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Spurs 0-1 Leicester U18s - report from Hotspur Way

Posted on 24 October 2015  - 14:04

Our Under-18s suffered late heartbreak against Leicester City on Saturday (October 24), as the Foxes stole a 1-0 win with an 89th-minute counter-attack at the Training Centre.

Ryan Loft looks for a way through against LeicesterSamuel Shashoua takes on Leicester's Toby FuraJaphet Tanganga under pressure from Kiernan Dewsbury-HallCharlie Owens looks for his next pass

As we chased a winning goal ourselves at the end of a second half in which we’d controlled the possession for large spells, the Foxes broke away and, after goalkeeper Harry Voss saved Josh Eppiah’s effort, Kairo Mitchell was on hand to tap into the net and scoop the points for the visitors.

It was harsh on our lads, although we struggled to carve out too many clear-cut opportunities against a powerful Leicester side throughout the Barclays Under-18 Premier League meeting.

Our brightest spell of the first period came within the opening 10 minutes as Charlie Owens’ shot was deflected behind and Christian Maghoma headed wide from Samuel Shashoua’s resulting corner on three minutes, before Shashoua himself shot the wrong side of the near post after Jaden Brown’s low cross from the left.

Leicester then began to take control and Voss was called upon a handful of times to keep us level. Admiral Muskwe’s header was straight at him, but he was forced to dive to his left to prevent Michael Kelly’s in-swinging free-kick from sailing in at the far post after a quarter-of-an-hour.

Eppiah then nodded wide following a free-kick and, after Ryan Loft got back to head away another Leicester set piece in the 25th minute, Voss scrambled low down to his right to turn Josh Knight’s half-volley around the post.

In a rare chance for us three minutes later, Shashoua stood the ball up at the near post and Brown turned his body into position for a bicycle kick, but his effort zipped inches wide of the opposite upright.

The second period saw us keep the ball for longer periods and six minutes after the restart we almost got ourselves in front. Chris Paul played in to the feet of Shashoua from the right side and the attacking midfielder controlled in the box before unleashing a shot which was arrowing into the top corner until diving Foxes goalkeeper Max Bramley got his fingertips to it and turned it over the bar.

A swift move involving Kelly, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Eppiah saw Leicester unlock our defence at the other end, but the off-side flag was up before the latter drilled into the net and we remained level.

We found an opening on 64 minutes – and this time Shashoua got the better of keeper Bramley as they both chased a wayward Nick Tsaroulla cross from the right. The Leicester number one lost possession to Shashoua out wide, but the latter’s shot from a very tight angle was blocked on the line by Alex Pascanu.

We made changes as we sought a breakthrough with midfielder Jack Roles coming on for his first appearance of the season while another of our substitutes, Zenon Stylianides, provided a useful supply line to Loft up front.

From one such Stylianides pass, Loft advanced down the left channel but shot wide under pressure from a defender, but we had to remain alert at the other end – as demonstrated when Kelly turned away from Shashoua and drilled towards the near post on 87 minutes. Thankfully, Voss made a good stop with his foot, but we would not be as fortunate two minutes later.

Leicester won possession on the edge of their box, the ball was sent upfield and Eppiah went striding after it with only George Marsh – who had been filling in at centre-back in the closing stages after Japhet Tanganga was forced off with a knock – for company. The Leicester man won the race and fired straight at Voss, but Mitchell had also got forward in support and tapped home on the rebound to make the breakthrough.

We still tried to press in search of a goal in spite of that blow, but ultimately we ran out of time.

Spurs U18s: Voss, Paul, Brown, Marsh, Tanganga (Stylianides 76), Maghoma, Tsaroulla (Oteh 70), Owens, Loft, Duncan (Roles 66), Shashoua. Substitutes (not used): Bennetts, McDermott (GK).