Spurs under-18s ensured that it was a winning start to life at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a 3-1 win over Southampton on Sunday afternoon. It was an incredible day as just under 29,000 lucky fans got to witness the first ever match to take place at the new stadium and the Spurs youngsters certainly did not disappoint.

The first of two test events at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium saw the unbeaten under-18 side battle it out against the Saints and the first goal came just over the ten-minute mark. Seventeen-year-old J’Neil Bennett became the first goalscorer at the new stadium and it was a goal that was worthy of the accolade. Bennett cut back onto his right foot before curling in a wonderful shot into the bottom corner to put his name down in history as the first ever scorer at the 62,062 capacity new home for Spurs.

It got even better soon after as Harvey White was the first person to score a penalty at Spurs’ new stadium after Dilan Markanday was fouled in the box. However, the visitors were not there just to make up the numbers and put themselves right back in it after the sixty-minute mark with a well-taken goal from Kornelius Hansen. Despite that, the under-18s of Spurs continued to control the encounter and Markanday ensured that Spurs would get a win in this historic match with the third and final goal.

Spurs New Stadium First Match

The first test event at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was dominated by the Spurs youngsters in the first period. Captain Armando Shashoua went close with a header before the deadlock was soon broken by Bennett with a sublime finish.

Midfielder Markanday was a constant threat for the opposition and forced goalkeeper Bycroft into a save before winning his team a penalty midway through the half, which White converted. At the other end, Spurs goalkeeper Josh Oluwayemi hardly had a touch in the opening stages and was first called into action to collect after some impressive defending from Brooklyn Lyons-Foster.

Southampton did manage to get a goal into the second half after Hansen’s shot was just too strong for Oluwayemi, who got his hands to the ball but could not prevent it from going in. Despite that setback, Spurs continued to create chances with goalscorers White and Bennett combining again, only for the latter to hit his effort just wide of the post.

Oluwayemi again had to make another smart stop to deny Jack Turner before the game was finally killed off through Markanday. The impressive attacking midfielder was the quickest to react after White’s shot was spilt and slotted the loose ball in the back of the net to put the encounter beyond doubt.

It was a solid performance from the Spurs youngsters as they capped off a memorable day for themselves as well as for the fans who had flocked to the new stadium for the first time.

Spurs New Stadium Test Event

Mauricio Pochettino, along with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, was in the stands to witness the 3-1 victory for Spurs under-18s. Pochettino made an appearance at half-time and is confident that Spurs will hit the ground running returning to the site of White Hart Lane.

“This is one of the best stadiums in the world and I hope, and wish, the future of this club will be fantastic. We had all the problems but now all the effort has paid off and it can have a massive impact on players. We are in a very good place in the Premier League and while we have a massive challenge in the Champions League, with 62,000 here behind us, it will be fantastic to play in it. It is our dream to be in the semi-final. Why not?” (BBC Sport)

For many fans, the action off the pitch was as exciting as it was on it. There are sixty-five food and drink outlets and the whole stadium is cashless meaning only card payments are accepted. In these outlets, plastic straws are excluded and recycling bins have been introduced. For quite a lot of fans, the quick service at the new stadium has been impressive, nothing more so than the bottom-up technology that allows pints to be poured in just five seconds.

It is truly an exciting time to be a Spurs fan as we head into the final stretch of the season. The second test event between Spurs Legends and Inter Milan Legends takes place on Saturday 30th March and then it is one to the competitive fixtures.

First up for Spurs at the new stadium is Crystal Palace on Wednesday 3rd April before the first Champions League game at the ground takes place under a week later versus Manchester City.

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