TUESDAY 28TH AUGUST, 2001
FA PREMIER RESERVE LEAGUE
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (1) NOTTINGHAM FOREST 0 (0)
Referee:- D. Whitestone
Spurs (4-4-2):- Kelly; Consorti, O'Donoghue, Perry, Jackson; Leonhardsen, Sherwood, Piercy (Capt) (sub Bowditch, 78), Etherington; Ferguson (sub Snee, 68), Kamanan
Subs not used:- Burch (GK); Henry, Herron
Forest (4-4-2):- Formann; Hudson, Edwards, Vaughan (sub Dawson, 46), Edds; Freeman (sub Lynch, 46), Scimeca (Capt), A. Johnson, Jones; Lester (sub Westcarr, 77), D. Johnson
Subs not used:- Peyton; Kearney
Booked:- Edwards, Jones (both fouls)
Whilst the scoreline does not indicate it, Spurs were comfortable winners of this, their first official game of the season, and their first under the new arrangement with Stevenage Borough F.C. A crowd of several hundred were accommodated in the seated stand, at no extra cost, within hearing distance of new coach Colin Calderwood, and within reach of observers such as David Pleat, Mick Harford, Chris Hughton, and Pat Jennings to name a few.
Spurs fielded a more experienced side than anticipated, with both Tim Sherwood and Oyvind Leonhardsen getting first run-outs after injury, and Chris Perry playing to bolster up an otherwise very young and inexperienced defence. Gavin Kelly in goal was rarely threatened and apart from one unsure touch of a late cross/shot from the right, was well in control of his ground. Paul O'Donoghue impressed at the back, and was even rewarded with the captain's armband after skipper John Piercy had to go off due to injury caused by a late crunching tackle from Gary Jones, who got booked for his trouble. Piercy had tried to run off the injury, but had to give in, to be replaced by Ben Bowditch.
Forest fielded former Ipswich star David Johnson, and were captained by Riccardo Scimeca the former Villa man. Perhaps because of the lack of central defenders, Spurs played a 4-4-2, although Colin Calderwood might also have known how his former team-mates were going to set up. Indeed Forest almost played a 4-3-3 at the start, with Freeman in support of the two front runners, but they soon reverted to 4-4-2.
Tim Sherwood had an early header over the bar from a Leonhardsen corner, followed by a similar header from O'Donoghue. David Johnson did well to meet a right field cross at the near post with O'Donoghue giving him very close attention. Johnson still got a decent shot in, that was just wide of the goal.
Steve Ferguson had several good efforts for the home side, and was upset by a slight hamstring in the second half, making way for the powerfully-built and swift George Snee, who scored 7 goals in 20 under-19 appearances last term. Ferguson took a return pass from Leo on the right and hit a low drive that the keeper failed to hold, the ball being cleared by the Forest defence. A good build up from Sherwood, Kamanan, and Ferguson ended with Kamanan needing too much time to get his shot in, and hitting it over the target. Kamanan seemed to be the target for a great deal of advice from the sidelines, and in the second half could be seen expressing his frustration at being asked to play against his instincts by tracking back, and filling holes. It will be interesting to see how Yannick deals with this situation in the next few games.
Spurs took a deserved lead after 40 minutes when John Piercy ran through the middle and threaded the ball to Ferguson, who hit a powerful left foot shot from the edge of the area into the net. Within minutes, Ferguson was on the run again, feeding Leo on the right whose deep cross was met by Matthew Etherington with a first-time left foot drive just over the bar.
Forest managed more possession early in the second half, without having much to show for it, making a double substitution at the start. It was a while before Spurs had a decent chance, but Yannick Kamanan had a powerful shot blocked after good work by Etherington and Ferguson. Leonhardsen made ground from the right wing, when Forest's offside appeals were ignored, and hit a left foot angled shot over the goal. There was time for George Snee to show his impressive touches, forcing one save from the keeper, after Leonhardsen had pierced the defence.
Next up is Arsenal away (being played at Barnet's Underhill ground) - next Monday night.
The preview of this game, containing several pen-pictures of our younger players, can still be read here.
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