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Midlesbrough U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 09.04.16
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

         Premier U-18 League Play-off group 2,2015-16
              Rockcliffe Park, Hurworth-on-Tees
               Saturday 9th April 2016, 11am.

               MIDDLESBROUGH 1 - 0 TOTTENHAM
                 (All Red)        (White/Blue)
                  4-2-3-1           4-2-3-1

Middlesbrough Team: Unknown but included Pears, Hegarty, Coulson, Tavenier, Curry, Lambert and Hetherington

Scorer: Hetherington 64

Booked: No.5 78(Foul)

Tottenham: Whiteman; Muscatt(Dinzeyi 61), Mukena, Owens, Brown; Marsh(C), Kirby; Duncan, Roles, Shashoua(Bennetts 72); Sterling(Oteh 72)

Unused Sub:- Freeman

Booked: Bennetts 77(Late)

It was a sunny morning up on Teesside for the visit to the unbeaten group leaders. Last time out Spurs had that 7-3 victory over Wolves while the hosts beat Leicester 4-1. With another U-21 game coming up on Monday the Spurs squad was a bit thin. Owens started in the back four alongside Mukena in front of Whiteman with Muscatt at right back and Brown on the left. Marsh filled in for Owens as the anchor for the midfield with young Kirby alongside him. Roles was in front of them with Duncan on his right and Shashoua on the left in support of Sterling up front. Bennetts started on the bench as he was being saved for Monday.

Spurs defended the North end in the first half which saw both sides looking to settle for the opening period until Sterling headed a cross wide after fourteen minutes. Marsh was on target when a corner was cleared to him but Pears saved. Shashoua played in Roles for an effort that was over. Tavenier drew a save from Whiteman winning a corner. From the corner Coulson fired over.

Curry fired wide before Tavenier had his effort blocked from a corner. Play switched to the other end with Roles heading wide from Brown's cross. Shashoua set up Duncan for a chance that was saved. Sterling headed wide from a free kick by Roles and Shashoua fired wide before Whiteman saved Spurs when Curry was played through and the keeper saved with an out-stretched leg four minutes before the break.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw Whiteman push over a shot from Lambert for a corner. The corner came out to Coulson who lifted the ball in for Hetherington to head wide.

Sterling fired wide from Roles' cross. Muscatt and Kirby worked the ball down the right which saw Kirby hit the near post. Hetherington fired wide while Roles shot over at the other end as did Shashoua before Spurs made their first change. Dinzeyi replaced Muscatt going into the back four with Owens moving to his usual holding midfield place and Kirby dropping to right back.

The change may have helped Middlesbrough as when Hegarty crossed, Hetherington was able to head home unchallenged. Sterling drew a save from Pears latching on to Brown's cross. Spurs made a double change with Bennetts replacing Shashoua on the left and Oteh on for Sterling in attack.

Bennetts received the first booking when he was late in tackling Hegarty. A minute later when Brown counter-attacked from the free kick he was taken out by the central defender who was also booked. Middlesbrough saw out the game and could have had a second when Hetherington hit the crossbar and post when played in by Curry.

It was a close game with both sides having periods of possession during the game. The home side had more good chances while Spurs had more possession. Spurs' passing game was not strong which was due to the pressing by the home side. If Spurs had some of their more experienced players available it may have tipped the balance, but then how many of the "Boro" players missed the game.

Next week Spurs will play Aston Villa at Hotspur Way kicking off at midday. Villa beat West Brom today to move into third place in the group.

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