Spurs U21s 1-1 Liverpool U21s
Report from Lamex Stadium
23 October 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
A bolt from the blue denied our Under-21s maximum points in an entertaining encounter against Liverpool in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League at Stevenage on Friday night.
Matt Virtue unleashed an unstoppable drive from 30 yards on 32 minutes to cancel out Anton Walkes' eighth-minute opener and that's how it stayed at the Lamex Stadium.
Not that it was for want of trying from both sides as chances came and went at both ends - with Tom Glover producing one of the saves of the season, a world-class effort to deny Madger Gomes in the second half.
No doubt buoyed by back-to-back wins, including victory last week at Norwich, the lads started positively.
Shayon Harrison fired just wide on three minutes before we opened the scoring on eight minutes with a classic counter-attack from a Liverpool corner. Sam Hart misjudged the clearance, Keanan Bennetts pounced and was away. He sped 50 yards and with options left and right, picked out Walkes who finished clinically.
Bennetts spun away from Hart before seeing his shot blocked and the same player mishit after good work from Zenon Stylianides and Anthony Georgiou.
Liverpool came into the game midway through the half. Madger Gomes forced Glover into action for the first time on 19 minutes before Toni Gomes looked to convert Madger Gomes' cross only for Luke Amos to throw himself in and block.
The Reds levelled on 32 minutes with a goal from nowhere. Alex O'Hanlon's initial shot was blocked and the ball rebounded to Virtue, who smashed into the top corner from 25 yards.
We were quickly into our stride in the second half and had a purple patch of chances around the hour mark.
Milos Veljkovic picked out a pass to Harrison who went for power from the left angle and Ryan Fulton did well to palm away.
Walkes was next to try his luck with a 30-yard dipper that Fulton touched over and Georgiou flashed a low drive inches wide after capitalising on Virtue's mistake.
The teams traded chances in the final half-hour - as Glover came into his own.
His first save was the easiest although a decent chance for substitute Will Marsh on 62 minutes and then Walkes angled just over after a pinpoint low pass from Georgiou dissected the Liverpool defence.
Glover produced a 'Gordon Banks-style' save of the match on 74 minutes. Yan Dhanda crossed from left, Madger Gomes met his header perfectly, directed down, but Glover got down and managed to turn it around the post.
Fulton was soon back in the action to block another effort from Georgiou and then Glover excelled again, this time making himself big to block point-blank from Paulinho Alves with three minutes remaining.
There was still time for us to carve out two more chances. Cameron Carter-Vickers headed Cy Goddard's corner straight at Fulton on 89 minutes and in injury time, Ryan Loft weaved his way into the box, rolled the ball past Fulton but agonisingly just past the post.
Ugo Ehiogu said
"It's frustrating because we were well on top in the first 20 minutes, scored the goal and looked comfortable," said Ugo. "But in the end Tom Glover made top-class saves, point-blank, to keep us in it.
"We had so many counter-attacking opportunities, so many chances to make the right pass, the right cross, to hit the target - there must have been seven or eight. So that's the disappointing thing. We have to be more clinical.
"I thought Liverpool were there for the taking after our start but they sensed an anxiety in our game at 1-0, scored the equaliser and grew in belief.
"Even then, we had the chances to win it but we lost control for 15 minutes in the second half and became a bit scrappy. As I said, the disappointment was that we didn't have the composure to finish them off."
Spurs U21s: Glover, Walker-Peters, Amos, Lesniak, Veljkovic (c), Carter-Vickers, Bennetts (Loft 83), Stylianides (Goddard 73), Harrison, Walkes, Georgiou. Substitutes (not used): Maghoma, Duncan, Voss (GK).
Liverpool U21s: Fulton, Whelan, Hart (Alves 75), Cleary (c), Brewett, Masterson, Dhanda, Virtue (Polgar 60), T Gomes (Marsh 60), O'Hanlon, M Gomes. Substitute (not used): Firth (GK).