Spurs U18s 2-0 Leicester U18s
Report from the Training Centre
07 March 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Penalty incidents at both ends went in our favour as our youngsters rounded off their Barclays Under-18 Premier League southern division campaign with a 2-0 win over Leicester City on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Tom Glover kept up his superb record of saving spot kicks when he denied Admiral Muskwe seven minutes into the second half, while front man Ryan Loft netted from 12 yards for the third consecutive league game to put us in front after the visitors had been reduced to 10 men.
Chris Paul, captaining the side for the first time, rounded off a good performance with the second goal in stoppage time.
The first half was a real midfield battle at the Training Centre, with few chances at either end.
Leicester had the first sight of goal four minutes in, Paul blocking a shot from Matt Miles after Darnell Johnson’s cross from the right was only half-cleared. Glover then routinely gathered Muskwe’s effort from the rebound.
Loft had his own shot blocked at the other end after good work by Armani Daly down the right flank, before cushioning a volley from Marcus Edwards’ cross against the post on 27 minutes – although, with the linesman’s flag raised, it wouldn’t have counted anyway.
Foxes centre-back Elliott Moore was forced to head Paul’s cross behind on the half-hour mark as we started to get forward more frequently, with Paul again getting down the right and bustling his way between two defenders on 41 minutes, only for Loft to be denied by goalkeeper Max Bramley from the eventual ball in.
The visitors had a couple of chances with the interval looming but Brandon Fox found the side netting and Miles blazed a free-kick over the bar.
Leicester took the unusual step of making a triple change at half-time, but it was one of their starters who earned a chance for his side to take the lead on 52 minutes. Johnson charged into the box from the right side but Jaden Brown was adjudged to have impeded him and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped Muskwe, but Glover – who has already saved a number of spot kicks this season – dived low to his left to tip the Leicester man’s shot away.
Kairo Mitchell found himself through on goal on the left two minutes later as the Foxes stepped up their pursuit of an opening goal, but his low shot dribbled the wrong side of the far post.
The introduction of Under-16s player Nicholas Tsaroulla for his debut at the upper level led to a slight reshuffle of personnel – the left-back taking the place of Joe Muscatt, who switched to the right side, with Paul moving into central midfield and Charlie Hayford making way.
Muscatt got forward to meet Paul’s corner kick mid-way through the half but steered his header wide as he arrived in the box, while substitute Keanan Bennetts shot into the side netting as keeper Bramley advanced off his line.
Leicester’s Lamine Sherif was shown a straight red card for fouling Tsaroulla on 73 minutes and it was the latter who got forward to win the penalty from which we opened the scoring six minutes later. After Tsaroulla was tripped by Kyle Bailey as he tried to invade the box close to the byline on the left, Loft stepped up to fire low past Bramley’s right hand and into the net.
Glover was instrumental once more in keeping Leicester at bay on 85 minutes, hurling himself in the way of Josh Knight’s fierce shot from point-blank range and, after the visitors piled on the pressure in search of a late leveller, we made the game safe a minute into stoppage time.
Edwards exhibited some clever footwork as he tricked his way into the box from the right before crossing for Paul. His shot was blocked, but he made no mistake from the rebound to finish off the first phase of the league on a high note.
We now join our fellow top four finishers from the southern section in a mini-league with the four uppermost teams from the north for the remainder of the campaign.
Spurs: Glover, Paul, Muscatt, Hayford (Tsaroulla 61), Tanganga, Brown, Daly (Duncan 74), Ross, Loft, Edwards, Sterling (Bennetts 67). Substitutes (not used): Walkes, Whiteman (GK).