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Carlisle v Spurs, 30.09.97

"It was Twenty Years ago today!"
article published 5th October, 2017, but first written in 1997.

(Spurs win 5-2 on aggregate)

Ginola 43 (pen)
Armstrong 51

Attendance 13,571

Referee:- J. Winter

Carlisle:- Craig; Barr, Archdeacon, Prokas, Varty, Pounewatchy, Harrison, Couzens (sub Boaertien), McAlindon (sub Dobie), Jansen, Aspinall

Spurs:- Walker; Carr, Vega, Campbell (Capt.), Scales, Calderwood, Clemence, Ginola (Sub. Dominguez, 84), Ferdinand, Armstrong, Fox.

Gerry Francis survived again last night thanks to a very dubious refereeing decision that allowed David Ginola to score his first goal for the club from the penalty spot.

Sol Campbell was made captain for the game which was one of the few good pieces of news and was probably our best player on a night of little inspiration and further bizarre team selections by Gerry Francis. Colin Calderwood was played in midfield and had a particularly inept night. Francis cannot understand that you either play Calderwood in defence or you don't play him at all. Francis then went on to play Steve Carr at left back and John Scales on the right. The result was a fairly disorganised defence and a virtually non-existent midfield where Stephen Clemence did most of the work but was unable to supply much imagination.

After a fairly non-eventful 40 minutes during which Ginola created most of the problems for Carlisle and had a goal disallowed after the referee blew (rightly) for offside we were given a very lucky penalty. Les Ferdinand was adjudged to have been shouldered off the ball. Nobody from Spurs appealed for a foul but the referee was adamant and Ginola duly scored his first goal for Spurs.

This effectively ruined the game and Carlisle never recovered. Ginola was booked after he retaliated following some late tackles he received in the first half.

Shortly into the second half, a Carlisle player fell over the ball and this gave John Scales time to take it forward and thread a pass into the path of Chris Armstrong who clipped it over the 'keeper for the second.

Spurs then sat back and created little else. Ruel Fox was not running at defenders and Ferdinand was probably saving himself for Saturday. Chris Armstrong is still patently not yet fit as he was beaten for pace on one to one balls.

After some pleading from the 1,000 Spurs fans who made the long trip north, Francis finally decided with about 10 minutes to go to bring on Jose Dominguez for Ginola who promptly got booked.

Ginola still had a reasonable game but still strolled around for long periods and failed to get involved.

Ian Walker only had one real save to make in the second half from a good low shot outside the penalty area. Carlisle were fairly disappointing in comparison to the first leg and this was reflected in their supporters who never really got behind the team to urge them on.

Francis survives until Saturday when the test will surely be more severe.

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25 years of archives at Spurs Odyssey

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