The summer break begins to feel like an eternity by the time August eventually swings by. Three months is simply to long to go without football, so the pull of pre season action eventually became too much for me. Rather than spend £40 to see the first team lethargically play keep-ball in the sun, I decided my money would be better spent taking in the best that our youth team has to offer.
Last night a mixture of academy stars and peripheral first team players took on the MK Dons under the lights in Milton Keynes. Having rested a number of players ahead of their opening fixture next weekend, the Dons still fielded a team full of experience. Naturally the more imposing early on, having enjoyed a longer pre-season thus far, they could easily have been a couple of goals to the good by the half way mark. Some excellent early work from Miles between the sticks was enough to thwart the Dons with Ben Reeves looking particularly dangerous as he pulled the strings from midfield and Zavon Hines also offering quick bursts of pace down the flanks. It was difficult to argue that the opener after 34 minutes from Giorgio Rasulo was undeserved, as he poked a neat finish past Miles at the second time of asking.
The Spurs side seemed slightly cobbled together, with important players already tied up with loan deals for the upcoming season. As such Jake Livermore was required to fill in at centre half, with Cameron Lancaster also drafted back in as he seeks to regain fitness following a long lay-off. That said as the game wore on Spurs definitely began to assert their authority, and were it not for some blunt finishing from both sides the scoreline could easily have been 2-2 by half time.
It was the sort of game to suit Spurs, with the Dons keen to play an attractive passing game. Tom Carroll and Andros Townsend put in decent shifts as they look to stake their claim to a first team berth, but it was actually the additions of Kenny McEvoy, Giancarlo Gallifuoco and Ruben Lameiras that turned the game in Spurs’ favour. McEvoy and Spaniard Christian Ceballos combining brilliantly to terrorise the Dons defence towards the back end of the game and were it not for some inept finishing and excellent goalkeeping, Spurs could easily have got away with at least a draw.
In general it was an impressive display from a youthful Spurs side that clearly has flair in abundance, whilst lacking the incisiveness to capitalise on such dominance.
On a separate note, the turnout from Spurs fans was incredible, particularly for a youth team game. Several thousand packed in behind the goal to cheer on our potential stars of the future.
MK Dons McLaughlin (Burns, 88); Baldock, Otsemobor (Weston, 76), Flanagan, Galloway (Osae, 58); Hines (Grant, 72), Reeves (Tingey, 76), Alli (Wiltshire, 58), Summerfield; Rasulo, Bamford (Osei-Addo, 58).
Spurs (4-3-3): Miles (Archer, 46); Fredericks, Livermore (Lameiras, 73), Stewart, Ward; Bentaleb, Carroll (Gallifuoco, 73), Falque; Townsend (McEvoy, 73), Lancaster (Coulthirst, 46), Ceballos.
Goals: MK Dons – Rasulo (34).
Referee: Mr K Stroud.
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