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Comeback kings

Posted on 1 November 2009  - 12:00

Our Under-18s recovered from a series of setbacks - including losing two players to injury - to beat Birmingham City 3-2 on Saturday.

Comeback kings

Our Under-18s recovered from a series of setbacks - including losing two players to injury - to beat Birmingham City 3-2 on Saturday.

Anton Blackwood and Olumide Durojaiye clashed heads just after the half-hour mark and were both forced off with concussion.

"Both attacked the ball with 100 per cent commitment and it was a big clash of heads," reported coach Alex Inglethorpe.

"Olumide was rushed straight to hospital but thankfully needed no more than stitches in a head wound and was allowed home on Saturday.

"That was the most important thing as the safety of the players is paramount."

The lads were already 1-0 down at that point having hit the woodwork twice in the first 10 minutes of the Premier Academy League encounter at Spurs Lodge.

Having re-organised with Tom Carroll (pictured top) and Jake Nicholson both coming on, they then missed a penalty inside the first two minutes of the second half.

Kudus Oyenuga finally equalised but the lads were rocked again when Birmingham hit them on the break to take a 2-1 lead.

Only 15 minutes remained when Ryan Fredericks (pictured below) equalised and substitute Carroll curled home a delightful winner with five minutes left.

Ryan Fredericks

Alex reflected: "On the balance of chances we should have been far out in front but Jesse Waller-Lassen and Paul Jose Mpoku hit the woodwork and then they hit us with a sucker-punch opening goal.

"It came from a soft penalty, suddenly we were 1-0 down and then we had the clash of heads and it's obviously tough for the lads to see one of their team-mates rushed off to hospital.

"Jesse was fouled in the box for a penalty right at the start of the second half but we missed from the spot again when Paul Jose Mpoku's shot was saved.

"We equalised on the hour when Sam Cox did well down the right and crossed for Kudus to tap in from six yards.

"But we then went 2-1 down when Birmingham scored from one of their few attacks in the second half. To be fair, it was a well-taken goal.

"Ryan Fredericks levelled again when he cut in from the right and finished with his left foot and Tom Carroll won it for us with five minutes left. He came up from left back and after some good interplay, curled the ball into the corner with the outside of his left foot.

"Birmingham made it difficult for us but we deserved it, without doubt. The lads showed great character to come back and win."

John Bostock made his return to competitive football after an ankle injury and the team has now won four of their last five games in the PAL.

Spurs U18s: Ranieri, Blackwood (Carroll, 35), Francis-Angol, Cox, Byrne, Durojaiye (Nicholson, 35), Fredericks, Mpoku, Oyenuga, Kane, Waller-Lassen (Bostock, 65). Unused subs: Miles, Lancaster.