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Sunderland v Spurs, (PL2 - 11.08.17)
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


         Premier League 2, 2017-18
 Eppleton Colliery ground, Hetton-Le-Hole,
        Friday 11th August 2017, 7pm

        SUNDERLAND   v     SPURS
        (Red/White)     (White/Blue)
           4-4-2           4-1-4-1

            2(0)            1(1)

     Robbin Ruiter   1  Brandon Austin
       Donald Love   2  Timothy Eyoma
      Bryan Oviedo   3  Jaden Brown
   Elliot Embleton   4  Oliver Skipp
  Thomas Beadling(C) 5  Christian Maghoma
   Papy Djilobodji   6  Japhet Tanganga
     Andrew Nelson   7  Shilow Tracy
      Ethan Robson   8  Dylan Duncan
      Lynden Gooch   9  Kazaiah Sterling
      Jack Rodwell  10  Joseph Pritchard(C)
      Jack Diamond  11  William Miller

    Michael Ledger  12  Marcus Edwards
                        (7)73Mins
       Max Stryjek  13  Luke O'Reilly
     Luke Molyneux  14  Ryan Loft
         (9)46Mins      (9)73Mins
       Denver Hume  15  Keanan Bennetts
         (3)60Mins      (11)66Mins.
         Adam Bale  16  Samuel Shashoua
        (10)60Mins

Scorers:-
         Robson 70      Sterling 34
         Hume 89 

Booked:-
  Bale 74(Holding)      Maghoma 37(Late)
  Love 74(UGC)          Eyoma 81(Foul)

Coaches:-
    Elliot Dickman      Wayne Burnett

Attendance: 394

Referee: G. Hart
Assistants: H. Karaivanov & D. Hunt
Fourth Official: D. Fitzpatrick 

Spurs travelled to Sunderland on a damp cool evening for the opening fixture of the new season. Eppleton has become a bit of a hoodoo ground for us, as we have not won there. Last season two goals from Shilow Tracey earned Spurs a point. Spurs went into this game having had a good pre-season but without some of the players like Harrison and Amos who did well.

Spurs lined up with Austin in goal behind Maghoma and Tanganga with Eyoma at right back and Brown on the left. Young Skipp anchored the midfield in place of Amos with Pritchard and Duncan ahead of him flanked by Tracey on the right and Miller on the left in support of Sterling up front. Sunderland had five players with first team experience in their starting line-up as well as youngster Diamond on the wing.

Spurs kicked off attacking the South end and moved the ball well through the middle but the home defence showed their experience with strong defending seeking to shake up the young Spurs. A long ball found Love free down the right but he overhit his cross. Eyoma played in Tracey on the right but he was closed down and his effort was blocked. Pritchard played in Sterling who delayed his shot, giving time for a saving block. The effort on goal came from Miller, but Ruiter tipped it over the bar for a corner. Following the corner Tracey played the ball back to Miller who gave it to Pritchard on the edge of the area to drive over.

Gooch fired wide as he worked the Spurs defenders and almost scored when he received a ball from Robson and beat two defenders but Austin saved. Austin saved a header from Nelson when he got in front of Brown. Spurs were slowly getting on top and Duncan fired wide before he played in Brown to fire wide. Spurs took the lead when Skipp headed back a clearance from Ruiter which Sterling won against Djilobodji turning him and firing past the keeper.

Maghoma picked up the first booking for a late tackle on Gooch in the centre circle as the Sunderland player pushed the ball past him. Sterling was sent clear on the right and should have done better when he held off Ruiter on the edge of the area but could not get off a shot. That could have settled the game as Spurs were getting stronger. Embleton fired over in the last minute of the half.

Sunderland made one change taking off the dangerous Gooch which must have been pre-planned pushing Nelson up front. Spurs started the half with a midfield diamond moving Miller to the point behind Sterling and Tracey looking for that second goal.

Diamond played in Nelson for a chance which he hit over before Miller had an effort saved. Austin saved a free kick from Robson at his near post at the expense of a corner before Spurs went close themselves as Tanganga's header from a corner struck the crossbar.

Austin had to make another save when Nelson got on the end of a free kick before the home side made a planned double change on the hour. The changes saw more commitment from the home side with Nelson drawing another save from Austin.

Spurs still looked dangerous going forward as Pritchard played in Tracey for a chance that was deflected wide for a corner. Spurs made their first change taking off Miller for Bennetts switching to 4-3-3. Spurs had been looking so comfortable, but they let the home side back in. Pritchard spoilt his good performance by under-hitting an intended pass to Maghoma. Robson reacted quickly to this gift and strode forward to drive it past Austin for the equaliser giving new life to his team.

Molyneux fired wide as Sunderland pressed forward. Spurs made a double change with Loft replacing Sterling and Edwards coming on for Tracey. Bennetts was pulled back by Bale on the half-way line, wrestling him to the ground which saw the player go into the ref's book. Seeing his team-mate getting booked, Love kicked the ball at Bennetts which got him booked as well much to the crowd's displeasure.

The game was swinging the home side's way as Eyoma was booked for a foul on Hume and it did not help that when Edwards wriggled his way into the area and went down' his appeals for a penalty went unanswered. The Spurs defence was holding off the home side's attacks and it looked as if they had settled for the draw until Hume got the ball on the left and made room for a low shot that beat Austin as it went through the defensive screen. As the game went into added time Molyneux fired wide and Loft got down the left but his effort was saved by Ruiter to give the "Makems" the points.

Spurs did not deserve to lose as they got to grips with an experienced defence and began to play some good football. There was still some rustiness in the quality of passes and solidity of tackles which is needed at this level. A mistake cost Spurs a goal that turned the game but they still made enough chances to finish it before then. They will get better with more games under their belt but there is still the open transfer window which could see players go out on loan. With the Newcastle match being played on Sunday some players would also have been with the first team squad that could have played this evening.

Next up for the Development squad is the Checkatrade Cup for the U-21's. They play Luton Town on Tuesday at Kenilworth Road kick off 7.45pm. The following week they have two home games against West Ham and Manchester United in the Premier League 2.

Ray

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