Spurs U18s 1-0 Norwich U18s
Report from Hotspur Way
13 February 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Ryan Loft’s first-half penalty proved decisive as our Under-18s secured a 1-0 victory over Norwich City at the Training Centre on Saturday (February 13).
The striker converted from 12 yards after the lively Marcus Edwards had his shirt pulled in the box but our number nine was guilty of missing one or two other big chances as we dominated possession without being able to rack up the goals to reflect our control of the game.
Edwards proved a thorn in Norwich’s side all afternoon but was denied by Canaries goalkeeper Marcus Beauchamp in our best opportunity of the second period, with the stopper also keeping out Nick Tsaroulla’s effort from the rebound.
Having kept the visitors largely at bay we deserved the three points in the end as we made it back-to-back wins in the Barclays Under-18 Premier League for the first time since October.
After some good early pressure, we almost found the breakthrough on seven minutes when Loft crossed for Kazaiah Sterling but he steered his volley the wrong side of the post.
Charlie Owens was just off target with a free-kick while Benny Ashley-Seal did his best to work his way into dangerous areas for Norwich, but the closest he came was when his mis-hit effort trickled behind at Alfie Whiteman’s right-hand post.
Loft and Christian Maghoma, the latter up for a corner, both saw shots deflected behind before Loft missed a golden opportunity to give us the lead on 26 minutes when he met Sterling’s (pictured, below) left-sided cross at the back post – only to place his effort wide.
The visitors then had a spell of pressure but their best chances came from a pair of free-kicks in quick succession around the 35-minute mark, the first being sent over the bar by Louis McIntosh with the second blasted into the wall by Ashley-Seal.
We took the lead in the 44th minute when Edwards had his shirt tugged in the box, the referee pointed to the spot and Loft kept calm to fire past Beauchamp from 12 yards.
There was a real scramble in our area in the opening exchanges of the second half but as the ball pinged around, nobody in yellow and green was able to get a clean shot away and we ended up clearing the danger.
Substitute Shilow Tracey found Loft with a clever cross from the right side just after the hour mark but the striker’s header lacked power and was easy for centre-half Callum Ellesley to deal with.
Edwards was causing Norwich all manner of problems as he charged at their defence with the ball at his feet while Japhet Tanganga also got forward from the back with a similar surge into opposing territory in the 75th minute, but his eventual shot flew wide.
There was a double-save from Beauchamp three minutes later as he made good stops from Edwards and Tsaroulla in quick succession after the former had pulled off a sumptuous exchange of passes with substitute Zenon Stylianides to pick his way through a congested Norwich area.
Tracey’s shot was deflected wide after good work down the right by Joe Muscatt, but Whiteman had to get down low to his left at the other end to keep out Devonte Aransibia’s low drive on the break.
The same player nearly grabbed a leveller for the Canaries in the 90th minute but his low shot was deflected behind for a corner while Loft might have added to his tally twice in stoppage time – first being dispossessed by Toby Syme after strolling through in the box and then when he fired fiercely towards goal but just wide of the far post moments later.
Spurs U18s: Whiteman, Muscatt, Tsaroulla, Owens, Maghoma (c), Tanganga, Roles (Stylianides 71), Duncan (Tracey 57), Loft, Edwards, Sterling (Bennetts 57). Substitute (not used): McDermott (GK).