Swansea U18s 2-5 Spurs U18s
Report from Landore
Sat 18 November 2017, 14:30|Tottenham Hotspur
Maurizio Pochettino and Paris Maghoma scored their first goals of the season to help our Under-18s register a 5-2 victory at Swansea City on Saturday.
Wide attacker Pochettino gave us the upper hand six minutes in on a wet and windy morning at the Swans’ Landore training complex, while midfielder Maghoma netted one of his trademark free-kicks – much like he did at Derby on the last day of last season – to put us 4-1 up in added time at the end of the first half.
Striker Reo Griffiths capped a lively performance with a brace, while Phoenix Patterson was also on target in a game which saw defender Malachi Walcott and midfielder J’neill Lloyd-Bennett impress on their debuts after being drafted in from the Under-16s.
The result saw us return to winning ways after back-to-back home defeats to Fulham in the league and cup over recent weeks.
Starting brightly, it took us only six minutes to get ourselves in front as Tariq Hinds got forward from right-back on the overlap and crossed for Pochettino. He couldn’t quite connect with the ball, but it bounced back to him in the area and he swivelled to ram home from six yards.
The Swans drew level on 18 minutes when Shaquille Wynter-Coles stole in front of goalkeeper and skipper Jonathan De Bie to find the net following a cross from the left, but we deservedly restored our lead nine minutes later when, after a good passage of play, Maghoma slid forward for Griffiths, his shot was parried by goalkeeper Alex Lang and Patterson was on hand to tap in.
Above: Phoenix Patterson puts the pressure on (pics: James Snaith / Swansea City AFC).
We didn’t have it all our own way, but two goals in the lead-up to half-time put the game beyond Swansea. First, Jeremie Mukendi intercepted a cross-field pass and sent Griffiths racing away to score on 42 minutes, before Maghoma found the top corner with a sublime 25-yard free-kick from left-of-centre in the second minute of added time.
The home side were gifted a chance to pull one back when Griffiths was adjudged to have pulled an opponent’s shirt in the box as we defended a wide free-kick and the referee pointed to the spot. Substitute Jayden Reid stepped up to convert the penalty.
We found ourselves under pressure at times in the second period but held firm before adding a fifth goal four minutes into stoppage time at the end of the game. Lloyd-Bennett, on as a substitute, rolled Griffiths clean through on the right side and he slotted across Lang and into the corner.
Coach Scott Parker said
“The win was much-needed. Coming off the back of a couple of bad results, it was key to get back to winning ways and we did that. We asked the boys to show another side to their game because at times we play some nice football but sometimes you just question whether we’re streetwise enough. That was something we got the players to focus on and they did it really well. It was windy, wet, a horrible day so it wasn’t always going to be nice, pretty football – there was really another side of the game that was needed so it was pleasing in that respect.
“We started really well with an intent about us and were 4-1 up at half-time. They (Swansea) might have been a little bit disappointed because maybe the game didn’t reflect that at times, but we put our chances away and we always looked a threat in behind them. We came under it a little bit in the second half as you’d expect, but really we had the game under control so it was good.
“The two younger boys came up with us, J’neill and Malachi. They’ve been doing well this year in the Under-16s and deserved their opportunities. Malachi started, he was very good, and J’neill came on for 20 minutes. Reo Griffiths obviously scored a couple of goals and was a threat and Paris (Maghoma) scored a really good free-kick, so there were some good performances all round really.”
Spurs U18s: De Bie (c), Hinds, Reynolds, Bowden, Statham, Walcott, Pochettino (Lloyd-Bennett 70), P Maghoma, Griffiths, Patterson (A Shashoua 80), Mukendi (Clarke 62). Substitutes (not used): Freeman, Richards.
We’re back in UEFA Youth League action on Tuesday away to Borussia Dortmund Under-19s (kick-off 1pm UK time, live on BT Sport) before our first north London derby of the season in the Under-18 Premier League at Arsenal’s Colney training base next Saturday, kick-off 11am.