Fulham U18s 5-3 Spurs U18s
Report from Motspur Park
14 November 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
A first half hat-trick from Fulham’s Dennis Adeniran set the tone as our Under-18s suffered a 5-3 defeat in a below-par display at the Cottagers’ Motspur Park training base on Saturday (November 14).
The midfielder completed his personal haul inside 25 minutes while Stephen Humphrys bagged a brace – and it could have been more but for a series of stops from goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman.
Second half goals from Christian Maghoma and Marcus Edwards – the latter in stoppage time – reduced the arrears for us after Keanan Bennetts’ earlier strike, but it was scant consolation after a disappointing day in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League.
Both teams observed a minute’s silence ahead of kick-off in memory of those who lost their lives in Paris on Friday night.
When the game got underway, the home side got in behind our defence from the very first whistle – and that trend continued throughout the first half as they exploited the space they found in our territory. It took them only three minutes to seize the upper hand, Humphrys nodding Marlon Fossey’s free-kick across goal for Adeniran to steer home from six yards.
To the lads’ credit, we produced a response seven minutes later when Dylan Duncan’s sweetly-struck shot from Samuel Shashoua’s cross was helped over the line by Bennetts.
But back came Fulham as Mikki Kwietniewski latched onto a wayward clearance and sent Adeniran through to slot past Whiteman on the 20-minute mark. And five minutes later it was 3-1 as Ryan Sessegnon teed up Adeniran and his first-time curling shot from 22 yards zipped underneath the crossbar.
Former Spur Josh Walker then went sprinting through but he shot wide under pressure from Maghoma while, in one of few first half opportunities for us, Bennetts looped a free-kick off-target from 25 yards out.
Fulham kept on coming and after Walker beat the off-side trap on 38 minutes, Whiteman had to make himself big to block one-on-one. But 60 seconds later the Cottagers extended their lead as we gave away possession cheaply in the centre circle and Walker went through again in the right channel. Maghoma forced him to turn inside onto his left foot, centre-back partner Jon Dinzeyi got himself in the way of the eventual shot but Humphrys took over and swept into the bottom corner of the net.
Luca de la Torre and Humphrys went close for Fulham either side of the interval, Whiteman blocking the former’s effort, while the hard-working Ryan Loft – often seen sprinting from side to side to chase the ball down – was next to try his luck, but his effort from Shashoua’s cut-back drifted just away from goal a few minutes into the second period.
Fulham applied more pressure with Kwietniewski’s effort deflecting wide before the same player forced Whiteman to tip over the bar on 52 minutes, our goalkeeper then making fine diving saves to deny Walker and Kwietniewski again.
There was a frustrating moment for us shortly after the hour mark as Loft was tripped right on the edge of the box but scrambled back to his feet and rifled into the net, but the referee had already pulled play back for the foul and Marcus Edwards’ resulting free-kick came to nothing.
We did hit the target on 65 minutes, though, as Shashoua exhibited some tidy footwork close to the byline on the left and hooked the ball across the six-yard box for Maghoma to nod home.
The hosts restored their three-goal cushion 10 minutes later, however, as Humphrys won the ball centrally, ran on and slotted beyond Whiteman, but we were starting to cause the Cottagers problems by that point with a series of intricate passing moves to fashion some openings.
Kazaiah Sterling crept in behind Fulham’s defence but was denied by the legs of goalkeeper Taye Ashby-Hammond while the same player ballooned a shot over the top shortly after Foday Nabay was forced off with a leg injury, meaning the hosts had to play out the last seven minutes with 10 men because they’d already made three changes.
Our own substitutes – Edwards, Sterling and Jack Roles – combined on 88 minutes with the latter’s shot sailing just wide, while Dylan Duncan rolled in Sterling just seconds later after a quick throw-in by Jaden Brown, but the forward’s effort was off-target.
Fulham had one final chance from a free-kick in the 90th minute, but Humphrys was denied his treble by the upright after curling the set piece low around the wall.
We had the final say, though, as Roles played in Edwards, he turned his marker and crashed a shot past Ashby-Hammond in the second minute of stoppage time.
Spurs U18s: Whiteman, Tanganga, Brown, Marsh, Maghoma, Dinzeyi (Edwards 57), Shashoua, Stylianides (Roles 49), Loft, Duncan, Bennetts (Sterling 57). Substitutes (not used): Hayford, Austin (GK).