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Unlike our 13-year-old pundit Keir Bradwell, Pete Sixsmith is not a contender for Young Blogger in the Football Blogging Awards. While he awaits a suitable category for long-in-the-tooth stalwarts, he’ll settle for votes for the site. But Sixer’s passion for the game at all levels takes him to the occasional Under 21 game. This is what he saw when SAFC’s youth took on Spurs last night …
Tottenham fans are vociferous about “playing the Spurs way” and demand a manager and players who will help them to win their third League title (still three behind us) and do it in style.
However, as we hardy red and whites have seen twice in a little over a week, “the Spurs way” also means losing games that really should be wrapped up in the first half. They should have beaten our first team at the Stadium last week and their Under 21s should have beaten ours at Hetton last night. That they didn’t must be a worry to their coaching staff.
The Under 21 game was played with a bit more bite and edge than is usual in these fixtures. A decent crowd turned up at the ground, but the jeunesse dorée of Hetton appear to have abandoned the Colliery Welfare ground in favour of hanging around on street corners and chatting on social media.
Those who did choose to promenade around from the ground in t-shirts and jeans caught a half decent game with both sides looking for points. We were languishing near the bottom, while the Londoners were pushing for the top two. Our last outing was a 4-0 thumping at Old Trafford; Spurs had won by the odd goal in five at home to Southampton.
There were three players in red and white stripes with first team experience – although not much. Cabral, Charis Mavrias and Duncan Watmore all turned out, with the rest of the team being regulars – David Ferguson, Liam Agnew and Connor Oliver being the most prominent.
Spurs brought their squad up yesterday and they stayed at The Radisson Blue in Durham. A favourite haunt of Monsieur and Madame Salut (all of one visit – Ed), it has become a very popular stopping place for teams playing at either Sunderland or Newcastle – or, in this case, Hetton.
This information was passed on to me by the Tottenham goalkeeping coach, Perry Suckling, once of Coventry City and Crystal Palace, who was standing on the Eppleton Grassy Bank supervising his keeper, Luke McGee. Poor old Perry was in goal for Palace the night Liverpool gubbed them 9-0. Had I known, I would have reminded him of it.
The game was played at a fast pace and Spurs had most of the ball in the first half. Cabal looked after the youngsters in the team and Watmore almost broke the deadlock but was foiled by an excellent tackle.
The first goal was a scrambled affair from David Ferguson, a tough, no-nonsense defender who should make a living out of the game. It came from a cross that was not cleared and Ferguson forced it over the line.
This was followed by a second from Martin Smith almost from the spot. He was brought down (the consensus among the Hetton Irregulars was that it was a soft one) and got up to take the kick. McGee saved it, but our intrepid hero displayed sufficient speed of thought to dispatch the rebound.
Spurs pulled one back in added time but too little, too late. Like their illustrious elders and betters, they could not score enough and conceded soft goals.
A good win for the Boys and we can but hope that this will carry on over to the Men with home games against the Stoke and Swansea up next after tonight’s league cup tie (also Stoke at home). We need the points.
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