Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.
PL2 - Division 1, 2016-17
Lamex Stadium, Stevenage
Monday 15th August 2016, 7pm
SPURS v EVERTON
Thomas Glover 1 Mateusz Hewelt
Kyle Walker-Peters 2 Gethin Jones(C)
Connor Ogilvie 3 Antonee Robinson
Luke Amos(C) 4 Liam Walsh
Christian Maghoma 5 Morgan Feeney
Anton Walkes 6 Brendan Galloway
Marcus Edwards 7 David Henen
Joseph Pritchard 8 Tom Davies
Shayon Harrison 9 Anthony Evans
William Miller 10 Ryan Ledson
Nathan Oduwa 11 Kieran Dowell
Cy Goddard 12 Callum Dyson
Thomas McDermott 13 Louis Gray
Shilow Tracey 14 Courtney Duffus
Zenon Stylianides 15 Harry Charsley
Joseph Muscatt 16 Matthew Foulds
Amos 58(Holding) Davies 67(Late)
U. Ehiogu D. Unsworth
Referee:– S. Rushton
Assistants:- S. Brown & L. Crowhurst
Fourth Official:– D. Knox
It was a cool evening for the opening game of the season at Stevenage. The age limit has been raised to 23 from last season's 21 and the league has been rebranaded to The English Premier League 2. Spurs will not be in the International Cup or the EFL Trophy which will allow them to participate in the UEFA U-19 League without over-burdening the young players.
Spurs lined up with Glover in goal behind Maghoma and Walkes with Walker-Peters at right back and Ogilvie on the left. Amos anchored the midfield with Pritchard while Miller was in front of them flanked by Edwards on the right and Oduwa on the left in support of Harrison up front.
Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the South end but found the visitors closing them down quickly and high up the pitch. Raising the age limit of the players has allowed them to be more physical in challenges for the ball for which the "Toffees" were better prepared. The visitors had an early chance when they won the ball in the middle and released Henen down the left. His effort was pushed over the bar by Glover for a corner. From the corner Ledson had a shot at the back post that was cleared off the line by Pritchard.
Both sides sought to get forward but the defences were coping well with Spurs first effort by Miller going wide in the 12th minute. Three minutes later Edwards played in Harrison with a great ball for a chance but Hewelt was out quickly to block. Edwards came inside playing a one-two before firing wide of the right post.
Maghoma landed badly on his right shoulder and had to go off being replaced by Muscatt who went to left back with Ogilvie moving inside to partner Walkes. (Ogilvie played last season on loan with Stevenage, so this must have felt like a home stadium to him) Muscatt make several forays down the flank and put over a cross to the far post where Walker-Peters met it with his head to draw a save from Hewelt. Ogilvie stepped out of the back four to hit a long pass into the path of Oduwa who fired wide under pressure from Feeney. Feeney gave away a penalty when he pulled down Walkes at the far post from a 33rd minute corner. Harrison stepped up and hit the ball down the middle with the keeper standing his ground to make the save. That was the last chance before the break.
There were no changes for the start of the second half which began much as the first had done. An early cross from the left by Robinson found Galloway getting into the area but the defender completely mis-kicked with only the keeper to beat. Just after this Spurs worked the ball through the centre for Harrison to draw a save with a low drive to the far post. Hewelt fumbled the corner kick from Oduwa but was saved by one of his defenders clearing off the line.
Walsh had a long range effort fly over before Everton nearly took the lead. Amos gave away a free kick out on the right for which he was booked . Walsh hit the kick to the far post where Galloway headed it back for Feeney to strike inside the six yard box. Glover saved and the danger was cleared. Everton made a double change to refresh their strike force as Spurs began to push them back.
Davies was booked for a late tackle on Amos as the play was becoming more end to end. Dowell hit a free kick over the bar from just outside the area before Spurs made a double change. Oduwa was replaced by Tracey and Stylianides came on for Edwards. After a spell of good play from Spurs they won a corner when Hewelt saved at his near post from Tracey. Spurs pushed everyone up for the corner which was too long and when a loose ball found Henen in the middle he only had Amos to pass before getting into the area and beating Glover for the opening goal.
Everton made their last change to defend that lead. Foulds - the player they brought on - was booked inside two minutes for a foul on Walker-Peters. Foulds was also on hand to kill off Spurs when he ran onto the loose ball after Glover had made a reaction save from Duffus.
This was not a great start by Spurs as their passing was not sharp enough, putting teammates under pressure. The close marking of the visitors saw Spurs lose possession to easily. The passing will get better as the season progresses and they will learn to be tougher in the tackle like tonight's opponents. There are still a couple of weeks before the transfer window closes so some of these players are likely to go out on loan with others coming in and having to settle into the team.
The next match is away to Reading next Monday afternoon at their training ground. The following two matches have already been ammended. Derby has been moved from WHL to County's training ground on the 26th August and Chelsea will play their home game at Stamford Bridge a fortnight later. The next scheduled home game is at WHL on the 19th September when Liverpool will be the visitors.
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