Younes Kaboul suffers tweak as U21s stutter against United

Pete Norton

There was pretty much nothing good or fun about tonight.

On a tough night at the Salford City Stadium for the Spurs U21s, who missed out on the chance to clinch the Elite Group in a tie against Manchester United, Younes Kaboul's slow journey back towards the senior side suffered a setback as he was withdrawn early in the second half with what looked like some kind of muscle tweak.

Things looked bright in the initial stages of the match for John McDermott's U21 side, who dominated possession during the first 20 minutes and, but for a good save by the surely-too-old-for-this-by-now Ben Amos, would have snatched an early goal after Ceballos picked Michele Fornasier's pocket on the edge of the area. As the match settled, chances became more scarce, with Kaboul and the rest of Tottenham's defence barely pressed. The Frenchman even managed to force Amos into another good stop with a piledriving free kick in the 35th minute. A power cut in the Salford area then threatened a premature end to the fixture, but the natural light just about saw both sides through to half time when the floodlights were restored.

Then, in the second half, everything took a turn for the torrid. United raced out of the blocks and dominated play in the second half, and but for Vigoroux's good keeping the scoreline could have ended up being much more embarrassing for the Tottenham fledglings. Passing amongst the Lillywhites was sloppy and United pressed and broke forward time and time again, with Zeki Fryers in particular guilty of some criminal errors that allowed his former teammates to create a multitude of chances. Kaboul's tie came to an end after a bursting run forwards and an awkward pass left him in some discomfort- his hasty disappearance down the tunnel in the 48th minute might yet prove to have portended further bad news on the injury front for Andre Villas-Boas.

Galifuoco and Michael-Percil later replaced Dombaxe and McEvoy as Spurs attempted to inject some life into the game, a rearrangemebt which nearly paid off as Ceballos clipped the woodwork in the 54th minute. An ultimately fatal blow was finally delivered by a stronger United side on 54' as Ryan Tunnicliffe capitalized on a Fryers mistake to toe-poke home. Spurs players pressed hard for an equalizer, with Coulthirst coming close on 63' but the side ultimately couldn't breach a stern United defence, and will now be looking ahead to a mini-derby against Arsenal on the 22nd April as the next opportunity to clinch their win. Here's hoping the large following of Spurs fans representing the 1882 movement expected at the game will spark the youngsters on to a well-deserved triumph over their future bitter rivals.

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