball
            George Casey   7  Emmanuel Sonupe
            Dean Parrett   8  Filip Lesniak
          Brett Williams   9  Shayon Harrison
           Charlie Lee(C) 10  Ismail Azzaoui
           Dipo Akinyemi  11  Nathan Oduwa

              Trialist A  12  Luke Amos
              (10)46Mins      (8)68Mins
              Trialist B  13  Harry Voss
              Tom Conlon  14  Cy Goddard
               (7)46Mins      (11)34Mins
            Ryan Johnson  15  Christian Maghoma
       Steven Schumacher  16  Anton Walkes  
               (4)56Mins      (2)84Mins
             Trialist C   17  Kenneth McEvoy
               (6)46Mins      (7)75Mins
                Tom Pett  18
             Nathan Kerr  20
              Trialist D  21

                              Oduwa 6
                              Harrison pen 86

              Lee 26

          T. Sheringham       U. Ehiogu 

Referee: I. Williamson
Assistants:- J. Hillier & A. Serrano
Fourth Official: L. Marshallsay

Spurs travelled to their U-21 home ground as the away side for this pre-season friendly against Stevenage. While there was no official crowd figure there was good support for the away side.

Spurs lined up with Glover in goal behind Carter-Vickers and Ball with Walker-Peters at right back and Ogilvie on the left. Veljkovic and Lesniak played in front of the back four with Sonupe wide on the right and Oduwa on the left with Azzaoui in a central role behind Harrison up front. Along with the subs on the bench all the players were under 21, which gives an indication of what the development squad will look like before any go out on loan. Along with manager Sheringham, Stevenage had former Spurs keeper Day and midfielders Parrett and Lee, who was given the captain's armband. Not playing today was Ronnie Henry another of our former young players who is the grandson of Ron Henry from our great double winners' side.

Spurs defended the South end in front of their own supporters and looked to move the ball quickly around the pitch. They found that this was not easy as the home side closed down quickly imposing their physical strength on them. Using the width with Sonupe and Oduwa, Spurs stretched the home side and this led to the opening goal. Oduwa, who was always looking to take on his man, collected the ball, played back by Ogilvie, and squeezed between two defenders into the area and shot across Day who got a hand to it but saw it hit the net at the far post.

Chances were scarce as Stevenage closed down in the middle putting pressure on the man on the ball while playing long balls to Williams up front who was giving Ball and Carter-Vickers a hard time. Carter-Vickers headed over at the far post from a corner won by Sonupe. Oduwa looked the most dangerous of the Spurs attacking players which led to the most contentious incident of the match. He got the ball in a central position and made for goal. Charlie Lee spotted the move, and in trying to stop the Spurs player, dived in, catching Oduwa from behind. The referee showed him a yellow card for a challenge that in any other game would have been red. The tackle saw Oduwa carried off with his leg strapped on a stretcher. Everybody feared the worst.

Goddard came on and took up a central position with Azzaoui moving to the left. It looked like some of the Spurs players were wary of getting caught as they did not dwell on the ball, laying it off quickly for the rest of the half which lasted even longer when Lee had some treatment in added time at the end of the half. Spurs did create a chance near the end when they got down the left and played the ball into Harrison at the near post. His pull back almost reached Goddard, but was put out for a corner as he was about to strike.

Stevenage made five changes for the second half as Teddy had a look at his four trialists with Day and Lee among the players replaced. Spurs seemed to have got their shape back, playing towards their fans in the South stand. When Glover released the ball quickly from a Stevenage corner Azzaoui took it half the length of the pitch before his effort was blocked. Azzaoui had another effort saved by the keeper's legs before the home side, having switched to 4-4-2, won a corner via Akinyemi. Parrett hit his kick to the far post where Conlon saw his header cleared off the line at the far post. Williams forced his way through but Glover saved his weak effort.

Harrison received the ball through the middle and saw the keeper push his low drive away for a corner. Amos replaced Lesniak in midfield just before Stevenage had a chance to equalise. Parrett flighted a free kick to the far post where the unmarked Akinyemi had a free header which he put wide of the far post.

Spurs replaced Sonupe with McEvoy on the right and he soon put a cross in to the middle of the six yard box. Williams saw his header saved by Glover before Azzaoui played in McEvoy on the right but his effort was blocked for a corner. Spurs were now on top as they moved the ball around quickly, using the width of the pitch. They almost got a second goal when the ball was played back to the Stevenage keeper. Harrison closed him down, quickly forcing a hurried kick which rebounded off the striker back into the arms of the relieved keeper.

A long range effort by Akinyemi flew wide before Spurs made their last change replacing Walker-Peters with Walkes. Azzaoui drove forward and attempted a shot. This effort was blocked and diverted to the left where Harrison got to it ahead of the keeper who conceded a penalty as he tangled with the striker. Harrison sent the keeper the wrong way, finding the bottom left corner of the net for 2-0.

In the last minute Amos won a free kick just outside the area which was taken by Azzaoui and headed out for a corner. There was still time for Schumacher to hit a shot wide from distance before the referee blew for time.

This was a good result for the young Spurs side who adapted their game to the physically tough start after seeing Oduwa carried off. In the second half they gradually got on top as the home side's changes lost them some of their cutting edge. As with the game at Peterborough, Spurs learnt to take the hits and continue playing their own game. The season for the U-21s starts with a home game against Everton on Monday 10th August at Hotspur Way followed by a trip to Manchester City on the Friday. Before that the U-18 academy side will open their season with a home game against Brighton at Hotspur Way on Saturday.


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