Under-23s victorious over Rams
Spurs 3-1 Derby County (Premier League 2)
Mon 27 September 2021, 21:12|Tottenham Hotspur
A fast start paved the way for a deserved 3-1 win for our Under-23s over Derby County at Stevenage on Monday night.
Nile John's well-taken opener inside two minutes set the tone and we never looked back, Dilan Markanday doubling our lead on 20 minutes to put us firmly in the driving seat.
Luke Plange's reply shortly before the half-hour mark kept the Rams in touching distance but we stayed largely on the front foot and saw a handful of chances slip away before Alfie Devine hammered home 13 minutes from time to put the result beyond doubt.
The game had barely got started when full-back Marcel Lavinier sent John roaming forward and, after getting himself into a shooting position on the edge of the box, the midfielder hammered into the far bottom corner on his right foot to give us an early breakthrough. Max Bardell put a header just over for Derby but it was soon 2-0 as a fine cross-field pass from deep by Jack Clarke sent Markanday racing forward on the right and he cut inside before drilling inside the near post on his left foot from 18 yards out.
Devine's dangerous cut-back was well held by goalkeeper Harrison Foulkes at the near post with Dane Scarlett and Markanday waiting to pounce in the middle while Marqes Muir's fierce shot from inside the box was somehow cleared off the line in the wake of Harvey White's free-kick.
The visitors grabbed a lifeline on 27 minutes when Connor Dixon found space on the right and his cross was turned in by Plange from 10 yards out, but we continued to get into good positions, Clarke and Devine both threatening, only to find Foulkes in solid form.
Derby had a handful of chances in the opening exchanges of the second half, Plange - twice - and Jordan Brown going close, while half-time substitute Yago Santiago just couldn't quite convert Markanday's low cross in amongst all that for us as the frenetic nature of the game continued. There was a similar situation just after the hour mark with John hurling himself at Devine's cross in front of goal without managing to steer the ball on target, while Muir bravely blocked Brown's free-kick from within our wall - one of a handful of important defensive interventions from the centre-back during the second period.
Markanday saw a couple of shots from the right angle repelled but we finally found a third goal to kill the game off on 77 minutes. Santiago won the ball in an advanced position and laid it down the right to Markanday, his cut-back found Devine and the midfielder turned and lashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner from six yards out. White might have added his name to the scoresheet with a late run into the box, but his well-struck attempt was matched by Foulkes.
'We took our goals well'
Under-23s Coach Wayne Burnett reflected: "We played some good football with high energy and enthusiasm, we got into some good areas again and took our goals well with some good individual play. Their goalkeeper made some very good saves and they had some chances as well. It wasn't an easy game, it's always competitive against Derby but overall I felt we deserved to win. We were in control but at 2-1, it's a scoreline where the game can change very quickly. Derby got a little bit of momentum in the second half but when we got the third goal I felt we took more control of the game and dominated the ball a little better. It's a pleasing performance."
Spurs 3-1 Derby County (Premier League 2)
Spurs: Oluwayemi, Cesay, Lavinier, White (c), Muir, Omole, Markanday, John, Scarlett (Santiago 46), Devine, Clarke (Matthew Craig 84). Substitutes (not used): Lo-Tutala, Fagan-Walcott, Paskotsi.
Derby County: Foulkes, McDonald, Hutchinson, Bardell, Cashin (c), Grewal-Pollard (Ebiowei 82), Thompson, Brown, Cybulski, Dixon, Plange. Substitutes (not used): Roberts, Solomon, Clarke, Matthews.
Goals: Spurs - John 2, Markanday 20, Devine 77; Derby County - Plange 27.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Omole 54; Derby County - Hutchinson 62.
Referee: Robert Whitton.
Venue: Lamex Stadium, Stevenage.
Weather: Partly cloudy, moderate breeze, 13 degrees.