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Moore bags hat-trick as Under-18s hit Saints for six

Southampton 3-6 Spurs (Under-18 Premier League)

Fri 02 February 2024, 14:04|Tottenham Hotspur

Mikey Moore netted a sparkling hat-trick as our Under-18s twice came from a goal down to win 6-3 at Southampton on Friday morning.

A sumptuous solo effort from the attacking midfielder, which followed an emphatic Oli Irow strike, had put us 2-1 up in the first half following Princewill Ehibhatiomhan’s early opener for the hosts but, after finding ourselves 3-2 down just before the hour mark, a blitz of four goals in eight minutes – including two further well-taken efforts from Moore – blew our opponents away.

Leo Black, made captain for the day, also contributed an excellent goal, with Callum Olusesi rounding off our side of the scoreline at Staplewood.

It was a satisfying day’s work for Stuart Lewis’ side, especially with Han Willhoft-King, Yusuf Akhamrich and Pele Arganese-McDermott all marking their first starts after respective injury lay-offs in a much-changed side – the latter with his first-ever start in a competitive Under-18s game alongside centre-back partner Theo Adelusi, who started a league game at this level for the first time. The result leaves us joint-top of the Under-18 Premier League southern division, although West Ham are ahead on goal difference and have played a game less.

Southampton started brightly with Ehibhatiomhan turning home Will Merry’s cross from close range inside four minutes, but after Akhamrich dragged a shot wide, we levelled in the 12th minute when Irow blasted high into the net. Moore then took matters into his own hands to put us ahead on 24 minutes, embarking on one of his trademark solo runs before sliding home.

Three minutes later, though, the Saints equalised as Ehibhatiomhan found the net from six yards after we’d failed to clear our lines in the wake of an Aston Daley free-kick that hit the post. Carey Bloedorn subsequently denied Merry, while Black went close for us as a rip-roaring first half came to a close, with Bloedorn called upon once again at the start of the second to thwart Daley one-against-one.

Just before the hour mark, Southampton forged ahead as Nick Oyekunle caused us problems at the back, his drive going in off unfortunate defender Arganese-McDermott. However, we responded in stunning fashion with a four-goal salvo in a short space of time to clinch the game. First, Moore made it 3-3 on 62 minutes with a low shot that went it off the far post, before the same player curled home to complete his treble and put us back into the lead four minutes later.

Black then got in on the act with a fantastic long-range strike within 60 seconds, before Olusesi wrapped up the scoring 20 minutes from time.

‘We had a spell with some of our best football in recent weeks’

Under-18s Coach Stuart took a number of positives away from the victory: “It was a really pleasing performance,” he said. “We came back from 1-0 down to go 2-1 up with two really good goals – the first one, we won it back high up the pitch and Oli Irow produced a good finish, Mikey Moore then intercepted the ball centrally and did brilliantly to score a good solo goal, we then conceded after a free-kick but in general in the second half, although we went 3-2 down, we were excellent and we had a period where we played some of our best football in recent weeks. Some of our final third combinations were excellent and Mikey and Leo both scored some great individual goals too, so it was very pleasing.

“We also had three individuals – Pele, Han and Yusuf – making their first starts for a lengthy period of time after injury, which was really positive and they gave a good account of themselves. Leo Black played very well in central midfield – he was captain today and was excellent. He brought great energy and quality in the central areas and he deserved his goal – a brilliant strike from 25 yards – which capped a positive week individually after his debut for the Under-21s on Tuesday. Mikey came up with three excellent goals and he’s really starting to get back into his rhythm now, so it was a pleasing performance all round and we’ve gained some more momentum going into a big game on Tuesday now in the FA Youth Cup.”

Southampton 3-6 Spurs (Under-18 Premier League)

Spurs: Bloedorn, Egan-Riley, King (Logan 73), Arganese-McDermott (Chaplin 65), Adelusi, Willhoft-King (Olusesi 60), Morgan, Black (c), Irow, Moore (Lehane 73), Akhamrich (Adewole 60).