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Changes inspire comeback

Posted on 7 March 2009  - 12:00

Our Under-18s came from 4-1 down at half-time to secure a 4-4 draw against Reading in the FA Premier Academy League.

Changes inspire comeback

Our Under-18s came from 4-1 down at half-time to secure a 4-4 draw against Reading in the FA Premier Academy League.

A disappointing first half display that saw the lads 3-0 down inside 20 minutes before trailing 4-1 at the break with Ryan Mason replying from the penalty spot after Jon Obika was fouled.

However, a transformation in the second half saw goals from Obika, Mason again and Steven Caulker (pictured) completely turn things around.

Coach Alex Inglethorpe felt the game changed with an early substitution with Caulker on for Adam Smith and further re-organisation at half-time with Danny Rose back in action after a lengthy injury.

He takes up the story. "It was a disastrous start. We went 1-0 down from a set-piece after five minutes and then conceded the second from a defensive mix-up after 10 minutes.

"Reading made it 3-0 after 17 minutes with a decent finish inside the box.

"We changed it around after about 25 minutes with Steven Caulker coming on for Adam Smith and that had a huge effect on the game. We started to play much better and more importantly, looked more solid.

"Jon Obika broke through on the half-hour and was brought down for a penalty that Ryan Mason converted for 3-1 but we then conceded a farcical goal that was so far offside it was unbelievable, but that made it 4-1 at half-time.

"Danny Rose returned to action as a substitute for the second half and we spoke at half-time about getting back into the game and we all thought it was possible.

"We started well and Jon Obika scored a great goal from 20 yards for 4-2 five minutes into the second half.

"Ryan Mason then curled a shot into the top corner 10 minutes later for 4-3 and Steven Caulker headed home from a corner to equalise with about 20 minutes to go.

"We still had enough time to go on and win it but we lost a bit of momentum after that.

"I was very disappointed in the way we started but the second half again shows the character of the squad and the determination not to get beaten."

Alex also reserved praise for Ryan Fredericks, an Under-16 debutant in midfield and Jake Nicholson, who impressed at both left and right-back. "Both were excellent," he said.

The lads remain top of Group B in the FAPAL and maintain their record of just one league defeat all season. Title rivals Aston Villa beat Cardiff 3-2 to narrow the gap at the top to two points.

Spurs U18s: Butler, Smith (Caulker, 25), Nichsolon, Kasim, Byrne, Butcher, Oyenuga (Rose, 46), Cox, Obika, Mason, Fredericks (Parrett, 55). Unused subs: Ranieri, Bostock.