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Spurs Reserves v Leicester Reserves, 08.11.05

FA BARCLAYS PREMIERSHIP RESERVE LEAGUE (SOUTH)
(at Broadhall Way, Stevenage)
TUESDAY 8TH NOVEMBER, 2005
SPURS RESERVES 0 (0) LEICESTER RESERVES 1 (0)

Scorer:- Wykes, 74

Referee: - Mr D. Phillips

Attendance: - Est. 300

Teams:- Spurs (4-4-2):- Cerny; Pamarot, Kelly, Lee, Daniels; McKenna (sub Barcham, 61), Davis, Brown (Capt.), Hallfredsson (sub O’Hara, 61); Barnard, Reid

Subs not used: - Forecast; Riley, Mills

Booked: - Davis

Leicester (4-4-2):- Logan; Stearman, Norval, Gilbert, Sheehan (Capt.); Gradel (sub Wykes, 72), King (sub Hammond, 46), Hamil, Muggleton; Chambers (sub Tejan-Sie, 61), Hume

Subs not used: - Cisak; Franklin

Booked: - Gilbert, Gradel, Stearman

You would have thought that a strong Spurs Reserve side, featuring no less than 6 players with first team experience (half of them reputedly stars too) would have had no trouble disposing of Leicester’s kids, who before this game were holding up the Reserve League with just one win from their previous 9 games. But no! Spurs contrived to struggle to hit the target, despite having the visitors’ defence at sixes and sevens in the first period of play, and were ultimately beaten by substitute Wykes’ first touch in the 74th minute.

Spurs included Noe Pamarot, continuing his come-back, who sadly has to carry the can for a weak clearance to Wykes’ feet for that goal. Stephen Kelly partnered Charlie Lee at the back, with Daniels at left back. Davis and Brown at the heart of midfield could sometimes turn on the style at the “touch of a button”, but at other times, when wanting too much time on the ball, allowed themselves to be harried off the ball by the hard-tackling Foxes. It was that work ethic again that beat Spurs – just like last night at Bolton!

Andy Reid played off Lee Barnard up front, and was often found deep with the midfield. Reid had plenty of creative touches, and was the best of the first teamers in my view. Spurs got plenty of chances, but too often just failed to hit the target. From the start it looked as if Spurs were going to carve their way through to goal at will, as Reid had a free kick blocked, then Pamarot’s shot went sky-high. Hallfredsson’s corner brought a close range header from Barnard which led to a great reaction save from Logan.

Leicester showed signs of danger after 7 minutes, when Chambers got goal-side of Kelly, and into the area. His rising shot went just over the bar. After 15 minutes, Andy Reid picked out Barnard with a curling cross, which Barnard just failed to reach. Sean Davis picked up King’s poor clearance and hit a decent dipping shot which Logan saved cleanly. Reid led another good move after 20 minutes, which continued from right to left then back to the middle through the rest of the midfield, before Sean Davis again hit a shot which was held.

The referee was letting lots of physical; stuff go, but eventually had to book Gilbert for his challenge on Lee Barnard. Charlie Daniels made a fine run from deep, using the midfield as a wall, before hitting a good shot just over the target. Spurs had had the chances, but failed to make it count, and of course paid the penalty in the second half. Before that though, Daniels hit another fine shot – this one just wide – after Hallfredsson took part in the 1-2. Muggleton had one more chance for the Foxes, as Reid was too slow on the ball at the half-way line, and Leicester broke clear, with Muggleton’s shot held by Cerny with his fingertips low near the ground.

Elvis Hammond (who had been scheduled to start) replaced King at half time, and had an immediate effect, causing Kelly and Lee more problems than they had in the first half. Cerny had another save to make from Sheehan’s free kick after Sean Davis had fouled Hammond just outside the box. It was Andy Reid again who looked most likely to cause excitement, as he made one great run following a touch from Barnard, then got in a deep cross after beating two men near the bye-line. Sadly none of his team-mates got to the cross. Brown floated in a free kick on 58 minutes, which Kelly headed over.

It was Hallfredsson and McKenna who made way for O’Hara and Barcham, and maybe more of the youngsters on the field would have been a better option, as Brown and Davis got caught in possession more and more. The Leicester goal came from a throw on the right which got to the back post. Pamarot could only prod the ball weakly towards the edge of his area, and Wykes gratefully accepted the offer of a goal with his first touch.

Spurs tried to build up the pressure, but Leicester held out, as Reid ran onto a Barnard header, but chipped onto the net; Davis tried an overhead kick in the box, which went over, and finally Logan made a somewhat miraculous save on the goal-line from a Davis header, with Barnard and O’Hara just unable to swoop. Kelly also had another headed chance go begging.

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