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Spurs U 19s v Wimbledon, 15.03.03

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Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

	FA Premier Academy League, Group D
	Spurs Lodge, Luxborough Lane, Chigwell
	Saturday 15th March 2003, 11am ko.

		SPURS V WIMBLEDON
         (White/Blue)   (Red/Black)
	       4-4-2     4-4-2

		(0)1      (0)0

	   Nicky Eyre 1 John Armand
	 Danny Foster 2 James Deacons
	 Marcel McKie 3 Dean Lewington(C)
	  Lee Barnett 4 Mark E'beyer
	 Ron Henry(C) 5 Shola Oyedele
	 Ricky Dobson 6 Nico Herzig
	   Owen Price 7 Jerome Boyce
       Jonathan Black 8 Ryan Mouter
      Michael Malcolm 9 Shahed Ahmed
       Nicky Wettner 10 Ahmet Suleymanoglu
     David Galbraith 11 Albert Jarrett

      Kieran McKenna 12 Ben Harding
                        (8) 75Mins.
      Tommy Forecast 13 Jamie Slater
         David Hicks 14 Michael Gordon
                        (7) 90Mins. 
      Gareth Jenkins 15 Unknown
			(10)69Mins.
        Liam Francis 16

Scorer - Henry 60

Booked - Ahmed(kicked ball away)68, Price(? talking back)69

It was a bright sunny morning with little wind, completely different weather to last week, but a slight chill in the air, this making the ground firmer and more playable. With the first team in for training for tomorrow's game parking was heavy for the small band of watchers. Watching the game with us after their training stint was Colin Calderwood, Hans Seegers, Paul Rutherford and Jamie Slabber. Also representing the FA was Mitchell Thomas.

Spurs lined up with Henry and Dobson at the back with Foster at right back and McKie at left. Barnett, Black and Wettner played in the centre of midfield with Galbraith wide left. Owen "partnered" Malcolm up front in a loose way as he played mainly wide on the right leaving Malcolm up on his own. Wettner made breaking runs from midfield in support.

Spurs defended the left hand goal(I must think of names for the ends) and it was soon apparent that the Wombles have the same style of play as the old Wimbledon of old. An uncompromising defence made up of large physical lads and a big pair of strikers using their weight to win the ball which tended to be played long from the back. Their most skilled player was Oyedele who actually dribbled the ball out of defence once beating three players. They closed down the player on the ball quickly and were strong in the challenge fighting for every ball preventing the other side from playing in true Wimbledon fashion. This is probably why the game produced little to remember over the ninety minutes.

In the opening minutes Price played in Barnett down the right channel but his shot was saved at the near post. Barnett had another effort just over the bar before Price got to the line and lifted the ball into the centre where the defenders missed it and so did Malcolm. Malcolm was not getting anything from the centrebacks who were taller and heavier than him and with little space to turn or come off them had a quiet day without a partner to share the load. That was about it for the first half.(Ed: I do remember a good chance for Spurs just before the break, when a cross from the left reached Price, whose shot was parried by the keeper, then Barnett's shot grazed the top of the bar)

The second half was much the same as the first with the Dons closing down the usual source of attacks down the flanks and preventing the passing game of Spurs. It looked like a stalemate. Then we scored! On the hour Spurs won a corner on the right and Galbraith prepared to send over an inswinger, but miss-hit the ball and it went in on the ground towards the near post, it came off a defender to Henry inside the D, his low shot on the turn finding the left corner of the net through a crowd of players.

Spurs had started to push up catching the visitors off side as they chased the long balls but still conceded a lot of free kicks trying to prevent the them getting away. The only real threat from the Wimbledon side was from deadball situations and they came closest to scoring from a freekick floated to the far post where Herzig headed onto the bar. The only other point of note was when Ahmed kicked Dobson after the ball had gone. Having been booked already the ref only lecturered him insted of sending him off.

Galbraith had a chance to get a second when he took a freekick from about 30 yds out as the ninety minutes was up. He curled it over the wall but into the waiting keepers arms.

It was a disapointing game as the visitors prevented any flowing football and the home side were not clever enough make space to pass the ball around. With both Price and Galbraith having little product down the flanks, and Malcolm without help in the middle, Spurs did not function on the day. The group's bottom side did not really threaten during the game and should have been punished more than just by one goal. They defended well and could have pinched a point.

Next week the U-19's are at home to Watford who are a place above Wimbledon in the group and should provide more of a challenge and hopefully give us more space to play in.

Ray

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