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Lads fifth in Milk Cup

Our Academy squad finished fifth in the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland after beating USA team South-Coast Strikers on penalties on Friday.

Our Academy squad finished fifth in the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland after beating USA team South-Coast Strikers on penalties on Friday afternoon.

It finished 1-1 at full-time at the Showground, Coleraine with Dominic Ball, Freddie Champion, Ruban Lameiras and Kolade Oduwa all keeping their nerve as we ran out 4-2 winners in the shoot-out.

"It was an even game and a good test against a strong team that included Under-17 internationals and reached the final two years ago," reported our Assistant Academy Manager Brian Klug.

"Dominic Ball (pictured) curled home a free-kick for 1-0 after 27 minutes and we played well in the first half.

"They equalised after 45 minutes and got on top but we got through that and there were chances at either end after that. We then did well in the penalty shoot-out.

"Overall, it's been a good tournament for us. We're by far the youngest team in the Premier section and the lads have come out of it with a lot of credit."

Spurs: Grainger, Ogilvie, Modeste, Gardiner, Michael-Percil, Champion, Lameires, Ball, Ward, McEvoy (Oduwa, 57), Zapata-Caicedo (Akindayini, 51).

Match 4 - Play-off semi-final, Cherry Orchard 3-4 Spurs

Ruben Lameiras and an own goal put the lads in the driving seat at 2-0 up inside six minutes of Thursday's encounter.

Thomas Gardiner made it 3-0 on the half-hour and although Cherry Orchard pulled a goal back just before half-time, Daniel Akindayini's strike for 4-1 five minutes into the second half looked more than enough.

But the Dubliners hit back again with two goals in a minute to make it an uncomfortable last five minutes as the lads held on for 4-3.

"It ended up being a crazy last five minutes or so," reported Brian Klug, our Assistant Academy Manager.

"We were comfortable at 3-0 and 4-1 and it was a good performance overall against a strong team. Cherry Orchard were made up mainly of Under-17 players, whereas we fielded two Under-15s, so we have to be happy."

The lads take on SC Strikers again later this afternoon.

Spurs: Grainger, Lyons-Foster, Gardiner, Modeste, Ogilvie, Ball, Sonupe (Zapata-Caicedo, 43), Lameires, McEvoy (Smith, 57), Akindayini (Michael-Percil, 53), Oduwa (Ward, 43).

Match 3 - South-Coast Strikers 2-1 Spurs, July 28

An agonising late defeat denied our Academy squad a place in the top group of the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland.

The lads were caught on the break by South-Coast Strikers in the last minute of their third and final group match of the tournament at Ballymena Showgrounds on Wednesday evening.

That secured a 2-1 win for the USA team and meant we now go into the play-offs for fifth place with Cherry Orchard of Dublin, Bolton and South-Coast Strikers.

The lads play Cherry Orchard in the 'Globe' group semi-finals at Broughshane tonight, 7pm.

"We went 1-0 down in the first couple of minutes," reported Brian Klug, our Assistant Academy Manager and Head of Player Development.

"The lads responded well and we got a goal back after 28 minutes when Kenneth McEvoy was fouled and Ruben Lameiras stuck the penalty away.

"We dominated possession in the second half but they scored with a late breakaway goal.

"Overall it was a good game against a strong, hard-working American team. It was a good standard of football.

"We just missed out on tghe top group, which is a real shame, but we now play Cherry Orchard, the best team in Dublin and hopefully we'll get through to our final and finish fifth."

Spurs: Grainger, Ward, Ogilvie, M-Percil (Akindayini, 67), Gardiner (Modeste, 58), Champion, Ball (Sonupe, 52), Smith (Lyons-Foster, 62), McEvoy, Lameires, Zapata-Caicedo (Oduwa, 55).

Match 2 - County Fermanagh 1-2 Spurs, July 26

Kenneth McEvoy came off the bench to inspire our Academy's comeback in their second match of the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland on Tuesday night.

Trailing 1-0 at the break to County Fermanagh, McEvoy headed home the equaliser before curling home the winner 10 minutes from time.

The lads have now won two out of two in the prestigious tournament and face their final group match against South-Coast Striker this evening, kick-off 6pm.

Academy Manager John McDermott reported: "We actually started well but we conceded a goal we might have defended a little better on 33 minutes.

"We had a bit of a wobble then, lost our momentum and the game became a little scrappy.

"We made some changes at half-time and introduced Kenneth McEvoy, Sam Smith and Roman Michael-Precil all coming on.

"We equalised when Kenneth got across his man at the near post to meet a cross from Ruben Lameiras and head home.

"We then won it with an individual effort from Kenneth, he drove inside the box before bending the ball into the far corner.

"The big thing was the lads came back after going 1-0 down. You often find out more about players in adversity and they did well to turn it around.

"Full credit Kenneth McEvoy as well, that was his best performance in a Spurs shirt."

Spurs: Priestley, Lyons-Foster (Michel-Precil, 36), Modeste, Ogilvie, Ward, Maguraushe (McEvoy, 36), Champion, Ball, Oduwa (Lameiras, 54), Zapata-Caidedo (Akindayini, 68), Sanoupe (Smith, 36).

Match 1 - Otago 0-4 Spurs, July 25

Our Academy squad enjoyed a 4-0 win against Otago of New Zealand in their first match of the prestigious Milk Cup on Monday.

Dominic Ball struck twice with further goals from Nathan Oduwa and an own goal after fine work from Kenneth McEvoy.

"We played well against Otago but they made us work hard for every goal," said Academy Manager John McDermott.

Spurs v Otago: Granger, Michael-Precil (Sonupe), Gardiner, Modeste, Ward (Ogilvie), Smith, Champion, Ball, Lameiras, Zapata-Caidedo (Akindayini), McEvoy (Oduwa).

The Milk Cup

Our 18-man squad consists mainly of First Year scholars, plus Under-16 and Under-15 schoolboys, and is in the 'Premier' section of the tournament with international teams competing in the 'Elite' section.

There are 20 teams in the Premier section including the likes of Manchester United, Bolton, Zamora FC (Venezuela), Aspire (Qatar) and a number of teams from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

The competition, staged at 14 venues in the Coleraine, Limavady, Ballymoney and Ballymena areas, sees teams ranked 1-20 after their three group matches. From there, they are divided into four groups of four for the final play-offs, so, the best four teams will play-off in the semi-final and final to be ranked one, two, three and four, and so on.

Matches are played over 70 minutes and teams can choose five from eight named substitutes.

"This is a very important part of pre-season," said Academy Manager John McDermott.

"We have this tournament, the Eurofoot in Belgium and another tournament in Manchester and then we'll be into the season.

The tournament started with a parade of all teams through Coleraine on Sunday.

"It was great for the players to be involved in that and I've got to say thanks to all the support we've received from Northern Ireland," added John. "There are Spurs shirts everywhere!"