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Spurs 2-1 Saints U18s - Kieran's verdict

Posted on 22 November 2015  - 08:11

Under-18s Coach Kieran McKenna praised a number of players – including goalscorer Nick Tsaroulla – after we toppled Southampton in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League on Saturday (November 21).

Kazaiah Sterling on the ball against SouthamptonJack Roles slides in to make a challenge as Kazaiah arrives on the scene

We initially fell behind in bitterly cold and windy conditions to Joe Lea’s strike, but we turned things around in a flash with half-time approaching as left-back Tsaroulla’s cross was headed into his own net by Southampton’s Ben Cull before Tsaroulla himself gave us a 2-1 lead.

That’s how it stayed at the Training Centre, with Kieran impressed by what he’d seen.

“We said prior to the game that it was an opportunity for some boys to come into the team and Nick did that – he was very positive on the ball, he scored and made one from full-back and was also diligent in his defending,” he said.

“I thought both full-backs, Nick and Charlie Hayford, had good games, while Charlie Owens imposed himself in the middle of the pitch. Tom McDermott was involved in a big moment as well – we conceded a disappointing goal and fairly soon after that he produced a double-save. He didn’t have much to do in the game but what he did have to do, he did it well.”

As for the contest as a whole, Kieran felt we deserved the victory after controlling the possession for large spells – although he was disappointed that we couldn’t extend our lead in the second period.

“I thought we dominated most of the game,” he added. “It was played in very tough conditions with a strong wind so it was a challenge for both sets of players and in the first half, against the wind, we managed to keep the ball well and take the sting out of some of their pressing, but we didn’t really threaten their goal enough.

“The five-minute period before half-time was key. We managed to get them pinned back, started to put some pressure on and two goals came from that. In the second half we looked comfortable, but we’re disappointed not to have put another couple of goals on the scoreboard.”

Elsewhere, Under-18s regulars Jaden Brown, Samuel Shashoua and Keanan Bennetts helped England Under-17s register a 2-1 victory over Germany in Rotherham on Friday evening (November 20). Jaden played the full game while Keanan stepped off the bench to replace Samuel on 64 minutes.