Chelsea 0-3 Spurs (U18s) - report from Cobham
Wed 18 April 2018, 15:10|Tottenham Hotspur
Goals from Reo Griffiths, Rodel Richards and Dilan Markanday, plus a penalty save from goalkeeper Jonathan De Bie, capped a magnificent team performance as our youngsters inflicted Chelsea Under-18s’ first home defeat in three years at Cobham on Wednesday afternoon.
Calm and collected in our passing at the back and always a threat going forward, we fully deserved the result against a side that secured the Under-18 Premier League southern division title at the weekend and is still going strong in both the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League.
Reo Griffiths got us off and running with a shot from the edge of the box that deflected up off defender Jack Wakely and looped over goalkeeper Karlo Ziger.
That came amid a first half which we completely dominated but when Chelsea had a spell in the ascendancy and won a penalty at the start of the second period, our strength and desire was reflected in De Bie’s save – a crucial moment that could have turned the momentum, had Martell Taylor-Crossdale scored.
Rodel Richards killed the hosts off with a second goal on 74 minutes, just moments after coming on, before the lively Dilan Markanday converted Tariq Hinds’ cross to complete a superb 3-0 win 10 minutes from the end.
Markanday was a constant thorn in Chelsea’s side in the first half, cutting in from the right flank and weaving around, while Maxi Tainio linked up well with him during an energetic display at right-back.
Markanday set up Griffiths early on but he shot wide from a tight angle, but when the same two players combined again on the quarter-of-an-hour mark, Griffiths’ 18-yard shot deflected up off the grounded Wakely and looped over Ziger into the net.
Phoenix Patterson couldn’t quite take advantage of an opening down the left channel after an excellent first touch set him up to motor forward and Markanday himself went close from long range as we kept the ball away from Chelsea and established a firm grip on the game, all the while remaining defensively solid – as evidenced by Jon Dinzeyi’s superb tackle on Taylor-Crossdale inside our area in the lead-up to the interval.
We suffered a blow four minutes into the second half when Taylor-Crossdale went to ground under Dinzeyi’s challenge and the referee pointed to the spot, but De Bie saved the striker’s penalty to ensure the momentum remained with us. Tainio then got in the way of Marcel Lavinier’s back-post header as we held firm.
Above: The players celebrate our third goal (pics: Mark Sandom/Chelsea FC).
Griffiths went scurrying forward later in the game, only to find his path blocked by Renedi Masampu, but we did break through once more on 74 minutes when Armando Shashoua put pressure on Ziger and forced him to slice his clearance, allowing Richards to pounce on the loose ball, work his way forward and slip low past the keeper at his near post.
Oliver Skipp embarked on a powerful run from deep where he left four Chelsea players trailing in his wake and then fired wide in a separate chance before the icing on the cake arrived 10 minutes from time when Richards laid the ball out to Hinds on the left and his cross was swept in at the back post by Markanday.
Coach Scott Parker said
“It was a really, really good performance from everyone. It would be unfair of me to pick anyone out individually because I could name every single one of them, from the boys who started, to the ones who came on, to the ones who were in the squad – everyone put in a shift and showed some real quality. It’s always good to compete and win against a quality side like Chelsea and it was an all-round good display today.
“We do dominate the ball and play some lovely bits but sometimes the other side of the game lets us down, but today every facet of our game was eight or nine out of 10. The defenders defended the box, the attacking players put our chances away so all the boxes were ticked and when you get that, you get a performance like we saw today.
“We knew at half-time that Chelsea were going to come at us and they did that, they changed their formation a bit, but we were still brave on the ball, which I liked.”
Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Tainio, Hinds, Skipp, Eyoma, Dinzeyi, Markanday (Clarke 83), Bowden (Parrott 81), Griffiths, A Shashoua, Patterson (Richards 71). Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, P Maghoma.
Our final Under-18 Premier League game of the season takes place next Tuesday (24 April) as Arsenal come to Hotspur Way for a north London derby. We lost heavily to the Gunners in the away game last year, but triumphed 4-1 at home in the League Cup semi-finals back in February. Kick-off is at 11am.