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Spurs U-18s v Brighton U-18s, 08.08.15
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

               Premier U-18 League 2015-16
                  Hotspur Way, Enfield
             Saturday 8th August 2015, 11.30am

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

                   5(3)             1(1)

          Thomas McDermott  1  Robert Sanchez
          Christopher Paul  2  Owen Moore
            Joseph Muscatt  3  George Cox
             Charlie Owens  4  Remi Meyers
              George Marsh  5  Sam Rolph
            Jayden Brown(C) 6  Dan Barker
               Armani Daly  7  David Ajiboye
         Zenon Stylianides  8  Archie Davies
                 Ryan Loft  9  Reece Meekums
            Marcus Edwards 10  Max Sanders
           Kaziah Sterling 11  Jordan Maguire-Drew(C)

           Charlie Hayford 12  Alex Cochrane
                 (9)60Mins     (10)82Mins
            Alfie Whiteman 13  George Hobbs
      Tashan Oakley-Boothe 14  Isaac Hutchinson
                 (5)70Mins     (7)55Mins
           Samuel Shashoua 15  Dan Cashman
                 (2)66Mins     (9)82Mins

           Loft 11             Maguire-Drew 43
           Stylianides 19
           Owens 23
           Sterling 61
           Shashoua 90+4 

           K. McKenna          I. Buckman

Referee:- S. Marriott
Assistants: R. Enyedi & G. Osei

It was a hot sunny morning for the opening game of the season which was not played on the usual pitch at Hotspur Way. We found out just before kick-off that the game was being played on number 6 pitch which was by the entrance and a little walk from the buildings. Trever Webb hot-footed over with the teamsheets just in time for the start.

Spurs lined up with McDermott in goal behind Marsh and Brown with Paul at right back and Muscatt on the right. I expected Paul to be at the back as Marsh is a shorter midfield player. Owens and Stylianides sat in front of them with Daly wide right and Sterling on the left with Edwards behind Loft up front. Last season was Brighton's first in the Premier league and they turned Spurs over with a strong performance winning 5-1.

Spurs attacked the North end in the first half and Edwards had an early effort saved while Sterling had one blocked. Loft headed wide at the far post but was alert when Sanchez received his goal kick back from his defender to mug him and score the opening goal.

Sanchez saved Edwards' free kick before the visitors had a chance to equalise. Sanders got down the right and his centre was just missed by Meekums and put out for a corner from which Davies' effort was turned wide for another. McDermott saved from Sanders before Muscatt got down the left and pulled the ball back for Loft. His effort was blocked but found Stylianides on the right side of the area who headed in for Spurs' second.

It was soon three when the ball was worked down the left and played back to Owens by Sterling who scored with a rising drive from 25 yards, despite Sanchez getting a hand to it. Loft fired over hitting a through ball early and Edwards dribbled into the area all the way to the near post firing into the side netting. It was a great little run but maybe he should have pulled the ball back.

Ajiboye played in Maguire-Drew to fire wide with Loft having his effort blocked seconds later . Ajiboye set up Meekums for a shot that McDermott saved while Stylianides fired wide at the other end. Edwards played in Loft for a chance that was wide as the game opened up more. Maguire-Drew hit a free kick over for the visitors before Owens sent Loft away to draw a save from Sanchez. McDermott saved from Maguire-Drew when he was played in by Cox while Sterling fired wide when played in by Muscatt. Maguire-Drew got his reward when he scored from a quick break from Sanders through ball just before half time.

There were no changes for the start of the second half, which continued in the same way the first ended. Edwards hit a free kick over before Maguire-Drew set up a chance for Ajiboye at the far post just before the winger was replaced.

Stylianides got round the back on the left but his effort was cleared off the line with the keeper beaten. On the hour Spurs made their first change with Loft going off and Hayford coming on. Sterling went up front with Daly switching to the left. Edwards notionally moved to the right while Hayford had a central role. A minute later, Sterling was on the scoresheet as he collected a pull back from the left, turned and hit the ball low into the left corner of the net.

Sterling fired over just before Spurs made a second change. Wearing the number 20 shirt Shashoua came on for Paul and went to the left side with Daly going to right back. Oakley-Boothe was the next player to come on with the excellent Marsh going off. Again it led to a re-shuffle as Owens dropped into the back four with Muscatt coming inside while Brown moved to the left and Oakley-Boothe took up a midfield position.

Daly got forward to win a corner and Hayford drew a save which led to Maguire-Drew getting behind the Spurs defence from the long clearance upfield by the keeper. The Brighton captain drew McDermott and chipped the ball over him but was unlucky to see the ball land on the crossbar and cleared. Sterling saw his effort saved after good work by Shashoua with Edwards setting up Daly for a chance that was saved seconds later. Edwards appeared on the left to fire wide before Maguire-Drew drew a save. Both Shashoua and Sterling had shots over the bar before Shashoua got one on target for Sanchez to save. The little midfielder did get on the scoresheet in the last minute of the game when he fired in across the keeper after latching onto the ball in the area.

This was a good all round performance by Spurs with Marsh doing well in defence. He has grown a little since last season and did not look out of place at the heart of the Spurs defence. Edwards is a livewire on the ball but maybe needs to release the ball having opened up defences with his running but when it comes off it is great to see.

Next week the Academy travel to West Ham who usually give Spurs a tough game. Last season it was an entertaining 3-3 draw. That is followed by a trip to Southampton the following week. Next week the U-21 side have two games. Firstly Everton at Hotspur Way on Monday at noon and then Manchester City away on Friday.


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