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Watford U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 09.10.10
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


       Premier Academy League, Group B
         UCL Shenley Sports Ground,
          Bell Lane, London Colney

     Saturday 9th October 2010, 10.30am

           WATFORD   v   SPURS
        (Yellow/Red)   (White/Blue)
             4-4-2        4-4-2

              3(0)         1(0)

        Jack Bonham  1 Jonathon Miles
      Faisal Hemati  2 Jack Barthram
        Aaron Tumwa  3 Callum Tapping
        Matt Bevans  4 Laste Dombaxe(C)
        Tommy Hoban  5 Ramil Sheriff
    Stephan
    Hamilton-Forbes  6 Zaine Francis-Angol
 Brett Assombalonga  7 Jesse Waller-Lassen
         Chez Issac  8 Jack Munns
       Gavin Massey  9 Kudus Oyenuga
       Connor Smith 10 Darren McQueen
        Sean Murray 11 Alex Pritchard

    Chimdi Akubuine 12 Lee Angol
       Jamie Irvine 13 Jordan Archer
      Oliver Archer 14 Ronnie Hawkins
        (10)46Mins.    (9)66Mins.
       Michael Kalu 15 Freddie Champion
     Bernard Mensah 16 Cameron Lancaster
         (7)46Mins.    (6)64Mins. 

Scorers:-
      Murray 62, 89    Lancaster 90+1
      Massey 90+2 

Coach:_
         J. McBride    A. Inglethorpe

Ref:- R. Smith
On a cool cloudy morning Spurs made the short trip to play a Watford side that has had a good start to the season. There were no team-sheets available but I was able to find out the names of the two teams for a change.

Spurs made some changes to last weeks line-up with Miles in goal behind Francis-Angol and Sheriff with Barthram at right back and Tapping on the left. Dombaxe and Munns started in the centre of midfield with Waller-Lassen on the right and Pritchard on the left. McQueen came in to support Oyenuga up front.

Spurs were defending the north end in the first half and found that the "Hornets" buzzed around them giving them little time or space to move. As Inglethorpe has not played a settled side and with so many new players this season they could not get any rhythm to their play and lost the ball too easily in all areas of the pitch. Because Spurs like to play from the back and Watford pushed up onto them for most of the game, much of the time the game was played in the middle third. Spurs found it hard to get the ball up to Oyenuga and lost the ball when put under pressure.

An early corner saw a Hoban header cleared off the line. Chances were few and it took another ten minutes before Pritchard fired over from a free kick and a further ten minutes before Murray had a shot fly wide. Miles made a save from Hemati before his opposite number Barthram got down the right and put in a good low cross that was cleared for a corner just in front of Oyenuga.

Watford made two changes for the second half but it was Spurs who showed first as they put some passes together to allow Dombaxe an effort that was wide. Murray had a shot that he dragged wide before Oyenuga drifted wide on the right and put in a low cross that Dombaxe took a touch to, before volleying goalwards. Unfortunately that gave time for a defender to block.

Ten minutes later and the home side went ahead when Massey headed a cross back across the goal for Murray to slide in to net. Hoban headed over from a corner before Inglethorpe made his first change. Francis-Angol was replaced by Lancaster who started in the back four before moving up front later on. Two minutes later and Hawkins came on for Oyenuga to pull the strings from the middle of the park. This meant a shuffling of the team with Lancaster moving up into attack. Tapping moved into the middle, and Munns filled in at left back.

Miles tipped over a rising drive from Massey and came out quickly to face Mensah in a one on one forcing him to shoot wide. The game began to open up more and chances appeared with Dombaxe firing wide and Massey forcing another save from miles. Munns put in a tempting cross from the left that Bonham got to ahead of Lancaster. Bevans picked up a loose ball but fired over and then Spurs gave the ball away on the left which Murray picked up, and advanced to shoot low into the far corner of the net.

That should have been that but as the game entered added time Archer put an effort over the bar from about six yards. Barthram carried the ball out of defence and crossed to Lancaster coming in at the far post, who angled his header to beat the keeper. With Spurs trying to make an opening they were caught in defence by Archer who went to the line and crossed for Massey to seal the win for Watford.

As with the last game Spurs were harried out of their normal playing style by a team that was big and strong. They were not over physical, but they made their size matter. Watford are a team that is made up of tall players with lots of energy who pressed quickly to force errors from an inexperienced side that wants to pass quickly and accurately. A few more experienced heads would not make so many mistakes and would pass better under pressure. There were very few chances in a tight first half where Spurs failed to make much impression on the home side. Spurs opened the game up in the second which benefitted the home side more than themselves.

Next week the Academy will be away to Birmingham City with a noon kick-off.

Ray

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