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#U18 #MatchReport #WestBrom #ThimotheeLo-Tutala

Under-18s hold out with 10 men against Baggies

Spurs 0-0 West Brom (Under-18 Premier League)

Sat 19 December 2020, 14:29|Tottenham Hotspur

Thimothee Lo-Tutala’s brilliant penalty save earned our 10-man Under-18s a point against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

The goalkeeper dived low down to his left to deny Jovan Malcolm in the first half at Hotspur Way and thwarted the same player on a handful of occasions after the restart as our final Under-18 Premier League game before Christmas ended goalless.

We had to play out the last 25 minutes with one less player after central defender Maksim Paskotsi was shown a straight red card, having been adjudged to have prevented a goalscoring opportunity when striker Mo Faal ran through after a mistake in midfield. But we deserved at least a point from a gruelling, physical game and could have won it near the end, only for centre-forward Jamie Donley’s shot to be scrambled off the line by Ethan Ingram.

Donley, up from the Under-16s for his second competitive appearance at this level, was joined in the line-up by Eddie Carrington, who made his first league start of the season filling in at right-back.

Faal fired over in a great chance for the Baggies inside two minutes, while Yago Santiago dragged across goal and wide in a good chance for us as we approached the half-hour mark.

West Brom were handed a chance to take the lead on 33 minutes when Michael Craig was deemed to have fouled Zac Ashworth in the box, but captain Lo-Tutala dived low to his left to superbly get both hands on Malcolm’s spot-kick and push it around the post. Donley then fired just wide on his left foot at the other end after Kallum Cesay impressively stormed the length of the pitch from left-back.

Both sides saw players go into the book as the challenges flew in but after Ashworth narrowly missed for West Brom with a free-kick, a red card was brandished on 65 minutes when Lo-Tutala and Paskotsi advanced to meet Faal as he broke free through the centre of the pitch and the defender was deemed to have fouled the front man, getting his marching orders as a result.

We played on impressively despite the disadvantage in numbers and Malcolm met his match in Lo-Tutala, the goalkeeper brilliantly saving three separate shots of his from the left angle in the last quarter-of-an-hour, with Faal unable to keep his efforts down when the second ball came to him on two of those three occasions.

We might have won it three minutes from time, but Donley’s shot on his right foot was well cleared off the line by the retreating Ingram.

‘A point gained’

All things considered, with changes to his starting line-up, players playing in unfamiliar positions and the sending-off, Under-18s Coach Matt Taylor was pleased with the players’ efforts: “The difference between our last performance in the league at Crystal Palace (5-1 win) and today was the finer details in the final third,” he said. “We made a few too many wrong decisions but Thimmi in goal was outstanding with the saves that he made. We made a lot of changes today, some players played out of position, but with the sending-off with half-an-hour left to play, the boys really dug in and I thought we were really good with 10 men. We were brave on the ball, played in the right manner and continued to show our identity – I think at times when you go down to 10 men, you can try to alter who you are and what you are, and I was really pleased that we didn’t do that – and I was really happy that the boys continued to trust each other with the ball, while physically we worked extremely hard as well, so it’s a point gained today because for a third of the game, we were down to 10 men. All in all, it was a decent result.”

Spurs 0-0 West Brom (Under-18 Premier League)

Spurs: Lo-Tutala (c), Carrington, Cesay, Michael Craig, Matthew Craig, Paskotsi, Santiago, John, Donley, Mundle (Robson 59), Mathurin (Whittaker 68). Substitutes (not used): Hayton, Torraj.