Spurs 0-0 Sunderland (PL2)
Report from Stevenage
19 December 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Development Squad blew their chance to move off the foot of the Premier League 2 table in time for Christmas with an uninspiring goalless draw with fellow strugglers Sunderland on Tuesday night.
Victory at Stevenage's Lamex Stadium would have lifted us above the visitors and Manchester United and out of the drop zone altogether in the last outing of the year for Wayne Burnett's side.
But for all the graft of Luke Amos and impressive passing of Oliver Skipp in central midfield to feed the front three, we only managed the odd glimpse of Max Stryjek's goal.
Our best chance arrived 14 minutes from time when Anthony Georgiou raced in behind his full-back and through on goal down our left but was denied by a double save from the Sunderland custodian.
Saves: both keepers needed early on - 9-17mins
In a first half devoid of any clear opportunities, Shayon Harrison tested Stryjek on nine minutes with a low left-footed drive from the edge of the box after being played in by Joe Pritchard, while Brandon Austin had to tip Benjamin Kimpioka's angled shot wide of his near post at the other end shortly after the quarter-of-an-hour mark.
Double save: Stryjek denies Georgiou - 76mins
We dominated the possession in the second half and played most of the game in Sunderland's half, but it wasn't until the injection of some extra creativity from substitute Samuel Shashoua that we managed to find half a chance, with the midfielder teeing up Harrison to coax a save out of Stryjek from range. Four minutes later, Harrison sprung Georgiou (pictured, above) free in behind the visitors' defence and he was through on goal, but Stryjek blocked his first effort low down before clawing away his second strike. Shilow Tracey was edged out in front of goal moments later and Harrison turned one over the bar on the turn - it was one of those nights.
Coach Wayne Burnett said
“We've got to win. Development is about winning as well – you can't develop without it. I felt that Sunderland defended very deep with a back five and we didn't have enough guile at times to break them down. Was it for a lack of effort or work rate? No. A lack of desire? No. Tonight we just didn't have enough guile and anyone with any individuality to unlock them.
“We had the best chances in the game - in the second half we had one or two decent opportunities. Sunderland came and defended very well, made it difficult and put men behind the ball but like I said, we had one or two decent chances and if we score those it's a difficult game because they then come out and play and the scoreline might have been slightly different. It was always going to be a tight game but the players and staff are disappointed that we've come away with only a draw.”
Spurs: Austin, Marsh, Georgiou, Skipp, C Maghoma, Eyoma, Pritchard (Roles 82), Amos (c), Sterling (S Shashoua 63), Harrison, Tracey (Bennetts 80). Substitutes (not used): Whiteman, Brown.
Sunderland: Stryjek, J Robson, Hume, Beadling (c), Taylor, Storey, Kimpioka (Diamond 61), E Robson, Nelson (Hacket 76), Embleton (Gamble 82), Allan. Substitutes (not used): Woud, Wright.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Georgiou 90, Harrison 90+5; Sunderland - Nelson 19, Taylor 77.
Referee: Gary Parsons.
It's a trip to second-placed Leicester City in our first Premier League 2 game after the festive period. That match takes place at Holmes Park at 7pm on Wednesday 3 January.