FA YOUTH CUP SEMI-FINAL 2ND LEG
(at White Hart Lane)
WEDNESDAY 3RD APRIL, 2002
SPURS 1 (0) EVERTON 2 (2)
Aggregate score:- 4-2 to Everton
Rooney, 11, 39
Attendance:- Est 6,000
Spurs (4-4-2):- Burch; Kelly, Henry (Capt), O'Donoghue,McKie; Marney (Malcolm, 78), Barnett (Bowditch, 65), Hughes, Wettner (Galbraith, 52); Sutton, Barnard
Subs not used: Rutherford; Noto.
Everton (4-4-2):- Pettinger; Moogan, Schumacher, Gardside (Flood, 80),Crowder; Brown, Moogan, Beck (Colbeck, 75), Symes; Rooney, Carney.
Subs not used:- Cole; Jones, Gerrard.
As a member of the Spurs Trust, I had the good fortune before this game to attend Whites in Paxton Road for a Question and Answer session with David Pleat ( a very interesting football-issue-based session it was too). As a result, I missed the very start of this match, and the announcement of the teams. Therefore my ability to report fully is curtailed. However, Mr Pleat did point out to us that Everton had a certain Wayne Rooney playing up front, who is rated by no less than Sir Alex Ferguson, and rumoured to be destined for Everton's first team before the end of this season. Mr Pleat warned us to look out for this young man, and his foreboding was to prove all too true, as young Rooney scored two first half goals to put the tie beyond Spurs well before the finish. The second of his goals was a cracker, and Spurs took till the 87th minute to get one back. Despite their spirited finish, it was all too late for Spurs.
Both sides played 4-4-2, but Everton looked the better organised, skilled and drilled. Rooney collected a header from a free kick just 12 yards out, leaving the centre backs stranded as he slotted past Burch. John Sutton had a good effort soon after, as he spun outside the box, but hit his left foot shot just to the left of the post. Rooney threatened to increase the lead before long, but headed over the bar, as he received another header across the box.
Spurs were struggling to make ground or hold the ball. Our own Mark Hughes (a gutsy box to box man) was in poor form, and Wettner on the left flank only made one or two runs, perhaps suffering with his fitness after recent injury problems. Moogan had a decent 30 yard clipped shot dip just over the bar with Burch unsure of his ground, before Rooney hit his second which was a cracking 30 yarder from his own rebound off a free kick. Ron Henry had a goalbound header deflected for a corner after a Wettner run and cross, but other than a little pre-break pressure that was it for Spurs in the first half.
Wettner was replaced by Galbraith 8 minutes into the second half, and then Bowditch replaced Lee Barnett. Both these players showed plenty of enterprise. After 67 minutes, Galbraith got to the bye line on the left, pulled the ball back, but Lee Barnard's flick was just wide of the goal. Spurs were at least now taking the game to their opponents, and Dean Marney hit a 25 yards shot just over the bar. The referee entered into the spirit of the evening by not booking anyone, and Rooney was lucky not to be the first in the book when he bounced the ball down violently in dissent against a decision against him. Late in the game, he threw himself down in the box, and might have earnt a card for that too!
Spurs Under-17 striker Michael Malcolm got on for the last 15 minutes, and Lee Barnard pushed out to the right. Most of the attacks then came from Spurs, but not before Hughes lost the ball in the middle, leading to a good 1 on 1 chance for that man Rooney, but this time he hit the side netting, from the left of goal. Malcolm showed a lot of pace and promise, and he was involved in the build up that led to the ball reaching Kelly on the right, whose cross was glanced home by Bowditch, with three minutes plus injury time to go. Another Kelly cross was headed goalward by the other centre back Paul O'Donoghue, but goalkeeper Pettinger tipped it over the bar.
Both sides left the field to healthy applause from a good crowd which just about filled both tiers of the West Stand, overflowing around the edge of the South Stand, but Everton are obviously worthy finalists in this year's tournament.
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