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Spurs U-18s v Arsenal U-18s, 23.11.13
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


          Premier Academy U-18 League 2013-4
          Hotspur Way, Bulls Cross, Enfield
          Saturday 23rd November 2013, 11am

               SPURS     v     ARSENAL
            (White/Blue)     (Red/White)
               4-3-3           4-4-1-1

                4(2)             2(1) 

            Luke McGee   1  Matthew Macey
    Kyle Walker-Peters   2  Cahor Johnson
        Connor Ogilvie   3  Arinse Uade
           Harry Winks   4  Renny Smith
Cameron Carter-Vickers   5  Alfred Mugabo(C)
       Filip Lesniak(C)  6  Leander Siemann
       Emmanuel Sonupe   7  Tarum Dawkins
         Joshua Onomah   8  Jack Jebb
     Daniel Akindayini   9  Steffy Mavididi
        William Miller  10  Daniel Crowley
          Nathan Oduwa  11  Alex Iwobi

      Joseph Pritchard  12  Jamaal Raage
             (4)62Mins      (9)66Mins
        Liam Priestley  13  Corry Adda
      Anthony Georgiou  14  Christopher Willock 
             (7)71Mins
       Shayon Harrison  15  Kaylen Hinds
             (9)71Mins      (7)51Mins
          Anton Walkes  16  Marc Bola

Scorers:-  
       o.g. Johnson,29      Jebb 38
       Miller 33, 63        Raage 90+2
       Carter-Vickers 51 

Coach:- 
       J. McDermott         C. Laraman

Ref: S. Gill

It was a sunny but cold morning in Enfield for the visit of local rivals Arsenal. I was not able to park at the training ground as there were so many people there for the game. Both sides lost last week, Spurs 1-3 at Leicester and the Gooners 0-3 at home to Chelsea. Neither side were able to field a full strength eleven with Maghoma and Campbell-Young on crutches.

Spurs lined up with McGee in goal behind a centre pairing of Carter-Vickers and Lesniak with Walker-Peters at right back and Ogilvie on the left. Winks anchored the midfield trio with Onomah and Miller while Akindayini led the line with Sonupe on the right flank and Oduwa on the left.

Spurs defended the East end in the first half which saw both sides feeling their way into the game. Sonupe had an early effort which he fired over and Winks also got forward to shoot over. Spurs were the more adventurous side, while the visitors looked to hold and counter which saw Spurs have the better of the early exchanges.

Sonupe played in Miller for an effort that was saved. Winks sent Sonupe away and his cross was turned wide by Akindayini. Iwobi looked the busiest of the visitors and he linked up with Crowley to force a save from McGee. Crowley had an effort himself that was wide. Handball on the edge of the area gave Miller a chance from the free kick that was just too high.

When an attack broke down, Sonupe was released and he played a through ball for Akindayini to run onto. Johnson looked to get the final touch to send the ball past the stranded Macey to allow Spurs to take the lead. Spurs doubled the lead soon after when they won possession on the left and Oduwa made a diagonal run past two defenders before playing in Miller on the right to score low across the keeper into the far corner.

The visitors responded by pushing forward, winning a free kick when Ogilvie tangled with Dawkins on the edge of the area. Jebb put his kick over the bar. Jebb made amends minutes later when he headed home un-challenged from a right wing cross to reduce Spurs' lead going into the break.

There were no changes for the start of the second half, but Carter-Vickers did appear in the No.16 shirt. Jebb, buoyed by his goal, had an early effort that was high and wide. It was Spurs who scored early when they pushed up to press the visitors' midfield and won the ball. Onomah got to the line and whipped the ball across for Carter-Vickers to score at the far post.

Arensal made a change before the restart sending on another striker. Sonupe got down the right and pulled the ball back for Akindayini to draw a save from Macey. McGee saved from Jebb at the expense of a corner and followed that up by foiling Mavididi two minutes later. Winks was taken off and replaced by Pritchard who went to left back. This allowed Ogilvie to move inside and let Lesniak take his usual position in front of the back four.

Spurs increased their lead when Oduwa (on the edge of the area) delicately lifted the ball over the visitors' defence. Johnson failed to clear and Miller pounced to drive the ball in to the far side of the goal despite Macey getting a hand to it.

The visitors went back to one striker before Spurs made two changes themselves. Harrison replaced Akindayini and Georgiou came on for Sonupe. Onomah played in Georgiou for an effort that flew over. Hinds then gave the ball away to Georgiou who played in Oduwa for a chance that was saved. Oduwa then got to the line and whipped the ball across the face of the goal just out of reach of Harrison.

Spurs took their foot of the gas and were happy to hold onto the ball more allowing the visitors to break out on occasions such as when Smith fired wide. The Arsenal bench had given up hope of turning the game around and when Smith went off having needed treatment a couple of times they did not replace him, so they finished the game with ten men.

Oduwa played in Onomah for a chance that went wide and then drew a save himself winning a corner. The visitors looked to hold onto the ball in midfield more to deny Spurs possession than anything else, but they did attack if the opportunity presented itself, such as when Jebb forced a save in the last minute. In added time, Raage got behind the defence to collect a ball over the top and drew McGee before scoring to take some of the gloss off Spurs win.

Spurs were the better team on the day and showed some of the passing play upon which they rely. The speed with which they move the ball forward should be a lesson to the first team. They could have had more goals if they had kept up the pressure late in the game when the visitors went down to ten men.

Spurs win means that the Gunners have not won in twelve league matches since their opening day victory over Liverpool. Their involvement in UEFA's youth league has not helped them. They are one point off the bottom of the table while Spurs join Fulham at the top after they lost to improving West Ham 3-1. Three goals separate the teams now.

This was Spurs' last league game of the year, as next week's fixture at Reading has been called off due to the Youth Cup game on the 2nd December against Middlebrough, to be held at Orient's Brisbane Road ground. After that they fly off to Florida to take part in a tournament there. Fulham will have played four games before Spurs resume with a home game with Southampton.

Ray

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