Spurs 1-4 Leicester (PL2)
Report from Hotspur Way
04 May 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
Marcus Edwards scored the last ever Under-23s goal at White Hart Lane, but it was merely a late consolation as we suffered a 4-1 defeat to Leicester City on a difficult night in the Premier League 2 on Thursday (May 4).
The young midfielder smashed high into the net from the penalty spot after one of his weaving runs was abruptly halted by Hamza Choudhury in the box, but the Foxes had already taken advantage of the dismissal of goalkeeper Tom Glover to rack up four goals of their own on what was an emotional night, with our young charges playing their first game since the passing of Under-23s Coach Ugo Ehiogu on April 21.
A minute's applause preceded the match, while the teams wore black armbands as a mark of respect. Proceeds from the fixture are to be donated to a charity being set up by Ugo's family in his memory. Ugo’s assistant coach Matt Wells and Head of Player Development John McDermott led the team on the night.
Glover's dismissal came after he'd made a series of excellent saves in the first period as we struggled to deal with Leicester's aerial threats and counter-attacks.
Harvey Barnes and Josh Gordon had already scored by the time the young Australian was sent off for handball outside the area with the visitors looking certain to score a third on the break.
They duly did from the resulting set-piece, Barnes' curler leaving substitute goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman no chance, and they added a fourth through Gordon in the closing stages.
Edwards got the biggest cheer of the night from the 2,226-strong crowd, though, as he fired in his late penalty to reward the vocal fans for their fantastic support.
Above: A minute's applause before the match in memory of Ugo Ehiogu.
Saves: both keepers in early action - 8-11mins
Neither side mounted any sustained pressure early on, with Leicester goalkeeper Ben Hamer saving well from Shilow Tracey's angled drive, before getting in the way of Cy Goddard's shot following a good ball across from the right by Keanan Bennetts. At the other end, Glover dived low to his right to save Bartosz Kapustka's shot. Seven minutes later, Kapustka looked destined to score from 10 yards out, but his drive was blocked by a mass of defenders in the six-yard box.
Goal: Spurs 0-1 Leicester - Harvey Barnes - 23mins
We were struggling to defend Leicester's corner kicks and although Glover saved brilliantly at his near post from Barnes on one of them, he was left grasping at thin air as the same Leicester man converted from close range on the resulting one.
Chance: Tracey denied an equaliser - 29mins
Glover made another important stop to deny Choudury as he tried to capitalise on a mistake at the back but our best chance of the half arrived on 29 minutes when Kazaiah Sterling found Tracey in behind the back four, but goalkeeper Hamer was out quickly to close the space and was able to block his shot. Leicester continued to be a threat on the counter and Jaden Brown did well to block Gordon's shot, while Glover made another impressive save at point-blank range to palm away Barnes' effort.
Goal: Spurs 0-2 Leicester - Josh Gordon - 76mins
We produced an excellent team move that started at the back with Glover and ended with substitute Samuel Shashoua twice testing Hamer, but Leicester struck a real blow on 76 minutes with goal number two, Gordon finding a lot of space on the left side of the box to compose himself before drilling beyond Glover.
Red card: Glover gets his marching orders - 78mins
Things began to unravel quickly after the second goal as Glover was shown a straight red card for handling the ball outside his area as he tried to prevent Barnes from going clean through from Gordon's long ball over the top.
Goal: Spurs 0-3 Leicester - Harvey Barnes - 80mins
Following Glover’s dismissal, Barnes stepped up to take the resulting free-kick 20 yards out and curled the ball beyond the wall and into the far corner, leaving replacement keeper Whiteman – on in place of Sterling – rooted to the spot.
Above: Filip Lesniak goes up for a header.
Goal: Spurs 0-4 Leicester - Josh Gordon - 87mins
The Foxes were full of confidence and scored a fourth goal when Connor Wood slid the ball across from the left and Gordon applied a deft touch as he raced onto it, clipping it across Whiteman and into the bottom corner.
Goal: Spurs 1-4 Leicester - Marcus Edwards (pen) - 89mins
Edwards had been confidently running with the ball at his feet all night and finally he found a breakthrough as he was upended by Choudhury in the box and despatched the resulting penalty into the roof of the net with aplomb.
Coach Matt Wells said
“Obviously we’re very disappointed, not only with the scoreline but also with something we tried to concentrate on before the game in terms of delivering a performance that fitted the occasion. There was a real drive and willingness among the players and staff to make the evening special and a fitting tribute to Ugo.
“The manner of the last 20 minutes where we conceded three goals plus a sending-off is probably the most disappointing factor on the pitch. I thought Leicester’s first goal was coming from a set piece – we weren’t brave enough on the first contact and we weren’t alert enough on the second balls. We made a couple of good blocks but eventually that goal was going to come. I saw the second half similar in terms of the sending-off – if we expose ourselves to so many balls over the top where we’re second to turn and the forwards are getting in behind, the goalkeeper has got a lot of decisions to make and there was always a possibility that he’d get one wrong.
“Even after the red card I was disappointed with our resilience with 10 men – we played against Manchester City for a large chunk of the game here earlier in the season with 10 men, we lost 2-1 but it was probably one of our best performances with and without the ball, so we don’t see it as an excuse. With 10 men we have to do more running and be more aggressive and organised than we were with 11. That’s something that the players are capable of doing, so it’s disappointing that they didn’t execute that.
“The players will want to put this right and we’ve got an excellent game to look forward to at Old Trafford in two weeks now. This group of players have been first class in the last couple of weeks, apart from this evening obviously, so there’ll be a real determination to improve drastically against United.”
Spurs: Glover, Tanganga, Brown, Amos, Maghoma, Lesniak (c), Bennetts (Marsh 82), Goddard (Shashoua 58), Tracey, Edwards, Sterling (Whiteman 79). Substitute (not used): Roles.
Leicester City: Hamer, Johnson, Wood, Hammond (Uche Rubio 80), Moore (c), Knight, Kapustka (Kaba Sherif 54), Choudhury, Gordon, Barnes, Martis (Watts 67). Substitutes (not used): Pascanu, Iversen (GK).
Goals: Spurs - Edwards 89 (pen); Leicester - Barnes 23, 80, Gordon 76, 87.
Yellow card: Spurs - Maghoma 74.
Red card: Spurs - Glover 78.
Referee: Dean Treleaven.
Our final fixture of the Premier League 2 season takes place at Old Trafford as we travel to face Manchester United on Monday, May 15, kick-off 7pm.