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Aston Villa U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 12.09.15
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

          Premier U-18 League Southern group 2015-6
              Bodymoor Heath, Sutton Coldfield
            Saturday 12th September 2015, 12 noon

             ASTON VILLA      v     SPURS
            (Claret/Blue)        (White/Blue)
               4-2-3-1             4-2-3-1

                 2(0)                2(2)

Spurs(4-2-3-1): Whiteman; Hayford, Paul, Dinyezi, Muscatt: Owens(C), Stylianides: Edwards, Shashuoa(Duncan 75), Bennetts(Daly 60); Sterling(Loft 83)

Unused Subs:- Austin, Oakley-Boothe
Scorers: Sterling 4, 28
Booked: Muscatt 21(Late), Owens 54(Foul), Edwards 90+3(Diving)

Spurs travelled to the Midlands (having lost 3-0 to Fulham last week) to play Aston Villa who won 2-0 in their last game against Norwich.

Unfortunately Villa have stopped providing teamsheets for games as they fear poaching by scouts, which is the reaction of small clubs. The game had been put back an hour from 11am to midday which allowed the rain to pass before kick-off, but it remained overcast with a wind from the south that helped the home side in the second half.

Spurs lined up with Whiteman in goal behind Paul and Dinyezi with Hayford at right back and Muscatt on the left. Owens and Stylianides played in front of them while Shashoua - flanked by Edwards and Bennetts - supported Sterling up front.

Spurs defended the south end in the first half but were soon on the attack moving the ball quickly through the middle and down the left flank. It was from the left side that the opening goal came as Bennetts' low cross found Sterling in the area who still had some work to do before finding the net. Owens played in Edwards to fire wide before Sterling played in Bennetts in the left channel for an effort that was saved by Bannister with Shashoua heading over at the far post when the ball came out to him.

Sterling again set up Bennetts but the keeper saved again and Shashoua saw his low drive pushed round the post for a corner. Shashoua fired wide before the home side had their first effort driven wide by Taylor. Taylor was the "Villans" best outlet in the first half and Muscatt was booked for a late tackle on him.

Whiteman saved from Hailey before Bennetts got down the left and crossed for Sterling to head firmly home for his and Spurs' second. Spurs seemed to have taken their foot off the gas as Villa sought to get into the game and O'Hare hit the far post with a low drive. A chance went begging when the ball was headed back across goal by Finnerty for O'Hare before going for a corner. Finnerty headed wide from a Taylor cross before Humphries was booked for pulling down Stylianides as he went through the middle. In the last minute of the half Whiteman made a double save first from O'Hare and then from Hailey following up.

Villa made one change for the second half which saw Spurs have an early chance from Owens that flew wide. The Spurs skipper was booked for a tackle in the middle before the Villa right back went into the ref's book for a high tackle on Bennetts as he went down the left. The tackle was so bad that Bennetts had to be replaced by Daly.

Hailey fired over as Villa began to press. Humphries' forward pass was blocked and fell kindly for Clarke on the edge of the area to fire home.

Owens played a neat through ball for Shashoua to run onto but Bannister saved for a corner. Hailey fired wide before Villa got the equaliser. Dinzeyi slipped under pressure allowing Humphries to play in O'Hare to sidestep Whiteman and fire in. Spurs took off Shashoua for Duncan to freshen the attack but Whiteman still had to save from Hailey.

The game was stopped when there was a clash of heads between Sterling and Finnerty that saw both players having to leave the field. Loft came on for Sterling and soon had a header saved from Hayford's cross.

Finnerty's replacement was soon in the ref's book after two fouls on Edwards in a short time. I am not sure if that was on the ref's mind when Edwards was fouled in the area by Cox, another substitute, as the ref booked the Spurs player for diving. Villa held out for the final whistle to take a point that did not look possible after the first half.

There were lots of good things about Spurs today with the defence looking solid especially the new kid Dinzeyi while Owens and Stylianides screened the back four and got forward well. The two full backs surpported the wide players well and Bennetts provided good width on the left. Edwards while still trying to do too much with the ball stayed wide more and should have had a penalty not a booking. The loss of both Sterling and Bennetts left Edwards as the main outlet late in the game which meant he tried to do too much.

Next week Spurs entertain high flying Reading who lost their 100% record today when losing 2-1 at home to Brighton. Before that Spurs take on the Reading U-21 side at Stevenage on Monday evening.


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