Under-18s report: Tottenham 1 Chelsea 1
news Sat 22 Oct 2016
An open game with numerous chances for both sides ended with a share of the Under-18 Premier League points as Jody Morris’s team travelled to take on Tottenham this morning (Saturday).
Marc Guehi’s header had put the visitors in front midway through the opening period but their advantage lasted just three minutes before Spurs equalised courtesy of Samuel Shashoua’s strike. Martell Taylor-Crossdale then skewed a penalty wide after the restart, before substitute Charlie Brown thought he had struck a late winner in stoppage time, although the officials ruled that his rebound effort hadn’t crossed the line.
Morris continued with a midfield diamond and a two-pronged attack spearheaded by Harvey St Clair and Taylor-Crossdale. Joseph Colley came into the back four alongside Guehi, Reece James and Cole Dasilva, protecting Jamie Cumming in goal. Juan Castillo replaced George McEachran at the top of the diamond, the latter having departed for European Championship qualification with England’s Under-17 side, with captain Luke McCormick, Tariq Uwakwe and Conor Gallagher retaining their spots in the side.
The Blues made an impressive start in Hertfordshire, pressing Spurs in possession from the front and making life difficult for their hosts on the ball at every opportunity. St Clair fired a free-kick narrowly over and shot just wide but it wasn’t until the 18th minute that the home goalkeeper Jonathan de Bie was forced into serious action.
The problems were self-inflicted as Japhet Tanganga’s back pass lacked power and Taylor-Crossdale capitalised, latching on to the loose ball and racing towards goal. However, the league’s joint-top scorer was thwarted by excellent goalkeeping as the Belgian stopper timed his intervention perfectly and pushed the ball away from danger.
St Clair then forced a routine save before Morris’s men took a deserved lead after 25 minutes. The breakthrough was forced through a well-worked yet simple set-piece routine from the right. Colley rose highest to meet Uwakwe’s inswinging corner and intelligently headed back across goal for Guehi to nod in from close range.
Tottenham were level within three minutes after responding well. Reo Griffiths aimed straight at Cumming before Dylan Duncan teed up Shashoua with a neat forward pass. The midfielder did the rest with style, rounding Cumming before slotting into an unguarded net.
The remainder of the half proved to be an end-to-end contest and the score could conceivably have been 3-3 at the break. Cumming produced an extraordinary save to claw Jack Roles’s strike behind and St Clair missed the target from close range following an excellent delivery from James down the right.
The second period took a while longer to get going. Cumming pushed Griffiths’s shot over the crossbar before the referee awarded the Blues a penalty kick with 65 minutes played. Uwakwe had set Castillo clear with a great pass and the Dutchman was clearly impeded by Nicholas Tsaroulla, the full-back. Taylor-Crossdale, with eight goals to his name already this term, looked certain to score but pulled his effort wide of the left upright.
There were chances for both sides to steal the points in the final 20 minutes. Brown stretched but could not work De Bie after another wonderful right-sided cross from James, while Shashoua drove the ball narrowly wide of the far post following substitute Matthew Lock’s delivery.
The visitors were ready to celebrate in added time as St Clair’s shot was saved and Brown pounced on the rebound inside the six-yard box. It looked as though the forward had bundled the ball over the line but the officials failed to award the goal and we were left to claim just the one point on our travels.
Morris’s side return to action next Saturday 29 October with a home game against Leicester City. Meanwhile, their trip to Brighton & Hove Albion has been rescheduled and will now be played on Friday 4 November at 7pm.
Chelsea (4-diamond-2) Jamie Cumming; Reece James, Joseph Colley, Marc Guehi, Cole Dasilva; Luke McCormick (c), Tariq Uwakwe, Conor Gallagher (Charlie Brown 70), Juan Castillo; Harvey St Clair, Martell Taylor-Crossdale
Unused subs Richard Nartey, Jared Thompson, Tariq Lamptey, Jon Russell
Scorer Guehi 25
Booked St Clair, Taylor-Crossdale
Tottenham Jonathan de Bie, Tariq Hinds (Matthew Lock 74), Nicholas Tsaroulla, Oliver Skipp, George Marsh, Japhet Tanganga, Samuel Shashoua, Dylan Duncan, Reo Griffiths (Kazaiah Sterling 66), Jack Roles, Keanan Bennetts
Unused subs Brandon Austin, Jamie Reynolds, Jonathan Dinzeyi
Scorer Shashoua 28
Booked Tanganga, Tsaroulla, Roles
-Pictures courtesy of Dan Davies.