Connor Ogilvie bagged a brace in our 2-1 win, nodding home in the first half following a corner before curling a sublime free-kick into the net in the second period.
Boro’s Bryn Morris pulled one back with a good low strike with six minutes remaining, but our defence remained firm as we ensured progress to the fourth round of the competition.
“I’m really pleased,” enthused Academy Manager John after the game at Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium.
“Often a third round is an anti-climax – there’s a lot of nerves and a lot of hype around the FA Youth Cup, playing in a stadium and playing a prestigious academy like Middlesbrough’s, so I thought we played really well.
“Our performance was excellent, our players really stepped up to the plate.”
John reserved praise for goalscorer Ogilvie along with our central defenders, who stayed strong in the closing moments to avoid conceding an equaliser once Boro had pulled a goal back.
“I thought Connor played really well and I’m pleased for him to get those two goals,” he added. “If I’m knit-picking I thought we should probably have scored in free play as well.
“You’ll always take two set plays but I thought we created lots of chances and their keeper pulled off some really good saves so credit to him.
“I’ve seen Youth Cup games swing but I think we showed resilience and defended our box and Luke McGee made a good punch clear right at the end, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Filip Lesniak were exceptional at the back and all in all I was really pleased. I thought that was a very, very good youth performance.”
John was also appreciative of the Spurs fans in attendance – and was delighted that club skipper Michael Dawson also got involved to support the lads on the night.
“We were speaking afterwards about the positive impact that the fans had on the players and on the general atmosphere – it was fantastic for both teams,” John said.
“I’d like to thank the people for turning up to support us and creating a really positive atmosphere for us to play in. I don’t think there’s many clubs that would have that level of fans’ support – I think that’s quite unique for a Youth Cup game
“And when you’ve got a club captain like Michael Dawson who turns up beforehand, goes in with the players and spends a considerable amount of time afterwards with every player – I think it’s very special.
“For the club captain not only to turn up but to spend as much time afterwards as he did with the individuals I think would be very, very rare among Youth Cup ties and under-18 games. The crowd and Michael being there, and his genuine authentic interest in the players, added another dimension to a very positive evening.”