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Spurs v Middlesbrough - Youth Cup 4th Rd, 06.01.16
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

               FA Youth Cup 4th Round 2015-16
          Lamex Stadium, Broadhall Way, Stevenage
              Wednesday 6th January 2016, 7pm

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

                  1(0)              3(1)

            Alfie Whiteman  1  Aynsley Pears
            Joseph Muscatt  2  Liam Hegarty
               Jaden Brown  3  Hayden Coulson
             Charlie Owens  4  Marcus Tavernier
            Japhet Tangana  5  Niall McGoldrick
       Christian Maghoma(C) 6  James Cook
           Keanan Bennetts  7  Mitchell Curry
         Zenon Stylianides  8  Alexander Pattison(C)
                 Ryan Loft  9  Amel Jakupovic
            Marcus Edwards 10  Lee Hetherington
           Samuel Shashoua 11  Harrison Chapman

           Charlie Hayford 12  Jay Wilson
          Thomas McDermott 13  Thomas Dawson
        Nicholas Tsaroulla 14  Nathan Convery 
              Dylan Duncan 15  Anthony Renton
          Kazaiah Sterling 16  Patrick Reading

          Edwards 58           Curry 24, 49
                               Jakupovic 61

          Brown 5(Pull)        Pattison 90(Foul)
          Loft 64(Behind)

Sent off:-
          Tangana 90+2(Pull)

          K. McKenna           C. Liddle

Referee: C. O'Donnell
Assistants: T. Donnellan & D. Knox
Fourth Official  W. Finnie

It was a cold evening with a light mist for this Cup tie. The visitors beat Worthing 3-0 in the third round while Spurs beat Rotherham 4-0 to go through. Middlesbrough sit fifth in the Northern league while Spurs are struggling in ninth place in the southern league.

Spurs lined up with Whitman in goal behind Tangana and Maghoma with Muscatt at right back and Brown on the left. Owens and Stylianides played in front of the defenders with Edwards ahead of them with Bennetts on the right flank and Shashoua on the left behind Loft up front.

Spurs defended the North end in the first half which saw the visitors close the home side down quickly, forcing turnovers and then hitting the ball long, behind the advanced full backs, for the front runners to chase. This tactic was simple but effective as it drew out the central defenders leaving big spaces at the back.

Chapman hit a free kick wide early before Brown was booked for pulling the wideman back as he got past him. Jakupovic fired wide before Owens hit a free kick over after a foul on Edwards by Cook on the edge of the area. Chapman headed wide before Whiteman saved from Pattison. Curry fired over when put through by Coulson. Hetherington played in Chapman to fire over before Curry raced through but hit the near post. The winger was on target a minute later when he fired in from a Jakupovic lay off.

Muscatt drove wide following a corner before Tavernier fired wide from a pull back. Curry fired wide before Bennetts drew a save from Pears curling the ball to the far post. In added time at the end of the half Pears saved a deflected effort from Edwards.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw Owens fire wide a minute in. However, Middlesbrough got a second goal when they attacked in numbers. Curry was unmarked on the penalty spot when Chapman centred to score his second.

Spurs responded as the visitors sought to settle for the two goals. A free kick by Owens was met by Loft's head but blocked on the line. Shashoua crossed for Bennetts to draw a save before the little wideman got down the left again and pulled the ball back for Brown to put into the middle where Edwards turned it in to pull a goal back.

Loft got behind the defence but Pears was out to save at his feet. Middlesbrough reponded with a long ball that fell kindly for Chapman to get behind the Spurs defence and cross for Jakupovic to score their third. Loft was booked for chasing a long ball, catching the defender from behind.

Spurs made a double change with Hayford replacing Muscatt and Sterling coming on for Edwards as they began to push forward more. The visitors hit long balls for Curry and Chapman to chase. Pears made a great reaction save from a header by Loft meeting a centre by Hayford before Tavernier fired wide from Chapman's pull back.Chapman played in Jakupovic for a chance that Whiteman saved at the expense of a corner. Chapman rode a tackle by Tangana to get into the area with Maghoma making the block at the near post.

Spurs made their last change with Tsaroulla replacing Bennetts on the left side. Coulson fired wide from a half-cleared corner before Whiteman saved from Jakupovic on another break. Loft's header was saved for a corner which saw Tangana head over. Loft played in Tsaroulla to fire just over. A quick break by Curry was stopped by Whiteman with Chapman following up to hit the side netting.

Shashoua's run through the middle was halted by Pattison who was shown a yellow card. Shashoua drew a save from Pears when an Owens free kick was not cleared. In added time Chapman nutmegged Brown and raced goalwards only to be pulled back by Tangana who was the last man which saw the Spurs defender shown a red card. The last chance of the game saw Tsaroulla's near post effort blocked for a corner.

It is not often that Spurs' midfield is out-played and out-run by the opposition. Curry and Chapman got behind the Spurs full-backs to run onto long balls and put Tangana and Maghoma under pressure throughout the game. It was simple but effective and Spurs, who are used to pushing players forward, could not cope. They go to Chelsea on Saturday who will also run at them as they did last season. Middlesbrough will meet either Sunderland for a local derby or Norwich in the next round.


P.S - The last time Spurs reached the Youth Cup Final was 1995, when they lost to Man Utd on penalties. Our youth team has spent one year longer than the senior team since winning their premier cup competition, winning the final in 1990 - against Middlesbrough!

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