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Middlesbrough U-21s v Spurs U-21s, 30.11.15
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

          Premier U-21 League First Division 2015-16
              Rockcliffe Park, Hurworth, Teeside
              Monday 30th November 2015, 12 noon

              MIDDLESBROUGH   v     SPURS
               (All Red)         (White/Blue)
                4-2-3-1            4-2-3-1

                  1(1)               2(0)

                   Joe Fryer  1  Harry Voss
              Callum Johnson  2  Kyle Walker-Peters
                    Dael Fry  3  Anthony Georgiou
              Matthew Elsdon  4  Filip Lesniak
             Nathan McGinley  5  Luke Amos
            Robbie Tinkler(C) 6  Milos Veljkovic(C)
            Harrison Chapman  7  Andros Townsend
                 Bryn Morris  8  Anton Walkes
                Joao Morelli  9  Shaquile Coulthirst
               Lewis Maloney 10  Shayon Harrison
               Junior Mondal 11  Emmanuel Sonupe

              Amel Jakupovic 12  William Miller
                   (9)72Mins     (11)76Mins
             Luke Coddington 13  Thomas McDermott
              Josef Wheatley 14  Joseph Pritchard
                  (10)81Mins     (10)83Mins
               Jordan Jowers 15  Cy Goddard
              Haydon Coulson 16

              Morelli 13         Coulthirst 58
                                 Walkes 80

              P. Jenkins         U. Ehiogo

Referee: P. Newhouse
Assistants:- J. Suchecki & D. Watson
Fourth Official: D. McCarrick

It was a cold rainy morning for the visit to the Middlesbrough training ground outside Darlington. The game had originally been scheduled to be played at the Riverside Stadium on Friday evening, but was moved because of their League Cup game at home to Everton tomorrow (Tuesday). The pitch was somewhat waterlogged with players having problems maintaining their footing due to the amount of rain. The home side went into the game on an unbeaten run of five games that put them three points behind Spurs.

Spurs lined up with Voss in goal behind Veljkovic and Amos with Walker-Peters at right back and Georgiou on the left. Lesniak anchored the midfield with Walkes while Townsend made an appearance wide on the right with Sonupe on the left with Harrison behind Coulthirst up front. Coulthirst returned from a spell at Wigan while Veljkovic was back at the club where he was on loan last season. On the bench was Joe Pritchard back from his long spell off due to the injury he received at Norwich in an U-18 game.

Spurs defended the North end in the first half with the home side pressing the back four forcing them to kick long. Townsend showed his ability going down the line in the first minute putting in a cross that Walkes headed over at the far post. The home side kept a high line hitting early balls for their attacking players to chase and Morris had an early chance blocked with their danger man Chapman firing wide.

Coulthirst got down the right and crossed for Sonupe coming in at the far post to force a save from Fryer. Following a Spurs corner, the ball was cleared to Chapman who made a strong run from his own half holding off defenders until he got into the Spurs area when he was tackled. The ball found Morelli to his right who fired home for the first goal of the game.

Sonupe created a chance for Coulthirst which was saved by Fryer before McGinley crossed from the left for Chapman to head over at the far post. Harrison fired over before Sonupe shot wide. Townsend had a couple of efforts before the break with the first flying over and the second on target with the keeper saving.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw Spurs getting to grips with the conditions better as Walkes fired over. A long ball from Veljkovic found Coulthirst running into the area on the left and he scored with a low finish to draw Spurs level.

Chapman got down the right brushing off Georgiou and forcing a good save from Voss winning a corner. McGinley fired wide when a corner was played to him twenty yards out. McGinley injured himself trying to stop another Townsend run and had to be replaced. Walkes drew a save from the keeper and Townsend drove wide of the far post before Spurs made their first change replacing Sonupe with Miller.

Townsend beat Coulson getting round the back and pulled the ball back for Walkes to fire Spurs into the lead. Spurs replaced Harrison with Pritchard as they began to move the ball around with more confidence under little pressure. Townsend crossed for Veljkovic to strike winning a corner as the ball deflected off a defender. Goddard replaced Coulthirst as Spurs sought to see the game out. Morris fired over before Georgiou got forward to fire wide. In added time Voss saved from Johnson after Jakupovic headed on a corner.

This was a good result in difficult conditions and maintains Spurs' challenge to Sunderland at the top of the table. Townsend made the most of his run out by creating chances throughout the game from the right flank despite the attention of McGinley. Spurs struggled to get their game flowing in the first half as the home side's pressure prevented them playing from the back. They got on top in the second half moving the ball quicker pushing the Middlesbrough defenders back.

Spurs entertain Southampton next week at Stevenage as they continue their good form. The "Saints" lost 7-2 at Carrow Road today but still sit fifth in the table.


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