Stevenage lose 2-0 to Spurs XI

Spurs first goalscorer Nathan Oduwa is stretchered off during Stevenage v Spurs XI. Picture: Harry H

Spurs first goalscorer Nathan Oduwa is stretchered off during Stevenage v Spurs XI. Picture: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Stevenage entertained a youthful Tottenham Hotspur XI at The Lamex this afternoon, going down 2-0 after a committed display.

Stevenage v Spurs XI

Stevenage v Spurs XI - Credit: Archant

Stevenage entertained a youthful Tottenham Hotspur XI at The Lamex this afternoon, going down 2-0 after a committed display.

Despite Boro falling behind to an early goal, Teddy Sheringham’s team battled gamely against the young North Londoners, narrowly failing to equalise several times in a positive second half display before a late penalty made it 2-0 to the visitors.

A jinky run by the highly-rated Nathan Oduwa, who eased past two Stevenage defenders and into the box before slotting the ball across Chris Day and into the far corner to make it 1-0 in the sixth minute.

Even with full blooded battles in the middle of the park, the Spurs defence still looked to play the ball out on the deck. However, the elegant Spurs number five, and captain Cameron Carter-Vickers, should have done far better when presented with a free header, only a matter of yards out but headed wastefully high minutes later.

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Good powerful running by forward Brett Williams in the 24th minute saw him win a free kick out wide, which keeper Glover gathered well.

Unfortunately, as the Spurs backline moved the ball forward the combative Charlie Lee slid into the goalscorer Oduwa, which necessitated a long spell of treatment on the pitch – including receiving gas and air – before the young player was stretchered off to a sympathetic round of applause from both sets of supporters.

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The combative Lee, looked genuinely distraught at the outcome of his challenge, as he simply is not the type of player to purposely harm someone.

The diminutive Cy Goodard replaced the unfortunate Oduwa, with the substitute immediately compared to Middlesbrough’s Juninho, such was his slight stature.

A scrappy spell then followed, as if the players’ focus was lost after Oduwa’s injury, and the first half petered out, remaining 1-0 to Spurs at half time, despite the seven additional minutes added for the unfortunate England u-18 player – who was believed to have broken his ankle.

The second half saw four changes made by Teddy Sheringham including the former Arsenal player Jack Jebb, now back at the Boro on trial, for Lee.

Clever, quick distribution following a Stevenage corner in the 56th minute saw Lilywhites keeper Glover feed forward Ismail Azzaoui near the halfway as the North Londoner ran at the Boro defence, eventually seeing a strong shot blocked on the edge of the area.

Three minutes later Azzaoui again broke through firing a powerful low shot at the trialist keeper, who did well to keep the ball out with his feet.

On 61 minutes a drive by half time sub Tom Conlon flew wide after the Spurs defence failed to clear their lines several times as Boro grew in stature with more possession, as they looked to push forward.

Brett Williams outmuscled his man on 65 minutes powering towards the visitors goal, and only a sharp save low down by Glover prevented the big man from netting.

However, a fast paced move culminated in a rasping low drive from Harrison which Stevenage’s trialist keeper did well to parry for a corner, which came to nothing. On 71 minutes Akinyemi missed a gilt-edged chance to equalise after Schumacher flighted the ball in from a free kick wide right, as his low header flew agonising past the post with Boro manfully seeking an equaliser.

Brett Williams then aimed a looping header towards Glover’s goal but power was lacking and the score remained the same

Harrison then drew the keeper in the 85th minute as the onrushing trialist brought him down. The youngster then got up and calmly sent the goalkeeper the wrong way as he fired a confident low shot inside the right hand post, to make it 2-0.

The referee, Iain Williamson, blew the final whistle soon after with the home crowd acknowledging their team’s efforts.

As Sheringham seeks to mould his squad he won’t be too disappointed with the shift his men put in – if they can hit the ground running next Saturday as the season starts against Notts County.

The lyrics, by American rock band Journey – blaring out through the PA at the final whistle – were fitting: ‘Don’t stop believing.’


Stevenage: Day (Trialist H/T), Hughes, Okimo (Trialist H/T), Gorman (Schumacher 57 minutes), Franks, Wells (Trialist H/T), Casey (Conlon H/T), Parrett, Williams, Lee (c), (Jebb H/T), Akinyemi.

Stevenage substitutes:

Trialist GK, Kerr, Johnson, Pett, Trialist, Conlon, Trialist, Schumacher, Trialist.

Spurs XI: Glover, Walker-Peters (Walkes 84), Ogilvie, Veljkovic, Carter-Vickers (c), Ball, Sonupe (McEvoy 75), Lesniak (Amos 69), Harrison, Azzaoui, Oduwa (Goddard 36).

Spurs substitutes: Amos, Voss, Goddard, Maghoma, Walkes, McEvoy.

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