Spurs U18s 2-2 Norwich U18s
17 September 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Norwich City escaped Hotspur Way with a point as our Under-18s were made to rue a lack of killer instinct on Saturday (September 17).
We controlled the game from start to finish, putting the Canaries under all sorts of pressure but without being able to turn our dominance into goals.
Bilal Kamal was the visitors’ hero, initially putting them ahead and then sealing a 2-2 draw with a spectacular late volley after Aramide Oteh and Jack Roles had put us 2-1 in front.
We made an energetic, high-pressing start and Norwich goalkeeper Fergal Hale-Brown saw plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges. After a good solo run from Samuel Shashoua won us a corner, the ball was worked out to Roles whose shot through a crowded area was saved by the stopper low down to his right.
Norwich scored against the run of play with 20 minutes gone when Anthony Spyrou’s delivery from the left was converted by Kamal in the box but we drew level 30 seconds later as right-back Matt Lock, making his league debut at this level, drilled the ball in low and Hale-Brown spilled it, with Oteh reacting quickest to prod home.
We carried on pressing forward with skipper George Marsh seeing his sweetly-struck volley saved by the keeper while Norwich defender Toby Syme hurled himself in the way of Shashoua’s effort just before the break.
Clear chances weren’t readily on view in the second period despite our continued control of the game with youngster Oliver Skipp playing his part to keep the ball away from the visitors.
Keanan Bennetts’ angled effort was deflected behind before we finally grabbed the upper hand on 69 minutes when Hale-Brown parried Shashoua’s low ball in from the left into the path of Roles, who made no mistake from eight yards out.
Hale-Brown pushed Bennetts’ long-range attempt behind as we continued on the front foot and, from the resulting corner, Jon Dinzeyi’s effort was well saved by the keeper with Oteh (pictured, above) crashing a shot against the underside of the bar on the rebound with 77 minutes gone.
Norwich made us pay for those spurned opportunities, though. With six minutes of normal time remaining, the ball fell kindly for Kamal 18 yards out and he sent a volley looping past Brandon Austin and into the net to seal a point for his side.
John McDermott, Head of Player Development, said
“The game is about the business end of the pitch and you could say that Norwich were more efficient, they needed maybe three efforts to score the two goals whereas we needed a considerable amount more. All credit to them, they were efficient in their finishing, we were inefficient but, saying that, we looked at some of the manager’s reflections from Wednesday and the need for passion, energy and aggression and I thought our general play was excellent – it’s probably the best we’ve played.
“There were some good performances – George Marsh was excellent, Oliver Skipp was very good again, Dylan Duncan was very good and then Jack Roles was too – but the game is ultimately about making goals, scoring goals and stopping goals and sadly we didn’t stop goals today and we didn’t make and score enough. For all of the excellent play – and I really enjoyed watching some of it today – we’ve got to do better at the business end.”
Spurs U18s: Austin, Lock (Tanganga 70), Tsaroulla, Skipp, Marsh, Dinzeyi, Shashoua, Roles (Omolabi 86), Oteh, Duncan, Bennetts (Reynolds 77). Substitute (not used): Freeman (GK).
There’s a week’s wait until our next Under-18 Premier League outing as we make the long trip to face Swansea City next Saturday. The match represents an opportunity to get our first points on the board away from home after league defeats at West Ham and Reading so far this season.