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Spurs v Reading (EPL2), 13.03.17
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


        Premier League 2, First Divison 2016-17
        Lamex Stadium, Broadhall Way, Stevenage
              Monday 13th March 2017, 7pm

                SPURS     v     READING
             (White/Blue)     (All Green)
               4-2-2-2          4-2-3-1

                 4(3)             0(0) 

              Pau Lopez   1  Luke Southwood
         Joseph Muscatt   2  Gabriel Osho
            Jaden Brown   3  Rob Dickie(C)
        Filip Lesniak(C)  4  Dominic Hyam
      Christian Maghoma   5  Omar Richards
 Cameron Carter-Vickers   6  Jordan Holsgrove
         Marcus Edwards   7  Tyler Frost
          Joshua Onomah   8  Andy Rinomhota
              Ryan Loft   9  Sam Smith
          Shilow Tracey  10  Stephen Quinn
         William Miller  11  Josh Barrett

      Zenon Stylianides  12  Ramarni Medford-Smith
              (4)81Mins      (11)65Mins
          Thomas Glover  13  Liam Driscoll
       Joseph Pritchard  14  Tom Holmes
              (9)81Mins      (2)65Mins
          Charlie Owens  15  Ryan East
             Cy Goddard  16  Danny Loader
             (10)65Mins      (10)26Mins

Scorers:-
         Loft 11
         Onomah 31
         Brown 32
         Tracey 53

Booked:-
         Onomah 46(Holding)
         Maghoma 83(Late)

Coach:-
         U. Ehiogu           M. Kuhl

Attendance: 337

Referee: C. Hatzidakis
Assistants: S. Brown & G. Ions
Fourth Official: S. Scott

It was a cool evening for the visit of bottom club Reading to Stevenage. Spurs went into the game having lost their last match at Arsenal 2-0 while Reading were hammered 5-1 by Liverpool. Spurs won the reverse fixture back in August 4-1. The last time Reading visited Stevenage they ran out 4-1 winners.

Spurs lined up with Lopez in goal behind Maghoma and Carter-Vickers with Muscatt at right back and Brown on the left. Lesniak anchored the midfield with Onomah alongside him. Ahead of them were the returning Edwards with a free role on the right and Miller on the left in support of Tracey and Loft up front.

Spurs defended the North end in the first half which saw the visitors make the early running without troubling Lopez before Spurs settled and Tracey drew a save when played in by Edwards. Holsgrove fouled Brown to give Omomah a chance from the free kick which was saved by Southwood. Reading then shot themselves in the foot when Frost played the ball across the eigthteen yard line straight to Loft who had time to control the gift before putting into the net.

Minutes later Tracey was played through by Edwards to lift the ball over the keeper only to see it come back off the crossbar. Edwards again played in the Spurs striker but his effort was deflected for a corner as the home side took control of the game.

Edwards played in Miller whose cross for Loft to head was saved. A cross from Muscatt was only half cleared to Loft who fired wide off the far post. Onomah picked up the ball in his own half on the left and powered into the Reading half exchanging passes with Miller before getting off his shot. Southwood got down to it but it went through him and into the net.

Less than a minute later and the keeper conceded again when he failed to hold a long range drive by Brown that went in at the near post.

Reading did counter with Frost trying to beat Lopez at his near post from a tight angle which was followed less than a minute later by Smith firing over from a cross from the left. Loft ran onto a long ball over the top but Southwood saved. From a corner, Smith's header was blocked with the ball dropping to Frost out to the left and his effort was saved by Lopez. Edwards set up Onomah to shoot wide before Smith had the last chance of the half drawing a save from Richards' left-side cross.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw Onomah go into the ref's book for pulling back Loader before he got into the area. Barrett hit the free kick into the side netting at the near post. Barrett had another effort wide before Onomah got down the left and whipped in a low cross that caused panic in the visitors' defence with a defender's attempted clearance cleared off the line before it was put behind for a corner. The first corner was defended but the second was headed in by Tracey at the far post.

Miller went down the left before cutting in between two defenders and coming inside along the edge of the area before winning a penalty as he jinxed inside. The wideman took the kick himself but hit it too close to Southwood.

Barrett had an effort wide before Loft was played in holding off a defender before he miskicked his effort. Reading made a double change while Spurs replaced Tracey with Goddard moving to a 4-2-3-1 formation. The visitors pushed for a goal with Smith having an effort blocked and Loader when following up saw his attempt blocked as well. Edwards played in Loft for a shot that was saved.

Lopez reacted quickly to save a free kick by Holsgrove at his far post and did even better to save Richards' pile-driver when the ball was only half cleared. Spurs made a double change replacing Loft with Pritchard and Stylianides going on for Lesniak. Miller was pushed up front as a false nine. Frost made a run from his own half before being stopped by Maghoma who was booked for the challenge. Miller was sent away before turning the ball back for Goddard to fire wide. Pritchard saw his effort go over for a corner before Medford-Smith forced Lopez into a save, winning a corner. In added time Hyam saw his header saved from Holmes' cross as Spurs saw out the game.

This was a good performance from Spurs who had the better of the game while being aware of the visitors making a few chances themselves. Edwards showed he was back to his best and Onomah did well showing great strength. It was also good to see Maghoma paired with Carter-Vickers at the heart of the Spurs defence where they have worked so well together since getting into the U-18 side as 15 year olds. Spurs moved up to sixth place on 22 points but are only four points better than Reading in twelth as it is so tight at the bottom. Spurs' next game is on the 10th April when they travel to Southport to play top of the table Everton.

Ray

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