Chelsea U18s 4-2 Spurs U18s
Report from Cobham
09 January 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
A crisp strike from Ryan Loft and an own goal proved too little, too late as our Under-18s suffered a 4-2 defeat at Chelsea in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League on Saturday morning (January 9).
Both our goals were set up by Marcus Edwards who, along with fellow substitutes Loft and Zenon Stylianides, had a real impact on the game in the last 20 minutes.
Unfortunately the damage had been done by then as the Blues capitalised on some sloppy errors to surge into a 3-0 first half lead at their Cobham training facility, before Isaac Christie-Davies and Mason Mount combined to conjure up a stylish fourth for the hosts just after the break.
Under-18s Coach Kieran McKenna fielded the same back four that started Wednesday’s FA Youth Cup defeat to Middlesbrough, but it was at the opposite end that the early action was based.
Forward Kazaiah Sterling missed two good chances to put us in front, first latching onto Chris Paul’s pass in from the right but seeing his shot charged down by Richard Nartey before being sent through one-on-one with goalkeeper Nathan Baxter by Keanan Bennetts moments later – only to be thwarted by the custodian’s legs.
We gifted Chelsea an opportunity to take the lead on nine minutes after a mix-up between centre-back Japhet Tanganga and goalkeeper Tom McDermott saw Ike Ugbo brought down in the box by the latter and the referee awarded the home side a penalty. McDermott escaped with a yellow card, but not without conceding as Ugbo stroked his spot kick down the middle to open the scoring.
It was 2-0 on 21 minutes when midfielder Charlie Owens gave the ball away centrally and Ugbo, after advancing and shifting onto his right foot, drilled low into the net.
Tanganga nearly reduced the arrears when his downward header from a looping Bennetts corner went just the wrong side of the back post, but the Blues were able to stretch their advantage four minutes before the interval when we again lost possession cheaply and Kyle Scott played Christie-Davies in to smash past McDermott.
Any hopes we had of mounting a comeback were dashed eight minutes into the second period when Christie-Davies flicked the ball up between two defenders at the left-hand corner of the box for Mount, who darted through the middle and finished well on the volley to make it 4-0.
Edwards played fellow substitute Loft in on the hour mark but the ball ran through to Baxter, while another of our players to have come off the bench, Stylianides, set about taking control of the midfield area in a bid to help us get back into the game.
To his credit, he did just that, and one of his cross-field passes almost led to Edwards finding an opening on the right side, but the ball ran too far wide and after the latter recycled the attack, Owens lofted the ball straight into the arms of Baxter.
We were finally starting to impose ourselves on the game as the second half drifted on and there was nearly a breakthrough when Tanganga’s powerful header from Paul’s corner was stopped on the line by the keeper with 76 minutes played.
Six minutes later we finally got ourselves off the mark when Edwards slipped Loft in behind the defence and the striker took his shot early, powerfully firing past Baxter.
Edwards was involved again a minute from time, exhibiting some clever footwork on the right side as he picked his way through the Blues’ back line and tried an initial shot which was blocked, before quickly regaining possession and sending a dangerous ball in from the angle which was accidentally nudged home at the near post by Chelsea defender Ali Suljic under pressure from Bennetts.
All it did, though, was serve to reduce the arrears, with the home side having already wrapped the game up.
Spurs U18s: McDermott, Muscatt, Brown, Owens, Tanganga, Maghoma (Stylianides 55), Tracey (Edwards 55), Paul, Sterling (Loft 55), Hayford, Bennetts. Substitutes (not used): Shashoua, Whiteman (GK).