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Spurs U-18s v Chelsea U-18s, 03.10.15
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

                   Premier U-18 League,
                 Southern Group 2015-16
            Hotspur Way, Bull Cross, Enfield
             Saturday 2nd October 2015, 11am

                SPURS      v      CHELSEA
             (White/Blue)        (All Blue)
               4-2-3-1            4-2-3-1

                 3(1)               4(1)

           Alfie Whiteman  1  Nathan Baxter
         Christopher Paul  2  Josh Grant(C)
       Nicholas Tsaroulla  3  Fikayo Tomori
            Charlie Owens  4  Ali Suljic
           Japhet Tangana  5  Cole Dasilva
      Christian Maghoma(C) 6  Ruben Sammut
           Marcus Edwards  7  Miko Muheim
        Zenon Stylianides  8  Muhktar Ali
                Ryan Loft  9  Ike Ugbo
             Dylan Duncan 10  Isaac Christie-Davis
         Kazaiah Sterling 11  Charlie Wakefield

           Joseph Muscatt 12  Harvey St. Claire
                (3)78Mins     (11)85Mins
         Thomas McDermott 13  Alex Cozaicis
             Aramide Oteh 14  Joseph Colley
             George Marsh 15  Hubert Adamczyk
          Keenan Bennetts 16  Jacob Maddox

       Loft 41, pen85   Ali 34, 63
       Owens 46                Christie-Davis 59
                               Ugbo 76

       Stylianides 60(Talk)    Muheim 54(Foul)
                               Christie-Davis 90(Late)

       K. McKenna              J. Edwards

Referee: D. Robinson

It was a cloudy morning for the visit of Chelsea to Hotspur Way. Chelsea had beaten Brighton 2-1 last week and moved to the top of the league. Spurs lost their last game away to Arsenal 5-3 having led 2-0 early on. Last season before the Youth Cup semi-final between these two teams they had to play their league game at Cobham. They agreed to field U-16 teams and this season both sides started with seven players from that game which finished 2-1 to the blues. Ugbo and Loft were on the scoresheet on that occasion.

Spurs lined up with Whiteman in goal behind Maghoma and Tangana with Paul at right back and Tsaroulla on the left. Owens and Stylianides protected the defence with Duncan behind Loft up front flanked by Edwards on his right and Sterling on his left. Muscatt, McDermott and Bennetts were on the bench having played for the U-21 side in a friendly the day before, when Derby were beaten 4-2.

Spurs defended the South end in the first half. The league leaders took the initiative putting pressure on the home side with Wakefield firing over after a minute. Ali struck the crossbar with a free kick not long after. Loft drew a save before Whiteman saved from Wakefield with Ali hitting a free kick wide.

The "Blues" were on top with Christie-Davis drawing a save from Whiteman and Ugbo heading wide. Ugbo was sent away on the left by Suljic who got into the area but failed to meet the cross. Chelsea finally took the lead when Christie-Davis played the ball in from the right through a mass of legs bouncing off some of them to the advantage of Ali who scored.

Tsaroulla was having a good game on the right flank and when he came inside, he was fouled just outside the area giving Owens a chance from the free kick, which he fired over. Spurs drew level before the break when Stylianides' lovely forward pass found Loft making a run between the two centre-backs to get through; draw Baxter, and slot home.

There were no changes for the second half which saw Spurs go in front within a minute. Spurs were awarded a free kick as they attacked down the left and Owens floated the ball to the far post. With players attacking the ball, Baxter was left flat-footed as the ball flew straight in without anyone touching it.

Muheim was booked for a foul on Tsaroulla before the visitors equalised with a contentious goal. Tangana had headed out a cross from the right, but the ball was played back in immediately. As Tangana jumped to head this ball he was hit by Ugbo allowing the ball to fall for Christie-Davis to rifle home. Protests continued after the re-start which led to Stylianides going into the ref's book.

Sterling fired wide and following a free kick Duncan drove the loose ball wide before Chelsea went in front again. Ali fired low in when a corner was only cleared to him on the edge of the area. Spurs replaced Edwards with Bennetts on the right who had an early run down the right with his cross only cleared to Owens who fired over. Chelsea increased their lead when Bennetts made a mistake trying a back pass to Whiteman which was seized on by Ugbo to fire past the unprotected keeper.

Muscatt came on for Tsaroulla at left back before there was a long break for treatment when there was a clash of heads between Ugbo and Paul that saw the Spurs player return with a bandaged head. Chelsea sought to sit back and play on the break which allowed Spurs to get forward and they paid the price when Duncan was fouled in the area giving Loft the chance to reduce the deficit from the spot. Baxter tried to put him off taking his time playing with his gloves but Ryan kept his nerve to send him the wrong way scoring inside the right post.

Spurs were now on a high and Bennetts was sent clear by Owens but Baxter was out quickly to block. Christie-Davis was booked for a late challenge on Stylianides as Spurs began to control the midfield. An Owens' free kick was headed on by Maghoma for Sterling to hit towards the far post where Muheim cleared off the line under pressure. He was replaced after receiving treatment as the visitors held on. A long throw by Muscatt in added time saw Spurs last chance. Loft headed it on and fired over when it was played back to him. Chelsea held on for the nine minutes of added time to take the points.

Maghoma had been drafted in from the U-21's to strengthen the defence and he played his part as he was dominant at the back. He is still only 17 but has benefited from playing at a higher level. Tsaroulla also played well at left back as Spurs weathered early pressure against the top team with the the referee allowing the Chelsea equaliser possibly the turning point for the visitors who took full advantage. Bennetts looked good on the right when he came on and should not allow his mistake to affect him as he was still getting up to speed with the game. I doubt he would have made it if he had started the game but he was held back after appearing for the development side on Friday.

Next week Spurs U-18s travel to Norwich for a midday kick off seeking to end their losing run. Norwich beat Brighton today 3-1 to go above Spurs in the table.


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