FRIDAY 13TH JULY, 2001
STEVENAGE BOROUGH 1 (1) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 8 (5)
Hamsher (pen), 17
Ferguson, 21, 38
Kanaman, 80, 84
Stevenage:-(first half)Wilkerson;John Hamsher,Trott, Arnott, Sturgess;Goodliffe, McMahon, Walters,Nazha; Campbell,Williams
(Second Half)Hasell; Hamsher, Smith, Sodje, Sturgess (Duckett 71); Arnott (Abbott 65), Armstrong, Clarke, Nazha (Bridge 75); Morgan, Hay
Spurs (First Half - 3-5-2):- Sullivan; Thelwell, Bunjevcevic, Toner; Piercy, Davies, Clemence, Poyet, Etherington; Ferdinand, Ferguson
(Second Half - 4-4-2):- G. Kelly; Taricco, Perry, Hillier, Jackson; Anderton, Freund, Sherwood, Consorti (sub Barnard, 83); Iversen, Kanaman
On this wet thundery night, Spurs arrived late at the Broadhall way ground, where their reserve team will play their home games in the forthcoming season. A good crowd witnessed what we can only describe as an entertaining practice match, and the only real fact I can glean from the occasion was that Gus Poyet simply oozed class. He is tall and strong, can head the ball, shoot and spray passes all over the place. Home and away supporters appreciated his skilful display, when he directed operations in the first half, scoring an excellent hat-trick to boot!
Understandably, with a 5-1 lead the second half team eased up somewhat, and reserves like Jackson and Consorti, probing well on the left made more headway than Anderton, Freund and Sherwood. The other astounding fact to report is that "We saw Steffen score!" - Freund that is! - although there may be some doubt about its validity.
Stevenage featured a Jamie Lawrence lookalike in DJ Campbell, and their fans made the most of his presence by chanting "We've got a Campbell - you've not!" Their Campbell gave Bunjevcevic and Thelwell one or two anxious moments. Bunjevcevic is tall and lean - maybe even a little lightweight, and he did not look comfortable against the physical Stevenage attackers.
Poyet was winding the machine up in the early stages, with a neat threaded pass to the pacy Ferguson, and then a powerful drive that went over the bar. Another Poyet build up led to Clemence hitting a powerful arrowed drive that Wilkerson had to stretch to reach. It wasn't long before Spurs had the lead though as Gus stepped up to convert a 20 yard free kick by firing it through the wall and in off the left post. Poyet showed his willingness to take up discipline duties as he quickly took the Stevenage number 8 in hand after a horrible late and high tackle on Etherington.
The home fans were buoyed by the award of a penalty for a push by Bunjevcevic, but 4 minutes later Les Ferdinand headed a high ball down for young Steve Ferguson to easily finish off. Stevenage nearly equalised again in a goalmouth scramble when a shot by their number 11 hit the post and Campbell's follow-up was saved by Sullivan diving low to his left. Poyet gave Spurs a two goal lead when he started and finished a move, firing home when Ferdinand headed down a cross from the right. Two minutes later he scored the best goal of the night. Ferdinand rose to a left side corner, heading on to Poyet lurking outside the area. Gus hit a sweet right foot shot to the goalkeeper's left, leaving him helpless. There was time for one more goal before the interval, when Les seemed to finish off a Ferguson shot from the left after good work by Matty Etherington. The goal has been credited to Ferguson.
It took a long time for any notable action to emerge after the break, and all one could do was admire Sherwood's heavy tan, and Freund's blonde highlights! On the hour Maurizzio Consorti had a neat exchange with Kanaman, and had a shot tipped over the bar. Yannick then had a long range effort deflected for a corner.
Gavin Kelly had to make two excellent saves from opposite sides of goal, before the momentous Freund goal after 77 minutes. Steffen broke through the right side of the area, after Iversen's pressure allowed the ball to break to the German. Freund cleverly chipped a defender and the ball bounced across the goal, deceiving the number 5 and the goalkeeper, before bouncing out off the post. To be honest I didn't think it went in, and I was standing right behind the goal, but the linesman immediately signalled a goal. Now let's see one when it counts Steffen!
Yannick Kanaman rounded things off nicely, firstly meeting a John Jackson cross from the left at the near post to shoot home, and then to finish off the goalkeeper's parried save from Iversen after Lee Barnard's first touch had been to provide the ball for Steffen Iversen. Iversen looked pretty fit, and showed some class in the early stages.
Notable absentees were Teddy Sheringham, Gary Doherty, Stephen Carr, Luke Young, Ledley King, and Sergei Rebrov - all given extra time off. Glenn Hoddle was also absent - perhaps sorting out a new signing?
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