FA PREMIER RESERVE LEAGUE
TUESDAY 2ND APRIL, 2002
(at Broadhall Way, Stevenage)
SPURS RESERVES 2 (0) CHELSEA RESERVES 2 (2)
Referee:- D. Whitestone
Attendance:- Est 600
Spurs (4-4-2/3-5-2):- Hirschfield; Consorti (sub Perry, 65), Doherty, Quilter, Jackson; Snee, Leonhardsen, Clemence (Capt), Kamanan (sub Ford, 80); Ferguson, Armstrong (sub Foster, 46)
Subs not used:- Kelly; Tyrie
Chelsea (4-4-2):- Pidgeley; Kitamirike (sub Ross, 81), Di Cesare, Huth, Cousins; Oliveira, Keenan (Capt), Nicolas, Wolleaston (sub Woodards, 81); Cole, Aleksidze
Subs not used:- Wizik; Kneissl, Martella
Booked:- Cousins, Kitamirike (fouls)
Johnnie Jackson scored the most stunning goal I have seen by anyone in a Spurs shirt this season to complete a great second half come back by the home side with three minutes to go. Spurs had gone two down in the dour first half, in which their main tactic seemed to be to fire long balls for Kamanan, Ferguson and the returning Chris Armstrong to chase. Kamanan made a few good runs down the left wing where he was deployed in that first period, but Ferguson looked below par, and Armstrong was only being accommodated for his first competitive appearance for over a year. Armstrong was replaced at half time by one of the under-17 contingent, Danny Foster, who moved into a back three, and Colin Calderwood's half-time change in strategy worked wonders.
Chelsea fielded a very young side, with no less than 7 starters and three subs having featured in their recent under-19 game at Spurs Lodge. Their big number 9, Carlton Cole gave tonight's defence even more problems than he did Ronnie Henry and Paul O'Donoghue in the previous encounter. Chelsea's other scorer, Wolleaston was also a handful, but to be honest, Spurs were well out of sorts in that first half, showing more desire and skill in the first three minutes of the second half than throughout the first 45 minutes.
Clemence captained the side, and he and Leonhardsen took the middle roles whilst Yannick Kamanan and George Snee took up the flanks. Indeed Snee showed some early skill with a neat flick round a defender and a pass to Armstrong, who in turn provided Ferguson with an opening. Ferguson beat the goalkeeper with his chip, but was well wide of the mark. Neither keeper saw much of the ball, as a midfield battle ensued. However, the deadlock was broken after 22 minutes, when Mauricio Consorti gifted the ball to Cole just outside the box. Cole rounded the surprised Doherty, and coolly shot across Lars Hirschfield to hit the net from the left.
It was ten minutes before Spurs responded in any positive fashion, when Kamanan took a quick throw to Ferguson, who passed inside to Clemence, who unfortunately skewed his shot way off target. After 37 minutes George Snee was unlucky to lose out with 4 players around him. Chelsea skipper Keenan pierced the defence with a quick pass and Wolleaston beat the offside trap to take the ball round Hirschfield (who tried desperately to keep him at bay) for an easy finish.
Half time brought a dramatic switch in tactics, as Calderwood reverted to three at the back. Doherty marshalled the young Foster and Quilter, and whilst there were a few early scares from Cole, the gamble was ultimately to pay off, as Consorti and Snee were used as wing backs, and Jackson made a great impact in the centre of midfield. Consorti was to struggle with his form, but young Perry did not let the side down as he took over the right wing back role, and displayed a hefty right foot too!
Hirschfield made a great 1 on 1 save from Cole as Foster lost out early on, but then the new Spurs strike force of Kamanan and Ferguson threatened. Yannick set Fergie up, but the Scot ran the ball out of play on the edge of the 6 yard box. Cole was then through again - this time on the right of goal, but missed an easy chance to increase the lead. (A bit like his namesake then!) Jackson then fed the ball to Clemence (and I swear this happened) who hit a cracking RIGHT foot shot that bounced down off the underside of the bar, and out of danger.
George Snee collected a right field cross at the back post with time to spare, but chose to hit a first time shot, which hit the side netting. Spurs were getting on top now and the goal was not to be long in coming. First Clemence sent a great ball to Kamanan, who hit a curling dipping shot with his left foot, which Pidgeley tipped over the bar with a backward dive. Kitamirike got booked for a very late tackle on Kamanan, who was put out of the game, and may take no further part in the season judging by his struggle to limp off the pitch.
The resulting free kick was taken by Clemence, headed back across the area to Foster who hit a right foot debut goal with ten minutes left to play.Tim Ford took over left side defensive duties, showing coolness and confidence, allowing Snee to partner Ferguson up front. Chelsea made a double substitution, but it was to no avail, as Spurs took a throw on the right, Jackson cut in with the ball and hit a stupendous left foot 30 yard drive into the far corner.
In an exciting finish, Chelsea had the better chances to score, as an Oliveira shot hit the top of the bar (may have had a touch from Hirschfield), and Huth hit a left foot shot that landed on top of the net behind the bar. Spurs held out though against the late pressure, and most of the crowd of several hundred went home happy, after such an exciting second half.
Don't forget, you can see the Spurs Youth team take on Everton tomorrow night (Wednesday) at White Hart lane at 7 pm in the second leg of the Youth Cup semi-final. The score stands at 2-1, so the game is finely poised. You will need to arrive early and buy your ticket £3 for adults, £2 concessions at the ticket office. Both tiers of the West Stand will be used. Look out for Wettner on the left wing (if fit), and Barnard and Sutton up front, but there is plenty of promise on show for the Lilywhites!
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