House, Loader and Odimayo net in victory against TottenhamOur Under-18s went through a rollercoaster of a match against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday… and ultimately left victorious by coming on the right side of a 4-3 scoreline at Hogwood Park.
One goal by Ben House and two from Danny Loader had the Royals in a commanding position at the break, despite Jack Roles netting once for the visitors. Then after the break Spurs got level with two goals in quick succession by Aramide Oteh and Reo Griffiths… but Reading had the last say through Akinwale Odimayo, who turned in Tyler Frost’s corner for the winning goal.
Under-18 manager David Dodds said: “Tottenham were up towards the top of the league and doing very well – putting four and five past other teams. So the lads did very well to get the result.
“It was a nip and tuck start – we had seen tapes of Tottenham and we knew how dangerous they could be in the final third, but we also thought we could get at them a bit at the back.
“Ben House scored a great goal from a really good cross by Teddy Howe, and then we had a couple of other good and clear-cut chances to get a second goal – but then we conceded when Spurs managed to nick the ball away from us upfield and equalise.
“But then Ben got brought down in the box and Danny Loader converted it, and then Danny got one himself which was a fantastic goal – running across the box and finding the far corner.
“Tottenham came at us in the second half – although we had chances to score before they got back level. But then we gave away a penalty just inside the box, so they had their tales up and got level quite soon after as well.”
With the scores tied at three-apiece, and with a Spurs side that had put four past Southampton and five past Aston Villa on the attack, the result could have landed on the visitors’ side.
But Dodds was pleased that his troops battled through to grab that winning goal – and, in particular, to have the knowhow to cling onto the result when Spurs tried to go for broke in the closing stages.
“The boys showed great character to come back out and score a fourth to win it,” he continued. “We were holding on a little bit in the last five minutes – Tottenham went three at the back and threw everything at us, but we defended well and won the game. It was a topsy-turvy game, but we created quite a lot of clear-cut chances so they earned the result.
“Tottenham were very good in the final third – they had some players that have represented England and they are very inventive. But saying that, we got at them and created chances ourselves, which is pleasing.
“At any level, it’s one thing creating chances but it’s another thing taking them. The nice thing was to create a lot of chances and to take four of them. And at the end they had to show a little bit of grit and a little bit of flair to hold onto that result.
“Tottenham are a benchmark team – the likes of Spurs, Man City and Chelsea are the teams that you try to measure yourself against, so it was a good performance and result in that respect.”
Full-time: Reading U18 4-3 Tottenham Hotspur U18
Reading U18: Collings, Howe, Green, Shokunbi (Coleman 70), Odimayo, Philby (Wallace 80), Rollinson, Frost, House, Loader, Holsgrove (Medford-Smith HT).
Unused subs: Hillson, Denton.
Tottenham Hotspur U18: Austin, Brown (Duncan 85), Dinzeyi, Eyoma, Hinds, Bennett (Velasco 78), Marsh, Roles, Skipp (Oakley-Booth 67), Oteh, Griffiths.
Unused subs: De Bie, Mukena.