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ACADEMY REPORT

Posted on 21 March 2006  - 12:00

Pat Holland conceded his Under-18 side were the architects of their own downfall against rivals Arsenal at the weekend.

Pat Holland conceded his Under-18 side were the architects of their own downfall against rivals Arsenal at the weekend.

Stuart Lewis (pictured right) curled home a free-kick to take the sides in level at half-time but the lads failed to capitalise on a couple of breakaway chances and paid the price later on.

The problems started when David Button handled outside the area - picking up a yellow card along the way - and Arsenal capitalised in full by curling home the free-kick for 2-1.

It got worse minutes later when Matty Wells was caught in possession on the edge of the area and Button brought down the Arsenal forward, conceding a penalty and picking up his marching orders along the way. Arsenal missed the spot kick and it stayed 2-1.

Here are Pat's thoughts. "Both sides tried to play but conditions weren't the best with a strong wind down the pitch.

"After 20 minutes John Kyriacou got injured so Cian Hughton switched over to right-back and Greg Lake came on as left-back. That disrupted us a little.

"Their first goal came after about 35 minutes, a cross from the right and we failed to see the Arsenal player come in on the blind side.

"We then got a free-kick on the edge of the box and Stuart Lewis clipped it over the top of the wall and past the keeper for 1-1 at half-time.

"Arsenal used the conditions better in the second half, pressed us, kept us in our half but didn't really cause us too much trouble.

"In fact, we had two breakaways where we should have done better. Jacques Maghoma did really well, got past the full-back but missed the target and Matty Wells did the same.

"David Button then handled just outside the box, his first yellow card and Arsenal bent in the free-kick for 2-1.

"We then changed it to try and disrupt them a little, brought on Richard Heller for Jamie Davis and quickly got behind them again and I felt we had a chance.

"We then committed suicide - Matty Wells got the ball off David on the edge of our box, lost possession and David brought the Arsenal player down. That was his second yellow and he was off but fortunately they missed the penalty but at 2-1 with 10 men it was too much of a mountain to climb.

"Summing it all up, I thought the lads applied themselves well but showed a little naivety here and there.

"On the plus side, Joe Martin did well for us at centre-back and I was pleased with his performance and Terry Dixon is showing signs of maturing up front."

Spurs U18s: Button (Forecast, 78), Kyriacou (Lake, 20), Hughton, Lewis, Smith, Martin, Davis (Heller, 75), Wells, Hamed, Dixon, Maghoma. Unused sub: Kasim.