It was a chilly evening in the midlands, but thankfully no rain. Spurs come into this game having lost their 100% record to Norwich City at White Hart Lane. Villa were playing their second game at the Pirelli Stadium having beaten Norwich here a month ago.
Because Kane was playing Spurs lined up in a slightly different formation. Ball and Veljkovic were in front of Archer in goal with McQueen at right back and Fryers on the left. Bentaleb and Dombaxe lined up in front of them with Kane behind Coulthirst flanked by McEvoy and Dawkins who would move forward to support Coulthirst when they could.
Spurs defended the southern end in the first half which started with both sides feeling each other out. Kane played Dawkins in for a chance that was blocked while Sellars had a shot that was deflected for a corner.
Both sides had a winger that provided a threat. Villa had Calder on the left while McEvoy was unstoppable down the right. Villa went in front from a corner when Toner’s diving header at the near post converted Johnson’s corner. Spurs responded with an effort by Dombaxe that was saved and one from Coulthirst that was turned wide, both came from McEvoy crosses.
Villa were using the pace of Johnson, Calder and Sellars to get passed Spurs defenders while the rest of the midfield defended the middle of the park. Calder got down the left and crossed for Sellars to fire over from distance.
Calder tried his luck from distance but it flew wide. The next to try was Johnson and his long range thunderbolt was pushed away for a corner by Archer. With Spurs on the back foot Calder fired wide again. Another ball over the top saw Archer come out to clear only to find Johnson closing quicker to get a touch first. The keeper was booked for a late tackle when it could easily have been worse. Archer redeemed himself with a good save from the free kick taken by Strieber. The visitors were happy to go in at the break only a goal down.
Spurs made one change for the start of the second half replacing Coulthirst with Lancaster. While not being as quick as Coulthirst, Lancaster is stronger under challenge and able to hold off the big defenders. Spurs won an early free kick that Kane fired wide. Kane then set up Lancaster for a chance that Siegrist saved and then made a run into the area through the left channel only to be fouled by Toner for a penalty.
Kane took the kick himself and drove it down the middle with the keeper going to his right. Suddenly Spurs looked dangerous with Bentaleb playing McEvoy through for a shot that was saved. A long ball from Veljkovic found McEvoy on the right and his pull back saw Bentaleb blast over.
Another cross from McEvoy found Bentaleb who drove it wide. A foul on Bentaleb gave Kane another free kick opportunity that he was just to high the ball dropping onto the top netting. Kane was the centre of most attacks spraying the ball to all parts of the ground while McEvoy continued to put in crosses keeping the Villa defence under pressure.
Lancaster fired wide from another McEvoy cross. A loose pass from Dombaxe was picked up by Stieber who played in Johnson for a drive that came back off the left post. Villa made two changes to try and get back into the game which was getting away from them. Dawkins fed Kane for a shot that was saved for a corner.
When Villa failed to clear the corner Dombaxe connected from 25yds out to drive the ball onto the inside of the far post and out. A McEvoy cross was turned over by Lancaster before Spurs replaced Dombaxe with Lameiras. From a Villa corner Kane sent Dawkins away and his square ball to Bentaleb produced a great save by Siegrist.
Bentaleb played in Kane for a run into the area for what should have been a goal but Harry’s effort hit the post. Even Ball went forward to have a go firing over. Villa were still a threat as Strain drew a save from Archer and a good run by Calder produced a cross that Strain fired straight at Archer with the goal at his mercy. Lameiras drew a save with an effort from the left. McQueen was booked for holding back the ever dangerous Calder which led to a couple of corners. Toner got on the end of both with his head but neither was on target.
Lyden was booked for one too many fouls on Bentaleb as Villa made a final push for a winner. The last chance fell to Johnson at a corner that he turned wide of the far post.
A game of two halfs with Villa having the better of the first and Spurs by far the better of the second. Spurs were poor in the first half getting pushed back leaving Coulthirst isolated with only McEvoy producing numerous crosses. In the second it was Villa being pushed back with Kane controlling things behind the front three and McEvoy seeing plenty of the ball putting in cross after cross. The introduction of Lancaster at half-time also gave a physical presence up front.
The point keeps Spurs in touch with the leaders. Spurs next U-21 game is next month when we have two games in a week. The first is on Monday 7th October when they go to St. Helens to play Liverpool. On the Friday Manchester United come to White Hart Lane.
Both matches kick off at 7pm.
© Ray Lo – This article can be reproduced on the proviso that the Spur-List is credited.