TUESDAY 17TH JULY, 2001
SWINDON TOWN 1 (1) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 (0)
Referee:- Dermot Gallagher
Swindon:- Griemink (McKinney, 45), Hewlett, Gurney (Cobian, 61),
O'Halloran, Grazioli (Invincibile, 61), Duke, Invincibile (Havlon, 45),
Heywood (Willis, 45), Reeves (Davies, 45), Robinson (Howe, 45), Farrell
(Sabin, 45). Additional substitution: Heywood for Davies (79).
Spurs:- (First Half - 3-5-2) Sullivan; Thelwell, Bunjevcevic, Young; Carr, Anderton, Davies, Sherwood, Jackson; Ferguson, Ferdinand
(Second half - 4-3-3) Sullivan; Piercy, Perry, Hillier, Taricco; Poyet, Freund, Clemence; Leonhardsen, Iversen, Kamanan
Glenn Hoddle continued his pre-season strategy of blending the reserves with the more experienced players, and again fielded two different teams for this visit to his former club at the County Ground in front of a decent crowd. Having travelled through considerable deluge, I was pleasantly surprised at the good condition of the pitch, and playing conditions must have been near to ideal for the players, as no more than a wind driven drizzle fell during the game. Of his two selections, it was the second half crew that put in the best performance, as a competitive Swindon side took a deserved lead after 25 minutes through right back Gurney advancing through the defence Carr style, and defeating Sullivan with a long low shot to his right.
I would love to tell you more about the Swindon side, but I did arrive a little late, and the announcer failed to tell us what was going on, even when substitutions were being made in the second half. Let's just say they gave us more than their fair share of worries, with some good challenging direct football. Piercy was challenged in the second half, and in fairness is not a right back by choice, and Sullivan (who played both halves) had to make a sharp save when Perry was slower than the advancing forward (number 17) who made it to a through ball to test the goalkeeper with an attempt at goal. Sullivan may have been made to play the whole game after a bit of a mistake in the first when he dropped an easy cross, causing a little panic.
There is little of note to relay about our first half showing, except for a 25 yard dipping shot from Anderton after some good work by Carr on the right, and half chances for Ferguson and Davies after the only other decent passing moves I can recall.
The second half team was immediately effective, and it was once again Gus Poyet who injected the real touch of class to proceedings. He fed Yannick Kamanan on the left wing with a clever back heel, and raced into the 6 yard box to receive the cross, which he put into the side netting. Within a minute, Spurs had equalised when the busy Leonhardsen flicked the ball to Iversen who had an easy finish round the goalkeeper.
Kamanan was really enjoying working with Poyet, and they combined effectively again, when Poyet cushion-headed Yannick's cross just wide of the post after 55 minutes. A John Piercy cross from the right was saved after Poyet's shot, and then Kamanan following up had his shot deflected for a corner. At this stage, Poyet was again involved in some physical shenanigans with a defender, which led to an enforced substitution for Swindon.
Spurs took the lead with 9 minutes left, with a good break out of defence. Taricco found Iversen who quickly diverted the ball to Kamanan on the left 45 yards from goal. Yannick won the race to the area against the defender and then beat the goalkeeper nicely with a powerful left foot shot. Laughably, the announcer said the scorer was Matthew Etherington, who wasn't even on the pitch! It was a bit like mixing Eddie Murphy with Dan Akroyd!
For the final goal, our alert announcer must have been watching the game through a mirror, as he gave the goal to number 21 Iversen, when it was scored by number 12 Piercy! Iversen had provided the flick to exchange with Piercy as he advanced from the right to round the keeper, and wrap up the match just before the final whistle.
Next up for Spurs is Orient on Thursday night, when hopefully we shall see Rebrov and Sheringham in action, and maybe even a little summer sunshine!
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