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Spurs Reserves v Nottm Forest Reserves, 03.02.03

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]


	F.A. Premier Reserve League, South
	Stevenage Borough FC, Broadhall Way
 	 Monday 3rd.February 2003, 7pm ko

	    SPURS     v   NOTTINGHAM FOREST
         (White/Blue)        (Red/White)
           3-3-1-3             4-4-2

             2(2)               1(1)

        Neil Sullivan 1 Barry Roche
          Mark Hughes 2 James Biggins
         Ben Thatcher 3 Gregor Robertson
        Kazuyuki Toda 4 Benjamin Gavanon
       Alton Thelwell 5 Jon Olav Hjelde
          Chris Perry 6 Westley Morgan
      David Galbraith 7 Brian Cash
       Rohan Ricketts 8 Eoin Jess
         Gary Doherty 9 Jack Lester(C)
  Johnnie Jackson(C) 10 Craig Westcarr
 Matthew Etherington 11 Eugen Bopp

        Ronnie Henry 12 Mickael Antoine-Curier
                        (9) 64 Mins.
     Lars Hirschfeld 13 Pascal Formann
         Mark Yeates 14 Liam Kearney
        (7) 46 Mins     (8) 70 Mins.
     Michael Malcolm 15 Andy Haskins
         (9) 82 Mins
          Owen Price 16 Steven Webb

Scorers - Lester 2, Etherington 25, Hughes 29

Booked - Hughes(late) 14, Lester(said something) 58, Morgan(kicking ball away) 61, Toda(late) 78

A good crowd turned up on a cold evening to see the first outing of our newest signing from Japan. It also brought out a dozen photographers who kept their cameras on him throughout the game. Toda is not very tall and as there was not a lot of him, you could easily mistake him for one of the U-17's out there.

Spurs lined up with Perry at the back with Thelwell on his right and Thatcher on his left. Toda played in front of them with Hughes on the right and Galbraith on the left as wing backs. Jackson played behind a front three of Ricketts, Doherty and Etherington with Gary the target man.

Spurs defended the North end and the hardworking Lester beat the offside trap to draw Sullivan and slot home in only the second minute with the back line looking at each other. Lester took the ball away from Toda a couple of minutes later and fired in a shot from 20 yards which Sullivan held well. For the first ten minutes Spurs were all at sea with all of them giving the ball away with bad passing and tackling, the main culprits being Toda, Ricketts, and Doherty.

After Bopp missed a chance to increase the visitors' lead we finally started to put some moves together. Galbraith and Hughes began to make progress down the flanks, and Doherty started winning the ball with his back to goal and laying it off better. Galbraith began to run at the defence and was crossing dangerously from wide positions. It was no surprise when we equalized.

Collecting a through ball, Sullivan kicked upfield for Doherty to flick on to Ricketts who laid the ball into the path of Etherington. He out-paced the defence to shoot under the advancing keeper.

The second goal came from a training ground set piece following a foul on Doherty out to the left. Galbraith and Hughes stood over the ball with Jackson a little behind shaping to hit it. Galbraith touched it to Hughes as the stopper and with everybody looking at Jackson, Hughes allowed the ball to run, turned and hit the ball past the wall into the net.

As Spurs grew more confident so they began to dominate the game with Hughes forcing Roche to save from another freekick and Galbraith chipping just over from 20 yards. The back three contained the reds' attack with Thelwell controlling the right and being able to make forays into the other half matched by Galbraith's good work down the left.

Yeates replaced Galbraith during the interval and positioned himself to the right of Doherty with Ricketts moving to the left of midfield. It took a little while for Ricketts and Etherington to work out what Calderwood wanted before things settled down. Forest came out a little more determined for the second half and it became a more even game with chances at both ends. Etherington and Jackson had efforts blocked and Jess and Lester tried from distance at the other end.

Both sides forced a number of corners with the visitors coming mainly late in the game as I think Spurs sat on their lead. Thelwell shot just wide from a corner, and allowed Forest more space. Malcolm came on as a straight swap for Doherty for ten minutes as we eased off. Forest pressed strongly at the end with Kearney making some darting runs but Sullivan was not troubled by the centres or corners he had to deal with.

It turned out to be an easy game to start with for Toda, but from this showing he will need a few more games in the reserves before Hoddle can even think about introducing him to the Premiership. He struggled to make any impression being slow and not familiar with his new team-mates. He got more into the game later and did play a couple of good passes but I can't see him replacing either Freund or Bungy for a while.

Ray

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