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Spurs U-18s v Reading U-18s, 19.09.15
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.


                  Premier U-18 League
                 Southern Group 2015-16
                Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross
          Saturday 19th September 2015, 12 noon

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

                 1(0)              4(2)

          Brandon Austin  1  Luke Southwood
         Charlie Hayford  2  Dan Akinwunni
          Joseph Muscatt  3  Omar Richards
           Charlie Owens  4  Harrison Bennett
              Joy Mukena  5  Gaborial Osho
             Jaden Brown  6  Axel Andresson
        Marcus Edwards(C) 7  Tyler Frost
       Zenon Stylianides  8  Ryan East
               Ryan Loft  9  Sam Smith
         Samuel Shashoua 10  Josh Barrett(C)
             Armani Daly 11  Conor Davis

         Japhet Tanganga 12  Jack Denton
               (5)55Mins     (9)87Mins
        Thomas McDermott 13  Joe Tupper
            George Marsh 14  Ramarni Medford-Smith
               (4)55Mins     (10)90+2Mins
         Keanan Bennetts 15  Josh Chatee
               (7)46Mins     (7)62Mins
                         16  Ade Shokunbl

Scorers:-
         Edwards 80          Smith 1
                             Davis 20, 46
                             Barrett (pen) 81 

Booked:-
         Marsh 75(Fouls)

Coach:-
         K. McKenna          H. Gilkes

Ref: B. Trindor
Assistants: I. Muzuran & A. Lupano

Spurs entertained Reading at Hotspur Way on a warm sunny morning having returned from the Midlands with a 2-2 draw against Villa. The visitors lost their 100% record last week at home to Brighton to drop to second in the table behind Chelsea.

Spurs lined up with Austin making his first start at this level behind Brown and Mukena with Hayford at right back and Muscatt on the left. Owens anchored the midfield with Stylianides while Shashoua supported Loft up front with Edwards on his right and Daly on his left. It was good to see Bennetts on the bench after the knock he had last week. McKenna was obviously rotating his squad with a midweek fixture at Arsenal to come. An interesting point of note was that both assistant referees were women, which was a first, at Hotspur Way.

Spurs kicked off attacking the North end and quickly moved the ball down the left for Muscatt to cross to Loft but his effort was blocked. The visitors cleared the ball and counter attacked down the right putting in an early centre that was hit by Smith first time low into the far corner of the net.

Spurs never recovered form that goal as the "Royals" closed them down quickly all over the pitch and kept a solid defensive formation that was difficult to break down. Edwards cut in from the right to draw a save from Southwood before Smith fired wide. Owens hit a free kick well over after a foul on Daly while Austin saved from Barrett for a corner. The visitors' pace was evident again when Davis ran at the defence to fire home for their second. Trying to keep a high line was no defence against the pace of the Reading attack as Spurs were being turned too easily.

Barrett played in Smith for a shot wide before Edwards came inside but fired over. Stylianides had a low drive which was easily saved before the last chance of the half saw Osho head over at a corner.

Spurs made one change for the second half with Bennetts replacing Daly on the left as a more natural left sided player. Spurs made a bad start to the half as Owens was caught in possession and Davis had plenty of space to fire home Reading's third goal.

Edwards had another effort fly over before Barrett won a corner when his effort was blocked and Austin saved the header by Andresson for another corner. Spurs then made a double substitution with Tangana replacing Mukena at the back and Marsh taking over from Owens in midfield. The two players had an immediate affect in shoring up the defence and being a platform for attack but could not stop the visitors completely.

Austin had to save from Barrett with Spurs countering quickly and when Reading did not clear the ball Hayford put in a deep cross which hit the crossbar. Shashoua fired wide for a corner while Davis drove wide at the other end. Marsh was shown a yellow card for two fouls in a short space of time as he defended in front of the back line.

Spurs looked to be getting into the game as Bennetts fired wide and after Edwards was fouled just outside the area the midfielder took the kick himself curling it into the near post for 1-3. Reading came straight back winning a penalty when Chatee drove into the area. Barrett stepped up to send Austin the wrong way and regain their three goal advantage which they never lost. Davis went close again before Shashoua played Edwards in, only to be on the receiving end of a last ditch tackle which prevented him from shooting. Reading saw out the added time comfortably.

This was a poor performance from Spurs although Reading were very good. It was very much like the U-21 game earlier in the week with even the scoring going the same way. Spurs always seemed to want to take that extra touch which put them under pressure before they could do anything with the ball while Reading moved the ball quickly often playing it long to turn the defence. The win sent Reading back to the top of the table as Chelsea lost at West Ham. Spurs travel to Shenley on Wednesday to play Arsenal who also lost today 2-1 at Fulham but remain a place above Spurs in the table. For the first time in three years I will be there as I have a ticket for the behind closed doors game.

Ray

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