Tottenham recovered from their heavy defeat against South Coast Strikers to record their first win the this year’s Milk Cup competition – a four goal success against Otago from New Zealand. This win lifts Spurs to tenth position as the competition goes into the play-off stages with Spurs in contention for 9th – 12th position, competing for the NI Milk Cup Vase.
Tottenhan Hotspur 4 Otago 0
Scorers: Harrison (2), Sonupe, Miller
Team: Priestly; Vincent-Young (Campbell-Young), Lyons-Foster, Ogilvie, Walton-Owens (Pritchard); Winks, Walkes (Amos), Miller, Sonupe; Harrison, Oduwa (Goddard)
Liam Priestly started in goal with the injured Harry Voss, recovered from last night’s injury scare, but on crutches. Amon Walton-Owens started at left back with Anton Walkes given a central midfield holding role in front of the central defenders. Nathan Oduwa and Shayon Harrison appeared to play as a front two with Oduwa dropping deeper to collect the ball. Both teams were sizing each other up in the early stages but Oduwa did get in two early runs on goal – the first ended with the ball just getting away from him at the critical moment and through for a goal kick while he put in a cross from the second which fell just behind and advancing Harry Winks. There was a lot of passing back and forward by the two central defenders looking to set someone free but with both full backs well forward, they were susceptible to a quick break from Otago if a pass went astray. Anton Walkes took up a role just in front of the two defenders, obviously to try and create some extra cover when Spurs moved players forward. In central midfield Winks and Wiliam Miller combined well with quick passing but it was mostly in front of Otago’s packed defensive line.
After fifteen minutes, a good headed clearance by Lyons-Foster was picked up by Miller and Winks who worked it to Sonupe for a shot on goal. A minute later Harrison was put through by Oduwa and he beat the goalkeeper with a shot low to his right.
Spurs continued to have a lot of possession but much of it in their own half but on 19 minutes Priestly had to react quickly to a long range shot and he did well to claw the ball away. This was the main threat from Otaga and a few minutes later Priestly got down well to save a shot from the other side. Oduwa was a danger when on the ball and after good work he set up Winks who shot past. After half an hour, Priestly came out quickly to dive at the feet of an Otago striker as he broke clear, claiming the ball at the second attempt.
Just before the interval, Spurs got their second goal when a good ball into the box deceived the Otago goalkeeper as he was challenged and Sonupe following in, scored from almost on the line. After a tentative start Spurs had two goals which helped to restore their confidence after the previous night’s defeat.
For the start of the second half Channing Campbell-Young replaced Vincent-Young, going into central defence with Lyons-Foster moving to right back. An early Otago free-kick was cleared and a shot blocked for a corner. An Otago player was injured which led to a ten minute delay while he was attended to and eventually stretchered off. On the resumption, Priestly saved a low shot, putting it out for a corner. Spurs were now having better possession in the Otago half but without creating any clear chances. Luke Amos and Cy Goddard were introduced to midfield and Joe Pritchard came on at left back. Otago had a chance on the break when Spurs lost the ball but Goddard chased back to clear the danger.
The two young players started to have an influence on the game as their passing created chances, a part of Spurs’ game which had previously been missing. A good pass from Amos gave Pritchard the chance of a shot but it went over. Then A shot from Otago was blocked for a corner by Connor Ogilvie but Priestly took the resulting cross well under pressure on his goal line.
Midway through the half a free-kick by Pritchard was punched up into the air by the goalkeeper, under pressure, it came out to Miller who shot to put Spurs three ahead.
Spurs started to play quick passing football in midfield with Amos, Goddard, Miller and Winks taking control. Amos played a lovely cross field pass to Sonupe but he was just offside. Otago had a late chance but shot over. In the final minute Amos found Winks on the left edge of the box – he took on his man and got to the by-line where he dragged the ball back which fooled the defender allowing him to score from a narrow angle.
Spurs grew in confidence as the game went on and late in the second half were able to display their array of passing skills and movement which the younger players orchestrated. Spurs now face CSKA Moscow at Castlerock in the play-off for 9th – 12th with a 5pm kick-off.