Under-23s defeated by Blackburn
Blackburn Rovers 4–0 Spurs (Premier League 2)
Mon 23 September 2019, 21:21|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Under-23s fell to their first defeat on the road this season as Blackburn Rovers stormed to a 4-0 win in the Premier League 2 on Monday night.
Forward Dominic Samuel opened the scoring on 23 minutes as he tapped in from close range following a corner before he doubled his side’s lead 12 minutes after the restart.
Stefan Mols then made it 3-0 on 69 minutes before Samuel completed his hat-trick with seven minutes remaining.
Despite the thunderous conditions in Leyland, we had made a lightning start to the game and twice came close to breaking the deadlock in the fourth minute. First, Harvey White saw his fierce free-kick cause panic in Rovers’ box as it squirmed through the wall before Paris Maghoma tested Joe Hilton from distance.
Our hosts quickly grew into the game though and started to push our early press back. Full-back Lewis Thompson began causing problems down our left flank as he continued to find space and on 10 minutes, it was that space which was almost exploited by his team-mate Jack Vale, but Tariq Hinds recovered well to block the winger’s near-post effort.
The wet surface was also creating issues. Centre-half Jon Dinzeyi fell victim to the slippery pitch on 19 minutes, which allowed Joe Rankin-Costello in on goal, but Brandon Austin comfortably dealt with his strike. Minutes later, however, Rovers were in front. A corner in from the left was flicked towards the far post by Sam Barnes where Samuel was waiting to tap the ball over the line.
That lead should have then been doubled on 32 minutes when Rankin-Costello found himself free at the back post, but he couldn’t direct his glancing header on target. Another chance went begging for the forward three minutes later but again he couldn’t get the required connection on the ball as it flashed across the goal mouth.
Half-time seemed much needed and after the restart, we did show a reaction, coming out with greater energy and intent and started to get a foothold on the play. Within 10 minutes of the resumption we had two good opportunities to get back into the game but both efforts, one from Phoenix Patterson and the latter from Jamie Bowden, were saved well by Hilton.
However, that renewed vigour was dashed moments later as on 57 minutes, our hosts doubled their lead. Brad Lyons sent the ball over the top, Samuels latched onto it and, after a collision in the box involving keeper Austin, the forward just had to tap the ball into the open goal.
Rovers then made it 3-0 on 69 minutes as they finished off a quick breakaway with Mols converting Vale’s cross before they completed the scoring on 83 minutes. A well-worked move eventually found Samuel on the edge of the box and, with space, the striker lashed the ball into the opposite corner of the goal.
We had come out for the second half looking brighter and more positive on the ball and managed to create some promising opportunities.
However, to go two behind on 57 minutes, with Samuel getting his second of the game, shattered any momentum we had created and Blackburn were able to put together a high-scoring win from there.
Blackburn 4–0 Spurs (Premier League 2)
Blackburn: Hilton, Doyle, Thompson, Davenport, Barnes, Grayson (c), Mols, Lyons, Samuel, Vale, Rankin-Costello. Substitutes (not used): Eastham, White, Whitehall, Brennan, Boyomo.
Spurs: Austin, Hinds, White, Bowden (c), Dinzeyi (Okedina 75), Lyons-Foster, Markanday, Maghoma, Patterson (Pochettino 68), Oakley-Boothe, Tracey. Substitutes (not used): Oluwayemi, Eyoma.
Goals: Rovers - Samuel 23, 57, 83, Mols 69.
Yellow cards: Rovers – Grayson 86, Rankin-Costello 87; Spurs – Dinzeyi 73, Bowden 86.
Referee: Steven Copeland.
Venue: The County Ground, Leyland.
Weather: Showers, 14 degrees.