Tottenham Hotspur U18 (1) – QPR U18 (3)

FA Youth Cup 3rd Round

Team: Cant, Siqueira, Leahy, Brown, McDonald, McCann, Sackey, Lawrence, Kolli, Talla, Petrie

Subs: Zapieraczynski, Luzinda, Bagan, Christmas, Tuck

Attendance: 505

Arriving at Stevenage Railway Station nice and early, I set-off for the mile-long trek to the Lamex Stadium.

The walk to the ground meant negotiating a number of subways and roundabouts. The dual carriageway was flanked by various Superstores over on the far side.

In goal for the Lilywhites was Luca Gunter who had previously played for QPR’s U12’s.

A good move got Rayan Kolli on his way from midfield and despite being clipped en route to the penalty area, the R’s striker stayed on his feet and won a corner. From which, Lorent Talla’s cross bounced off the crossbar before going behind for a goal-kick.

Then, Rayan Kolli got into a good position, but his close-range effort was blocked.

After giving the ball away, Tottenham sped forward in numbers, which resulted in the shot hitting the side-netting.

Tottenham had been growing into the game from the 15th minute. Six minutes later, Tyrese Hall hit the crossbar and just seconds later Rio Kyerematen’s follow-up effort bounced off the upright!

At the other end, Rayan Kolli shot from 20-yards, but Luca Gunter was able to make a comfortable save.

I must mention Shannon Brown’s powerful, absolutely solid challenge on a bigger opponent to win the ball. A feature of his game I had witnessed before.

From a free kick, Harry Cant did well to forcibly fist out the ball and then subsequently he superbly smothered the ball whilst under pressure.

On 31 minutes, a great strike from Shannon Brown forced the Tottenham keeper to put the ball behind for a corner.

Lorent Talla was booked ten minutes later for a pull-back on an opponent.

Approaching the break, Kieran Petrie almost caught out Luca Gunter and soon after that the Spurs keeper made a very good save from Samuel Sackey.

This was a busy period for the Tottenham custodian, as he then had to tip over Kieran Petrie’s fierce shot. Surprisingly, it remained goal-less at half-time.

Seven minutes into the second-half and Noah McCann made an outstanding block on the goal-line to deny Jamie Donley.

Tottenham went close again when Jamie Donley cut into the box and he struck the ball against the crossbar.

The home side took the lead after 62 minutes. Damola Ajayi forced a good save from Harry Cant, but Rio Kyerematen was well-placed to fire the ball into the net.

It looked as if it might have got a slight deflection and despite the R’s keeper managing to get his hands to the ball he couldn’t keep it out.

Lorent Talla’s free kick was aimed at Rayan Kolli in the box,but the R’s striker’s outstretched boot couldn’t quite connect with the ball.

With Kieran Petrie still grounded in Tottenham’s half, the home side broke away, which resulted in Harry Cant doing really well to bravely smother the ball and thus nullify the danger.

On 70 minutes, Micah Hyde introduced Alfie Tuck and Jabari Christmas to replace Samuel Sackey and Shannon Brown respectively.

As Rangers continued to look for an equaliser, Rayan Kolli’slow shot from just outside the box was pushed away by the Spurs keeper.

Then, after the R’s No.9 had made a lovely turn, he smashed the ball goalwards, but Luca Gunter just managed to keep it out.

Teddy Lawrence scored a dramatic (and well deserved) equaliser on 88 minutes after poking the ball home from close range to the delight of the Rangers contingent.

Five added minutes were soon indicated and three minutes in, Rayan Kolli’s powerful strike came off the underside of the crossbar.

The two final changes saw Derek Luzinda and Samuel Bagan replace Guilherme Siqueira and Jake Leahy respectively.

Into the first period of extra time and a delightful flick from Kolli found Teddy Lawrence who then curled the ball onto the woodwork.

Tottenham could well have taken the lead following a swift counter-attack. The unmarked Spurs player somehow put the ball wide from inside the box.

It was pretty much end-to end as Rangers created chances of their own, but at the break it remained all-square.

QPR took the lead on 108 minutes when Alfie Tuck’s excellent cross from the left found Kieran Petrie at the back-post.

Then, Rangers clinched a remarkable victory in the 118thminute when Teddy Lawrence managed to stay just onside. He then proceeded to face Luca Gunter one-on-one and the QPR No.8 went on to coolly slot the ball home.

Good support for the R’s and amongst those looking on were Neil Critchley and Pat Jennings. Rangers now face Luton Town away in the next round.

Thanks to Ian Randall for the lift back to the Station.

I made the Kings Cross train with about three minutes to spare and I noticed that the next one that was scheduled to London at 10.45, had already been cancelled.

Steve Russell