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Spurs v Bolton, 11.12.01

WORTHINGTON CUP 5TH ROUND
TUESDAY 11TH DECEMBER, 2001
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 6 (4) BOLTON WANDERERS 0 (0)

Scorers:-
Davies, 21
Ferdinand, 29, 30, 38
Barness (o.g), 79
Iversen, 84

Attendance:- 28,430

Referee:- Graham Barber

Teams:-
Spurs (3-5-2):- Sullivan; King, Perry, Gardner; Davies, Freund, Anderton, Poyet (sub Sherwood, 71), Taricco; Sheringham (Capt) (sub Iversen, 66), Ferdinand (sub Rebrov, 46)

Subs not used:- Keller; Thelwell

No bookings

Bolton (4-4-2):- Jaaskelainen; Southall, Hendry (Capt), N'Gotty (sub Whitlow, 46), Barness; Pedersen, Johnson (sub Gardner, 46), Farrelly, Frandsen (sub Wallace, 67); Nishizawa, Holdsworth

Subs not used:- Viander (GK); Ricketts

Booked:- Jaaskelainen (Dissent)

Spurs coasted into the semi-finals of the Worthington Cup, and exacted full revenge for their 6-1 defeat at the hands of Bolton in this competition five years ago, when we were in the hands of Gerry Francis. Only just over a year ago, we were suffering similar embarrassing defeats with "The Predecessor" at the helm, but times have changed, and perhaps another trophy beckons. Sam Allardyce had broadcast that he was going to rest key players, as he regards the Premiership as the priority for his team. No less than eight different players started as compared to the line-up in last week's league game. The handful of away supporters deserve their money back for this poor show by the visitors.

Still, you can only try to beat the side that is put in front of you, and Spurs did that with a first half hat-trick from Les Ferdinand (all headers in the space of 9 minutes), and some stylish football. Steffen Freund returned to his holding role, and surprisingly, there was no place for Goran Bunjevcevic, who surely needs a confidence boost after his first half at The Valley on Saturday. Anthony Gardner was welcomed back to the first team though, and he and Ledley played with great style and confidence either side of Chris Perry in the back three.

The shape of things to come was illustrated within 30 seconds when Teddy Sheringham found himself in front of goal, after a chip from Taricco, playing on the left. Teddy shot straight to Jaaskelainen. After 4 minutes Spurs built up beautifully from the left, switching to Davies on the right. He found Anderton, whose cross was headed wide back across the goalmouth by Sir Les, who celebrated his 36th birthday this week-end.

Perry embarrassed and redeemed himself at the other end, nearly allowing Dean Holdsworth a shooting chance, but Sullivan was a spectator for much of this game. Gus Poyet hit the side netting from another Davies and Anderton build up, and then Les headed to the keeper from a Teddy ball. Spurs were getting a lot of space and time, and the goals were about to come.

After 21 minutes, Taricco took a quick free kick on the left, Poyet crossed for Ferdinand to head back to Simon Davies who hit a curling shot into the net from a good 20 yards. Straight from the re-start, Ledley played a gorgeous ball down the channel for Ferdinand, who found Teddy, only to be thwarted by yet another save from Bolton's ace keeper. Teddy was supplying Anderton next, but Darren needed too long on the ball to allow the danger to be cleared.

Les's first goal came on 29 minutes. A Davies throw from the right was headed on first by Ledley, then Sheringham, and Les had an easy finish from short range. Within a minute Ferdinand had scored again, as he stooped to meet an Anderton cross at the near post, bravely beating the advancing keeper and a defender to the ball. Ferdinand's third goal came from another good build up from left to right. Davies hit a deep cross from the right, and this time, Leslie was at the back post to head powerfully back across the goal into the corner.

Both Gardner and King were getting forward alternately, and Anthony nearly scored when he turned in Anderton's ball from the left, but it was hit straight at the goalie. Jaaskelainen then made a super save from an Anderton drive going to his right, but then got booked when protesting about a corner being given, when he thought he had kept the ball in play.

Ferdinand was rested in favour of Sergei Rebrov at half-time, and although Allardyce made a couple of changes, the opposition still failed to cause any stir for the defence. Only Frandsen brought a save from Sullivan with a snap shot, that must have stung Sully's fingers. Gardner in particular was showing a lot of coolness on the ball, taking maximum advantage of this outing. Understandably, the pace of the game dropped, becoming that of practice match proportions. Anderton and Ledley combined on the right to give Teddy a chance in front of goal, but he had to stretch just too far, and scooped the shot over the bar.

Spurs upped the pace in the last quarter of an hour, and Jaaskelainen's work was far from over. He could only parry another Anderton shot, but managed to hold the ball at the second attempt, with Steffen Iversen (on for Sheringham) advancing. A fifth goal came in stylish and bizarre circumstances. King, Davies and Anderton brought admiration from the Shelf as they kept the ball in play with skill, and worked their way down the line. Then Darren sent Rebrov away. Sergei's cross was never going to reach Iversen, but Jaaskelainen missed the ball, and Barness could only turn it into his own net.

The rout was completed five minutes later, when another Rebrov cross reached Anderton, who had two shots blocked on the line, before the ball ran to Iversen for another simple coup de grace. A great night for Spurs fans was nicely rounded off by the news that "the team down the road" were beaten 4-0 at Ewood Park. It is easy to devalue this win by saying that Bolton didn't really care enough, but the style, and domination will be a great boost for the tougher test of Fulham this Saturday.

Brian Judson's Preview for this game can still be read here
Declan Mulcahy's Last Five Stats for this game can still be read here
Check the current team appearances, cards and scorers in all competitions

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