Birmingham XI 4-1 Spurs U21s - report and verdict
04 August 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Coach Ugo Ehiogu lamented a disastrous five-minute spell in the second half as our Under-21s lost 4-1 to a strong Birmingham City side in a behind-closed-doors pre-season friendly on Tuesday afternoon.
Having performed well during the first 45 minutes at the Blues’ training ground against a home team featuring a number of first team players, we shipped three goals in quick succession shortly after the break to leave ourselves with a huge mountain to climb.
Anton Walkes pulled one back for us, but Wes Thomas restored the hosts’ three-goal cushion as our youngsters suffered defeat just three days after the majority of them took part in our Spurs XI victory at League Two Stevenage.
“It’s the first time the boys have played Saturday-Tuesday so let’s hope it’s a lesson that they’ll learn, because our concentration waned for a five-minute period and that’s really what cost us,” said Under-21s Coach Ugo.
“Those few moments were in stark contrast to the first 45 minutes where we were in control of the game in a similar fashion to the Stevenage match at the weekend – although we were still wanting a little bit more of a killer threat.
“It’s really disappointing to lose in that manner because there were some really positive performances from the likes of Dominic Ball, Ismail Azzaoui and Connor Ogilvie in the first half.”
Ball made a vital block in the opening stages, while Shaq Coulthirst’s header forced Blues goalkeeper Adam Legzdins into action in the 12th minute.
Pictured above: Zenon Stylianides tackles David Davis (pics: Roy Smiljanic/Birmingham City FC.)
Former Spur Jacques Maghoma, who found himself up against his younger brother Christian in our back four, stood firm to prevent us from carving out another opportunity before later flashing a shot wide of Harry Voss’ post at the other end.
Voss stepped in to thwart Jon Toral shortly after half-time, but he could do nothing to keep out David Davis’ effort following a cross in the 50th minute.
Two minutes later it was 2-0 as Paul Robinson’s header from a corner went in off Toral and we were stunned when the latter applied a left-footed finish after a defensive lapse to further increase the hosts’ lead on 55 minutes.
Koby Arthur went close for Birmingham before we pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute – Walkes firing it at the back post after substitute Ryan Loft’s shot was parried by Legzdins.
Birmingham had the final say, though, as Thomas latched onto Arthur’s ball over the top and scored at the second time of asking after Voss made an initial save nine minutes from time.
Voss denied Thomas a second goal in the closing stages, leaving our youngsters hungry to bounce back when the Barclays Under-21 Premier League campaign gets underway in earnest next Monday with a home match against Everton.