Fulham U21 5-3 Spurs - report from Motspur Park
Fri 13 December 2013, 21:30|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Under-21s staged a spirited fightback before eventually losing out against Fulham in the Barclays U21 Premier League on Friday night.
Trailing 3-0 at the interval after a pretty miserable first half in the rain at Motspur Park, the lads were rejuvenated at half-time and came out firing.
Dominic Ball's early header gave the lads belief and when Kenny McEvoy fired home four minutes later, the comeback was on.
Parity was restored on 68 minutes with a flying header from Shaq Coulthirst but just when the team was flying, their wings were clipped by a penalty decision that allowed Fulham to re-take the lead.
A fourth goal proved elusive and the home side ended any last hopes of a second revival with a fifth in injury time.
Coulthirst actually started on the bench having made his first team debut against Anji on Thursday night with Cameron Lanacaster joined by Souleymane Coulibaly in the front three.
Coulibaly had the first effort of note after five minutes and did well to get onto Ball's pass from deep, control and guide a shot towards the top corner that Jesse Jeronen collected comfortably.
Fulham opened the scoring on 13 minutes when Lasse Vigen Christensen headed Joshua Passley's corner back into the danger zone and Muamer Tankovic converted from close range.
Lancaster took an awkward fall on the left byline soon after and was replaced by Coulthirst, but Fulham were on the front foot in a scrappy affair and went close through Christensen and Stephen Arthurworrey. At the other end, Aaron McEneff fizzed in a low cross that somehow evaded everyone.
Fulham then hit us with a quick one-two to make it 3-0.
We lost possession on 36 minutes and were punished as Tom Richards crossed for Tankovic to tuck home from 10 yards. Two minutes later, Richards picked up the ball on the left corner of the box and drove across Jonathan Miles into the far corner.
Miles made a fine save to deny Christensen just before the break and the team trudged off with work to do.
Whatever was said at half-time had the desired affect as the team came out a different side.
It took just four minutes to pull the first goal back as Ball stooped and forced enough power on his header from Aaron McEneff's corner to send it into the top corner.
Three minutes later and it was game on as Nabil Bentaleb picked out McEvoy's run left of centre and the winger controlled, held off his man and planted his shot into the top corner.
Miles made a big one-on-one save from Ange Freddy Plumain on the hour and it was soon 3-3.
Alex McQueen delivered a stream of crosses from the right and on 68 minutes, picked out Coulthirst, whose header sailed past Joronen.
It just needed to stay at 3-3 for a few minutes and you felt the lads would have gone on and won the game, but just six minutes after equalising, they were set back again.
Lyle Della Verde struck the woodwork and Ronny Minkwitz got to the rebound just before Giancarlo Gallifuoco, who was penalised for a foul. Tankovic made no mistake from the spot.
Miles saved well again from Tankovic but we couldn't find another equaliser and Fulham put the result beyond doubt in added time, when they had men over on a breakaway and Verde squared for George Williams to tap into an empty net.
Spurs (4-3-3): Miles; McQueen, Ball, Gallifuoco, Stewart; Bentaleb, McEneff (Dombaxe, 56), Ward; McEvoy, Lancaster (Coulthirst, 19), Coulibaly (Lameiras, 69).
Fulham: Joronen, Passley, Kavanagh (Williams, 63), Minkwitz, Arthurworrey, Grimmer, Plumain (Sambou, 63), Christensen, Tankovic, Verde, Richards.