Disappointing night for Under-21s against Toffees
Spurs 0-2 Everton (Premier League 2)
Fri 12 August 2022, 21:10|Tottenham Hotspur
Individual errors cost our Under-21s as we conceded twice inside the first 31 minutes and then couldn't recover in Friday night's Premier League 2 meeting with Everton.
Defender Marqes Muir's own goal and Tom Cannon's penalty - awarded when Muir was deemed to have brought down Sean McAllister in the box - did the damage, with our cause not helped by key players Jamie Bowden and Alfie Devine being forced to depart the action either side of half-time.
Space and shooting chances did start to open up for the likes of substitute Roshaun Mathurin and Nile John as the second period wore on, but it was ultimately a disappointing outcome in our first home game of the season at this level.
As in Monday's 2022/23 curtain-raiser at Leicester City, we succumbed to an early own goal, this time Muir steering the ball into his own net as he tried to clear Isaac Price's ball back across the six-yard box with only three minutes played. Unlike Monday, though, there was to be no fightback - despite Devine's shot being blocked in the box by Joe Anderson and Romaine Mundle blasting off-target as he surged towards the near post, we couldn't meaningfully impose ourselves on the game in the first period, Bowden carried off mid-way through the half and Cannon doubling his side's tally from the spot with just over half-an-hour played to compound our misery.
Our best chance of the first period arrived six minutes before the break when Jamie Donley's strong near-post header from Devine's cross was saved by Zan-Luk Leban but although we looked to have greater control of the second period, it was still mostly Everton with the chances, goalkeeper Josh Keeley kept busy by Charlie Whitaker and Cannon, while Anderson will have wanted to have done better when he planted a header across goal and wide from six yards out.
Devine then limped off, further hindering our attempts to get back into the game, but we still found a few late openings with his replacement Mathurin sneaking in behind full-back Kyle John but then seeing the ball run agonisingly behind as he tried to skip beyond Leban, while midfielder John had two good attempts at goal for us on 86 minutes and in stoppage time, the first one sailing just wide and the second saved by Leban. It simply wasn't our night at the Lamex Stadium.
'We found it difficult'
Under-21s Coach Wayne Burnett told SPURSPLAY: "We didn't start particularly well, we conceded another own goal like we did against Leicester, from one of our mistakes, so we're disappointed at the manner in which we conceded the goals and we found it difficult against a well-organised Everton team. It was difficult to break our opponents down - we didn't give ourselves the best opportunity to do that because when you concede two goals like we did, it gives them the momentum and it gives them an incentive, and so we found it difficult at times."
Wayne added that Bowden and Devine would be assessed over the problems that forced them off during the match.
Spurs 0-2 Everton (Premier League 2)
Spurs: Keeley, Ashcroft, Muir, Fagan-Walcott (Sayers 46), Cesay, Bowden (c) (Santiago 23), Mundle, Craig, Donley, Devine (Mathurin 78), John. Substitutes (not used): Maguire, Paskotsi.
Everton: Leban, John, Hunt, Campbell, Anderson, Butterfield (c), Price, Warrington (Kouyate 88), Cannon, Whitaker (Quirk 77), McAllister (Okoronkwo 85). Substitutes (not used): Barrett, Mallon.
Goals: Everton - Muir (OG) 3, Cannon 31 (pen).
Yellow cards: Spurs - Ashcroft 31, Mundle 76.
Referee: Scott Tallis.
Venue: Lamex Stadium, Stevenage.
Weather: Sunny, 27 degrees.