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Coulthirst sends Spurs through to the Fourth Round

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Shaquile Coulthirst scored the all-important goal for Spurs, sending Tottenham through as 1-0 victors over Cheltenham Town at Whaddon Road.

Tottenham XI: McGee; McQueen, Ball, Ogilvie, Ward; Dombaxe, Veljkovic; Michael-Percil, Onomah, McEvoy; Coulthirst [c]

Tottenham lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, youth coach John McDermott handing the captaincy to Coulthirst, with Veljkovic and Dombaxe playing the deep lying and holding midfield roles.

The visitors showed their supremacy in the first half, totally outplaying their opponents, with neat footwork and playing the ball out successfully from defence through centre backs, Connor Ogilvie and Dominic Ball.

For all of Spurs’ possession, they could not fashion any clear-cut chances. Kenneth McEvoy kept the Cheltenham Town right back on his toes throughout the first half, with a number of scintillating runs down the left with brilliant deliveries hitting the six-yard box, but with no Spurs player making the runs that were needed to score the opener.

But, on 29 minutes, Spurs showed the gulf of class between the two, with a magnificent through ball from Roman Michael-Percil sending Shaquile Coulthirst through one on one with Cheltenham keeper Dale Reaney, who slotted home with ease.

For all Tottenham’s dominance in the first half, Cheltenham Town created chances which could have put them level, Owen Donaghue, Adam Powell and Bobbie Dale linking up well before Dale shot over.

McEvoy had a goal disallowed on 33 minutes, after Reaney spilled a Coulthirst shot, but the assistant ref judged the Spurs no11 to be offside.

Cheltenham Town could have levelled it just before the break, the ball fell to Zack Kotwica after a lapse of concentration in the Spurs defence, but shot straight at keeper Luke McGee.

The first half ended with Spurs controlling the game with ease, especially through Milos Veljkovic and Connor Ogilvie who had too much time on the ball.

Spurs started the second half with less intensity and precision of passing, and with Cheltenham Town needing a goal, pressed high on our back four.

The pressure on the defence seemed to compose the backline and holding midfielders even more than the first half, spraying the ball to the wings on numerous occasions, our wingers, Micheal-Percil and McEvoy easing their way past the Cheltenham full backs.

The hosts had a chance to draw level on 66 minutes, but Luke McGee made a great save after Williams sent through Kotwica one on one with McGee, but the Spurs keeper managed to get a left hand to the strike to send the ball out for a corner.

Tottenham could have won the game with ease with nine minutes to go, after McEvoy nodded down Grant Ward’s cross for Coulthirst, who headed down and over the bar.

Cheltenham Town gave a very good account for themselves in this FA Youth Cup Third Round game, but Spurs will face London rivals West Ham United in the fourth round at the Boleyn Ground.

Players to watch out for:

Milos Veljkovic – Played the deep lying playmaker role with such ease, sprayed the ball to the flanks on numerous of occasions, rarely lost possession in midfield, while coming deep for the ball when we played out from defence. Brilliant performance.

Connor Ogilvie – The left footed centre back bossed the game, whether it be winning headers from Cheltenham Town hoofing the ball up to the front man, or playing it out from the back, a big performance from the Spurs defender.

Kenneth McEvoy – Wow, this kid has some Gareth Bale-esque runs. Literally tormented the Cheltenham right back before moving to the right wing to give the Cheltenham Town left back a torrid time in the second half, could have assisted at least two to three goals if Coulthirst, Onomah and Michael-Percil had made the runs the cross deserved.

Laste Dombaxe – Laste ‘The Engine’ Dombaxe, very promising performance from the Spurs number eight, walking in the footsteps of recent returnee Scott Parker. Dombaxe supported every attacking opportunity we had, while getting back and winning the ball back from Cheltenham on numerous occasions, a real box-to-box player. He came deep for the ball when he needed to, big performance. 

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