FA PREMIER ACADEMY LEAGUE
Stoke City Under-18s 1, Spurs 1
Pat Holland was pleased enough with the performance as we opened our Academy campaign with a 1-1 draw at Stoke City on Saturday.
After a bright start, the lads fell behind after 20 minutes but showed good spirit to hit back straight away via a fine finish from Jacques Maghoma (pictured left and above).
Here is coach Pat's assessment. "We started brightly and Stuart Lewis had an early strike at goal but then the game evened itself out a bit and it was back to basics - a lot of pressure, a lot of players working hard to get tight and not a lot of time on the ball.
"I thought we did well but Stoke took the lead after about 20 minutes with a messy goal from our point of view as we weren’t tight enough after a ball from the right and although we got a block tackle in, the ball fell to their striker who hit it well.
"Tommy Forecast got a good hand to it but he ended up tipping it up in the air and into the net, so that was a bit unfortunate.
"In fairness to the boys they soon picked it up again and we managed to get level five minutes later.
"Jamie Davis got onto a ball inside the full-back, ran to the edge of the area, cut it back and it was a smashing finish from Jacques Maghoma.
"That gave us a lift and we had the better of the game for the rest of the first half.
"We started okay in the second half, had a good spell in midfield but no real cutting edge.
"We got around the back of Stoke a few times and Radwan Hamed (pictured right) came on for the new lad Hector Mackie and he caused a lot of problems getting behind the full-back and to the byline but it needed that end product.
"The game was drifting towards a 1-1 draw when they broke from our corner with about five minutes to go and thundered a shot against the crossbar. So at the end of the day, 1-1 was a fair result although I felt we had the majority of the play."
Spurs U18s: Forecast, Smith, Kyriacou, Martin (Well,s 65), Mills, Lake, Davis, Lewis, Mackie (Hamed, 60), Maghoma, Dawkins. Subs: Hughton, Livermore.