FA PREMIER RESERVE LEAGUE
MONDAY 29TH OCTOBER, 2001
(at Broadhall Way, Stevenage)
SPURS RESERVES 2 (0) WATFORD RESERVES 1 (0)
Referee:- Mr A. Penn
Attendance:- Est 450
Spurs (3-5-2):- Kelly; Thelwell, Bunjevcevic, Gardner; Piercy (Capt), Davies, Toner, Leonhardsen, Thatcher; Barnard (sub Consorti, 68), Kamanan
Subs not used:- Jalal; Henry, Marney, Snee
Watford (3-5-2):- Lee; Ifil, Williams, Langston; Neill, Saunders (sub Blizzard, 68), Swonnell, Matthews, Panayi (sub McNamee, 88); Forde, Godfrey
Subs not used:- Hughes; Smith, Buxton
Booked:- Langston (foul on Kamanan)
Spurs have played 5 of their 7 games at home, and tonight recorded their fourth home win over a young Watford side with just a handful of first team games amongst them. Spurs fielded a useful blend of youth and experience, and played for much of this game within themselves, only conceding a consolation goal in the closing stages. Having dominated possession throughout, Leonhardsen and Kamanan finally gave Spurs the lead their play had warranted in the second half.
Once again, there was a good turn out at Stevenage, no doubt boosted by a good contingent of Watford fans, but I also think there is an element of success at top level breeding interest down the ladder, and Stevenage seems to be a better venue than St Albans for Spurs support.
Watford rarely managed to threaten the Spurs goal, and in fact there was hardly any shot on target in the first quarter of an hour, apart from a blocked Piercy effort. Piercy was playing right wing-back, and Thatcher was supposed to be on the left in a similar position, although Anthony Gardner seemed to get forward more than Ben in the first half. Thatcher did take a more active role in the second half though. It would be unwise to read too much into the performances of players against this opposition, but Goran Bunjevcevic was dominant for the most part, and it was only when Colin Calderwood decided to move him into midfield in the closing stages that the Spurs defence looked under pressure.
After 19 minutes, Simon Davies caused the first real excitement with a run across from the right, hitting a one-two with Leo, before hitting a left foot shot just wide of the keeper's left post. Kamanan then somehow managed to slice his shot in front of an open goal, having been set up by Lee Barnard's cross from the right. Barnard was given a late inclusion at the expense of George Snee, and enjoyed putting himself about physically, having a fair degree of success with the ball.
After 28 minutes, John Piercy sent a searching ball down the right, which Davies made his own, before cutting inside for Leo, who could only manage a half-hit shot wide of the far post. Ciaron Toner, playing in front of the defence, then had one of his low drives pushed round for a corner, before sending a deep cross from the right for a stylish half-volley from Kamanan, that forced a good save from goalkeeper Lee. Just before the interval, Piercy was fouled on the edge of the box, and Thatcher hit a powerful shot just over the bar.
Watford at last had a decent chance on goal, when Forde headed a cross from the left onto the top of the netting. Thatcher found himself in an advanced position again to tee up Leonhardsen, whose shot was on target but well blocked by the defence. Five minutes after the break, Spurs took a deserved lead. Piercy hit a deep cross from the corner flag, which was headed down by Yannick. Barnard's shot was parried by the keeper, and Leo was on hand to finish from 12 yards.
Ten minutes later, the lead was increased, when Leo found Barnard on the left. Barnard showed great strength and determination to overcome three defenders and shoot on goal from the left side of the box. Again, Lee could only parry the shot, and this time it was Kamanan who had time to measure his finish into the bottom corner of the goal.
Watford did give Spurs a late challenge, as Calderwood experimented with his team. Swonnell hit a post after a cross from a throw conceded by a rare lapse from Bunjevcevic's sliced clearance, and then, in stoppage time, McNamee scored with almost his first touch, after Forde teed him up for a low shot from 18 yards to Kelly's right.
The reserves now have two away games, the first of which is next Monday against Chelsea. The venue and kick-off have yet to be confirmed by the writer.
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