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Norwich U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 11.04.18
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


     Premier U-18 League, Southern Group 2017-18
          Colney Training Ground, Norwich
         Wednesday 11th April 2018, 12 noon

               NORWICH    v    SPURS
           (Yellow/Green)   (White/Blue)
               4-2-3-1        4-1-4-1

                 5(2)           3(2)

               Sam Blair  1  Charlie Freeman
           Jordan Thomas  2  Maximus Tainio
              Max Aarons  3  Jamie Reynolds
          Atli Barkarson  4  Harvey White
            Aaron Ekumah  5  Maxwell Statham
        Saul Milovanovic  6  Jamie Bowden
             Bilal Kamal  7  Maurizio Pochettino
           Alfie Payne(C) 8  Jeremie Mukendi
               Adam Idah  9  Reo Griffiths(C)
           Finlay Barnes 10  Rodel Richards
         Rosaire Longelo 11  Rayan Clarke

          Connor Parsons 12  Tariq Hinds
              (11)46Mins     (3)58Mins
          Ryan Dickerson 13  Joshua Oluwayemi
            Anis Mehmeti 14  Paris Maghoma
              (10)70Mins     (7)69Mins.
 Jaden Thompson-Brissett 15  Elliot Thorpe
               (6)64Mins     (8)80Mins
         Shae Hutchinson 16 

Scorers:-
         Idah 7, 55, 72      Griffiths 31, 42(pen), 57
         Longelo 44
         Parsons 60

Coaches:-
            David Wright     Scott Parker

Referee: Daniel Hanna
Assistants: Robert Stanley & Ryan Allison 

Spurs travelled to Norwich on an overcast morning to play this re-arranged fixture, which was the fifth away game in a row. Having won 2-1 at Fulham on Saturday they arrived to face the "Canaries" who lost 3-2 at Swansea. Last season Spurs lost 3-2 at Colney, but started this season with a 4-0 win at Hotspur Way over today's hosts.

Spurs lined up with Freeman making his first start of the season in goal behind Bowden and Statham with Tainio at right back and Reynolds on the left. White, also making his first start, anchored the midfield with Mukendi and Richards ahead of him. They were flanked by Pochettino on the right and Clarke on the left in support of Griffiths up front. With the NLD expected on Saturday (now put back to April 24th) it looked as if Scott Parker had fielded a more inexperienced side to keep his more experienced players for the weekend. As it turned out he did not need to as the Arsenal game has been moved. Norwich fielded a couple of trialists including West Ham's Longelo.

Spurs defended the West end in the first half and found it difficult to settle with the changes made. In the opening minutes they gave the ball away to Idah three times. The Norwich striker fired wide the first time, scored at the second opportunity, and was wide with the third. Griffiths had a chance that he hit wide before Norwich got their first goal. Freeman had got a hand to the strike and saved a header by Milovanovic from a free kick. Kamal fired over from a corner as Spurs struggled to get their passing game together with Griffiths providing a near post ball that Mukendi put wide.

In fact Griffiths was leading from the front hitting an effort over before drilling low into the net from the edge of the area to draw Spurs level. Norwich were then penalised for a handball in the area which allowed Griffiths to get his second goal of the game sending the keeper the wrong way to put Spurs ahead. Spurs gave the ball away at the back again to allow Longelo to equalise for the hosts before the break.

Norwich made a change for the start of the second half replacing Longelo with Parsons. After Kamal had fired wide Spurs gave the ball away again for Payne to play in Idah to get his second goal. Reynolds had to go off with an injury trying to stop the goalscorer and was not replaced before Griffiths was first to a hat trick when Tainio got down the right and Griffiths scored with another low drive.

Hinds replaced Reynolds and quickly got forward to fire wide. After Spurs lost the ball, Parsons got down the left and came inside to score with a effort inside the near post to give the home side the lead again. Richards went close for Spurs while Parsons fired wide before Spurs' second change saw Maghoma replace Pochettino.

Bowden changed places with White as Spurs looked to pull the game back but a long ball saw Idah out-pace Statham and score from a tight angle for his hat trick. Griffiths drew a save and Maghoma fired over before Spurs' last throw of the dice saw Thorpe replace Mukendi. Spurs pushed forward with Griffiths firing wide from a pass by Clarke but Norwich were happy to drop deep and launch the ball for counter attacks which saw Mehmeti fire wide and draw a save from Freeman as well as Kamal shooting wide. Hinds won a corner forcing a save from Blair in added time but Spurs could not come back.

Spurs were very poor today especially at the back and Griffiths almost singlehandedly carried them forward. With the game at the weekend cancelled Spurs could have fielded a stronger team, but no doubt the late change meant that Parker went with the players selected rather than change his preparations which proved costly. Both of the remaining games for the U-18's have been moved. The Chelsea game is now on the 18th April and Arsenal on the 24th. Chelsea are already champions and Arsenal are second and likely to play weakened sides so Spurs will probably look to next season as well.

Ray

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