Spurs 2-2 Swansea (PL2)
Report from Stevenage
18 September 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
A fine strike from Keanan Bennetts saw us come back from a goal down for the second time in the game to take a point following a tough test against Swansea City at Stevenage on Monday night.
Wide player Bennetts, who scored a brilliant solo goal against Borussia Dortmund Under-19s in the UEFA Youth League last week, stepped off the bench to repeat the feat after big Swans front man Ollie McBurnie had got his reward for making a nuisance of himself among our defensive ranks for much of the game.
Kazaiah Sterling earlier levelled following Japhet Tanganga's unfortunate own goal, while we had Alfie Whiteman to thank for a last-gasp intervention to prevent McBurnie from stealing maximum points for the visitors with the last action of the game.
Off the line: Maghoma to the rescue - 15mins
Christian Maghoma was in early action to tidy up after a couple of errors allowed McBurnie to break loose in the box while we tried to apply pressure but were met with a stern Swansea resistance inside their own half. Sterling's drive was deflected up to Gregor Zabret but we had a let-off on the quarter-of-an-hour mark when, after TJ Eyoma came across to block Courtney Baker-Richardson's drive and Whiteman rushed off his line, McBurnie directed a header over him and towards the empty net, but Maghoma was able to retreat and hook a header away from the goalmouth.
Off the line: at Swansea's end this time - 36mins
We were seeing more of the ball but Swansea, whose powerful runners looked a threat, wouldn't give Sterling an inch up front. After McBurnie skewed off-target from a tight angle when Whiteman left himself stranded at the edge of his area, we were almost gifted a 36th-minute lead when Joe Pritchard's corner was headed towards his own goal by Cian Harries but McBurnie was back to spare his team-mate's blushes and clear.
Goal: Spurs 0-1 Swansea - Japhet Tanganga (own goal) - 52mins
Swansea caused us problems from a couple of corners early in the second half and one of them, after being flicked on, deflected in off Tanganga as the visitors got themselves ahead. Moments later, Eyoma made a crucial block amid a crowded area to deny McBurnie following George Byers' corner.
Goal: Spurs 1-1 Swansea - Kazaiah Sterling - 57mins
We were being pushed back but a well-placed ball down the left flank from Jaden Brown released all the pressure and sent Sterling racing forward. He kept his composure to side-step a challenge from Harries and slot under goalkeeper Zabret.
Above: Christian Maghoma on defensive duty.
Goal: Spurs 1-2 Swansea - Ollie Mcburnie - 76mins
Swansea regained the lead on 76 minutes when Adam King looped the ball in from the left and McBurnie produced a fine first touch to keep the ball away from left-back Brown before drilling low into the corner.
Goal: Spurs 2-2 Swansea - Keanan Bennetts - 81mins
Marcus Edwards was dangerous on the ball and drilled over the top from the edge of the area a couple of times late in the game, but it was Bennetts who stepped up with a moment of brilliance nine minutes from time, advancing in from the left side of the box and curling into the far corner on his right foot.
Save: Whiteman there when it mattered - 90+4mins
It looked set to end all square as we approached the final seconds of stoppage time, but we had a late scare when McBurnie glanced goalwards from six yards. Whiteman, though, was instinctively down low to his left to claw it out before pouncing on the loose ball with substitute Jordan Garrick lurking.
Coach Wayne Burnett said
“They came and played a diamond and we found it difficult to adjust at times and to deal with their shape but in terms of us, I didn’t think we played as well as we have done. I didn’t think we got after the ball as aggressively as we have done and I just felt that we didn’t get into our groove quickly enough. We have players who didn’t play particularly well but the good thing is we haven’t been beaten. We know we can play better than that and we have done in previous weeks.
“It was a similar goal from Keanan (to his strike in the UEFA Youth League last week). He came on and made an impact so I was pleased for him, we had one or two half-chances that on another day might have been slotted in but they had some chances as well. We were slightly better in the second half so I’m pleased that we didn’t get beaten but it’s disappointing that we didn’t show our normal characteristics when we really get after teams.”
Spurs: Whiteman, Eyoma, Brown, Amos, C Maghoma, Tanganga, Edwards, Skipp (S Shashoua 88), Sterling (Tracey 74), Pritchard (c), Georgiou (Bennetts 68). Substitutes (not used): Loft, O’Reilly (GK).
Swansea City: Zabret, Reid, Lewis, Evans, Harries, Rodon (c), King, Maric, McBurnie, Byers, Baker-Richardson (Garrick 88). Substitutes (not used): Cullen, Cooper, Bainbridge, Thomas (GK).
Goals: Spurs - Sterling 57, Bennetts 81; Swansea - Tanganga (OG) 52, McBurnie 76.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Skipp 71; Swansea - King 31, Baker-Richardson 58, Evans 71.
Referee: Christopher O'Donnell.
It's a quick return to Premier League 2 action as we head to Anfield on Friday to take on Liverpool, kick-off 7pm. The Reds made it five wins from five in the competition with a 2-0 victory at West Ham on Monday night.