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Spurs U-18s v Aston Villa U-18s, 16.04.16
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

               Premier U-18 Southern League
                   Play-offs 2015-16
                      Hotspur Way
                   Bulls Cross, Enfield
             Saturday 16th April 2016, 12 noon

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

                0(0)               1(0)

        Thomas McDermott  1 Viktar Johansson
           Shilow Tracey  2 Mitch Clark
         Keanan Bennetts  3 Josh Williams
            George Marsh  4 Alex Prosser
      Christian Maghoma(C)5 James Finnerty
        Jonathan Dinzeyi  6 Johan Abdoul
         Samuel Shashoua  7 Harvey Knibbs
               Nya Kirby  8 Jake Hayes(C)
           Reo Griffiths  9 Rushian Hepburn-Murphy
              Jack Roles 10 Jordan Cox
    Tashan Oakley-Boothe 11 Louis Hall

            Dylan Duncan 12 Jake Walker
               (9)73Mins    (2)71Mins
          Brandon Austin 13 Emmanuel Idem
        Kazaiah Sterling 14 Dominic Revan
               (8)60Mins    (4)81Mins
             Jaden Brown 15 Jake Humphries
               (3)60Mins    (9)34Mins
                         16 Jordan Davies

                            o.g. Maghoma 47

                            Williams 28(Holding)

        K. McKenna          T. McAndrews

Ref: N. Gordon

It was a cold morning with rain in the air for Spurs' last home game of the season. With nothing to play for, Spurs gave time to some of their young players including a first game for striker Reo Griffiths. Villa are two points better off than Spurs having beaten West Brom 2-1 last week while Spurs lost 1-0 at Middlesbrough. Villa won 3-2 at Hotspur Way in the league game back in January.

Spurs lined up with Maghoma and Dinzeyi at the back in front of McDermott with Tracey at right back and Bennetts on the left. Marsh anchored the midfield with Kirby next to him, while Roles was ahead of them, flanked by Shashoua on the right and Oakley-Boothe on the left with Griffiths up front making his debut. On the bench was the experienced Duncan, Sterling and Brown alongside U-16 keeper Austin.

Spurs defended the North end in the first half which saw Hepburn-Murphy fire wide from Knibbs' cross in the opening seconds. Griffiths set up Roles for a chance which he hit over the bar. Dinzeyi picked up the ball near the halfway line and drove forward laying it off and continuing his run into the area to head the cross from Bennetts wide. Good work from Shashoua gave Bennetts a chance which he fired over before Marsh set up Oakley-Boothe for a chance he put over.

With two attacking players at full back Spurs were always going to be caught short at the back and Villa had a back post effort by Hepburn-Murphy cleared off the line by Dinzeyi. Bennetts also cleared off the line when Cox got through on the left. Spurs continued to press and Williams was booked when Shashoua got past him once too often for the ref's liking.

Hepburn-Murphy had to be replaced early on due to injury as Spurs continued to have most of the possession, but few chances on goal. Oakley-Boothe played in Griffiths for a chance that was deflected wide for a corner. Griffiths also headed wide from a cross by Shashoua. Villa won a corner when Prosser's effort was blocked but Spurs finished the half with Shashoua firing over from Oakley-Boothe and Griffiths hitting wide.

There were no changes for the start of the second half. With Villa trying to put pressure on the Spurs midfield Maghom,a played a back-pass to where he thought McDermott was only to catch out his keeper who was moving to the right of his goal, giving the visitors the lead.

Spurs did not panic as they still had over forty minutes to retrieve the situation and Shashoua drew a save from Johansson winning a corner. Spurs made a double change on the hour with Sterling replacing Kirby and Brown coming on for Bennetts at left back. With Sterling going up front, Griffiths dropped back as did Roles.

Humphries got on the end of a Clark cross but fired wide. Roles played in Sterling for a chance that was saved by the keeper who also collided with Clark before more changes were made by both teams. Clark had to be replaced and Duncan replaced Griffiths for Spurs. Duncan had a drive after 10 minutes on the field which was deflected by Sterling and saved by the keeper. With Spurs pushing for a goal Villa had chances with Humphries firing over and Hayes doing the same, but Spurs finished the game with a couple of efforts by Sterling. Johansson saved the first while the second was just wide.

There were few real chances in the game due mainly to Spurs' passing game not being great today with the younger players wanting to show their best which allowed the visitors to contain and counter. Griffiths did okay for his first game and Kirby got about the pitch well but there was a lack of good interplay which comes with practice. It would have been a draw but for the error by Maghoma not looking where McDermott was.

Spurs last play-off game is not until the 30th when they travel the short distance to London Colney to play Arsenal who lost 2-1 today at home to Leicester. They will not want to finish below Spurs like their first team so will be highly motivated as I hope Spurs will be.


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