Fulham U18s 2-3 Spurs U18s
Report from Motspur Park
01 November 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Under-18s recovered from an early slip-up to claim victory by the odd goal in five at Fulham on Saturday morning.
Goals from Anthony Georgiou and Ryan Loft cancelled out Josh Walker’s fifth-minute opener for the hosts, which came about after a lapse in concentration at the back, before Armani Daly rifled home a spectacular third in the second half.
The Cottagers pulled a goal back through Walker amid a scrappy last 20 minutes, but we stood firm to claim our third Barclays Under-18 Premier League win on the bounce.
We started the game confidently but were momentarily undone when Connor Hall broke away and produced a fine stop from goalkeeper Harry Voss, with Hall smashing home from the rebound to put Fulham in front.
Parity was restored within 70 seconds, however, as Georgiou cut in from the left and saw his low shot squirm underneath the body of goalkeeper Marek Rodak and into the net.
A lively opening spell continued when Loft flicked a header towards the near post from a Kyle Walker-Peters cross, but Rodak was alert to it and quickly caught the ball.
The keeper was powerless to keep out Loft’s next effort on 13 minutes, though, as the striker met Cy Goddard’s lofted corner kick at the back post and headed high into the net – despite the best efforts of Josh Smile, who was the man on the post, to keep it out.
Goddard tested Rodak with a free-kick shortly afterwards, while Christian Maghoma made a vital clearance at the other end after Ryheem Sheckleford floated in a dangerous ball from the right.
Walker-Peters embarked on a mazy run into the penalty area with 25 minutes gone but Goddard could only hammer his subsequent pass wide as he arrived in the six-yard box, while Georgiou dragged the ball harmlessly wide of the far post – and beyond the lunge of striker Loft – 10 minutes later.
Another foray down the right by Fulham’s Sheckleford saw the ball again crossed in, but Georgiou’s attempt to intercept it only served to tee up DJ Buffonge to pull the trigger from just outside the area. Voss, however, made a routine low stop.
Rodak kept out a close-range effort from Daly on 39 minutes, while Voss was forced to punch clear a cross from Buffonge shortly before the interval.
The second half failed to produce much free-flowing football, with players from both sides finding their way into the referee’s notebook for ill-timed challenges.
We grabbed a third goal nine minutes after the restart when Stylianides passed to Goddard who in turn fed Daly on the edge of the box, the attacker picking his spot before firing into the top corner.
Walker-Peters’ cross found Georgiou at the back post four minutes later but Rodak was quickly off his line to block, while Voss dived low to his left to keep out Dennis Adeniran’s drilled effort after Buffonge took a short free kick 25 yards out.
Fulham went close again in the 72nd minute when Walker shot wide of the far post after an intricate build-up involving Elijah Adebayo, before they made a breakthrough with 13 minutes remaining. Substitute Marlon Fossey burst down the right and fed Walker, who coolly swept the ball into the far corner to reduce the arrears.
With Fulham pressing for an equaliser the aerial prowess of Loft proved useful on occasion with substitute Marcus Edwards – who helped England Under-17s beat France 3-1 in a European Championship qualifier on Thursday – causing the hosts problems playing off the big front man.
Georgiou held onto possession after Maghoma pumped the ball forward with five minutes to go, cutting in from the right and producing a stop from Rodak with a left-footed drive from 20 yards out, although a second effort from the wide man from a similar position three minutes later was easier for the home custodian to deal with as the game drew to a close.
Spurs U18s: Voss, Walker-Peters, Muscatt (Paul 66), Owens, Maghoma, Amos, Daly (Edwards 66), Stylianides, Loft, Goddard (Duncan 76), Georgiou. Substitute (not used): Whiteman (GK).