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Spurs v Bolton, 05.02.02

AXA FA CUP 4TH ROUND
TUESDAY 5TH FEBRUARY, 2002
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4 (2) BOLTON WANDERERS 0 (0)

Scorers:-
Anderton (pen), 21
Iversen, 35
Etherington, 56
Barness (o.g), 73

Attendance:- 27,093

Referee:- Steve Dunn

Teams:-
Spurs (4-4-2):- Sullivan; Taricco (sub Leonhardsen, 75), King, Richards, Thatcher; Anderton (sub Thelwell, 75), Sherwood (Capt.), Poyet, Etherington; Rebrov, Iversen

Subs not used:- Keller; Sheringham, Ferdinand

No bookings

Bolton (4-1-3-2):- Jaaskelainen; Barness, Whitlow (sub Buchanan, 46), Bergsson (Capt), Gardner; Southall; Hansen, Nolan (sub Johnson, 63), Farrelly; Ricketts (sub Holdsworth, 61), Pedersen

Subs not used:- Poole; Norris

Booked:- Whitlow, Nolan (Fouls)

Spurs coasted through to the fifth round of the FA Cup and a home draw against Tranmere on Sunday 17th February with another trouncing of Bolton, who travelled with more purpose than when beaten 6-0 in the Worthington Cup, but did not mount a significant attack until they were 4 goals down. It was refreshing to see Spurs playing 4-4-2, and young Matthew Etherington starred on the left wing, scoring a well-deserved first senior goal in the process. It was Etherington's low cross that confused Gardner and Barness in the Bolton area, when Barness scored another own goal, as he had in the Worthington Cup match in December. Barness and his team-mates will be glad they don't have to return to the lane this season, but in some ways there was a sense that Sam Allardyce was restraining his team for a full-blooded fight for Premiership survival.

Sven Goran Eriksson was present to see another fine performance by Darren Anderton, who received a great ovation when leaving the stage, and he also had his eyes on Ledley King, who may get a full England squad call-up later in the week. Glenn Hoddle managed to rest Chris Perry, Teddy Sheringham and Les Ferdinand, and will be pleased that his team avoided bookings, in accordance with the plan not to lose vital players for the forthcoming Worthington Cup Final. Truly, it was easy for Spurs, as they kept the ball on the ground for most of the evening, in wind-swept conditions. Allardyce may have been surprised by the switch in Spurs tactics, and also the different personnel, as it had been suggested that Taricco would miss the game through injury. Quite why Ricardo Gardner (one of Bolton's flair attacking players) was restricted to a defensive left back position for the first three-quarters of the game, I do not know, but he showed enough skill and pace in the last period to indicate he may have been more of a threat to Spurs. However, the game was lost by then.

A healthy crowd (remember that season tickets were not valid) soon saw Etherington in effective action after 6 minutes when he put a low cross in for Gus Poyet, whose shot was well saved by Jaaskelainen. Once again the Finnish keeper was responsible for keeping the scoreline to reasonable proportions. He was called to save from Iversen soon, when Dean Richards headed on a throw from the left that had been won after good play from Thatcher, Anderton and Etherington. Jaaskelainen had to fly to his right to save Iversen's effort.

Sergei Rebrov was given a welcome start, but it has to be said that once again, he failed to take the opportunity to convince his manager that he should be a first choice, as Iversen had more impact in the game both through his passing, and scoring his third goal in four games since his return. Sergei had a chance after 14 minutes when Poyet headed back a free kick from beyond the back post. Rebrov's header went over the bar, landing on the net. Sergei did then put a long ball into the path of Iversen who hit a powerful angled shot from the right of the area, only for the Flying Finn to thwart him again.

After 20 minutes, referee Dunn awarded Anderton a penalty, as he was bundled down in the box, after a useful build up from Poyet, Sherwood and Iversen. Darren stepped up and made no mistake from the spot. Spurs deservedly went two up after 35 minutes, when after a throw on the right, Dean Richards chipped the ball over the defence, Anderton reached it at the bye line on the right, and his cross was flicked in by Steffen Iversen at the near post.

Gus Poyet could have scored the goal of the game just before the break, at the end of something like a 30 pass move. Iversen put him through in a 1 on 1 situation, and Poyet had time to aim his shot past the keeper, but only to see it hit the bottom of the far post and roll out. Allardyce replaced Whitlow at half time, and I understand that he has been taken to hospital for a precautionary scan, due to an elbow in the face. The Bolton manager also reverted to 3 at the back, with Southall moving to right back, but it was to no avail, as Spurs went a little easier, but still dominated.

The third goal came when Iversen put a Taricco cross into Anderton's path. The England hopeful shot, but again Jaaskelainen saved. This time Etherington was following up and hit a low powerful shot into the net. Nolan got booked for a foul on the left, and the keeper saved from Iversen's header from the free kick. Matthew Etherington won the plaudits again, when he raced down the left and hit another low cross that Barness turned past his keeper.

Finally, Bolton gave their handful of fans something to cheer, as Gardner was allowed into the box, had a 1-2 exchange, then fired across the goal and wide. Dean Holdsworth tested Sullivan with a 22 yard free kick, and then Hansen put a useful cross in, but that was about it for the visitors, who survived a good penalty shout by Etherington, and one more shot from Iversen, tipped over by Jaaskelainen.

In their three home games against this opposition, Spurs have won on aggregate 13-2. Now there's a score that rings a bell, and perhaps will lead to great Cup omens for this season!

Brian Judson's Preview for this game can still be read here
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