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#U18 #MatchReport #Norwich

Under-18s claim first win of the season in style

Spurs 4-0 Norwich City (Under-18 Premier League)

Sat 24 August 2019, 14:04|Tottenham Hotspur

Our youngsters got off the mark in the Under-18 Premier League with a sizzling 4-0 home victory over Norwich City on Saturday.

Winless after our first two games of the season, we put the heat on from the word go at a sweltering Hotspur Way with goals in the first four minutes from Max Robson and Tarrelle Whittaker putting us firmly in command.

And there was no let-up, Joe Rose kept busy in the Norwich goal throughout, while Rafferty Pedder marked his first start of the campaign by lashing in a third as the interval approached. Chay Cooper netted the pick of the bunch with a 25-yard curler a minute from the end of normal time.

Our attacking intent was clear from the outset in the glorious Enfield sunshine and after Pedder won a free-kick just outside the box with just two minutes played, the visitors couldn’t clear their lines from the set-piece and Michael Craig drilled back across the box right-footed for Robson to take a touch and convert from 10 yards out. Two minutes later it was 2-0 as Whittaker picked up the ball on the right-hand corner of the box before crashing a shot across goal and inside the base of the far post.

Just over two years on from his Under-18s debut, coincidentally also in a 4-0 home win over Norwich, forward Enock Asante led the line from the start for the first time but was denied by a sharp save from Rose before seeing a big chance to add to our lead go begging on 18 minutes. He ran clean through on goal and rounded the keeper, only for defender Arash Ahmadi to recover and make an impressive sliding block as he fired towards the unguarded net. Pedder saw his shot blocked in the box moments later but wasn’t to be denied seven minutes before the break as we won possession just inside Norwich’s half, the midfielder racing in down the left channel before lashing in for 3-0.

We made some really good decisions on the ball but off the ball I was really impressed with the tenacity and the work rate of the whole team.

Under-18s Coach Matt Taylor

Whittaker’s back-post header on the stretch came back off the crossbar in the opening exchanges of the second period as our domination of the ball continued. Under-16s forward Dane Scarlett almost scored with his first touch off the bench but was denied by another good stop from Rose while Tom Dickson-Peters went closest for the visitors when he placed a shot across goal but just wide of Josh Oluwayemi’s far post.

Midfielder Cooper thought he’d scored nine minutes from time with a decent strike from inside the box, only for Rose to hurl himself to his left and somehow keep it out, but when the same player collected a return pass from substitute Eddie Carrington and let fly from 25 yards shortly before the end, he put an exclamation mark on a fine first win of 2019/20.

Key moment

A good start was imperative after back-to-back defeats against Fulham and Brighton in our first two games of the season – and we certainly made one. On the attack from the off, we got ourselves ahead through Robson in the aftermath of a free-kick inside two minutes and, from there, it was one-way traffic.

Coach’s view

“The structure of the team was really good, our starting positions to press were really good but what the boys did is they earned the right to play,” said Under-18s Coach Matt Taylor. “They worked extremely hard, it was a hot day and when we won possession of the ball back, the majority of the time it was in the opposition’s third. We made some really good decisions on the ball but off the ball I was really impressed with the tenacity and the work rate of the whole team.

“One thing I have to say is the players have committed 100 per cent this week – training has been really good and today has topped it off. We’ve given the players lots of information, there’s been lots of tactical knowledge to take on board, we’ve spent a lot of time in the classroom and on the pitches and I’m really chuffed for the boys in there. Yes, it was nice to get a win but I said to the players afterwards that we won’t get carried away. It’s the first win and now that, for me, is the benchmark to push on.”

Spurs 4-0 Norwich City (Under-18 Premier League)

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Cesay, Lusala, Michael Craig, Matthew Craig, Binks, Cooper, Robson (Carrington 74), Asante (Scarlett 61), Pedder (Mundle 65), Whittaker. Substitute (not used): Kurylowicz.