This season there are more changes to the U-18 set-up as the end of season merit groups have been dropped in favour of a League Cup competition. The winners of the Southern group will play off against the winners of the North to decide the national winner. The U-18 Premier League Cup will be played during the normal season with the 24 teams split into six groups of four. They will play each other once with group winners and the two best runner-ups go into the quarter-finals when normal knock out rules apply. Spurs have been drawn in group E with Aston Villa, Fulham and Leicester City. There will also be a U-16 Premier League Cup running in tandem.
The development squads had plenty of matches in the last month but many were not open to the public and not advertised such as an academy tournament at Manchester United's training facility. Spurs sent a Spurs XI to play a couple of testimonials at Ebbsfleet(3-1) and Cambridge United(2-3) with Shayon Harrison scoring all our goals. An U-21 squad went to France for a tournament that they won winning all four matches with Harrison scoring in every match to continue his scoring run.
Spurs first game of the season was at home on the 12th with Norwich City the visitors. With most of the lads stepping up from the U-16 they have had a few minutes at least in the U-18's last season. There was one new boy in Dilan Markanday who impressed. If fact the whole team were impressive as they won 4-0 and could have had many more. It was almost a complete performance of academy football from beginning to end. Patterson got the first when he was played in on the left by Bowden. Bowden got the second after the keeper had made a double save from Patterson at one post and a double save from Markanday at the other. Griffiths had been kept quiet by the canaries defence until in the second half when he was played in by Bowden. Markanday got on the scoresheet when he was in the right position to capitalise when Patterson hit the post after his first effort was saved. Interesting point was that as Samuel Shashoua and Christian Maghoma have moved up to the U-23 squad they have been replaced in the U-18's by their younger brothers Armande and Paris.
Team(4-1-4-1) – De Bie(C), Lock, Omolabi, Lyons-Foster, Hinds, Bowden, Markanday(Asante 84), Shashoua(Maghoma 61), Reynolds, Patterson, Griffiths(Mukendi 61).
Unused Subs. - Oluwayemi, Statham.
Scorers – Patterson 27, Bowden 34, Griffiths 57, Markanday 67.
Spurs second game was away at Leicester City on the 19th. This showed the difference between Spurs academy football and more grown up football played by the hosts. Spurs played the ball around while Leicester played to stop them and hit them on the break. Spurs took the lead when Griffiths was played in Reynolds. Mistakes in defence let the foxes score twice with Bowden conceding a penalty to go in at half-time 3-1 down. Spurs made two changes for the second half including a new keeper who had a tricky start but settled. Leicester got a fourth from a free kick before Griffiths scored late from a Patterson cross to finish 4-2 losers.
Team(4-1-4-1) – De Bie(C)(Oluwayemi 46), Lock, Omolabi, Denzeyi, Hinds, Bowden(Maghoma 46), Markanday,Shashoua(Mukendi 74), Reynolds, Patterson, Griffiths.
Unused Subs. - Lyons-Foster, Statham.
Scorers – Griffiths 9, 90.
Spurs third game of the month was at home against Brighton on the 26th. Both sides tried to play football but each held a high line that compressed the play into the middle third which was not ideal for playing football. Neither side were able to take advantage even though they still created chances. Both sides hit the woodwork but it took until the 90th minute to see a goal. Unfortunately, it was Brighton that got it.
Team(4-1-4-1) – De Bie(C), Lock, Omolabi, Lyons-Foster, Hinds, Bowden, Markanday, Reynolds(Maghoma 63), Shashoua, Patterson(Mukendi 83), Griffiths(Richard 77).
Unused Sub. - Oluwayemi, Statham.
Booked – Omolabi 38, Bowden 85.
Spurs ended the month in seventh place in the Southern League.
Premier League 2
The opening game of the new season saw Spurs travel to Sunderland on the evening of Friday 11th. The game was played at the Eppleton Colliery Workers ground where Spurs have not won. The home side put them under pressure early on but Spurs gradually got into the game scoring first, somewhat against the run of play, when a quick turn by Sterling saw him through on goal. Spurs got on top and looked fairly comfortable for the three points until Pritchard gave the ball away which led to an equaliser. They almost held on for a point but a well taken second saw them leave empty handed.
Team(4-2-3-1) – Austin, Eyoma, Maghoma, Tanganga, Brown, Skipp, Tracey(Edwards 73), Pritchard(C), Duncan, Miller(Bennetts 66), Sterling(Loft 73).
Unused Subs. - O'Reilly, Shashoua.
Scorer – Sterling 34.
Booked – Maghoma 37, Eyoma 81.
The second game was at Hotspur Way on the 21st with promoted West Ham the visitors. It was a close game with little between the sides. Spurs took a two goal lead in the first half when Duncan scored from a lay off by Tracey from Millers cross and the second came from the penalty spot scored by Edwards after he won the penalty himself. It all turned around when the hammers scored three in a fifteen-minute spell. Spurs were not as sharp as in their first game but it was still a close game fought mainly in midfield as both sides looked to play passing football.
Team(4-1-4-1) – Austin, Eyoma, Tanganga, Brown, Bennetts, Skipp, Edwards, Pritchard(C), Duncan(Shashoua 73), Miller(Loft 58), Tracey(Sterling 79).
Unused Subs – O'Reilly, Dinzeyi.
Scorers – Duncan 32, Edwards 44pen.
Booked – Skipp 74.
Spurs last game of the month saw them take on Manchester United at Stevenage on the 25th. Spurs got a rare victory over the reds winning 3-0. After early United pressure Spurs got on top. Edwards played in Pritchard and when the ball was not cleared Edwards cut inside and hit a lovely curling effort to open the scoring. They got a second two minutes later when Tanganga headed in a corner from Pritchard. Pritchard got the third when he got in behind to collect a return from Eyoma and finish from a tight angle. Spurs had chances to add more goals early in the second half before having to weather a strong push by United later in the game. The closest they came was hitting a post while Sterling had a goal ruled out for offside.
Team(4-1-4-1) – Austin, Eyoma, Tanganga, Brown, Bennetts, Skipp, Edwards, Pritchard(C), Amos(Duncan 63), Tracey(Shashoua 86), Sterling(Loft 77).
Scorers - Edwards 9, Tanganga 11, Pritchard 23.
Unused Subs – O'Reilly, Marsh.
Booked – Pritchard 58, Amos 60, Skipp 83.
Spurs finished the month in eighth place.
Premier League International Cup
Spurs U-23 squad are taking part in this seasons competition and have been drawn in Group F with West Ham United, Benfica and Villarreal. All the games are being played at Stevenage. The first game was against West Ham on the last day of the month. Having lost to the hammers in the league meeting ten days before this turned out to be sweet revenge as Spurs hammered them 7-2. The first half was fairly even with both sides playing open football but Spurs were getting through their back line. The opening goal came from a corner with Maghoma having a clear heading chance that he buried. That was followed quickly with a second from Sterling played in by Tracey. West Ham won a penalty that Whiteman saved and just before the break they got a second spot kick which was converted. Spurs hit four goals in a 15 minute spell that killed them off at the beginning of the second half. First Pritchard paid a one two with Sterling to score and then Shashoua got his first with a low drive. The next was set up by a lovely through ball from Shashoua that Sterling made no mistake with before Duncan hit the sixth from the right. Shashoua added the seventh after a good run for 7-1. The ref then gave United two penalties in a minute. The first Whiteman saved for a corner from which they got another penalty which was converted as Spurs saw out the game. Sterling had a goal ruled out for a foul on the keeper which would have given him a hat-trick. Three points and a good goal difference to start the group.
Team(3-2-4-1) – Whiteman, Marsh(Lock 69), Maghoma, Lyons-Foster, Amos, Duncan, Tracey(Loft 69), Shashoua(Tsaroulla 83), Pritchard(C), Georgiou, Sterling.
Unused Sub. - Austin.
Scorers – Maghoma 10, Sterling 12, 63, Pritchard 51, Shashoua 58, 68, Duncan 64.
In this competition for lower league clubs, Premier clubs can enter a U-21 team in the group stages with three other teams. The Premier sides play all their games away. Group winners progress into knockout rounds. The games are played over 90 minutes with no extra time. In the case of a draw each team pick up a point but in true American style, they go to penalties for a winner. The winner of the penalty shoot out gets a bonus point. Spurs travelled to Luton Town for their opening group game. They were put under intense pressure throughout the game going behind early. Spurs equalised when Pritchard's low drive hit the near post and bounced into the net off the keepers back. At the beginning of the second half they broke away with Miller sending Loft through to put Spurs ahead. Luton soon equalised and despite Bennetts hitting a post the game ended a draw. Spurs lost the penalty shootout 4-2 with Shashoua hitting a post with the opening kick and Bennetts firing over. Maghoma and Sterling converted theirs.
Team(4-1-4-1) – Austin, Dinzeyi(Eyoma 61), Maghoma, Tanganga, Bennetts, Skipp, Tracey(Shashoua 70), Pritchard(C), Duncan, Miller, Loft(Sterling 67).
Unused Subs. - De Bie, Roles.
Scorers – o.g. 21, Loft 47.
After one round of games Wimbledon are top with3 points, Luton have 2 and Spurs third with 1 point.
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