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Match Reports
Orient v Spurs, 19.07.01

FRIENDLY FIXTURE (Steve Castle Testimonial)

Spurs scorers:-
Davies, 61
Rebrov, 73

Attendance:- 6,635 (to be confirmed)

Referee:- Barry Knight

Leyton Orient: 1st half: Bayes, Joseph, Leoni, Castle, McGhee, Downer, Beall, Harris, Charlery, McLean, Oakes.

2nd half: Barrett, Winter (McFlynn, 73), Smith, Stephens, Castle (Opara, 79), Barnard (Murray, 80), Jones, Canham, Opara (Minton, 68), Hadland, Ibehre.

Spurs (3-5-2):- G. Kelly; Doherty, Bunjevcevic (sub Perry, 68), Young; Carr, Davies (sub Poyet, 68), Sherwood (Capt) (sub Freund, 76), Leonhardsen, Jackson (sub Taricco, 68); Iversen, Rebrov

Subs not used:- Sullivan; Hillier, Clemence; Ferdinand

Spurs moved smoothly into phase two of their pre-season campaign with a comfortable win against a plucky Orient side in this testimonial game for Steve Castle, who made his league debut for the Os 17 years ago, but has had three spells with the club, last returning a year ago from Peterborough, where he played for a little while with our own Simon Davies.

A more traditional format was adopted whereby four subs were deployed, and some were left warming the bench for the duration. As announced, Teddy Sheringham was not involved and I would expect to see him at Wycombe on Saturday. Gary Doherty and Sergei Rebrov made their first appearances though, and in Doherty's case it looked as though he had never been away, as he played with strength and composure. Sergei scored a classy goal - more of that later.

In my view, the great thing about Hoddle's sides is the variance in tactics even within a game. We saw more different styles tonight than in almost a full season under "The Predecessor", and for me the great thing to report was that Goran Bunjevcevic was allowed to blossom. Doherty and Young took on the major defending roles, whilst Goran played just in front of them and successfully passed the ball (with either foot) in a Hoddle-esque style to win applause on many occasions. For the little time he played in the second half, Bunjevcevic sat back, allowing Doherty to make more forward runs. We used the wing backs prominently in the first half, whereas for much of the second the ball was threaded through the middle. Sherwood played well in front of the back three, and enjoyed a 90% success rate with his passes. Gavin Kelly was hardly tested, but was in the right place to collect when required, which is not to say that there were no Orient attacks of note, but they just didn't hit the target with any conviction.

Spurs stroked the ball around beautifully for the first 15 minutes, without providing any edge to the game, before Iversen chipped the ball over the defence for Simon Davies to have his shot saved by Bayes. On the half hour, Sergei thought about having a pop but instead poked the ball through to Davies, whose shot was blocked. Some good approach play from Leonhardsen and Rebrov led to Sherwood trying a 25 yard chip, which did not dip far enough to threaten goal. John Jackson played a full part in the game, and hit a threatening low cross into the 6 yard box, when Stephen Carr returned a clearance to the left wing. Bearing in mind that a few of the younger players such as Toner, Piercy, Ferguson and Kamanan were left out of this squad, it must have been quite a feather in the cap of Young England International Jackson to be involved.

9 minutes into the second half, Tim Sherwood floated a ball over the defence to Iversen who should have scored, but took too much time over the ball, and allowed his shot to be blocked by the defence. It wasn't long though before a Leonhardsen centre was flicked by Iversen into the path of Davies who ran into the area from the left, and struck a firm low shot past the keeper. After 73 minutes, Spurs went 2 up with a beauty as Iversen flicked the ball onto Rebrov who delicately chipped the goalie with the outside of his right boot.

Spurs finished strongly with two shots from Stephen Carr, which second half keeper Barrett saved. The keeper also saved Poyet's header from Rebrov's last kick corner. All in all, it was a very pleasant (if somewhat cool) evening, and it was nice to see a few familiar faces in the crowd.

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