Spurs U21s 0-0 Leicester U21s
Report from the Training Centre
26 January 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Ruben Lameiras went closest to breaking the deadlock as our Under-21s battled out a goalless draw at home to Leicester City on Monday lunchtime.
The 20-year-old attacking midfielder, operating as a false nine, was denied by Foxes stopper John Maddison and saw a separate shot deflected onto the bar as we had the better of the first period.
Emmanuel Sonupe also struck the woodwork before the break, but a lack of clear-cut opportunities in the second half saw the Barclays Under-21 Premier League clash end without score.
Both teams lined up with experience at the back at the Training Centre, Bongani Khumalo once again skippering our side while Matthew Upson formed part of the visitors’ defensive line.
We forced a series of corners in the opening stages without truly posing a threat to Maddison’s goal. One of the flag kicks was taken short to Grant Ward who fed Sonupe on the edge of the box, but his shot was charged down.
Harry Panayiotou then steered harmlessly wide of the post after Jak McCourt’s free-kick was repelled and the ball fell to him 22 yards from goal, while Ward’s speculative shot at the other end sailed high and wide.
Onrushing goalkeeper Jordan Archer got a hand to the ball as Panayiotou tried to carry it round him at the right-hand corner of the box, with centre-half Connor Ogilvie coming across to tidy up.
Lameiras then worked himself into a shooting position on 19 minutes, twisting and turning into the area, but fired wide while Ogilvie sent Nathan Oduwa racing down the left three minutes – only for the wide man to see successive attempted crosses blocked at the near post.
Our clearest opportunity arrived on 25 minutes when Josh Onomah took the initiative out wide on the left, striding into the middle and splitting open Leicester’s defence with a slide-rule pass for Lameiras to go clean through on goal. The latter was denied, though, by a good block from the advancing custodian.
The same player then saw another shot deflected onto the bar, while Sonupe finished off a blistering run down the left by cutting in and skimming the face of the bar as he whipped the ball towards goal.
Harry Winks was then denied by Upson in the Foxes’ penalty area in the 36th minute, while McCourt sent a free-kick wide at the other end two minutes into the second period.
Maddison pounced on low efforts from Oduwa and Sonupe in what turned out to be two of our best opportunities of the half, while Winks’ wide free-kick was easily gathered by the stopper at his near post after substitute Hamza Choudhury brought down Oduwa to the left of the area.
Archer comfortably gathered Panayiotou’s effort as Leicester sought an opener, while good work by Kyle Walker-Peters and Oduwa down our left side ended with Onomah’s cross skimming off the near post and squirming harmlessly out to the right flank.
Our efforts to find a breakthrough continued on 72 minutes as Sonupe got the better of Ben Chilwell down the left – only to go down under pressure from Choudhury and pick up a booking for simulation.
Choudhury was quickly in action at the other end, steering Joe Dodoo’s cross the wrong side of the upright from eight yards out, while the same players linked up again in similar circumstances a minute later with Archer forced into a low save at his near post.
Another McCourt set piece flew just wide on 83 minutes, while Khumalo was there to block Panayiotou’s effort from another left flank delivery by Dodoo as the Foxes tried their luck.
Oduwa’s driven shot from just outside the box was then tipped low around his right-hand post by Maddison after good footwork from substitute Will Miller, before Alex McQueen rose highest in the box to nod Oduwa’s cross down to the feet of Sonupe, whose shot on the turn was blocked by Upson in the six-yard box with just a few seconds of normal time remaining.
Maddison then gathered Miller’s low shot in the 90th minute – the last chance of the contest.
Ugo Ehiogu said
“We played in difficult conditions and in the first half we created four or five really good opportunities where we were let down with the final pass or the execution, but the intent was there to play the right way,” he said.
“We carved out three or four opportunities and on another day one of those goes in and it changes the game.
“In the second half we were against the wind but I thought in the last 15 or 20 minutes there was only one team that looked like they were going to score and that was us.
“We showed good bravery with Kyle Walker-Peters taking the ball and driving at people, I thought Josh Onomah was superb in central midfield, as was Connor Ogilvie at the back.
“At the end of the day, though, it’s a clean sheet. I was disappointed the quality wasn’t a little bit better but overall I was pleased with the intent and the way we stuck at it.”
Spurs: Archer, McQueen, Walker-Peters, Ward (Lesniak 85), Ogilvie, Khumalo, Sonupe, Winks (Miller 78), Lameiras (Akindayini 66), Onomah, Oduwa. Substitute (not used): Miles (GK).
Leicester City: Maddison, Pearson, Chilwell, Sesay (Choudhury 46), Moore, Upson, Dodoo, McCourt, Stankevicius, Panayiotou, Fox. Substitutes (not used): Davies, Rowe, Ndukwu, Smith-Varnham (GK).