Blackburn U18s 3-5 Spurs
31 August 2013|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Under-18s completed a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down to beat Blackburn Rovers 5-3 in the Barclays U18 Premier League on Saturday.
Rovers' striker Dean Rittenberg played a starring role in the first half, firing his side into a 3-0 lead with a hat-trick inside 40 minutes.
However, Harry Winks crucially reduced the arrears to 3-1 with a fine strike just before half-time, Will Miller made it 3-2 two minutes into the second half and when Shayon Harrison slotted home a penalty just seven minutes into his debut off the bench, the scores were level.
Nathan Oduwa completed the turn around for 4-3 with 10 minutes remaining and Harrison put the issue beyond doubt with his second in the final minute.
Academy Manager, John McDermott, reported: "I thought we started sluggishly last week as well, so it's something we've got to address.
"Their striker scored a hat-trick and was a real handful for our two Under-16 central defenders, but that was a great learning experience for them.
"We weren't bad in possession in the first half but we were vulnerable on the counter-attack and at set-plays.
"Harry Winks, his first game in four months, gave us hope with a 25-yard shot right at the end of the first half. To go in at 3-1 gave us a glimmer of hope.
"We then had a poor start to the second half as they had a gilt-edged chance straight away but that kick-started us into gear.
"From there, we played some very good stuff, created a lot of chances and it was a pleasing, entertaining half for us. That's the situation with younger players, you get extreme highs and extreme lows, but I'd rather have those extreme highs and lows than mediocrity! We just have to polish up on the lows.
"Will Miller has been working a lot on his finishing and he scored from the inside left channel at an angle, great dividend for the work he's been doing on the training pitch.
"Nathan Oduwa really came to the fore in the second half, he was brought down and Shayon Harrison sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.
"Nathan then scored from close range from Filip Lesniak's assist after Shayon hit the crossbar, a scruffy but vital goal and as they pushed on late, Shayon finished comfortably after a counter-attack.
"We spoke at the end and there is a lot for the players to learn, but their mentality to keep plugging away, to eliminate their mistakes are things to admire. Just as importantly, they have to look at the first half and learn from it because we don't want to be in that situation again."
Spurs U18s: McGee, Walker-Peters, Maghoma, Carter-Vickers, Ogilvie, Lesniak, Winks (Georgius, 46), Goddard (Amos, 62), Miller, Oduwa, Akindayini (Harrison, 62).