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Reading U-18s v Spurs U-18s, 06.11.10
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

       Premier Academy League, Group B
           Reading Training Ground, 
         Hogwood Park, Finchampstead

     Saturday 6th November 2010, 11.30 am

         READING      v     SPURS
      (Blue/White)       (White/Blue)
          4-4-2             4-4-2

           1(0)              0(0)

     Dean Santangelo  1 Jordan Archer
         Nick Arnold  2 Callum Tapping
        Jordan Obeta  3 Alex McQueen
       Frank Raymond  4 Freddie Champion
    Angus McDonald(C) 5 Ramil Sheriff
         Carl McHugh  6 Kevin Stewart
     Charlie Losasso  7 Jesse Waller-Lassen
         Jon Goddard  8 Jack Munns
          Gozik Ugwu  9 Kudus Oyenuga
        Lawson D'ath 10 Alex Pritchard
        Craig Tanner 11 Laste Dombaxe(C)

     Dominick Samuel 12 Darren McQueen
          (9)48Mins.    (9)78Mins.
           Jon Henly 13 Jonathon Miles
        David Murphy 14 Shaqille Coulthirst
       Warren Morgan 15 James Yeboah
         Jake Cooper 16 

            D'ath 73 

                         Pritchard 85(Foul) 

            E. Dolan     A. Inglethorpe

Referee:- J. Pike
It was an overcast but warm morning for the trip to Berkshire for what is usually a hard physical game. As the game kicked off half an hour later than listed I had time to get a teamsheet and settle down.

Spurs lined up with Stewart and Sherrif at the back with Tapping at right back and McQueen on the left. Dombaxe and Munns started in the centre of midfield with Waller-Lassen on the right and Champion on the left. Pritchard supported Oyenuga up front.

Spurs kicked off attacking the north end but quickly came under heavy pressure from the home side who did not allow them to settle and dominated the first half. D'ath fired wide after a minute. Spurs won a free kick which Pritchard took about 25 yards out. Alex struck the wall and Oyenuga was wide from the rebound. Ten minutes later and Losasso got through the middle and drew a save from Archer near the penalty spot. The ball came out to Ugwu but Archer saved his effort as well.

Archer was called upon to save from Arnold driving in from the right with Ugwu putting the loose ball wide. D'ath crossed from the left for Ugwu to head onto the crossbar as the "Royals" kept up the pressure. Ugwu had another effort saved by Archer who also saved a header by McDonald from a corner. Goddard struck the outside of the left post before McHugh headed wide from the next corner. It was all one way traffic as Ugwu fired wide, D'ath shot over and Losasso had a free kick saved. Santangelo finally had a save to make when Oyenuga's effort was half blocked, but it was a simple catch. Spurs made it to half time still level and still in the match.

There were no changes at the interval but each coach made one soon after the restart. Inglethorpe replaced the disappointing Champion with Coulthirst. Reading started the second half as they finished the first but as in previous seasons began to lose ground and allow Spurs to get into the game. Raymond fired wide before Spurs began to show first with an effort over the bar by Oyenuga from a pass by Coulthirst. A minute later a fierce drive by Pritchard was turned over the bar by Santangelo for a corner. Two minutes later and Coulthirst saw his effort saved.

With Spurs beginning to put more passes together and find gaps to run into the home side became a little more ragged and their tackles less well timed. Unfortunately the referee did not give the visitors protection, allowing some clear fouls to go unpunished which helped the home side to get back some control. When they turned the ball over in the centre of the park a quick through ball found D'ath with a clear chance that he took, driving low to the keeper's right.

Oyenuga had been getting more annoyed by the treatment dished out and was replaced by Inglethorpe with McQueen as Spurs looked to get back on level terms. Dombaxe drew a save from the keeper but Pritchard was booked when he was penalised for tackling back. Waller-Lassen had a go at the referee for allowing three clear fouls to go unpunished just before this as the Spurs players were not getting the rub of the green. This was not helped by the home side slowing the game down to run the clock down. This led to a few incidents before the end. Pritchard had another free kick that was saved for a corner before Dombaxe fired wide from a pass by Coulthirst.

Having survived the onslaught in the first half and knowing that Reading tend to fade later on I could see Spurs pinching something from the game, but as I have seen before we had a referee who made allowances for the home side's indiscretions without appearing to be even handed. If they had scored from half the chances in the first half then Spurs would not have been able to come back unless the referee had penalised some of the players in the second half which could have seen Reading finish with fewer players. At least the players know what it is like to play at Old Trafford now. The U-16's were 6-0 down at half time although they did get a goal back straight from the restart.

Next week Spurs entertain Cardiff City at the Lodge with (at the moment) an 11am kick off. I hope they do not change it as Blackburn Rovers will be at the Lane.


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