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Aston Villa U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 29.09.12
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


      FA Premier U-18 Academy League, Group 2
     Aston Villa Bodymoor Heath Training Ground
      Saturday 29th September 2012, midday k.o.

        ASTON VILLA             SPURS 
  (Claret/Blue/White)       (Lime Green/Blue)
          4-5-1                 4-3-3

           4(2)                  2(1)

            Craig Hill  1  Luke McGee
          Liam Bateman  2  Tom Gardiner
       Courtney Wildin  3  Sam Smith
      Malcolm Melvin(C) 4  Alex McQueen
   Mason Watkins-Clark  5  Conor Ogilvie
         Bradley Lewis  6  Dominic Ball
         Jordan Graham  7  Kenneth McEvoy
        Daniel Crowley  8  Joshua Onomah
         Jack Grealish  9  Darren McQueen
          Charlie Ward 10  William Miller
        Ricardo Calder 11  Shaquile Coulthirst(C)

         Jordan Lyden  12  Daniel Akindayini
            (5)75Mins.     (9)88Mins.
         Calum Barrett 13  Liam Priestley
         Thomas Strain 14  Emmanuel Sonoupe
            (8)78Mins.     (3)46Mins.
           Kevin Toner 15  Ruben Lameiras
            (3)64Mins.     (10)57Mins.
          Henry Cowans 16

Scorers:-
       Graham (pen),27     Ball (pen),10
       Grealish 31, 51     McEvoy 78
       Ward 54

Booked:-
       Toner 87(Foul)

Coaches:-
       S. Verity           A. Inglethorpe

Referee:- A. Glazzard
Assistants:- K. Carroll & C. Morby
It was a chilly but sunny morning in the mMdlands for the game which kicked off early. I have to apologise for missing the start of the game despite being there in good time. I could see Villa preparing to play a team in Lime green on the west pitch which was used by the U-16's in the last few seasons. On the east pitch Spurs were warming up so went there. I tried to get a good viewing position for the match without success. Villa only allowed spectators to stand behind the south goal which is great if the play is in front of that goal but does not help when the ball is up the other end. As the game started I noticed that the players on the pitch did not match up with the team-sheet we had been given. Spurs went a goal down before I spotted the red head of Ogilvie on the other pitch. We had been watching the U-16's not the U-18's. Getting to the other pitch Spurs were playing in Villa's third strip and had the lead through a Ball penalty after handball in the area.

Spurs had lined up with Ball and Ogilvie at the back with Gardiner at right back and Smith on the left. Onomah started in the centre of midfield with Alex McQueen on his right and Miller to his left. Darren McQueen led the attack with McEvoy on his right and Coulthirst on his left.

As I joined the game McEvoy got down the right and crossed low for McQueen who just failed to make contact. Spurs were pushing Villa back with both Ogilvie and Ball supporting the attack. A long ball out found Crowley who got past Ogilvie before being denied by McGee at the near post. Another long clearance fell for Grealish who came in from the left to draw a save from McGee.

Villa's defence were holding firm as Ogilvie got through on the left to force a save from Hill. Villa began to get into the game more as Graham skinned Smith to get to the line and cross for Melvin to head over. From the corner Graham worked his way into the area drawing a foul from Gardiner for the game's second penalty. Graham took the kick himself and scored to McGee's left.

Villa now came out of their shell with Graham getting the better of Smith on the right as McEvoy had been doing in the Villa half for Spurs. Ball conceded a free kick to Grealish on the left which Graham took and Grealish headed over. Grealish played a one-two with Watkins-Clark on the right side of the area before netting at the near post.

Spurs responded with McEvoy crossing for Ball whose rising shot hit the crossbar, but the game was swinging the home side's way. Crowley fired wide from a Ward cross while McGee saved from Graham. Alex McQueen crossed for Coulthirst to fire over before Grealish set up Calder to draw a save from McGee as the half finished.

Inglethorpe replaced Smith with Sonoupe for the second half with Alex McQueen moving to left back. The "Villans" continued from where they left off with McGee saving from Crowley. Grealish took the ball to the right going round McGee to slot home and increase their lead. Grealish then set up Ward for their fourth minutes later.

Miller made way for Lameiras as Spurs looked to get back into the game. Coulthirst made space for himself but fired over. Calder drew a save before firing over with his next effort. Coulthirst got through on the left but saw his low drive hit the outside of the post. Lameiras saw his effort saved as Spurs began to threaten.

Spurs got to the line on the right and when the ball was crossed McEvoy came in at the far post to meet the ball with a side foot effort that was blocked on the line. However, the winger dived to head home the rebound.

Graham drew a save from McGee before Ward set up Calder for a strike that McGee saved for a corner. The corner was played out to Grealish who saw his volley saved. When Coulthirst got the better of Toner the defender took him out and received a yellow card for his foul.

Bateman should also have been booked for grabbing Darren McQueen's boot as he tried to get away. Because the Spurs striker reacted to the foul the referee just talked to both players.

Inglethorpe replaced McQueen with Akindayini soon after. Akindayini got on the end of a cross fired in by McEvoy but somehow turned it wide of the goal from a couple of yards. With Spurs now pushing for another goal Onomah took a free kick to Coulthirst coming in on the right. His header came off the crossbar with Ogilvie meeting the rebound only to see Hill save. Having made all their changes Graham went off just before the end to leave Villa with ten players until the whistle.

The game swung from one side to the other as Villa looked to be under the cosh at the start before they took charge moving into a 4-1 lead. Grealish was the difference between the two sides as he led the line well. With Spurs pushing forward he exploited the space left and his interplay with his team mates led to him having a hand in all their goals. Again McEvoy provided the most threat for Spurs with Ogilvie and Gardiner strengthening the weak defence allowing Ball to get forward without leaving a hole.

The next Academy game will be away to Manchester United on the 13th October. Before then there is an U-21 game on Monday against Aston Villa at White Hart Lane. Having played them at U-18 and U-21 level the first teams will meet on the following week-end.

Ray

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