FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP
MONDAY 6TH DECEMBER, 1999
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0 (0) WEST HAM UNITED 0 (0)
Referee:- P. Jones
Spurs ( 4-4-1-1):- Walker; Young, Perry, Campbell, Taricco; Leonhardsen, Freund, Sherwood ( sub Nielsen, 73), Dominguez ( sub Armstrong, 80); Ginola; Iversen
Subs not used:- Baardsen; Vega; Clemence
Booked:- Perry, Freund
West Ham ( 3-5-2 - reverting to 4-4-1 second half )
Hislop; Ferdinand, Ruddock, Margas ( sub Potts, 62); Lomas, Foe, Lampard, Cole, Sinclair; Kitson ( sub Minto, 46 ), Di Canio ( sub Wanchope 82 )
Subs not used:- Forrest (GK); Keller
Booked:- Lomas, Ruddock
Sent Off:- Lomas (second bookable offence)
Shaka Hislop made three fine second half saves from Sherwood, Perry and Armstrong to salvage a point for West Ham, who were up against a tide of home pressure in the second half, one man short due to Steve Lomas's unnecessary sending off for two offences against Jose Dominguez - the first of which was off the ball, and drawn to referee Peter Jones' attention by his linesman. Ginola was given free rein tonight, and whilst he won the TV man of the match award for entertainment value, there were many times when he frustrated by holding for too long, and running into dark alleys, but he was the creator of nearly all of Spurs best chances to score.
West Ham had the better of the early exchanges, playing keep ball with their 5 man midfield, but rarely getting near enough to Walker to threaten him. The Hammers did get the first decent shot, after Dominguez lost the ball to Cole, when trying to play his way out of defence. Young Cole fired his shot over the target. Leonhardsen replied with a weak shot on target within minutes, when picking up a long Walker clearance. Ginola had the first of many shots blocked, and from the ensuing throw, taken by Freund, the German, followed up with a powerful drive across the goalmouth.
Much of the play was in the middle of the field, and there was half an hour on the clock, when Taricco laid up a decent chance for Ginola, who forced another valuable block. Then came a marvellous cameo, when Di Canio almost tricked four Spurs players in the middle, but he was foiled for the ball to run to Ginola, to take his turn with some trickery. Unfortunately his shot was almost over the roof of the South stand !
Lomas was followed into the book by Ruddock, who conceded a free kick taken by Ginola from the right. This was met by Perry who headed low, just past the side netting. The half concluded with Lomas's dismissal for taking a late swipe at Dominguez. West Ham sacrificed Kitson for Minto, reverted to 4-4-1, and switched Sinclair to the right. They defended stoutly, but didn't give up the fight, as Cole got a couple of early chances.
Luke Young made many good runs forward, and a telling cross was headed back by Iversen to Sherwood, who dollied his shot to Hislop. A Ginola solo effort was parried by the busy goalkeeper. One of Cole's runs forced a foul by Young on the edge of the box, and Di Canio fired straight at Walker. As we reached the hour mark, Spurs built up the pressure, and it looked as if it might only be a matter of time before the goal would come. A Ginola corner was headed on by Sherwood, and almost fell to Iversen, but was cleared. Another Ginola cross, was met by Sherwood, forcing the first of Hislop's special saves. Young was brought down on the edge of the Hammer's area, and a scramble followed the free kick, with Leonhardsen squeezing through the defence, only to be deprived of the ball, before getting his shot on goal.
Young had a powerful solo run, and shot, then Ginola deceived three players to cross from the right, for Iversen to glance over the bar. Marc Vivien Foe nearly snatched the lead for the visitors with a close range shot that was saved point blank by Walker. Walker soon had to stretch to reach a 25 yard Lampard shot.
Ginola had a fine solo run from midfield, picking up a loose ball, after a Sherwood slip. This attack culminated in an overhead effort from Ginola, which was just off target, and punished by the referee for dangerous play, as he whisked close to Ruddock's head. Sherwood, who looks in need of more than the one match rest he will get on Sunday, lofted a free kick for Perry to force another good save from Hislop. Sherwood was replaced by Nielsen, who made a good impression, and will surely get the nod on Sunday.
Armstrong replaced Dominguez, and nearly won the game with a forceful header from yet another Ginola supply. Hislop was equal to the effort, and made the best of his saves. This was the first home draw of the season for Spurs, and also the first time they have failed to score at home. The highest attendance of the season went home frustrated or happy, depending upon their loyalties.
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