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Spurs Res 1(1) v Chelsea Res 2 (1), 12th Sep 2000

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List

F.A.Premier Reserve League - South
at White Hart Lane, Tottenham, N17.
Tuesday 12th September 2000, k.o.7pm.

Spurs (4-4-2):- Walker; Hillier (Capt.), Doherty, Thelwell, Toner; Piercy, Gower, Davies, Etherington; Fenn, McEwen (sub Kamanan, 75)

Subs not used:- Kelly (GK); Jackson, Consorti, Fortune

Chelsea(4-4-2):- Evans; Percass, Bogarde, Broad, Cummings; Slatter, Demetrious, Knight, Pitt; Nicholls, Aleksidze

Subs:- Baldwin, Ross, Thornton, Kitaminke, Cousins

It was a warm evening with about 300 people, including plenty of small kids. I met up with Bruce and Elaine Lewis and were joined by Paul and Greg Smith and we settled down near the 30 yard mark.

The team lined up with Doherty and Thelwell at the heart of the defence with Hillier in his regular right back spot and Toner on the left. Davies and Gower occupied the centre of the midfield with Piercy on the right and Etherington wide on the left. Fenn played slightly behind McEwan in attack. Chelsea, due to their European expedition fielded a young side with Bogarde being the only big name.

I suppose he was playing because he was signed too late for inclusion in Europe and not because Vialli had nothing to do with his signing (rumoured to be part of the reason for Vialli getting the sack).

The match was a very good attacking game with plenty of action at both ends. Spurs took control of the midfield early on and did not lose it. Bogarde never got out of second gear but dealt with everything that came his way. Basically Spurs ran the midfield but the Chelsea rearguard protected their goal well allowing counter-attacks using the speed of Knight and Pitt to put pressure on our back four.

Spurs took the lead in the 11th minute when Evans could only parry Davies' 20 yard volley allowing Fenn to get in and put the ball in the far corner. We should have added to this with efforts from Gower, Piercy and Doherty. Chelsea equalised in the 15th minute when following a goalmouth scramble Davies gave away a free kick 25 yards out. Walker never moved as Aleksidze curled the ball over the wall.

Most of the action was in the Blues' half with Etherington having plenty of the ball as a number of chances were created including a great drive from McEwen saved at the near post as well as more from Doherty, Gower and Davies. The best save of the night came from Walker when Chelsea worked the ball down the right to the goal line and as everyone converged on the near post the ball was played to the far post where Knight had drifted in. Walker dived full length to spoon his effort off the line - think of Gordon Banks save from Pele in the 1970 World cup.

The second half was much like the first with Spurs driving forward committing up to eight players forward in an effort to get another goal. Bogarde was taken off on the hour without weakening their defence and Kamanan was brought on for McEwen in the 75th minute. Chelsea packed their half smothering the increased attempts from Spurs. Ultimately it cost us the game as they were caught out with a swift counter which the defence could not clear and Knight was able to put the ball in from 15 yards with little more than five minutes remaining. As we pushed forward for the remaining time left Walker had to make two more good saves as gaps appeared at the back.

This was a disappointing result considering the amount of the ball we had and the domination of the midfield. It was the inability to finish off the good work that was our downfall. On another night we would have had a hatful. All the players did well, even the strikers, when they did not face Bogarde who showed some good touches.

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