Tottenham Hotspur  2 (1)                                                            Chelsea  0 (0)
FA Youth Cup Semi-Final First Leg
Monday 5th March 2015                                                                                                            Kick off 19:45
White Hart Lane
Onomah 40
Sterling  83
Amos (foul on Palmer)  75




Crowd :   2,000+ Weather :  Chilly
Referee :  L Collins Assistant Referees :  Mr. D. Leach; Mr. I. Cooper
Fourth Official :  C. Brook -
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 5 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Chelsea : kit
  1  Tom GLOVER

  5  Christian MAGHOMA
  3  Anton WALKES

  4  Luke AMOS      
  8  Charlie OWENS

10  Shayon HARRISON  (16  Kazaiah STERLING 58  )
  9  Josh ONOMAH (c) 
11  Ismail AZZAOUI  (14  Marcus EDWARDS 75)

Unused subs: 
13  Alfie WHITEMAN
14  Armani DALY


    1  Bradley COLLINS

  2  Ola AINA
  4  Ruben SAMMUT
  5  Jay DASILVA
  3  Fiyako TOMORI

  7  Tammy ABRAHAM
  6  Charlie COLKETT  (c)
  8  Charly MUSONDA

  9  Dominic SOLANKE
10  Kyle SCOTT  (16  Kasey PALMER 55)
11  Isaiah BROWN (12  Jeremie BOGA 65)

Unused subs:
13  Jarad THOMPSON
14  Joshua GRANT
15  Mukhtar ALI

Manager :  Kieran McKenna Manager :  Joe Edwards
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  Samsung
Kit Supplier :  Under Armour Kit Supplier :   adidas
Match report

In a  FA Youth Cup semi-final first leg, Spurs took a 2-0 lead against Chelsea with a good, determined and skilful performance that saw both sides play some pleasing, open football, but the difference between the sides came in the finishing, with two well-taken goals handing  Tottenham the advantage.

Changes to the Spurs side saw Australian keeper Tom Glover take over from Harry Voss between the posts, with Charlie Owens coming into midfield in the place of the injured Anthony Georgiou.  Chelsea looked to have fielded a first choice team with Colkett and Musonda their key players.

The Tottenham youngsters kicked off and looked comfortable in possession and had the first chance within two minutes, when Shayon Harrison was played in in the box and hit the target with a low shot, but goalkeeper Collins saved with his feet.  Then Chelsea attacked with Musonda taking the ball forward from midfield and getting a shot away, which the blue shirts appealed had hit his hand, but the referee played on.  There was another chance for the visitors when Isaiah Brown made a run inside along the 18 yard line before playing it to Scott, who blasted his shot way too high with a lack of composure.  Maghoma did well to block an effort from Abrahams, as Chelsea were moving the ball forward, but there looked little to worry Glover in the Spurs goal, which couldn't be said at the other end, when Tomori played a back pass to Chelsea goalie Collins and Onomah closed him down quickly, forcing the keeper to clear hurriedly. 

For all the good passing and movement, there were few chances o goal and Solanke's wild shot wide was symptomatic of Chelsea's finishing, while Spurs were finding it difficult to get through the massed ranks of blue shirts that got behind the ball very time they were in possession.   Aina drove forward on the right to deliver a dangerous cross in front of the Spurs goal, but Abraham was too far behind to get a touch in what was the best chance, just after he had a free header from a corner and put it over, before Josh Onomah opened the scoring in the 41st minute.  The partnership between Harrison and Onomah showed it's benefit when Shayon found captain Josh and he got the bounce of the ball just outside the box, when a tackle failed to deprive him of the ball.  Taking it on to the edge of the box, he hit an early shot that caught Collins out, with the ball seeming to go underneath him, as he dived late and could not stop it entering the net to give Spurs the lead just before half-time.

Kyle Walker-Peters did well to block a Solanke shot just after the goal, but in truth, it looked as though it was going to be off target.

After the break, with no changes to either team, Chelsea almost got back in the game straight after the re-start, when a clearance hit Solanke and almost went into the Tottenham goal, but it missed by about two feet.  Onomah's shot went wider than that when he found himself in the box and drove across goal, with nobody latching onto it and the ball ending up going for a goal-kick.  The footwork from both teams was impressive and technically, they looked highly competent.  Chelsea looked the physically stronger side, but Cameron Carter-Vickers in the heart of the Tottenham defence was outstanding, reading the game well and for a short-ish centre-half, he won a lot in the air ... and he is the best part of a year younger than the rest of the players.

Chelsea were looking to get back in the game, with Solanke wasting another good shooting opportunity by blazing to high and then Brown linked well with Solanke, but his shot was straight into Glover's chest and he caught it comfortably.  Charlie Owens had been doing some hard graft in midfield and was replaced in the 58th minute by Kazaiah Sterling.  It was Brown who went on a speedy run down the Chelsea right wing who crossed for Solanke to have another sight of goal, but between Luke Amos sliding in and Tom Glover the ball stayed out and the creator of the chance did not see it, as he ended up over the advertising hoardings and needed a fair bit of treatment before he returned to the game.  After a couple of minutes of more action, he had to be replaced by Boga. 

Glover did well to punch clear from a corner under pressure form two opponents, while Sterling was sent away into the box, but he was heading wide to the left when Tomori tackled him, with the Spurs man appealing for a penalty, but it was a clean tackle.  Ismail Azzaoui had been giving Tottenham an out ball on the left wing and showing good ability on the ball, but was not as effective as in the Fifth Round match here against Manchester United, so made way for the exciting Marcus Edwards.  Shortly after, a late sliding tackle by Amos on Palmer as he was getting away form him earned the Spurs man the only booking of the match.  Chelsea had been lucky in the second half with some overly robust tackles, but it had been a pretty fair game, with no histrionics from either side.

Dasilva was pushing up the Chelsea right and he had two shots on goal; one blocked by Carter-Vickers and the other got through, but was well stopped by keeper Glover.  Tottenham's youngsters were replicating the efforts of the senior side with some good closing down, which paid off with six minutes left.  Anton Walkes won the ball from Aina on the halfway line and it went to Harrison.  Looking up, he played a pass through the Chelsea back line to free Sterling on the left channel and he moved into the box, to strike a low drive across the keeper and into the far side of the net to make it 2-0 to Spurs, in what could be a vital goal to take to the second leg in a fortnight's time.  It was a cool piece of finishing, helped by the keepers poor angles with him being intent on not being beaten at his near post.

Marcus Edwards was using his skill on the ball to run at Chelsea players and nut-megged one of them, before a cross from Tottenham's Stylianides, who once more put a lot of effort into doing the hard yards in midfield, was sliced just wide of his own goal by captain Colkett.  As time was running out, substitute Boga could not get a decent contact on the ball as it looked like Chelsea might pull one back and the chance was wasted.

It was a difficult game for Spurs, as Chelsea looked confident on the ball and kept Tottenham pushed back for a  lot of the game, but Spurs stuck at their own game and linked well when it mattered, finishing the chances that came their way, while Chelsea blew theirs.  Two cool finishes have earned a lead to take into the return match and it might be a different side they face, with the need to get back into the game paramount for Chelsea.  However, Tottenham have the players to capitalise on this if the home side leave space to break into.  With the opportunity to play a counter-attacking game, Spurs only need one and then Chelsea will need four.  I somehow don't think they will park the bus and Tottenham only know how to play the Tottenham Way, so it looks like it could be an interesting encounter.

Marco van Hip



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