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Cruel luck for youths

Posted on 13 September 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

FA Premier Academy League

Spurs Under-19s 2-3 Arsenal

Our gallant Under-19s were left cursing their luck against all-conquering Arsenal at Spurs Lodge on Tuesday.

We deserved at least a point but lost out after three bizarre goals - including two own goals and one in injury time at the end of each half.

Manager Pat Holland's men had the better of the first half and had already seen Yannick Kamanan's effort cleared off the line and George Snee's one-on-one chance saved when Kamanan opened the scoring.

With 37 minutes on the clock Andrew Burke slid an inch-perfect pass to Kamanan who superbly lifted the ball over Gunners' keeper Graham Stack into the top corner from a tight angle.

Jamie Attwell in the Spurs goal saved well from the lively Joe Osei-Kuffour but the unfortunate home keeper had to take the blame for Arsenal's equaliser in stoppage time. He seemed to have collected Jermaine Pennant's deep cross but spilled the ball on landing and allowed Osei-Kuffour to tap into an empty net.

Attwell's luck didn't improve after the break. Just seven minutes into the second half and he superbly tipped Osei-Kuffour's shot onto the underside of the crossbar only for the ball to rebound off the knee of the in-rushing Neil Lacy and home.

Trailing 2-1 to those goals could have knocked the stuffing out of Spurs but to their credit they dug deep and hit back in the 74th minute. It all started with Lacy winning a 50-50 challenge, John Jackson crossed and Snee, pictured battling for possession above, collected a poor clearance, controlled and lobbed a lovely goal beyond Stack into the far corner.

That looked enough for a deserved point but calamity struck for the final time in injury time. Pennant crossed from the right and substitute Jon Partin, on for just two minutes, diverted the ball into his own net. Heads dropped when final whistle blew seconds later but the lads can hold those heads high after such an impressive performance.

Spurs U19s: Attwell, Saker, Lacy, Quilter, Fortune, Bowditch, Jackson, Burke (Jonsson 67), Consorti, Kamanan, Snee (Partin 88).

The Under-17s rescued a point and their unbeaten record in the FA Premier Academy League with a 2-2 draw at Bristol City.

They trailed 2-0 at the break but goals from Lee Barnard and an equaliser from John Sutton in the final minute made it two wins and a draw from three games. "The lads showed a lot of character," said boss Jimmy Neighbour.

Spurs U17s: Rutherford, Lee, McKie, Tyrie, Henry, O'Donoghue, Hughes, Barnard, Sutton, Slabber (Judge 65), Gailbraith.