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Winning run continues as Under-18s see off Reading

Spurs 3-0 Reading (Under-18 Premier League)

Sat 23 September 2023, 14:04|Tottenham Hotspur

Our Under-18s made it four wins on the spin with a 3-0 home victory over Reading on Saturday.

Riding a wave of momentum after the recent triumphs over Arsenal, Blackburn and Brighton – coupled with another excellent 5-2 victory against the Gunners in our first match in defence of the Under-17 Premier League Cup in midweek – we dominated the first half at Hotspur Way, taking a deserved lead through Mikey Moore but then failing to capitalise on a number of other opportunities in the opening 45 minutes.

The visitors tightened up after the break and posed us a few more challenges, but two goals in as many minutes around the hour mark from Ellis Lehane and Moore sealed the three points with a number of good individual performances also on show.

We pushed forward right from the off and you sensed it was only a matter of time before we took the lead. The breakthrough duly arrived in the 13th minute as the excellent Maeson King played Moore into a shooting position in the left channel inside the box and he produced a fine finish to beat Reading goalkeeper Harrison Rhone.

Our keeper Carey Bloedorn had a rare first-half involvement when he got down to routinely stop Jarae Jones’ low free-kick but most of the action was happening at the other end, Moore and Yusuf Akhamrich both flagged offside amid good chances with Moore and Callum Olusesi subsequently seeing multiple shots blocked in the box amid a sustained period of pressure 10 minutes before the break.

Damola Ajayi, back on Under-18s duty after starting the season with the Under-21s, squandered a good opportunity from King’s delivery while Moore’s low drive was put behind by the hard-working Rhone as we continued on the front foot right up until the interval but with the Royals adjusting things at the start of the second period, we didn’t seem to create as many clear-cut opportunities until the hour mark when Moore’s cross from the right was fumbled by Rhone into the path of half-time substitute Lehane, who used his forward momentum to knock the ball back into the net.

Two minutes later we had the third as Olusesi advanced down the right amid a nice flowing attack and his centre was swept home by Moore, whose further attempt a little while later was deflected behind for a corner.

Reading went close in the latter stages through Joseph Barough’s low free-kick from just outside the box, but Bloedorn was down sharply to smother on his line and preserve his clean sheet.

Reaction on SPURSPLAY

‘The third goal was outstanding’

“It was a really pleasing performance and result, but I still think there could be more,” said Under-18s Coach Stuart Lewis. “We had a lot of penalty box and final-third entries and our message at half-time was that we’d arrived in the final third on a number of occasions but with the scoreline at 1-0, we wanted more. I thought we were very good in the second half and the third goal was outstanding, a really good team goal, so that’s pleasing. We’ve done a lot of work on that this week on the training pitch so it was great for Mikey to get his second goal and a real team goal at that. On the whole it was a really pleasing result and it’s good to carry on that winning momentum.”

Lehane’s goal completed a productive seven days for the striker after he netted twice against Brighton last weekend and once again in midweek in the Under-17s’ cup victory against Arsenal, joined on the scoresheet by Herbie James, Kieran Morgan (2) and Luca Williams-Barnett.

“We won 5-2 and that was again a really good performance from the lads, and we’ve carried that momentum on into today,” added Stuart. “It was good for Ellis to get his goal today – that’s four in three games for him now – and there’s been some really pleasing individual displays that we’ve had in the last few weeks as well as the results, so we’ll be challenging the boys to keep pushing on. We go to West Brom now with confidence but also respecting the opposition and making sure that we prepare right this week on the training pitch.”

Spurs 3-0 Reading (Under-18 Premier League)

Spurs: Bloedorn, Black, King, Chaplin (c), Rowswell, Hall, Irow (Egan-Riley 85), Olusesi (Morgan 66), Ajayi (Lehane 46), Moore, Akhamrich (James 66). Substitute (not used): Krasniqi.