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Spurs U-18s v Southampton U-18s, 21.11.15
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

                  Premier U-18 League, 
                Southern Group 2015-16
            Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
          Saturday 21st November 2015, 11.30am

                SPURS     v   SOUTHAMPTON
            (White/Blue)     (Green/Blue)
               4-2-3-1          4-4-1-1

                 2(2)             1(1) 

        Thomas McDermott  1 Harry Lewis
         Charlie Hayford  2 Richard Bakary
      Nicholas Tsaroulla  3 Ben Cull
           Charlie Owens  4 Thomas O'Connor
          Japhet Tangana  5 Ollie Cook
     Christian Maghoma(C) 6 Alfie Jones
              Jack Roles  7 Yan Valery
            Dylan Duncan  8 Joe Lea
               Ryan Loft  9 Ollifela Olomola
          Marcus Edwards 10 Stuart Wilkin
        Kazaiah Sterling 11 Tyreke Johnson

        Christopher Paul 12 Oskar Cvjeticanin
          Brandon Austin 13 Jake Hallett
            George Marsh 14 Harley Willard
               (7)73Mins    (9)22Mins
             Armide Oteh 15 Carel Kayembe
              (11)62Mins    (11)60Mins
                         16 Dave Musendo

        o.g. O'Connor 43    Lea 10
            Tsaroulla 45

                            Jones 55(Foul)
                            Lea 65(Foul)

        K. McKenna          C. Fleming

Ref: D. Steele

It was a cold morning with high winds that swept in from the north. Early snow had not settled but the winds caused problems for both sides. Today's visitors were Southampton, fresh from a 7-2 defeat at the hands of Chelsea last Saturday. Spurs themselves had lost at Fulham 5-3. Spurs won away at Southampton earlier in the season 3-1. Last season Spurs beat the "Saints" at Hotspur Way 3-1 with all the goals coming in the last half hour.

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

Spurs kicked off the first half playing into the wind towards the North end but found the visitors difficult to play through. They formed a very solid barrier of two lines of four and closed Spurs down quickly forcing them to play long, which into a head wind was not the best way. The visitors capitalised on this forcing turnovers and counter-attacking quickly.

Jones headed wide from a free kick before Southampton scored. The visitors won the ball on the left and put in an early cross which found Lea in space to fire low past McDermott. Southampton lost Ollifela soon after but continued to have the better of the play as McDermott saved from Valery and Tangana went down in front of Johnson to block him twice after which he had to have treatment.

Bakary fired over and Willard saw his 30 yard free kick fly just wide of the right post. Johnson got in on the right but McDermott stood up big to block his effort and was also able to save from the same player when he followed up with a second shot. With five minutes of the half left, Spurs finally created a chance when Tsaroulla worked his way down the left and Sterling saw his header from the cross hit the near post.

That seemed to inspire the home side as Edwards managed to dribble his way into the area on the right but his cross went across the goalmouth. The Southampton defenders did not have time to breath a sigh of relief as Spurs retrieved the ball and Tsaroulla whipped in a cross which was headed in at the far post by Southampton defender Cull. Spurs again worked the ball down the left and Sterling's ball inside found Tsaroulla in the area. The Spurs full back curled the ball round the keeper and into the net for Spurs' second goal in as many minutes for them to go in at half time with an unlikely lead.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw Spurs attacking with the wind behind them. Sterling drew a save from Lewis when he met a cross from Roles. A long ball out by McDermott saw Loft beat his marker on the right. Loft was headed for goal when Jones tripped him to concede a free kick and also go into the ref's book. From the kick by Edwards, Roles headed over as the ball bounced in front of him.

It was not all one way traffic. Southampton won a corner from a turnover. Cook's goal-bound header from the corner was cleared off the line. Lea was booked for a foul on Tsaroulla as he made another attacking run, coming inside. Loft headed wide from Edwards' corner before Spurs made their first change. Sterling, who had been caught late in the first half when Valery had left his foot in, was replaced by Oteh.

After Cull had fired over Spurs made a double change replacing Duncan with Marsh and Paul coming on for Roles as they switched to 4-3-3. Edwards fired wide and a run and shot by Paul was saved with Oteh flagged off side when he put in the rebound. Oteh had an effort saved before the end as Southampton managed to contain Spurs until the final whistle.

In truth with the wind behind them Southampton could have been out of sight after the first half, while Spurs were on top in the second thanks to the wind but created fewer opportunities. The difference being that the visitors were more direct while Spurs preferred to move the ball around giving Southampton the chance to win it back with their pressing. Tsaroulla was the only Spurs player looking to run at the "Saints"' defence and had a hand in both goals. Edwards is another player who likes to run at defenders but he prefers to dribble round players which was something that the visitors would not let him do. Next week Aston Villa arrive at Hotspur Way following their loss today, going down 2-1 to Reading.


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