Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.
Premier U-18 League Southern Group 2015-16
Belvoir Drive, Leicester
Saturday 30th January 2016, 11.30am
LEICESTER C. v SPURS
(All Blue) (All Purple)
Spurs Team (4-2-3-1):– McDermott; Paul, Tanganga, Mulkena, Muscatt(Brown 70); Owens(C), Stylianides; Edwards(Roles 70), Duncan, Bennetts; Sterling (Loft 46)
Unused Sub:– Whiteman
Scorer:– Duncan 84
Leicester City (4-2-3-1):– Team unknown
Scorer:– Barnes 85
Booked:– No.2 39(Foul), No.4 42(Foul), 78(Pull), No.8 80(Pull)
It was a cold windy morning with the sun shining in the East Midlands for the trip to Belvoir Drive for the mid-table battle against the "Foxes". Having just returned from sunny Mexico where they finished last in the Copa Chivas the temperature difference must have been a shock for the Spurs team. Leicester beat Spurs at Hotspur Way earlier in the season while Spurs drew 1-1 last season at Belvoir Drive.
Spurs lined up with McDermott in goal behind Tanganga and Mukena with Paul at right back and Muscatt on the left. Owens anchored the midfield with Stylianides behind Duncan who was flanked by Edwards on the right and Bennetts on the left in support of Sterling up front.
Spurs defended the South end in the first half with the wind behind them. The home side closed them down quickly pressing high which unsettled Spurs who took a while to get their passing game together.
Leicester won some early free kicks which were well defended with Tanganga dominating in the air. It was the visitors who drew the first save when Bennetts' effort was deflected for a corner. That led to a spate of corners for Spurs with a Tanganga header turned wide among them. Leicester's first attempt was so off-target that it was hard to call it a shot.
Leicester's next effort almost produced a goal when a cross from the left went to Muscatt at the far post who slipped trying to clear, allowing Barnes to shoot. The full back blocked his first effort while his second hit the near post and his third hit McDermott who needed treatment before the game could continue.
Edwards won a free kick just outside the area but he fired it over the bar. We then saw two bookings for Leicester players in the space of three minutes. The first was for a trip on Sterling and the other for a foul on Owens. Both bookings were more for a totting up of minor fouls than for a serious foul. The last chance of the half fell to Stylianides who fired wide from Sterling's pass.
Spurs replaced Sterling with Loft for the start of the second half which saw the home side continue to press. A mis-placed pass by Paul produced a chance that was over McDermott's goal. This was followed by another one over the bar and a shot wide from a corner. Paul was booked for a foul trying to get to grips with his man as the home side pressed for a goal.
After the "Foxes" went close twice more Spurs made a double change replacing Muscatt with Brown at left back and Roles taking over from Edwards in midfield. Spurs almost scored right after the change from a corner when the keeper saved on the line as the ball came out of a mass of legs in the six yard box.
As the home players tired they began to hold on to the Spurs players to stop them getting away which saw two of them go into the ref's book. We finally got a goal when a cross from the left found its way to Duncan on the far post and he volleyed home. Leicester responded from the restart by going down the other end to score when Spurs failed to clear. There were no more chances before the end so the game finished all square.
Spurs did well to weather the early storm and got into the game to create some good chances . Both sides more or less cancelled each other out in midfield with the defences mopping up what little got through. The old adage that you are most vulnerable when you have just scored certainly applied in this game as Spurs failed to see out the game after scoring so late.
The draw keeps Leicester nine points clear of Spurs in the table. Next week Spurs travel to bottom club Swansea who they beat 3-1 at Hotspur Way earlier in the season.
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