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Sam Smith strikes to give Cambridge United victory over Tottenham Hotspur under-21s in Papa John's Trophy

Sam Smith in action for Cambridge United against Spurs under-21s. Picture: Simon Lankester (51475907)
Sam Smith in action for Cambridge United against Spurs under-21s. Picture: Simon Lankester (51475907)

Sam Smith got the only goal of the game as Cambridge United beat Tottenham Hotspur under-21s 1-0 in the Papa John's Trophy, Group H.

The striker's second-half header, his third goal in this year's competition, puts the U's in pole position to qualify from the group, as they sit top with six points.

It nearly got off to the perfect start for United.

Having attempted a couple of times previous, Adam May put a long ball over the top which Smith latched on to to loft over keeper Joshua Oluwayemi but it was headed out to safety for a corner by a defender.

Spurs' Harvey White warmed the hands of United keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle four minutes later with a 25-yard effort and then Alfie Devine got into the area and forced McKenzie-Lyle into another save.

In the 25th minute, Lloyd Jones' header at a United corner was blocked and Harrison Dunk flicked the rebound over the bar.

It was a match of very few tackles, with both sides concentrating on what they could do in possession.

Some neat footwork by Spurs' Dilan Markandy saw him create space for himself in the area, but he dragged his shot narrowly wide.

The visitors had another chance when Metthew Craig's cross from the right was met by White, whose header was easily saved by McKenzie-Lyle.

It was more of the same at the start of the second half.

There was a double substitution for the U's in the 63rd minute, which saw Leon Davies make his comeback from a hip injury and another appearance for youngster Kai Yearn.

It was Yearn who had the next chance on target, cutting in off the left to hit a rasping drive that was held by Oluwayemi.

White had another attempt from distance in the 67th minute, curling a shot just wide from the edge of the area.

The deadlock was broken in the 72nd minute by Smith.

Dunk's cross from the left was met by Jack Lankester, and the striker reacted smartly to connect with the ball and guide it inside the near post.

Spurs should have had an equaliser in the 87th minute.

Jack Clarke sent a teasing cross to the back post, but an unmarked Devine could only find the side-netting from the angle with his shot.

That was to be the final goalmouth action of the game as the U's calmly played out the rest of the match without any scares to seal the win.

Cambridge United: McKenzie-Lyle, Williams, Jones, Okedina, Dunk, Worman, Weir, May, Lankester, Smith, Knibbs.

Substitutes: Davies (Williams, 63), Yearn (May, 63), Iredale (Jones, 76). Not used: Brophy, O'Neil, Ironside, Mannion.

Tottenham Hotspur under-21: Oluwayemi, White, John, Devine, Clarke, Omole, Cesay, Craig, Lyons-Foster, Markanday, Muir.

Substitutes: Alonso (Lyons-Foster, 69), Craig (Cesay, 87). Not used: Fagan-Walcott, Paskotsi, Lavinier, Pedder, Lo-Totala.

Referee: Carl Boyeson.

Bookings: Cambridge United - Lankester (unsporting behaviour, 44); Spurs - Oluwayemi (unsporting behaviour, 44).

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