Parrett scores FOUR as Spurs win 9-2
Match report by Dan Kilpatrick
Troy Parrott furthered his claims for more first-team minutes with four goals as Tottenham Under-19s thrashed Red Star Belgrade in the Uefa Youth League.
Spurs’ results in this competition have foreshadowed the first-team’s so far – a frustrating draw at Olympiakos and thrashing by Bayern Munich – so a 9-2 win over the Serbians was a good omen for Tuesday night’s main event.
Spurs Under-19s were outclassed by Bayern at the start of the month, going down 4-1 in the hours before the first-team’s record 7-2 defeat, but they turned the tables against Red Star at Hotspur Way to leave them second in the group, level on points with the Serbians.
J’Neil Bennett, another of the game’s outstanding performers, opened the scoring inside three minutes and Parrott netted twice before half-time to set Ryan Mason’s side on the way to a comfortable victory.
In front of watching Spurs’ dignitaries, including Ledley King and former manager David Pleat, Bennett finished with a cool side-foot from 20 yards after a scuffed clearance from the Red Star ‘keeper.
With Spurs dominating possession, the left winger nearly turned provider following fine link-up with Parrott but the striker’s shot was well saved at the near post.
The hosts pulled away in a two-minute spell after half-an-hour, when Parrott furthered his claim for more minutes with the first team with two quick-fire goals.
Bennett was at the heart of his first, jinking round an opponent and sliding a pass into the box which the Irish U-21 international hammered into the roof of the net. If his first goal was about finesse, his second was the result of persistence as he chased down a long kick from goalkeeper Jonathan de Bie and scrambled home after another error from the Red Star goalkeeper.
Shortly before half-time, Red Star captain Borisav Burmaz rifled home a brilliant 25-yard strike on the visitors’ first attack.
The start of the second half saw another quick-fire double, this time at opposing ends. Max Robson cooly finished Ty Eyoma’s cross for 4-1 but Red Star went straight down the other end and benefited from Malachi Walcott slid in front of De Bie for a clumsy own goal.
Parrott was clearly desperate for a hat-trick, at one point refusing to slide in Bennett in a fine position in the area, and he got the perfect chance when Dennis Cirkin was brought down. The Irishman finished emphatically from the spot and bagged his fourth in the dying minutes, with another sliding finish from Eyoma’s ball. In between, substitute Kion Etete scored from close range from a cross by Maurizio Pochettino.
There was still time for Harvey White to curl home a superb 25-yard superb direct free-kick in stoppage-time and Paris Maghoma to add a ninth, leaving the visitors humiliated ahead of the rematch next month. Over to the senior squad.