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Spurs U-18s v Norwich U-18s, 13.02.16
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.


                   Premier U-18 League,
                  Southern Group 2015-16
             Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
           Saturday 13th February 2016, 12 noon

                SPURS     v  NORWICH CITY
             (White/Blue)   (Green/Yellow)
               4-2-3-1         4-2-3-1

                 1(1)           0(0)

          Alfie Whiteman  1  Marcus Beauchamp
          Joseph Muscatt  2  Toby Syme
      Nicholas Tsaroulla  3  Jamal Lewis
           Charlie Owens  4  Henry Pollock
     Christian Maghoma(C) 5  Callum Ellesley
         Japhet Tanganga  6  Joseph Crowe(C)
              Jack Roles  7  George Couzens
            Dylan Duncan  8  Emersson Sambu
               Ryan Loft  9  Bernard Ashley-Seal
          Marcus Edwards 10  Louis McIntosh
        Kazaiah Sterling 11  Diallang Jaiyesimi

       Zenon Stylianides 12  Devonte Aransibia
               (7)70Mins     (6)75Mins
        Thomas McDermott 13  Aston Oxborough
           Shilow Tracey 14  Rui Da Costa
              (11)57Mins
         Keanan Bennetts 15  Timi Odusina
               (8)57Mins     (5)86Mins
                         16  Bilal Kamal

Scorer:-
         Loft 44 (pen)

Booked:-  
         Loft 70(dissent)

Coaches-
         K. McKenna          G. Murty

Referee: A. Donaldson
Assistants: J. Kertan & M. Ydemark

It was a cold drizzly morning for the visit of Norwich City to Hotspur Way. We also had wind from the North in the second half which increased the chill factor. Both sides were looking for back to back wins as Spurs beat Swansea 2-1 last week and Norwich had a 3-2 away win at Southampton. Earlier in the season Spurs beat Norwich 3-0 at Colney and were looking to do the double over the East Anglian side. Spurs won last season's game at Hotspur Way 4-2 on a warm summer day.

Spurs lined up with Whiteman in goal behind Tanganga and Maghoma with Muscatt at right back and Tsaroulla on the left. Owens anchored the midfield with Duncan while ahead of them Edwards was flanked by Roles on his right and Sterling on his left in support of Loft up front.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the North end but found the visitors had added a more physical edge to their play since the last time they met. Norwich also closed down quickly, pressing hard to win the ball. An early Spurs attack saw a Muscatt centre played on to Sterling who fired wide. Owens hit a free kick over before Ashley-Seal fired wide from Syme's cross and then did the same from a cross from Jaiyesimi.

Whiteman saved from Syme as the "Canaries" pressed. When a corner was not cleared, Sterling saw his effort deflected for another corner. When Muscatt was played in down the left by Sterling he won a corner as his ball in was cleared off the line. From the corner Maghoma had two chances before the ball went for another corner.

Spurs then should have taken the lead in the 25th minute. Sterling won the ball from Ellersley on the left and got forward to play in Loft at the far post. However the striker failed to find the net from six yards. Loft ran onto a through ball from Edwards but Norwich blocked his effort.

McIntosh hit a free kick over from just outside the Spurs area. Tanganga picked up a long ball in his own half and got forward riding a couple of tackles to draw a save from Beauchamp. In the last minute of the half Spurs made the breakthrough when Edwards collected the ball at the far post from a corner. Edwards was tripped in the box as he tried to work some space and won a penalty. Loft took the spot kick beating Beauchamp inside his left post to go in 1-0 at the break.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which continued as the first had finished. Jaiyesimi fired wide before Spurs made a double substitution with Sterling being replaced by Bennetts on the left and Tracey coming on for Duncan to work in the right with Roles dropping deeper.

Loft was booked for kicking the ball away having been caught offside, before Spurs made their last change replacing Roles with Stylianides.

Tanganga made another run from the back to the edge of the Norwich area before winning a free kick. The game was now more open as the pressing by the visitors was not a tight as the first half. Edwards dribbled into the area on the left but Beauchamp was down to save at his near post and got up quickly to save from Tsaroulla as he followed up.

Loft and Muscatt worked the ball down the right before Loft passed inside for Tracey to hit, but his effort was blocked for a corner. Tracey did draw a save from the keeper latching on to Stylianides' pass. Whiteman saved from Aransibia who had another chance later that went for a corner. From the corner Jaiyesimi fired wide.

Loft had a chance to kill off the game when he held off two defenders and got round the keeper at the left post only to see Lewis clear off the line. There was just time for Loft to have another chance when he drove wide after Tsaroulla had played him in after making a great run through the middle. However, the striker fired wide.

The visitors made it difficult for Spurs to play their normal passing game which allied to a below par performance from the home side made it a tight first half. Spurs improved in the second and the game opened up more. Loft could have had a hat-trick to add to the one he scored in the away game at Colney.

With one game to play in this first phase Spurs will finish in eighth place even if they beat the gooners next week and will play in group two of the play-offs. This will mean another game against gooners, Villa and Leicester with Wolves and West Brom from the Northern league plus two from Blackburn, Sunderland or Middlesbrough the most likely to complete the group.

Ray

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