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Brighton U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 11.01.20
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


    Premier U-18 League, South, 2019-20
Amex Training Centre, Lancing, West Sussex
    Saturday 11th January 2020, 11.30am

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

          0(0)              1(0)

        Fynn Talley  1  Kacper Kurylowicz
       Ayo Tanimowo  2  Dante Cassanova
      James Furlong  3  Jordan Hackett
        Odel Offiah  4  Dennis Cirkin (C)
  Antefo Tsoungui(C) 5  Marques Muir
   Luca Cocoracchio  6  Dermi Lusala
       Steff Vukoje  7  Romaine Mundle
       Marc Leonard  8  Aaron Skinner
         Ben Wilson  9  Kion Etete
       Matt Everitt 10  Rafferty Pedder
         Jack Leahy 11  J'Neil Bennett

           Ed Turns 12  Matthew Craig
          (4)82Mins     (10)64Mins
          Roco Rees 13  Thimothee Lo-Tutala
        Todd Miller 14  Yago Alonso
          (9)66Mins     (2)76Mins
     Ben Clark-Eden 15  Tarrelle Whitaker
          (5)66Mins
     Marcus Dackers 16  Roshaun Mathurin
                        (7)64Mins

Scorer:-
                        Bennett 72

Booked:-
  Tanimowo 25(Late)     Bennett 79
  Leonard 90(Foul)

Coaches:-
         Marc Beard     Matthew Taylor

Referee: Jack Willmore 

Spurs travelled to the South coast to play Brighton and Hove Albion for their third game in eight days. Having beaten Fulham 4-1 last Saturday they lost at Wigan 1-0 on Wednesday evening in the FA Youth Cup. Brighton had a better result in the Cup beating Derby County 2-1 following a 3-1 defeat to Reading last Saturday. Last season Spurs beat Brighton 4-1 in a game that cost Spurs two players to injury before vital cup games that they lost.

Because of the two preceding games Spurs had to rotate the squad as Academy rules dictate that players cannot play more than twice in a week. Spurs lined up with Kurylowicz in goal behind Muir and Lusala with schoolboys Cassanova at right back and Hackett on the left. Cirkin anchored the midfield with Skinner and Pedder ahead of him. They were flanked by Mundle and Bennett in support of Etete up front. It was good to see Matthew Craig back from injury on the bench.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the North end against a strong wind which helped the home side during the opening period. Wilson and Everitt both fired wide before Cirkin played in Etete to shoot over. Bennett got down the left and crossed for Cirkin to head wide at the near post.

Tanimowo was booked for a foul on Bennett before the winger drew the first save of the game from Talley. The game was end to end and Wilson fired over before Vukoje was played in by Furlong to force a save from Kurylowicz. Bennett played in Pedder but Talley saved his effort as he did when Bennett curled in a shot on goal. Cirkin dribbled through the left channel before Talley saved his effort at the near post for a corner. Cirkin had another chance that was hit wide before the break.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw an early header by Vukoje sail wide of the far post. Cirkin sent Bennett away on the left and his cross was hit wide by Etete for a corner. Bennett had another effort from the left that won a corner. Mundle saw his effort blocked by Tsoungui who also blocked Etete's follow up for a corner.

Spurs made a double change with Craig replacing Pedder in midfield and Mathurin replacing Mundle on the right flank. Brighton followed suit with their own changes soon after as both sides looked to break the deadlock. Bennett was the one to do it after he had an effort saved he finally beat Talley after coming inside and shooting into the far corner from just outside the area.

Skinner played in Mathurin to win a corner from the keeper's save. Spurs' last change saw Alonso come on for Cassanova. Bennett was booked, possibly for saying something to the referee before Kurylowicz made sure Spurs took home the points. He was able to re-adjust quickly to save a deflected effort by Everitt in the 90th minute as Spurs held out till the final whistle.

This was a close game and it could have gone either way. Spurs did better in adjusting to the wind conditions in each half. The two youngsters did a good job in the full back roles getting forward well if not quite in tune with their team-mates. Cirkin did a captain's job covering all areas of the pitch driving the team forward. Spurs have now won three league matches in a row for the first time this season and must look forward to increasing that total when they play Swansea next Saturday at Hotspur Way. Swansea have not played since they lost 8-0 to Chelsea but should not be taken lightly.

Ray

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