Fulham U21s 0-2 Spurs U21s
Report from Motspur Park
13 December 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Nathan Oduwa and substitute Daniel Akindayini were on target as our Under-21s registered a 2-0 victory at Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
The goals came either side of the break as we secured our first away win of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League campaign and jumped to the top of the standings as a result.
The opening exchanges yielded few chances at Motspur Park, with Josh Onomah running onto Kyle Walker-Peters’ pass before seeing his shot blocked by Cameron Burgess in the only real opportunity of the first 10 minutes.
The same Fulham defender was there to deny Oduwa after the attacker played a neat exchange with Will Miller, with Harry Winks testing Magnus Norman in the home goal from a central position just outside the box in the immediate aftermath.
Only the lightning-quick reactions of goalkeeper Luke McGee kept us in front with 12 minutes gone, the stopper’s flailing arm diverting Jonathan Buatu’s flicked header from Thomas Eisfeld’s cross over the bar.
Kenny McEvoy’s left-footed curler was wide of the mark while Onomah drilled over the top from 25 yards a few minutes later as we controlled the possession, before a second long-range effort from the latter was much closer to the target – Norman getting his fingertips to it as it zipped just over the bar.
Our opener arrived on 33 minutes from the right boot of Oduwa. He collected the ball out wide on the left and clipped over a perfectly-weighted ball which beat the diving Norman and dipped into the top corner on the far side.
The Cottagers went on the attack within two minutes, but McGee was quickly off his line to get his body in the way of Ange-Freddy Plumain’s effort on the break. Plumain then volleyed Noe Baba’s right-sided cross over the top from close range in Fulham’s best chance of the game.
Three minutes before the interval, Oduwa cut in from the left and saw his cross deflect off a defender and strike the base of the keeper’s right-hand post while, four minutes into the second period, our hosts had the ball in the net via the head of Buatu but an off-side flag ensured we remained in front.
Our lead might have been extended on 55 minutes when Miller skipped into the area and took two defenders out of the game with a deft touch to carry the ball towards the keeper’s right-hand post – only to drill straight at Norman as he crouched on his line with the whole goal to aim at.
We changed our attacking formation mid-way through the half with out-and-out striker Akindayini replacing Miller, who had been operating as a false nine. And while Anton Walkes had to be alert to hook away a dangerous in-swinger from Fulham’s Christofer David in the seconds that followed, the switch paid quick dividends as Onomah found Akindayini with a though ball and the front man finished coolly beyond the advancing stopper with 70 minutes on the watch.
The woodwork again rescued the Cottagers on 77 minutes when Filip Lesniak ran onto Akindayini’s pass and clipped a shot against the far post, while David curled marginally wide at the other end as Fulham sought a way back into the contest.
Norman was out quickly to thwart Akindayini as he sprinted through again on 83 minutes, but the last chance of the game fell to Fulham. After substitute Emmanuel Sonupe was adjudged to have fouled Baba in the left-back position, David took a free-kick short to the feet of Eisfeld – his powerful shot sailing through a crowded area and hitting McGee before rebounding away to safety.
Ugo Ehiogu said
“I’m very happy and today is probably one of the games where I’ve felt the most comfortable on the sidelines,” he said. “We had shots on goal, we hit the post, their keeper has made saves and the players did a lot of the things we asked them to do, so they take a huge amount of credit.
“We've won our first points away from home and hopefully the boys can see that we go top of the league now, which they’ll be pleased about. On top of that we had some really pleasing performances.
“The only downside would be that we didn’t really punish Fulham, didn’t really kill them off, but we were so on top and that was the really pleasing thing today.”
“Daniel’s been a bit unlucky really – he’s trained really well in the last few days and he’s been a bit unfortunate to miss out on a starting place, but we want subs who can come on and affect a game for us and he did that today,” Ugo said.
“He probably could have had two or three more and that’s the thing – when our opponents get a little bit higher we want that extra little bit to kill them off.
“If we had taken four or five more goals I don’t think that would have done us a disservice with the possession and the quality we had. We pressed Fulham really well and I think we wanted it more today.”
Fulham: Norman, Baba, Evans, Sambou, Buata, Burgess, Eisfeld, O'Halloran (Na Bangna 46), Taggart (Richards 46), David, Plumain. Substitutes (not used): Smile, Warne (GK).
Spurs: McGee, Walkes (Amos 79), Walker-Peters, Lesniak, Khumalo (c), Carter-Vickers, McEvoy, Winks, Oduwa (Sonupe 75), Onomah, Miller (Akindayini 68). Substitute (not used): Miles (GK).