Unbeaten Stevenage overcome ten-man Tottenham in 1-0 win in Papa John’s Trophy
Stevenage continue their winning streak in the Papa John’s Trophy with a comfortable win over a struggling Spurs U21 side.
(Stevenage before the Jordan Roberts goal - Taken by Jordan Clarke)
Jordan Roberts scored Boro’s only goal with his first half effort, whilst Nile John came closest for the visitors.
Interestingly, Spurs set out with a 4-2-3-1, however when breaking forward a full-back pushes on and they attack in a 3-4-3, with Jamie Donley and Romaine Mundle as the wide attacking threats.
This differs from Antonio Conte’s set up with the first team, which could prove a challenge for players dreaming of impressing the Italian and breaking into the first team.
Before either side had a chance to settle into the game, Stevenage came close with Jordan Roberts’ well struck half-volley narrowly missing the crossbar.
A near-post header from the hosts symbolised the pressure they had put on Spurs. Danny Rose getting in front of his man but failing to hit the back of the net.
Boro then made their early pressure count, Jordan Roberts with a wonderfully composed finish into the bottom right corner, leaving Josh Keeley helpless between the sticks. This made it 1-0 to Stevenage in the 22nd minute.
Spurs had their only real opportunity of the half as Mundle cut in from the left-wing, however his shot from the edge of the box didn’t challenge Aaron Chapman in the Stevenage net.
This was the only real chance the Lilywhites worked in the first half, leaving a lot of work to be done in the second period.
Matters were not helped when former Charlton loanee Nile John received a booking, making him a target for Boro attacks for the remainder of the game.
Malachi Fagan-Walcott made his presence known as he went flying into a challenge on Danny Rose, earning a round of applause from the visiting Spurs fans.
The centre-back followed up his defensive work with a Toby Alderweireld-esque throw ball, brought down superbly by Nile John who beat the keeper but not the Stevenage defence.
The North Hertfordshire side then regained their first half momentum as they had a flurry of chances around the 70th minute, Arthur Read troubling Max Robson on more than one occasion.
Tottenham were then reduced to 10 men, Nile John receiving a second yellow for a late challenge on Jake Taylor. This made Spurs’ task even harder with only five minutes of the game remaining.
This was the last action of the game and saw the Lilywhites’ struggles continue in the Papa John’s Trophy, hopefully returning to winning ways in their next fixture against Fulham.