Spurs 2-0 Derby (PL2)
Report from the Lamex Stadium
12 December 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
First-half goals from Kyle Walker-Peters and Shayon Harrison secured a vital victory over 10-man Derby County in the Premier League 2 at Stevenage on Monday night (December 12).
The pair, coincidentally the same goalscorers from our 2-1 win in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, struck inside 26 minutes as we produced some excellent attacking play.
The Rams were reduced to 10 men just before the half-hour mark as right-back Kyron Stabana picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes for separate fouls on Connor Ogilvie and from there we dominated, keeping the visitors penned in and testing goalkeeper Henrich Ravas on several occasions through Tom Carroll after the break.
The result, our first win in nine attempts in this competition, saw us move off the foot of the table, out of the drop zone and into 10th place.
Goal: Spurs 1-0 Derby - Kyle Walker-Peters - 12mins
With striker Ryan Loft back from suspension, he was a lively influence alongside Harrison up front in a 4-4-2 formation and we soon got on the front foot with Joe Pritchard testing Ravas with a powerful drive, although Charles Vernam gave us a ninth-minute scare when he robbed centre-back Anton Walkes and raced through on goalkeeper Pau Lopez, only to blast wide of the far post. Still, we looked organised and on 12 minutes we went ahead. Walker-Peters tried to latch onto a long ball out from the back, lost the flight of it as it came over his head but benefitted from a fortuitous bounce off his marker and burst onto the loose ball, surging into the box in the right channel and striking with such power that Ravas couldn't keep it out, even with both hands, as it spun over him and into the net.
Goal: Spurs 2-0 Derby - Shayon Harrison - 26mins
Loft's quick thinking played a part in a stylish second for us on 26 minutes. He roamed forward on the counter-attack but, spotting Harrison in an off-side position, he refrained from picking out his strike partner and instead carried it on himself, venturing out to the right before cutting back for Harrison, back on-side, to steer beyond Ravas with a deft close-range flick.
Red card: Kyron Stabana (Derby) - 29mins
The visitors' hopes of getting back into the game suffered a big blow when right-back Stabana picked up two bookings in as many minutes – both for fouling Ogilvie as he tried to burst forward from left-back – and got his marching orders.
Above: Joe Pritchard under pressure.
Woodwork: Loft and Pritchard close - 41mins
Derby showed they weren't afraid to have a go from range as the half went on but we turned the screw and hit the frame of the goal twice in a few seconds with four minutes left until the break. First, Loft's low shot across the keeper rebounded off the base of the far post, Pritchard blasted against the crossbar from the rebound and Ogilvie's speculative header then drifted wide as the Rams got off the hook.
Pressure: Loft effort ruled out, Carroll denied - 61-74mins
We were camped in Derby territory for almost the entire second half with everyone bar Emil Jakobsen – a lone figure up front – back to man the barricades for the Rams. Carroll went close on a couple of occasions before playing in Harrison on 61 minutes, his shot was well saved by Ravas with Loft's close-range effort from the resulting loose ball ruled out for off-side. Ogilvie was sending in some useful deliveries from the left as we tried to pick our way through a packed defence while Carroll almost made it three on 74 minutes – his fierce shot from 18 yards tipped away by Ravas, diving full stretch to his left. Carroll tried another shot seconds later but hammered straight at the keeper. The result, however, never looked in doubt.
Coach Ugo Ehiogu said
“What we’ve tried to do is get more support centrally to our number nine. It helps people like Shayon Harrison who likes to combine and link with someone else close to him. We haven’t really changed the formation, we’ve just gone a bit more positive to suit our players but to be fair the boys have applied themselves really well within the subtle changes that we’ve made.
“Luke Amos had a very good control to him and managed the game well and it was a good performance from most of our boys, although the top ones were the ones that didn’t allow the ease with which we controlled the game to affect their performances. Christian Maghoma was a lot cleaner in his defending, Connor Ogilvie was excellent and we’re very pleased because this reflects the control and the quality that we know we can produce.
“It’s tough when the opposition go a man down and you’ve got to try to manage the game – the next goal is really important at 2-0. It’s difficult sometimes when it’s so comfortable – occasionally you can switch off and we got caught a couple of times like that today. There are improvements still to be made but take nothing away from the boys today because they thoroughly earned that win. I thought we were the much stronger team even before the sending-off and that’s credit to the players.”
Spurs: Pau Lopez, Walker-Peters, Ogilvie, Amos (c), Walkes, Maghoma, Pritchard (Goddard 72), Carroll, Loft (Oteh 87), Harrison, Stylianides (Muscatt 84). Substitute (not used): Glover (GK).
Derby County: Ravas, Stabana, Macdonald, Elsnik, Rawson (c), Lelan, Gordon (Jakobsen 68), Guy, Vernam, Santos (Cover 79), Babos (Walker 68). Substitutes (not used): Edwards, Barnes (GK).
Goals: Spurs - Walker-Peters 12, Harrison 26.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Stylianides 38; Derby - Guy 16, Stabana 27, 29.
Red card: Derby - Stabana 29.
Referee: Dean Treleaven.
That's it for the year as far as Premier League 2 fixtures are concerned, with our next outing in the competition taking place on Friday, January 6, as we welcome Chelsea to Hotspur Way. We went down 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in the reverse fixture back in September but will be looking for better fortunes this time as we bid to kick-off 2017 in winning fashion.