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#U18 #MatchReport #BirminghamCity #JadenWilliams #GeorgeAbbott

Williams rampant in big win for Under-18s

Spurs 7-0 Birmingham City (Under-18 Premier League)

Sat 19 March 2022, 14:50|Tottenham Hotspur

Jaden Williams scored an incredible five goals and assisted our other two as our Under-18s stormed to a 7-0 home win over Birmingham City on Saturday lunchtime.

The young striker was too hot to handle in the glorious sunshine at Hotspur Way, converting two well-struck shots in the first period before netting a slightly fortuitous third just after half-time when his goal-bound attempt took a deflection off a defender and sailed into the net.

His and our fourth soon followed from the penalty spot after he was brought down in the box by Luke Carsley, before he teed up midfielder George Abbott to fire into the top corner for his first goal of the season at this level.

A nonchalant finish past Blues goalkeeper Alfie Brooks from a tight angle completed Williams’ haul mid-way through the second half before captain Rio Kyerematen seized on the front man’s pass to bring up a magnificent seven and complete our biggest Under-18 Premier League win since November, 2020 – just what was needed after a tough run of results for Stuart Lewis’ side.

It could have been a very different story had goalkeeper Aaron Maguire not pulled off a vital double-save to deny Birmingham skipper Kieran Wakefield one-on-one inside four minutes, defender Jordan Hackett heading off the line in the aftermath of the second one, but in truth we looked comfortable from an early stage, Kyerematen seeing a lot of the ball in central areas in the first 20 minutes, only to find his path to goal continuously blocked by the visiting defence.

Williams lifted an audacious shot onto the roof of the net on 26 minutes but made no mistake for the opener three minutes later, latching onto Max McKnight’s pass and applying a cool finish from just inside the box. Maguire and centre-back Alfie Dorrington combined to deny Wakefield at the other end four minutes later and from there we broke forward to score our second, Williams sweeping home from the edge of the area with keeper Brooks rooted to the spot.

Under-16s defender Archie Chaplin went close with a first-time shot from a corner towards the end of the first half and we continued on the front foot after the restart, McKnight with a short pass inside from the right to Williams, whose shot deflected off a defender and crept inside the post for his hat-trick on 47 minutes. Williams then made it four with a 51st-minute spot-kick having initially seemed to have got away from Carsley before being brought down by the retreating defender.

We looked a threat every time we went forward and on 58 minutes it was Abbott’s turn to hit the target. McKnight shrugged off two defenders as he burst through on the right side of the box, his cut-back was worked to Abbott via Kyerematen and Williams and the midfielder’s eyes lit up as he ran onto the ball and sent in flying into the top corner from the edge of the area – no better way to open his Under-18s account.

Substitutes Sam Amo-Ameyaw and Riley Owen almost combined for another one shortly afterwards but Owen’s marker did well to get goal-side of him and clear the danger, but when Owen drove towards the box and slipped Williams in down the inside left channel on 68 minutes, it was 6-0 thanks to a delicate finish from a tight angle by the striker. We completed the scoring five minutes later as Kyerematen was quickest to Williams’ forward pass and clipped the ball past the helpless Brooks. Birmingham, to their credit, kept going and had a couple of near-misses through substitute Byron Rendleton in the last few moments, but Maguire kept his clean sheet intact to round off an excellent day’s work from our young players.

'In the final third we were ruthless and showed some real quality'

Under-18s Coach Stuart Lewis gave full credit to his players for putting an emphatic end to their recent winless league run and reserved praise for the dominant Williams, declaring: “It was an outstanding individual display from Jaden. He thoroughly deserved his five goals and the quality on his assists was outstanding as well, but I thought his work rate and how he set the tone for our display with the way he got after the ball and how he pressed the ball was excellent and he got his rewards with the goals and assists. He’s been consistent throughout the season with that and I’m pleased that he’s taken a match ball home this evening.”

On the overall outcome, he added: “It was a really positive day for the boys and I thought it was a really pleasing performance and result. It was great to earn a clean sheet and in the final third we were ruthless and showed some real quality in our play, so we thoroughly deserved the victory. There have been some results recently where perhaps performance-wise we haven’t always deserved the outcome, but today I thought the performance and result coincided with one another and we got our rewards for how we played.

“The boys are in a really good place, they’re working hard day in, day out, they’re progressing and playing some good football but the focus will now be on the next game and another good training week and hopefully we can carry this momentum on. We’ve had a player playing for the Under-23s yesterday (Jamie Donley) so that’s positive too, but now we’ve all got to keep working and challenging the boys individually to keep pushing their levels.”

Spurs 7-0 Birmingham City (Under-18 Premier League)

Spurs: Maguire, Andiyapan, Hackett, Willhoft-King (Heaps 55), Dorrington, Chaplin, McKnight (Owen 62), Abbott, Williams, Kyerematen (c), Torraj (Amo-Ameyaw 62). Substitutes (not used): Krasniqi, Linton.