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Spurs Reserves v West Ham Reserves, 16.10.01

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.


	Premier Reserve League South
 	   Stevenage Borough FC
       Tuesday 16th October 2001, 7pm 

          SPURS       v   WEST HAM UTD
      (White/Blue)        (Claret/Blue)
          4-4-2              4-4-2

           2(2)               2(1)

       Kasey Keller  1  Stephen Bywater
       Ciaran Toner  2  Glen Johnson
       Ben Thatcher  3  Scott Minto
  Goran Bunjevcevic  4  Steve Lomas
    Anthony Gardner  5  Steve Potts
     Alton Thelwell  6  Hayden Foxe
      John Piercy(C) 7  Adam Newton
       Tim Sherwood  8  Grant McCann
    Yannick Kamanan  9  Paul Kitson
Matthew Etherington 10  Svetoslav Todorov
      Sergei Rebrov 11  Laurent Courtois

        George Snee 12  Omer Riza
                        (10) 70 Mins.
        Gavin Kelly 13  Billy McMahon
    Paul O'Donoghue 14  Anwar U'din
  Maurizio Consorti 15  Michael Ferrante
        John Sutton 16  Leon Britton
         (9)83 Mins     (4)81 Mins

Scorers:- Kitson 5, 90, Sherwood 7,22

Booked - Thatcher 34 (high tackle),
         Johnson 49 (tackle from behind)

It was a cool evening with a heavy pitch due to earlier rain but with a quick surface. There was a good crowd due to both sides having local support. I joined listee Paul Smith with his son Greg and friend. We spotted Hoddle, Roeder and Jennings in the celebrity box.

The team lined up with Gardner and Thelwell at the back flanked by Toner on the right and Thatcher on the left. Bunjevcevic in his protective mask and Sherwood were in the centre of midfield with Piercy on the right and Etherington on the left. Rebrov partnered Kamanan up front although he was tending to drop deep.

The first half got off to a good start with good pressure from Spurs. Bunjevcevic and Sherwood were spraying passes about and Matty was making runs down the left. The "Hammers" were breaking quickly in response using the pace of Todorov and Kitson to unsettle the defence.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 5th minute when Courtois played a diagonal ball into the centre for Kitson to run onto. Thatcher came across to clear but decided to get out of the way of the on-rushing Kitson leaving him to shoot past the unprotected Keller. Spurs responded quickly with Etherington winning a corner on the left. The corner was cleared to Sherwood on the edge of the area. He fired low into the left corner of Bywaters' goal.

The game settled into a pattern of Spurs attacks being prompted by Bunjee and Sherwood; mainly via Etherington, who set up chances for the the front two supported by Sherwood and Piercy. Rebrov had half a dozen good efforts along with a few from Sherwood and one from Goran.

The "Irons" midfield was forced to defend in their own half but Kitson and Todorov were causing the back four problems with Gardner in particular having problems with Kitson. On a number of occasions Gardner was misjudging the flight of balls and the bounce to allow players to get behind him. Thatcher had a mixed game containing Newton most of the time and making forays down the line. He pulled out of challenges a couple of times which cost us a goal and he was booked for going through a player to prevent him breaking out of defence.

Keller was not as busy as his opposite number but had to make a couple of important stops. Spurs second goal came from a left-side corner glanced in by Sherwood at the near post. Despite the number of chances, including a one on one chance for Matty from a great Goran through ball, we failed to increase the score.

The second half started in similar fashion. but the style of play began to change. More of our chances came from corners as we played more balls in the air which suited Foxe more. Sergei was still firing in from all angles and got his head to some of the corners that we were winning. West Ham were getting more luck from the speed of the front two to reach balls played through the defence. One memorable instance came from a ball played down the left channel which Gardner miskicked to Riza. Thatcher came across to cover but slipped as the ball was played square to Kitson on the right side who fired across Keller. Keller, diving to cover the near post, raised his right leg to deflect the ball away.

The speedy Riza and Britton were introduced to good effect as the "Hammers" looked to get an equaliser. It came at the end of 90 minutes from a corner which was kicked goalward for Kitson to pounce on and score from two yards.

Overall it was probably a fair result. Despite the chances created, our goals came from midfield. Sergei had plenty of efforts and played some fancy back-heels but failed to score. Sherwood and Bunjevcevic showed good accurate passing. Matty was ... Matty. The back four had a hard time allowing Keller the chance to shine.

The next game is on Monday when the visitors are Coventry City which will be followed by another home game against Watford the following week.

Ray

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