FA BARCLAYCARD PREMIERSHIP RESERVE LEAGUE
MONDAY 29TH NOVEMBER, 2004
SPURS RESERVES 1 (0) FULHAM RESERVES 1 (1)
Referee:- Mr. M. Yerby
Attendance:- Est. 250
Spurs (4-4-2):- Burch; McKenna, Richards (Capt.), Defendi, McKie; Dilevski (sub Price, 86), Lee (sub Maghoma, 72), O'Hara, Yeates; Silva, Slabber
Subs not used:- Eyre; Daniels, Malcolm
Booked:- Silva, Richards
Fulham (4-5-1):- Beasant; Ormosuzi (sub Buari, 58), Watkins, Fontaine, Milsom; John, McKinlay (Capt.), McDermott (sub Timlin, 67), Pratley, Doherty; Noble
Subs not used:- Lawless; Davidson, Collins
Booked:- Noble, Watkins
Those who went early and spent a little too long getting their half-time Bovril on this icy cold night missed the goal-scoring action in this game, as the visitors took the lead on the stroke of half time, and Eddie Silva Sousa scored his sixth goal of the season within a minute of the re-start to equalise for Spurs. Whilst the first half had been quite bereft of incisive action, the second was more entertaining, as the hosts took the game to Fulham, who were not without scoring opportunities in that second period. Whilst Spurs have retained their 7 match unbeaten run, their dropped point does mean they surrender top place in the league to Charlton, who beat Arsenal tonight by three goals to one.
Spurs now regard the reserve team as primarily a development unit, with less input from senior players seeking a run out. An exception to this rule was made tonight for the latest come-back of Dean Richards, who skippered the young side tonight, making a welcome appearance after his latest trauma with what has been very much more than an ear infection. Another veteran on the field of play tonight was one David Beasant, aged 44 years, who made his league debut some 12 clubs ago in the 79-80 season, and made that dramatic Cup Final penalty save in 1988! I think Spurs last encountered him in a friendly at Wycombe before the 2003-4 season. Beasant even made three (unused) substitute appearances for Spurs during the 2001-2 season.
Whilst Beasant had one or two quite desperate saves to make, Spurs failed to exercise him as much as they could due to failing to hit the target when reaching shooting areas, and some bad fortune (coupled with good defending) with several final passes. As can be seen, it was a very young Spurs side with Charlie Lee and Kieran McKenna getting rare outings at this level, and giving very good accounts of themselves too. Jamie O'Hara was spraying the ball to good effect from deep positions, for runs from the likes of Dilevski, Slabber and Silva. Mark Yeates did not get too much service in the first half, but was prominent after the break. The only recognised member of the Fulham outfield was Collins John, returning from injury.
Fulham resembled their senior team tactically, with Noble as a lone striker supported by a five-man midfield, where John, McDermott and Doherty played attacking roles in front of McKinlay and Pratley. Spurs nearly had an excellent start when Slabber sent Dilevski away, and the young Australian tried an audacious chip of the aged keeper, which was saved. Silva had already gone down on the icy surface, and gave cause for concern, before running off any effects. It was a long time before another chance for Spurs. Dilevski returned the compliment to Slabber, who made it to the goal line, then struggled to weigh up his options. He made the wrong decision and tamely passed back to a grateful Fulham player.
After 35 minutes, Slabber tried a 35 yard dipping shot, that went only just over the bar, before there was panic at the other end, as Marcel McKie sold Burch short with a back pass. The keeper did race out and clear from the feet of John. Only one minute of injury time was indicated, but referee Mr. Yerby seemed to allow a lot more time, which meant trouble for Spurs. McKie had just led a useful attack, feeding Yeates, whose attempted pass over the defence was blocked, before a swift counter down the right flank let McDermott into the Spurs area from the right. He hit a good right foot shot across Burch, which hit the far post and rebounded across the goal into the back of the net.
From the re-start, Spurs advanced down the left and Jamie Slabber cut in from the corner flag, leaving the defence in his wake, before hitting a measured cross to Silva, who hit a good first time placed shot beyond Beasant. Fulham responded with a shot from Noble, saved by Burch, after Mark Yeates had lost out to pressure in his own half from that packed Fulham midfield. Spurs now played some sharp football, demonstrated by a throw from McKie to Silva, who flicked inside to Slabber, whose shot was saved but not held by the veteran keeper, who saw the ball run clear despite Dilevski's follow-up.
There was time for some comedy, as Clive Allen admonished the referee for getting in the way of a Spurs attack. The referee reciprocated by visiting Clive in the dug-out! Beasant showed a reluctance to fetch the ball unless within 5 yards of him, and on one occasion, Clive collected the ball off the fourth official, and rolled it very firmly at Beasant! There was more farce as the fourth official struggled to master his number board when signalling a substitution.
After 63 minutes, Charlie Lee tested Beasant with a long range effort. Once again the keeper could not hold the ball, but Silva was forced away from goal, ad the attack faded despite the efforts of Dilevski and Yeates. Fulham had a very good effort with a quarter of an hour to go, when John hit a great left footed volley over the bar from Milsom's cross. Five minutes before the end, Dilevski should have done better when Silva made a good run, then put the ball in front of Dilevski advancing on goal, hitting his right foot drive wide of the post, failing to even test Beasant.
Next Monday (6th December), Spurs face fourth placed Arsenal Reserves at Barnet. Kick off is at 7 p.m. and admission will be free, so why not come along and give the boys the support they need and deserve at Underhill?
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