Norwich U18s 3-2 Spurs U18s
03 December 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Reo Griffiths gave our Under-18s hope with a goal 10 minutes from the end, but Anthony Spyrou’s hat-trick was enough for Norwich City to claim a 3-2 victory in the Under-18 Premier League on Saturday (December 3).
Spyrou had edged his side in front mid-way through a cagey first period at the Canaries’ Colney training base and after Jack Roles hauled us back level, he netted twice more – once either side of the break – to give the hosts a 3-1 lead.
Griffiths nodded in to reduce the arrears but we couldn’t find a leveller and our disappointment was compounded when the striker was shown two yellow cards, amounting to a red, in quick succession shortly after the full-time whistle.
Five changes were made from the starting XI that thrashed Stevenage in the FA Youth Cup in midweek but we were unable to recapture the free-scoring form on show in that tie and with chances few and far between, we fell behind with 22 minutes gone when Spyrou fired past Under-18s debutant Charlie Freeman following a counter-attack down the right.
Good combination play from Jamie Reynolds and Griffiths led to Roles levelling it up five minutes later, the midfielder collecting the ball on the edge of the box, shifting it onto his right foot and unleashing a sharp, low shot that found the bottom corner.
However, the hosts were back in front two minutes into first-half stoppage time when Spyrou picked up possession 18 yards out following a corner and drilled through a raft of bodies and into the net.
It was 3-1 just after the hour mark as a cross from the right was cleared only as far as Spyrou on the edge of the box and he found the net with a first-time shot.
Griffiths reduced the arrears with an 80th-minute downward header from George Marsh’s cross from the right but there was to be no comeback. The nearest we went to a late leveller was when Nick Tsaroulla got in down the left side of the box and drilled across goalkeeper Ryan Dickerson, but he did well to hold onto the ball with substitute Kazaiah Sterling following in.
After the game, Griffiths was cautioned by the referee and quickly shown a second yellow card, followed by a consequent red.
John McDermott, Head of Player Development, said
“We were sluggish today. We’re disappointed because we had some fresh legs in but it was a scrappy game. If you look at the team, not everybody from Wednesday night was involved. As we’ve done throughout this campaign where we’ve played midweek games, we tried to rotate and give players a rest so there are no excuses. We had chances to score more but I can’t say that Norwich didn’t deserve anything – we weren’t good enough collectively or as individuals. Japhet Tanganga was probably the pick of the bunch but on the day our energy levels weren’t where they should have been.”
Spurs U18s: Freeman, Hinds (Lock 76), Eyoma, Marsh (c), Tanganga, Dinzeyi, Reynolds (Sterling 60), Skipp (Omolabi 76), Griffiths, Roles, Tsaroulla. Substitute (not used): De Bie (GK).
We complete our group stage fixtures in the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday afternoon (December 7) when we play host to CSKA Moscow Under-19s. A stoppage-time goal saw us slip to a 3-2 defeat in the reverse fixture earlier in the season and after the disappointing of losing 2-1 against 10 men in Monaco a fortnight ago, the lads will be keen to recover some pride in the 2pm kick-off at Hotspur Way.