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#U23 #PL2 #TOTARS #MatchReport #WayneBurnett

Spurs 3-2 Arsenal (PL2)

Report from Hotspur Way

23 October 2017|Tottenham Hotspur

Marcus Edwards' second-half penalty proved decisive as we won an entertaining North London derby in the Premier League 2 by the odd goal in five on Monday afternoon.

Shayon Harrison and Samuel Shashoua capitalised on some loose early defending from Arsenal with two goals in as many minutes to give us the upper hand at Hotspur Way.

But we were also guilty of a few slip-ups and the Gunners came back, Tyreece John-Jules firing past the impressive Alfie Whiteman after we dithered in playing out following a corner, before Charlie Gilmour levelled from the spot when Japhet Tanganga was penalised for handball – bizarrely with nobody else around him – inside 24 minutes.

The game settled down a bit thereafter and became more of a balanced contest, but we were patient in our play and Harrison went close to restoring our lead just before the break.

The winning goal arrived on the hour mark when Edwards scored from the spot after Kazaiah Sterling was felled by Joseph Olowu and although the Gunners kept probing for a leveller, we managed the game well to claim our first Premier League 2 victory for almost two months.

Key action

Goal: Spurs 1-0 Arsenal - Shayon Harrison - 10mins
The early exchanges were littered with lapses in concentration from both sets of players but we took the initiative and the lead on 10 minutes. George Marsh, operating at right-back, found Edwards and his ball forward opened the door for Harrison, the striker controlling well before firing in off the far post.

Goal: Spurs 2-0 Arsenal - Samuel Shashoua - 11mins
Within a minute we'd doubled our advantage following another of those early errors. Arsenal got things wrong as they knocked the ball around at the back, Shashoua pounced, advanced on goal and struck beyond goalkeeper Joao Virginia.

Above: Oliver Skipp puts the pressure on.

Goal: Spurs 2-1 Arsenal - Tyreece John-Jules - 15mins
Arsenal came alive after our second goal and knocked on the door. Gilmour rattled the bar from just inside the area and Zech Medley forced a good save from Whiteman with a stooping near-post header before the Gunners pulled one back. A corner wasn't cleared, the ball was stolen from us and John-Jules fired in from the left side of the area. Whiteman had to be at his best again moments later to prevent Julio Pleguezuelo from heading the visitors level.

Goal: Spurs 2-2 Arsenal - Charlie Gilmour (pen) - 24mins
The visitors found an equaliser just after the midway point of a frantic first half from the penalty spot. Referee Savvas Yianni deemed defender Tanganga to have handled when he cushioned a header down following Vlad Dragomir's free-kick with nobody in red or white around him and Gilmour blasted home the resulting penalty.

Chance: Harrison close in first half added time - 45+1mins
The unpredictable nature of the game in those early stages wasn't replicated as we approached half-time, with only the odd half-chance for either side until a few seconds into stoppage time when Harrison played an excellent one-two with Edwards, carving through the Arsenal defence, only to clip the ball over Virginia but agonisingly wide of the post.

Goal: Spurs 3-2 Arsenal - Marcus Edwards (pen) - 60mins 
Tanganga made a crucial block from Folarin Balogun with the goal gaping after Whiteman had denied John-Jules at the edge of his area, but the game swung back in our favour on the hour when Sterling – on as a substitute just moments earlier – was tripped in the box by Olowu and Edwards sent the spot kick down the middle. Moments later, Oliver Skipp embarked on an excellent weaving run and laid in for Shashoua, but the attacking midfielder was thwarted by Virginia as he advanced off his line. Skipp was later denied by a good covering tackle from Tolaji Bola as he broke forward while the Gunners upped the ante in the latter stages in pursuit of an equaliser by getting the ball into the box a lot but, between Whiteman and the defenders in front of him, we kept them at bay.

Coach Wayne Burnett said

“We started very well with a well-taken goal by Shayon – it was nice to see him back and on the scoresheet – then we managed to get a second goal where Sam has intercepted a pass, gone through and placed a good shot into the bottom corner. Unfortunately we failed to take control of the game and gave away two unnecessary goals, so it was a very good 15 minutes but then it became disappointing. We still created some good chances and we still tried to play our football. They played three at the back which became a five very quickly, so we knew it was going to be difficult to break them down and we had to be clever with our passing, trying to penetrate at every opportunity.

“We found it difficult because they defended well at times, but we had one or two good chances and Alfie (Whiteman) has pulled off some very good saves, like he has done all season. I was pleased for him and he came for some good crosses and corners which relieved the pressure towards the end. They were a little bit more in the ascendency than us by that stage but we showed some resilience and held on. I'm pleased that the players found a way to do that. It's nice to win but we've still got lots of work to do. We've got another game on Friday so were going to have to prepare now for that. It’s nice to win, it's important to win and hopefully we can continue that on Friday."

We showed some resilience and held on. I'm pleased that the players found a way to do that.

Wayne Burnett

Match data

Spurs: Whiteman, Marsh, Bennetts, Amos (c), C Maghoma, Tanganga, S Shashoua (Pritchard 72), Skipp, Harrison (Loft 82), Edwards, Georgiou (Sterling 56). Substitutes (not used): Austin, Roles.

Arsenal: Virginia, Moore, Bola, Pleguezuelo (c), Olowu, Medley, Eyoma, Gilmour, Balogun, Dragomir, John-Jules (Omole 74). Substitutes (not used): Keto, Clarke, Benson, Swanson.

Goals: Spurs - Harrison 10, Shashoua 11, Edwards 60 (pen); Arsenal - John-Jules 15, Gilmour 24 (pen).

Yellow cards: Spurs - Maghoma 20, Shashoua 68, Amos 77, Marsh 86; Arsenal - Bola 65, Pleguezuelo 67, Gilmour 69, Dragomir 72.

Referee: Savvas Yianni.

Attendance: 280.

Next up

It's a quick turnaround for this group of players as we return to Premier League 2 action away to Derby County on Friday night. Kick-off at Pride Park is at 7pm.