Five alive in FA Youth Cup!
Spurs 5-1 Ipswich Town (FA Youth Cup)
Thu 16 December 2021, 21:15|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Under-18s rediscovered their goalscoring touch to book a place in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup at the expense of Ipswich Town on Thursday night.
Without a goal in almost 400 minutes of football coming into the tie, we quickly laid that unwanted record to rest as the returning Jaden Williams fired into the roof of the net inside six minutes, Alfie Devine soon adding a cool second as we controlled the early stages at Stevenage before going on to complete a 5-1 win in the latter stages.
Ashley Boatswain had reduced the arrears for the Professional Development League side shortly before the hour mark but despite a lack of chances for us in the first half-an-hour of the second period, we maintained our lead before substitute Jez Davies inspired a late push to rubber-stamp the victory, scoring twice and setting up Khalon Haysman in between, goalkeeper Luca Gunter also saving a late penalty from Tawanda Chirewa when the score was 3-1.
The result - our biggest win of the season at this level in our last Under-18 game before Christmas - sees us advance to a rematch with our Youth Cup conquerors of last season, West Bromwich Albion, in round four.
Available-again Williams came straight back in as one of two changes to the starting line-up from Saturday's Under-18 Premier League defeat to Leicester City and didn't take long to open the scoring, converting at the near post after his initial effort from Max McKnight's cross was saved by Lewis Ridd.
Ipswich were often a threat from corners, Harry Knock heading just over on one of them mid-way through the first half, but Gunter was largely untroubled thanks to a strong showing from the centre-back pairing of Alfie Dorrington and Charlie Sayers. Despite a spell of pressure from the visitors, Devine doubled our lead on 28 minutes when he collected Han Willhoft-King's pass inside the box, side-stepped his marker and deftly rolled the ball past Ridd.
We defended a succession of Ipswich corners at the start of the second half well, Dorrington heading one of them practically off the line, but after a cross from the right, Boatswain was eventually able to score with a shot-on-the-turn to get Ipswich back into the game at 2-1 with 57 minutes gone.
It took us almost half an hour of the second half to have a serious attempt at goal, Brandon Bryan-Waugh's shot from distance deflected behind for a corner, but with eight minutes of normal time remaining, we eased any nerves with a third goal, Davies running through to slot into an empty net just moments after coming on, following a collision between Ridd and defender Edwin Adbaje on the edge of their own area. That sparked a frantic last few minutes as Chirewa fired a free-kick just wide for Ipswich before seeing his penalty - awarded for Bryan-Waugh's challenge on Jesse Nwabueze - saved by Gunter as the game entered added time.
Haysman made it 4-1 in the 93rd minute, his shot creeping inside the far post at the second time of asking after he was initially denied by Ridd following an unselfish square pass from Davies, with the latter adding the icing on the cake three minutes later when he brought McKnight's cross under control and slotted low into the net.
'A pleasing performance'
"It's a great result for the boys," beamed Under-18s Coach Stuart Lewis. "It's been a challenging few weeks, some individuals have been out, but it's been a really pleasing night and with the celebrations and the togetherness after the game, it's great for the boys to enjoy these sorts of moments and hopefully nights like this can drive them on to experience more during their careers.
"We spoke about starting on the front foot. On an evening like this where there might be some pre-match nerves, it was important that we started with a purpose and a real intensity to the game and both our early goals were outstanding with some excellent individual and collective moments. In both boxes we were very good, we defended their set-pieces, stood up and took responsibility well, so it was a pleasing all-round performance."
Spurs 5-1 Ipswich Town (FA Youth Cup)
Spurs: Gunter, Bryan-Waugh, Hackett, Willhoft-King, Dorrington, Sayers, McKnight, Kyerematen (Cassanova 59), Williams (J Davies 77), Devine (c), Hall (Haysman 68). Substitutes (not used): Hayton, Andiyapan, Amo-Ameyaw, Bloxham.
Ipswich Town: Ridd, Adbaje (F Barbrook 83), Knock, Bradshaw, Stephenson, Armin (c), Buabo (Osbourne 69), Humphreys, Boatswain (Nwabueze 78), Chirewa, Manly. Substitutes (not used): Cullum, Cousens, H Barbrook, Moodie.
Goals: Spurs - Williams 6, Devine 28, Davies 82, 90+6, Haysman 90+3; Ipswich - Boatswain 57.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Hackett 79, Gunter 87.
Referee: M Norton.
Venue: Lamex Stadium, Stevenage.
Weather: Cloudy, nine degrees.