cutting blades



Tottenham Hotspur   3    Sheffield United   0      (Half-time score : 2-0)

FA Youth Cup - Third Round
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Tuesday 2nd December 2008
Kick Off :  7.00 p.m.
Crowd :   2,662
Referee :  - (-)
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Weather :  -   Dry, but very cold
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Jansson

  2  Smith
  5  Caulker (c) (15  Byrne 82)
  6  Butcher
  3  Cox

  7  Parrett (14  M'Puku 69)
  4  Kasim (13  Ekim 82)
  8  Bostock
11  Townsend

10  Mason

  9  Obika

Unused subs: 
12  Butler
16  Oyenugu

Sheffield United :

  1  Lee

  2  Brown
  5  Galloway
10  Foster (c)
  3  Roe

  8  Adams (15  Gregory 80)
  6  Smith (14  Lammy 85)
  4  James
  7  Gee
11  Chappel (12  Lyn 57)

  9  Slew

Unused subs: 
13  Billard
16  Eckhardt

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur


  Sheffield United
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Obika 14
Obika 65
Obika 76

Sheffield United


Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  



Sheffield United

Foster (foul) 48  


Match Report : -  
It was a big night for the Spurs Youth team, playing at White Hart Lane in the FA Youth Cup in front of a big crowd and they did not disappoint.  In fact, it would have been hard to disappoint as much as Sheffield United, who showed little ability, other than to force players off the ball.

Jon Obika notched a hat-trick and could have had another with the chances he was presented with, while Ryan Mason showed good skills on the ball and good strength for a slightly built player.

The usual procedure of buying a ticket in the ticket office and then presenting it at the turnstile ensured that we only entered the ground, just as the match kicked off.  The need for a postcode to gain your ticket upset the fan in front of me and prolonged the transaction enough to mean that as we disrupted the fans already in place, Spurs were having their first effort on goal.  Andros Townsend burst onto a ball in the box and his half-hit shot rebounded off a marker and dropped for Mason, who struck it over the bar as he snatched at the chance.

Within a couple of minutes, Kasim took a loose ball and fed it through the middle of the gaping Blades defence.  Mason darted onto it and his low shot was gathered in by United keeper Lee, who also denied Obika a similar chance with a stop at his near post.  Shortly after the first Tottenham goal, an untidy foul in front of the Spurs goal, sited almost centrally, gave Sheffield the chance to hit back, but the dead ball was hit against their own player and Spurs ended up with a goal-kick.

Halfway through the half, Obika turned provider when he got to the dead ball line and dragged a low ball back for Townsend to run onto and produce a precise low shot that was well saved by Lee, when the Spurs man should have done better with the opening.  Tottenham could have gone further ahead when Ryan Mason burst onto a ball in the box and Lee rushed out and with the ball past him, clattered the nippy Tottenham striker.  It was not enough to convince the officials, who seemed to think the keeper had not touched the ball ... and gave a goal kick !!

Spurs were passing the ball about confidently and used little triangles to get around the United players, who were taking a physical approach in up-ending Adam Smith on a few occasions to stop his forward progress.  However, more often, Spurs moved the ball well and Bostock was mobile and showed a good touch on the ball.  He played the ball into Obika, who set up Mason to curl a delightful effort just wide of the far post.

Obika should have added a second a few minutes before the break, when he was through on goal, but when he was one-on-one with Lee, he lifted it over the keeper, but also wide of the target. 

The interval did not see any changes and four minutes in Naser Kasim struck a fine free-kick from outside the penalty area that brought a good tip wide from the goalie, who had to move his feet well to reach the shot.  Within a minute Kasim hit a low shot that Lee dived to hold just inside his post, just as he did five minutes later, when Adam Smith strode forward to hit a corner cleared out to him with a low drive through a crowded penalty area. 

The young Belgian striker Jose-Paul M'Puku showed a nice touch on the ball when he cams on as a sub, firstly setting up Obika on the right to hit a shot into the side-netting and then creating his hat-trick goal.  Obika also had another opportunity to hit the net when M'Puku through with only Lee to beat, but the keeper smothered the ball at the Spurs striker's feet and then Mason got away on the right side of midfield to clip a shot over the keeper from 25 yards out and his performance would have been nicely rounded off had it gone in.  However, unluckily for him, the ball glanced off the crossbar and went away.  Townsend hit Lee with a shot in added time as Spurs kept pressing forward and kept the Blades players at bay.

There was little for Olsson to do at the Spurs end in the second half and the defence, with captain Caulker particularly impressive until cramp hit him, were solid and strong enough to keep a clean sheet.

The goals when they came were simply created.  Fourteen minutes and the first goal saw Calum Butcher play a straight ball through the middle of the United defence for Obika to run onto and as Lee came out, Jonathan nudged a low shot past him to nestle the ball in the back of the net.

His second was made for himself, when he took the ball off one of the United midfielders, ran on towards goal and put the ball past Lee as he came out once more in the 65th minute.  Ten minutes later, the striker was provided with the chance by substitute Jose-Paul M'Puku, whose neat ball left Obika in the clear to slide his shot into the goal for a hat-trick from a host of chances.

Of the other player to impress, Dean Parrett was mobile and wanted to be involved, while he was ably supported on the right flank by defender Adam Smith.  On the other side, Sam Cox was sticking to his defensive duties and was getting well stuck into his tackles, while Caulker strutted in the centre of defence while Butcher fitted in well alongside him. 

Kasim was busy in midfield, while Bostock seemed happy to play short passes and move off to receive the return, but I had hoped he might have dominated a match like this after making his full debut in the UEFA Cup tie against Dinamo Zagreb.  Mason is a cross between Robbie Keane and Mark Yeates, while Andros Townsend worked some good positions on the left flank, but often could have made a quicker decision when well-placed.

Progress to the next round and a confident passing display that showed why this team is top of their Academy league bodes well for the future of the club and the immediate future for this side who are developing well under Alex Inglethorpe.



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