Next Gen Series: Young Spurs Miss Chance To Win At Home

Scott Heavey

Despite a strong attacking display in the first half, Tottenham's young players were powerless to prevent a determined Wolfsburg side from walking away with a point in the Next Gen Series.

Two superb strikes from Alex Pritchard were not enough to see Tottenham Hotspur's youth prospects walk away the victors of a tie against a Wolfburg side that dug in to produce a remarkable late comeback at Hotspur Way.

Spurs lined up on the day with McGee in goal, shielded by a back four of McQueen, Ball, Stewart and Bathram. Milos Veljkovic took the role of deep defensive midfielder sat behind Nabil Bentaleb and Laste Dombaxe, with Shaquile Coulthirst spearheading a front three which also comprised Alex Pritchard and Kenneth McEvoy. In scenes we've already seen a few times in the Next Gen Series so far, it was Pritchard who looked the deadliest element of the side, opening the scoring six minutes in with a superb free kick which curled past Niklas Klinger at the near post.

Spurs continued to dominate the tie from this point onwards, with Coulthirst spurning two golden opportunities to extend his side's lead in one on one situations. The pressure finally told on the half hour mark as Pritchard was played clean through and drove low past the keeper to get his team into a winning position their play had deserved.

As the game's second half wore on, however, fatigue in the squad began to bite as Spurs began to slowly allow the visitors back into the game. After Coulthirst, Pritchard and Dombaxe all missed decent chances to put Tottenham out of sight of their opponents, the stage was set for a Wolfsburg comeback which was initiated in the 78th minute after Barthram brought down Hauck, who promptly converted the resulting penalty. In the 94th minute, Muller latched on to an overhead through ball and rounded McGee to inflict further punishment on the profligate home side and level the tie.

All in all, the events of the afternoon closely mirrored the sort of developments we're used to seeing in games involving the Tottenham senior side at White Hart Lane. After making the most of early pressure, a lack of squad rotation and wasted chances allowed persistent opposition to force their way back in the game, and after earning three points in the first half Tottenham's youngsters stuttered at the finishing post, losing their grip on a win their overall play had deserved.

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