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Scarlett quadruple in seven-goal win for Under-18s

Spurs 7-0 Southampton (Under-18 Premier League)

Sat 21 November 2020, 22:30|Tottenham Hotspur

Dane Scarlett bagged four goals – including a hat-trick of headers – as our Under-18s scored a magnificent seven against Southampton on Saturday.

The striker nodded home Tarrelle Whittaker’s cross in the first half as we went in at the break with a 3-0 lead at Hotspur Way, finished off a slick move involving Alfie Devine and Yago Santiago to score his second just beyond the hour mark, before heading home twice more – both from Romaine Mundle deliveries – in the latter stages.

Devine had earlier given us the lead following a mistake at the back by the Saints, with the influential Mundle making it 2-0 with a superb first-time strike from outside the area. Defender Maksim Paskotsi bagged a fortuitous second-half goal as an attempted clearance ricocheted in off his head.

In a further plus point, midfielder Max Robson returned off the bench for his first competitive appearance of the season following an injury.

We were ahead just eight minutes in when Scarlett’s presence in the box forced visiting goalkeeper Matt Hall to scuff his clearance straight to midfielder Devine, who hammered into the empty net. Southampton did carry a threat themselves, though, with Scarlett sliding in to block a shot from Marco Rus in his own box, while goalkeeper Thimothee Lo-Tutala palmed Zuriel Otseh-Taiwo’s attempt away amid a congested area.

Mundle netted a stylish second for us on 21 minutes, running onto Kallum Cesay’s low ball in from the right and sweeping home a first-time shot that sailed across the goalkeeper and nestled into the far corner of the net. Hall made a double save to thwart Devine and Scarlett moments later, the striker then hit the post in a separate chance before he finally got himself off the mark with a stooping header in the six-yard box from Whittaker’s cross six minutes before the break.

Goal number four arrived in the 61st minute and again it was beautifully-crafted. Devine played an early defence-splitting pass from deep, Santiago ferried it on with a deft back-heeled flick and Scarlett finished it off, slamming home from the left angle inside the box.

Santiago saw his shot blocked after making a good solo run, but in the 69th minute it was Scarlett again who found the net, notching up his hat-trick with a header from Mundle’s right-sided free-kick that flew in off the keeper’s left-hand post. Scarlett tried his luck from a tight angle on the right moments later after being played in by substitute Nile John, but Hall made himself big to block at his near post.

We scored our sixth goal on 73 minutes with Cesay’s cross flicked on into the danger zone by the returning Robson, with an attempted clearance at the far post hitting Paskotsi and sailing back into the net. Lo-Tutala had to make a couple of sharp low saves from Southampton substitute Luke Pearce in the closing stages, but Scarlett finished things off for us in the 82nd minute with a clinical header from another Mundle cross that flew inside the near post. Whittaker had one final attempt a minute from time, but his rising drive flew just off-target.

‘In the second half we were excellent’

Despite the large winning margin, Under-18s Coach Matt Taylor wasn’t entirely satisfied with our first-half display: “I thought 3-0 at half-time probably flattered our performance,” he admitted. “We weren’t as fluid in the first half with our play as I would have wanted, we scored three very good goals but it didn’t flow as well as what we’d spoken about during the week, making sure that we performed well from minute one.

“But it’s pleasing in a lot of aspects because we were ruthless in front of goal, which is something we haven’t done often enough this season. In the second half we were excellent, dominant in every aspect, we used the ball extremely well, we had excellent varied play in terms of the fact that we were able to break lines, we were able to play through the thirds but also we were aware, because of the conditions, that sometimes we had to play slightly longer. We were confident in possession and to score four goals in the second half was really pleasing. The most important thing for me was that we kept a clean sheet. We’ve spoken to the boys a lot about expectation and today it was focusing on the individual expectation from themselves and it was a positive performance.”

Spurs 7-0 Southampton (Under-18 Premier League)

Spurs: Lo-Tutala (c), Cesay, Hackett (John 69), Matthew Craig (Michael Craig 65), Muir, Paskotsi, Whittaker, Devine (Robson 69), Scarlett, Santiago, Mundle. Substitutes (not used): Maguire, Lusala.