Tottenham open new stadium with success over Southampton
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Under-18 Premier League Division Two: Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Bennett 11, White 21p, Markanday 77) Southampton 1 (Hansen 62)
Tottenham Hotspur opened their new stadium in fine fashion as their under-18 side recorded a 3-1 success at home to Southampton.
Goals from J’Neil Bennett and Harvey White saw Spurs hold a commanding 2-0 lead at the break.
Though Saints pulled one back midway through the second half, Dilan Markanday rounded out the scoring for the home team to seal a convincing win.
Thousands of Tottenham fans packed into the club’s new stadium, all wearing a smile similar to the ones most children have when unwrapping presents on Christmas morning.
The first chance for the hosts arrived in the third minute when Harvey White curled a free-kick around the wall from 25 yards, but Southampton stopper Jack Bycroft was behind the effort.
Spurs went close again in the 10th minute, with skipper Armando Shashoua narrowly heading over after Dilan Markanday whipped the ball in from the right.
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Less than a minute later, Tottenham finally had their lead with Bennett nabbing the first goal at their new home.
The winger cut inside from the left, before beautifully curling his effort past away stopper Jack Bycroft and into the net.
The home went close to a second three minutes later when Shashoua chanced his arm after a lung-busting run, but Bycroft saved the shot from 25 yards.
Tottenham were then hand a chance to double their lead in the 21st minute when Markanday was brought down in the box by James Morris.
Harvey White stepped up to take the spot kick, calmly converting from 12 yards with Bycroft diving the wrong way.
Despite their dominance, Spurs nearly conceded in the 35th minute when Saints forward Benni Smales-Braithwaite tried to latch on to a ball with the goal at his mercy, but the home defence recovered to keep hold of their clean sheet.
That proved to be the last sight of goal for either team in the first half as Tottenham headed down the tunnel with their two-goal lead intact.
Markanday went close for a third for Spurs in the 49th minute, but saw his effort cleared off the line.
Southampton, though, were able to pull one back 13 minutes when Kornelius Hansen’s powerful shot from distance beat Josh Oluwayemi, despite the Spurs keeper getting a hand to the effort.
Bennett looked to be in for his second of the match when played through by White in the 67th minute, but put his effort from just inside the area wide under pressure from Oludare Olofunwa.
Spurs stopper Oluwayemi had to be at his best in the 74th minute to keep out a venomous shot from Jack Turner.
Tottenham added to their lead in the 77th minute when Markanday struck from close range after Bycroft had spilled White’s initial effort.
Both teams went close again in the remainder of the match, but neither could find a way through to goal.
For Spurs, it was the perfect way to get life at their new ground underway with the next test event a ‘Legends Match’ against Internazionale on Saturday.
Tottenham: Oluwaymei, Okedina (Statham 79), Cirkin, Skipp, Walcott, Lyons-Foster, Markanday, White, Clarke (Cooper 71), Shashoua, Bennett (Pochettino 79).
Subs: Kurylowicz (GK), Thorpe.
Southampton: Bycroft, Ramsay, Morris, Watts (Defise 86), Olofunwa, Tchaptchet, Glean (Kpohomouh 46), Jankewitz, Smales-Braithwaite, Turner (Idowu 789, Hansen.
Subs: Wright (GK), Cluett.
Referee: Craig Pullen.