Tuesday night and there was definitely no better place to be than seeing our young guns impress under the lights at the Melbourne Stadium. A non-league outfit whose ground typified their standing, it was a refreshing change from the usual characterless fare that is offered up so readily in the upper echelons of English Football.
The upcoming international fixtures limited Chris Ramsey’s selection, a testament really to our young guns for being so heavily involved, and his side had a somewhat inexperienced look to it. A mixture of both the U-21 and U-18 squads were on show in front of an impressive crowd of just over 2000, great experience for so many of the lads.
I was initially quite apprehensive as to how Spurs would cope, considering the physicality of their non-league opponents, but I was soon pleasantly surprised. A first-half aerial bombardment from a combination of corners and throw-ins looked to be Spurs’ potential undoing but eventually a persistent desire to get the ball down and play really paid off for the boys. Kevin Stewart showing exactly why he has been involved in the first team during pre-season, looking particularly calm in the face of Chelmsford players that consistently towered over him.
In fact it was ex-Spur Tommy Forecast who weathered the storm in what was an incredibly entertaining end-to-end match. The front three combination of Obika, McEnuff and Coulthirst looking particularly dangerous, with able support from Cameron Lancaster playing in a slightly deeper role. The Lancaster-Coulthirst partnership combined excellently for the Tottenham opener, with the Englishman finishing tidily past Forecast in goal. There was a marked response from the Chelmsford boys and they got their equaliser from the penalty spot midway through the first half following a Dominic Ball hand-ball, with Goulding making no mistake from the spot. Aaron McEnuff got his just rewards for a good first half when he was afforded a free header to put Spurs ahead just before the break.
A host of changes were made at the interval with Lawrence Vigouroux, Alex McQueen, Ruben Lameiras and Roman Michael-Percil entering the fray. The changes preceded a quiet spell in the game that was soon ended by a lightning double from the incisive Coulthirst, the Englishman twice firing past the keeper with ease to cap off an excellent hat trick. Of the half-time changes Ruben Lameiras looked the most exciting, the Portuguese midfielder appearing to be a real spark at the heart of midfield.
An evening where Shaq Coulthirst will no doubt grab the headlines, his goal-haul merely capping off an excellent all round team performance by a young Spurs side.
Chelmsford City squad: Forecast, Miller, Redwood, Davis, Haines, Webb. Paxman, Hughes, Goulding, Derry, Graham, Long, St Aimee, Nicolau, Rainford, Brayley, Holdsworth, Pentney, Spriggs, Sanparo.
Spurs XI: Miles (Vigouroux, 46); Fredericks (A McQueen, 46), Ball, Stewart, Ward; Gallifuoco (Dombaxe, 68), McEneff, Lancaster (Lameiras, 46); D McQueen (Michael-Percil, 46), Obika, Coulthirst.
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