Spurs 4-0 Reading (PL2)
Report from Hotspur Way
Mon 13 March 2017, 20:59|Tottenham Hotspur
A dominant first half display paved the way for a convincing victory for our development side in the Premier League 2 at Stevenage on Monday evening.
Josh Onomah and Marcus Edwards were a constant threat in the forward areas, providing the ammunition for Ryan Loft and Shilow Tracey as the team forged into a 3-0 lead by half-time.
Loft, Onomah and full-back Jaden Brown scored and it might have been more - a story that continued into the second half as Tracey headed home number four and then Will Miller had a penalty saved by Luke Southwood.
To their credit, Reading kept going and had the better of the late action - forcing another first team squad player, goalkeeper Pau Lopez, into a couple of fine saves.
But this was Spurs' night and the perfect way to bounce back after a derby defeat against Arsenal last time out.
Goal: Spurs 1-0 Reading - Ryan Loft - 12mins
In control from the first whistle, our bright start was rewarded with the opening goal on 12 minutes. Tracey had already seen a one-on-one chance saved by goalkeeper Southwood when Loft was presented with a golden opportunity. Tyler Frost looked to play square across his area, Loft picked off the pass and then picked his spot from 14 yards, a clinical finish.
Woodwork: Tracey goes close - 16mins
The team maintained the early tempo and Tracey went close four minutes after the opening goal. Finding himself in the left channel of the box, he clipped in a cross that floated over Southwood and bounced back off the crossbar.
Goal: Spurs 2-0 Reading - Josh Onomah - 31mins
Tracey and Loft went close again before a fine second from Onomah, who started his run 40 yards from goal, drove into the box from the left and then placed a low shot that Southwood couldn't keep out down to his left.
Above: Ryan Loft in action.
Goal: Spurs 3-0 Reading - Jaden Brown - 33mins
It was soon 3-0 as the ball was worked right to left to full-back Brown, who opted to pull the trigger from 20 yards, his low shot again beat Southwood down to his left.
Saves: Pau Lopez in action - 35-45mins
Pau Lopez was forced into two late saves in the first half, the first to deny Frost's volley from the edge of the box and then great reactions after Sam Smith connected with Omar Richards' cross from close range. In between, we were inches away from 4-0 as Onomah and Edwards exchanged passes and Onomah drilled just wide of the far post.
Goal: Spurs 4-0 Reading - Shilow Tracey - 54mins
The fourth goal started with Onomah's run and cross which pinged around in the box and somehow ended just wide of the far post. Edwards took the corner, aiming high to the far post where Tracey climbed well to power home his header.
Penalty saved: Miller denied - 60mins
Burton Albion loanee Miller darted into the box from the left and was brought down by Osho. The midfielder picked himself up to take the penalty and struck low to Southwood's right but the goalkeeper guessed correctly and held onto the ball on his line.
Chances: Reading close, late saves by Pau - 75-90mins
To their credit, Reading stuck in there and were denied by the post on 77 minutes when Frost's cross deflected towards goal. Pau then responded twice in a minute when tested by Jordan Holsgrove, the first a routine turn away from a free-kick, the second a palm out after a fierce strike from 20 yards. The goalkeeper later kept his clean sheet intact with another fine save, this time from Ramarni Medford-Smith's deflected dipper.
Coach Ugo Ehiogu said
"The result was fantastic. We spoke beforehand about how Reading are committed to playing in a certain way and if we stayed alert and pressed with aggression and purpose, they would present us with chances and that's how the first goal came about. The scoreline does sound comfortable but it wasn't that way, certainly not watching from the sideline! Pau made clean, technical saves that he made look easier than they were and in the second half, he was probably our most competent player.
"Jaden had a late fitness test and I hope he's stronger for it because I thought he was terrific in his adventure, he uses his physical athleticism to get forward and his intent to want to tackle and do well was good to see. I thought Cameron and Christian did well especially as the game progressed and Josh was energetic and always involved. Off the bench, Cy has waited a long time for a chunk of minutes and he brought an element of control to the game, Joe Pritchard had some good forward passing and movement.
"We've said to the players that football is ruthless and very competitive and too many times we miss the small details. Even at 4-0, I don't think it's the best we've played. Overall though, we had to win and we did that. Hopefully now we can climb a few places up the table."
Spurs: Pau Lopez, Muscatt, Brown, Lesniak (c, Stylianides, 81), Maghoma, Carter-Vickers, Edwards, Onomah, Loft (Pritchard 81), Tracey (Goddard 67), Miller. Substitutes (not used): Glover (GK), Owens.
Reading: Southwood, Osho (Holmes 66), Dickie (c), Hyam, Richards, Holsgrove, Frost, Rinomhota, Smith, Quinn (Loader 27), Barrett (Medford-Smith 66). Substitutes (not used): Driscoll (GK), East.
Goals: Spurs - Loft 12, Onomah 31, Brown 33, Tracey 54.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Onomah 47.
Referee: Constantine Hatzidakis.
We take on title-chasing Everton at Southport FC's Merseyrail Community Stadium on Monday, April 10 (7pm). Meanwhile, our younger academy stars are set for their biggest game of the season on Tuesday night (March 14) as they welcome Chelsea to White Hart Lane in the first leg of our FA Youth Cup semi-final (7.15pm).