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Spurs U-18s v Reading U-18s, 07.12.19
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

      Premier U-18 League South 2019-20
    Hotspur Way, Whitewebbs Lane, Enfield
     Saturday 7th December 2019, 11.30am 

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

            2(2)            3(0)

  Kacper Kurylowicz  1  Harvey Collins
       Dermi Lusala  2  Lynford Sackey
    Dennis Cirkin(C) 3  Nelson Abbey
       Kallum Cesay  4  Claudio Osario
       Marques Muir  5  Josh Hewitt(C)
      Aaron Skinner  6  Jeriel Dorsett
        Chay Cooper  7  Pedro Neves
         Max Robson  8  Jordan Hamilton
 Tarrelle Whittaker  9  Nahum Melvin-Lambert
    Rafferty Pedder 10  Augustus McGiff
     Romaine Mundle 11  Thierry Nevers

        Yago Alonso 12  Kevin Akin-Fatobi
         (10)78Mins     (2)83Mins
Thimothee Lo-Tatala 13  Matthew Rowley
     J'Neil Bennett 14  Alfie Anderson
         (11)61Mins     (7)63Mins
       Harvey White 15  Ben Purcell
          (2)61Mins     (8)80Mins

Cirkin 16              Hewitt 57 (pen)
Dorsett 19(o.g.)Abbey 64
                       Melvin-Lambert 89 

Lusala 25(Late)        Melvin-Lambert 66(Foul)
Cesay 28(Foul)         Osario 73(Foul)
Kurylowicz 56(KBA)

    Matthew Taylor     Michael Donaldson

Referee: Joseph Stokes

It was a cool and damp morning for the visit of Reading who were just below Spurs in the table. Last season Reading earned a 1-1 draw at Hotspur Way to end Spurs' 100% start to the season which saw them finish second. Spurs began the week with a 4-2 win in the FA Youth Cup against Liverpool at Stevenage with coach Matthew Taylor rotating his squad for this game.

With the last Champions Youth League game next week some of the younger players were given a start. Kurylowicz was in goal behind Muir and Skinner with Lusala at right back and Cirkin on the left. Cesay anchored the midfield with Robson and Pedder ahead of him. They were flanked by Cooper on the right and Mundle on the left in support of Whittaker up front. The experience of White and Bennett were on a short bench in case they were needed.

Spurs defended the South end in the first half but were soon on the attack with Collins saving from Mundle. The pattern was set with Spurs pushing forward and Reading defending looking to counter on the break. Cirkin got forward to draw a save before he began and finished a move on the left by heading in at the near post the return cross by Mundle to open the scoring.

It was soon 2-0 as Cooper's driven cross from the right was turned in by defender Dorsett. Nevers fired wide as Reading tried to get back into the match and Lusala was booked for stopping another break. Kurylowicz saved Nevers' header from the resultant free kick. Collins saved from Whittaker with Cooper firing his follow-up wide. Pedder saw his low drive saved for a corner before Whittaker got on the end of a Muir long ball to fire wide. Right at the end of the half Kurylowicz had to save from Neves so that Spurs could go into the break with a comfortable 2-0 lead.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw an early header by Whittaker from a Lusala cross go wide. Kurylowicz had to save from Nevers when a corner was not cleared. The game turned when Kurylowicz's ball out to Lusala was intercepted by McGiff and Lusala conceded a penalty chasing back. The Spurs keeper was booked for kicking the ball off the penalty spot before Hewitt stepped up and sent him the wrong way to reduce Spurs' lead.

Reading now began to push forward and Spurs made a double change to try and regain the initative. Bennett replaced Mundle on the left flank and White came on for Lusala in front of the back four with Cesay moving to right back.

McGiff won the ball in the middle and attacked through the right channel before crossing for Abbey to drill home for the equaliser. Now the visitors' heads were up and they were challenging for every ball with Melvin-Lambert booked for a foul on Cirkin and Osario following him into the ref's book soon after. Reading had another chance following a free kick that was wide before Cooper fired over from a Bennett cross.

Spurs made their last change with Alonso coming on for Pedder in midfield with the game becoming more end to end. Bennett had been providing pace and crosses from the left which attracted the attention of the Reading defenders with the Spurs wideman getting caught. The referee ignored his complaints and when he did not get up from the last one the game carried on with Spurs a man down. Reading took full advantange by attacking down the right to create a chance for McGiff to shoot. Kurylowicz saved to his right but could not prevent Melvin-Lambert following up to score. Bennett had to be stretchered off before the game was re-started and we will have to hope that it is not another bad injury. Reading were able to see out the game to take the points.

Spurs began well taking a deserved lead but could not kill the game off which allowed the visitors to get back into it and take the three points with the last gasp winner. The win moves the "Royals" above Spurs. Spurs have a week's rest before they travel to Leicester City for the re-arranged game on the 21st. Before that there is the trip to Munich where the U-19's need to win and hope Olympiacos can stun Red Star.


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