Cambridge United (home), Pre-season friendly
Saturday 2nd August, KO 3.00
 

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SUTTON UTD 2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR XI 1

Sutton finished their pre-season programme in ideal fashion on Tuesday when they came from behind to beat a youthful though quick and skilful Tottenham side in front of a crowd of nearly 1,200 at Gander Green Lane. Struggling to make an impact in the first half, when Spurs kept the ball well and looked largely on control, Uís stormed back in the second half despite enough substitutions to leave skipper Jason Goodliffe as the only player to play 90 minutes, and it was Goodliffe whose thumping header thirteen minutes from the end proved the decisive goal.

The Tottenham side may have been a young one based on their Academy squad, but it contained John Bostock, the subject of a controversial move from Crystal Palace two years ago and the youngest player to represent Spurs at first team level, and also Dean Parrett, named in the provisional 20-man squad for last seasonís Carling Cup final, so there was enough talent to ensure that Sutton would receive a good test and so it proved in the first half where Uís found that if they lost the ball they had to work hard to get it back. Kudos Oyenuga should have put Spurs ahead after just seven minutes when he pulled a shot badly wide with just Kevin Scriven to beat, but just as the thought was setting in that for all their possession they had caused Uís little direct threat they took the lead on the half hour when the ball was moved from left to right by Oyenuga and Parrett for the overlapping Nathan Byrne whose cross to the near post was headed down and in by Belgian youth international Paul-Jose MíPoku Ebunge.

The lively Stefan Payne, a day after his 18th birthday, had twice looked to burst clear of the Spurs defence only to be denied on both occasions by immaculately timed tackles from centre back Anton Blackwood, who looked a class act in the first half, while close to the break a left wing cross did fall to Anthony Joseph, whose 20 yard shot fizzed just too high.

Joseph was the first to make way as Uís began to change things in the early stage of the second half, but the switches seemed to give Uís fresh impetus and just after the hour mark Payne climbed high to head a Kenny Beaney free kick in to the net for his third goal of the friendly programme and set up an exciting last half hour. Within a minute Bradley Wood-Garness, one of the second half arrivals whose performance caught the eye, might have put Uís in front but having cut in past goalkeeper Lee Butcher he found defender Sam Cox covering with two excellent blocks and Uís had to settle for a corner.

At the other end Goodliffe made an equally good intervention to challenge Paul McBride and divert his shot for a corner after Zongoís free kick had diverted in to McBrideís path, but with thirteen minutes left it was in the Tottenham penalty area that Goodliffe produced his most telling contribution after a spell of Sutton pressure following a corner. Although Spurs managed to clear at first, Steve McKimmís volleyed pass to the left found Bentley Graham, playing his first game of the season for Uís after his trial with Brentford, and Graham crossed to beyond the far post where Goodliffe powered his header past Butcher.

Spurs might have been level within a minute as Ryan Fredericks dispossessed Billy Chattaway but then shot too high, and Parrett also shot over after a cross from the left had been cleared in to his path, but Butcher had to go low to his right to turn away a shot from Billy Dunn, another effective contributor after coming on. Spurs did come close to an equaliser in the dying seconds when McBrideís shot on the turn beat substitute keeper Paul Smith and was spectacularly cleared off the line by Chattaway, but Uís held on to give themselves a real confidence boost going in to the start of the Ryman League campaign on Saturday.

Sutton: K Scriven(sub P Smith 68), B Hawes (sub S Stannard 68), A Bray (sub B Chattaway 59), J Goodliffe, K El-Salahi (sub J Roberts 55), A Joseph (sub K Beaney H-T), S Cobbs(sub M Hann 55), B Graham(sub E Masabe 79), D Phillips(sub B Woods-Garness 55) S Payne(sub B Dunn 68), S Gargan (sub S McKimm 68). Goals: Payne(62), Goodliffe(77).

Tottenham: L Butcher, N Byrne (sub C Ekim 59), S Cox, Kamo, A Blackwood, O Durojaiye, R Fredericks, D Parrett (sub J Nicholson 82), K Oyenuga (sub Zongo H-T), J Bostock (sub T Carroll 59), P-J MíPoku Ebunge (sub P McBride 59). Goal: MíPoku Ebunge(30).

Referee: J Ryan (Worcester Park)                                                 Attendance: 1,188

 

Bentley Graham battles to win the ball.

  

Sam Gargan sends a header just wide of the target.

 

Danny Phillips stretches to bring the ball under control.

 

Stefan Payne rises in the box to head in the equaliser.

 

Bradley Woods-Garness rounds the 'keeper only to have his shot blocked.

 

Jason Goodliffe sends his header past the 'keeper to give Sutton the lead.


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