Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]
NextGen Series 2012-13, Group 1
Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
Wednesday 24th October 2012, 1pm
SPURS v VFL WOLFSBURG
(All White) (All Green)
Spurs:- McGee; A. McQueen, Barthram, Veljkovic, Ball, Stewart(C), McEvoy(Akindayini 62), Bentaleb(Winks 73), Coulthirst, Dombaxe(Lesniak 90+4), Pritchard
Unused Subs:- Priestley, Ward, D. McQueen, Onomah
Coach – A. Inglethorpe
Scorer – Pritchard 6, 33
Booked – Dombaxe 39(Foul), Pritchard 71(Diving), Coulthirst 83(Late)
Vfl Wolfsburg:- Klinger; Sonnenberg, Strompen(C), Hauck(Seguin 78), Avdijaj (Palacios 78), Winter, Park(Muller 61), Rossmann, Brandt, Tille, Bulbul
Unused Subs:- Klaus, Busching, Uzan, Cigerci
Coach - D. Kunert
Scorers - Hauck 78 pen, Muller 90+4
Booked – Rossmann 5(Foul), Sonnenberg 34(Foul), Avdijaj 67(Pull), Bulbul 69(Late)
Referee:- K. Johnson
Assistants - A. Dale & O.Jackson
4th Official – G. Ions
It was a cool overcast afternoon with the sun trying to break through for the first NextGen game at the new training ground. Wolfsburg were the visitors to Hotspur Way having lost to Spurs in the first group match in Germany 3-2. With the first team squad having gone to Slovenia for tomorrows Europa League match there were not many faces to be seen. I did see Tim Sherwood and Pat Jennings as well as plenty of the Academy players.
Spurs lined up with McGee in goal behind Stewart and Ball with McQueen at right back and Barthram on the left. Veljkovic sat in front of the back four with Bentaleb and Dombaxe alongside. Coulthirst was up front with McEvoy on his right and Pritchard on his left.
Spurs kicked off attacking the west end and soon had the visitors on the back foot. Pritchard, who had tormented them in the first game, was fouled twice before the referee booked Rossmann for the next one. Pritchard took the kick from just outside the area to the left and curled it inside the near post to open the scoring.
Coulthirst received a through ball with his back to the keeper but could not control the ball quickly enough before Klinger was out to dispossess him. Avdijaj got on the end of a through ball that saw him get into the area but Ball got in a challenge to prevent him getting off a shot. Avdijaj whipped in an effort that struck the crossbar and bounced out off the line, reminiscent of Hurst's World cup goal without the Russian linesman.
Coulthirst was presented with another chance when Klinger mis-kicked to him, but the Spurs striker tried to go round him and was blocked. Coulthirst did get a shot in from McEvoy's cross but Klinger saved. Stewart headed wide from a corner as Spurs kept the pressure on.
Dombaxe played in Pritchard with a lovely diagonal ball that allowed him to take it into the area and score low past the keeper. Wolfsburg responded well with efforts from Park and Brandt that McGee saved well.
Dombaxe was booked for a foul on Hauck as he went through the middle. Bulbul hit the free kick over the bar. Coulthirst hit the near post with an effort from McQueen's long throw. Another diagonal from Dombaxe to Pritchard was too close to the keeper for the Spurs player to get his shot away before being closed down.
Spurs started the second half looking to increase the lead with Veljkovic firing over and Coulthirst driving wide. McGee had to save from Winter at a corner and Avdijaj soon after.
Coulthirst worked his way into the area from the left before threading the ball to Dombaxe at the far post. The midfielder could not get the ball out of his feet and put it wide of the post. Another chance was missed when McEvoy crossed to the far post where Pritchard turned it wide. These were missed opportunities that would prove costly at the end.
With Spurs on top, Inglethorpe replaced McEvoy with Winks for his first game at this level.
Wolfsburg were struggling to make any impression which showed when they conceded two bookings in quick time. Avdijaj pulled back Dombaxe as he went through the middle and Pritchard was taken out by BulBul on the left. Next time Pritchard got into the area he went down theatrically under Winter's challenge and was shown the yellow card by an unimpressed referee.
Veljkovic saw his effort deflected for a corner before Inglethorpe made his next change replacing Bentaleb with Akindayini, moving Coulthirst to the right and Winks dropping into the midfield. The change was good for the Germans as the inexperienced Akindayini was easily shackled by the centre-backs allowing others to move forward and stifle the midfield.
The balance shifted and a late challenge by Barthram on Hauck in the area resulted in a penalty to the visitors. Hauck took it himself and sent McGee the wrong way with a low shot to his left.
McGee gave the ball away to Muller who could only fire wide. Spurs were getting nervy and the back four began to push up more. The visitors knew how to deal with this and had players running from deep to beat the offside trap. Bulbul got through but McGee saved.
Chances for Spurs were getting harder and when Coulthirst ran onto a ball through the right channel he found Klinger coming out to meet him. He dived in to get there first but caught the keeper and was booked. A ball over the top saw Palacios one on one with McGee and the keeper saved his effort.
Spurs did not learn their lesson as another ball over the top saw Muller and Palacios chasing the ball. Muller won and scored at the near post to draw the teams level. Dombaxe was replaced before the re-start as he could not shake off an injury he got when falling awkwardly. His replacement was Lesniak who was only on for seconds as the referee blew for time straight after the re-start.
Spurs dropped points today because of a lack of depth in the squad. Five of the players on the bench played in the U-17 Milk Cup tournament during the summer. McEvoy who started was not fully fit having pulled out of the Irish squad last week. There is also an U-21 match on saturday against Man Utd. which no doubt affected the availabilty of players like Coulibaly. After early dominance Spurs failed to convert more of the chances that they created which as in the away tie would have seen them through. I can't take away the effort that the players put in and they deserved to take maximum points.
Spurs now have two away games with a trip to Anderlecht next week followed by Barcelona the week after. I hope to be at both.
Team P W D L F-A GD PTS
Barcelona 4 2 2 0 8-1 7 8
Spurs 3 1 1 1 5-6 -1 4
Wolfsburg 4 1 1 2 6-11 -5 4
Anderlecht 3 0 2 1 2-3 -1 2
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