Barnet 2-1 Spurs U21s - report from The Hive
28 November 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Two fatal errors at the back cost our Under-21s victory in our final Checkatrade Trophy outing of the season at Barnet on Tuesday night.
Leading 1-0 at the break through Shayon Harrison's well-taken goal, we were competing well against the League Two side until defender Christian Maghoma inadvertently put through his own net to gift the Bees a leveller three minutes into the second period.
And when goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman took too long in choosing his next pass, he was closed down by Alex Nicholls, who swept in and diverted the ball into the back of the net to turn the game on its head.
We still played some nice stuff against a tough senior team that included our former striker Shaq Coulthirst but the closest we came to a leveller was when Kazaiah Sterling was denied by a combination of goalkeeper Craig Ross and Andre Blackman in the 90th minute.
Neither side was able to progress from Group F even before the game, but it was another useful test against Football League opposition for our development side.
WOODWORK: NELSON HITS THE POST FOR BARNET - 9mins
Barnet tried a few long shots early on without success, but went close in the ninth minute when Whiteman turned Ryan Watson's cross away at the back post but only as far as skipper Michael Nelson, who sent the ball back towards goal but saw it hit the far post.
GOAL: BARNET 0-1 SPURS - SHAYON HARRISON - 16mins
Harrison tested Bees goalkeeper Ross from distance before emphatically finishing off a good move to equalise in the 16th minute. Marcus Edwards did well to skip over a challenge in midfield before sending Keanan Bennetts speeding into space down the left and his cross was swept into the top of the net by Harrison in the middle at the first time of asking.
Above: Ryan Loft in action at Barnet.
WOODWORK: BARNET CLOSE AGAIN - 35mins
Barnet were edging the possession but we looked dangerous whenever we managed to foray forward. Whiteman tipped Nicholls' grass-cutter wide but after George Marsh was penalised for a tackle on Coulthirst some 30 yards from goal, Watson zipped a shot over everyone in the box and against the crossbar.
GOAL: BARNET 1-1 SPURS - CHRISTIAN MAGHOMA (OWN GOAL) - 48mins
Disaster struck for centre-half Maghoma three minutes after the restart as a cross came in from the left and he accidentally knocked it past Whiteman.
GOAL: BARNET 2-1 SPURS - ALEX NICHOLLS - 57mins
The goalkeeper was then at fault shortly before the hour mark as he received a pass from Japhet Tanganga under no pressure whatsoever but took a little too long in taking his kick and by the time he came to strike it, Nicholls came steaming in to send it spinning back into the net.
CHANCE: STERLING CLOSE TO A LATE LEVELLER - 90mins
Harrison went to ground in the area after great interplay with Bennetts but the referee waved play on with 20 minutes left. We were the better side in the closing stages as we pushed for a way back into the game. One almost arrived on 90 minutes when Maghoma lofted a fantastic ball forward for substitute Sterling, who spun onto it in the box on the right side but was thwarted by Ross, who got a partial contact on the ball when it was lifted across goal before Blackman cleared the danger.
COACH WAYNE BURNETT SAID
"We've come up against two League Two teams and one League One team in this competition and at times we've competed well, we've played some decent football but we've come up short. Yes, the players are still developing but part of their development is understanding how to win and we haven't done that again. We've very disappointed in the goals conceded but we have to learn from that. We understand mistakes might happen but we have to learn and that's the key thing for these young players.
“Unfortunately we've made two mistakes this evening that have cost us goals and we've ended up losing the game 2-1. We're very disappointed but we need to get back on the training pitch and try to eradicate those mistakes and try to move forward as a group and as individuals. You can't legislate for it sometimes, even with all the work that you do on the training field. It was certainly unusual tonight. We worked on defending crosses yesterday in training and it was just unfortunate that we conceded from a cross like that after doing so much work. I was pleased with the way we competed at times but I expect that – that's a given. I felt that we held our own and we did ourselves some good at times."
Barnet: Ross, Taylor, Blackman, Watson, Santos, Nelson (c), Nicholls, Fonguck (Coker 82), Coulthirst (Amaluzor 78), Vilhete, Kyei (Tutonda 78). Substitutes (not used): McKenzie-Lyle, Payne, Aghadiuno, Pascal.
Spurs U21s: Whiteman, Eyoma, Bennetts, Marsh, C Maghoma, Tanganga (c), Roles, Amos (S Shashoua 72), Harrison, Edwards (Sterling 81), Loft (Tracey 63). Substitutes (not used): O'Reilly, Skipp, Pritchard.
Goals: Barnet - Maghoma (OG) 48, Nicholls 57; Spurs - Harrison 16.
Referee: Lee Collins.
Next Wednesday (December 6) we face our final match in the group stage of the UEFA Youth League as APOEL from Cyprus come to Hotspur Way (kick-off 2pm). Victory would see us secure top spot and an automatic place in the last 16. Our next Development Squad match is away to West Ham United in the Premier League 2 on Monday 11 December. The game will be staged at Dagenham & Redbridge, kick-off 7pm.