FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP
SUNDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 1999
BRADFORD CITY 1 (0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (0)
Referee:- Alan Wilkie
Bradford (4-4-2):- Walsh; Halle, Wetherall, O'Brien, Jacobs ( sub Myers, 65 ); Windass ( sub Blake, 46 ), McCall, Whalley, Beagrie; Saunders (sub Rodrigues, 77 ), Mills
Subs not used:- Clarke (GK); Redfearn
Spurs (4-4-2):- Walker; Carr, Perry, Young, Taricco; Leonhardsen, Freund, Sherwood, Ginola ( sub Nielsen, 90 ); Ferdinand ( sub Armstrong, 71 ), Iversen
Subs not used:- Baardsen; King; Fox
Booked:- Freund, Young, Iversen, Sherwood
Although it is a mystery as to where Alan Wilkie found some five minutes of extra time to play after an injury-free second half ( bearing in mind he had added three or four minutes at the end of the first half ), Spurs only had themselves to blame for failing to take advantage of their domination of this game, and the numerous chances they had to score - most of which missed the target. The fact that goalkeeper Gary Walsh won the man of the match award for a number of super saves is an indication of the pressure that the home side felt. However, Spurs sat back after taking the lead through Perry, and McCall got a last gasp equaliser to make it a very frustrating trip for the Spurs contingent. George Graham said after the game that to concede a goal at that stage felt like a defeat, and made the point that his side had enough chances to win two games.
Bradford hardly got out of their half for the first fifteen minutes, as Spurs piled on the pressure from that start with four consecutive corners. Iversen shot over after Les Ferdinand headed on a long clearance from Walker after 7 minutes, just before Freund got his customary booking. The German is now only one caution away from his first suspension of the season !
Ginola had an inspirational game, and worked on the right for a while. With his first piece of play on the left, he put a telling cross over, which Freund hit. Walsh saved, and Leonhardsen, following up, should have scored. Bradford's first opportunity came after 17 minutes, when Leonhardsen lost out in the midfield. Whalley sent a long ball to Saunders, whose shot was blocked by Young's timely tackle.
Ginola produced some magic as he cut in from the right, and sent a glorious curving left foot shot goalward. Walsh made a flying save to edge the ball round the post. Ginola became the provider for Iversen with a useful cross, that Iversen headed over, when he should have hit the target.
Saunders showed some of his old skills at the other end, as Perry got too close to him, and was left stranded by Saunders' turn and shot that went just wide. Ginola created another chance for Leonhardsen, whose shot was blocked. Bradford were beginning to find their feet, and on the break, Windass was through on goal, but hit the ball softly into Walker's hands.
Just before half time, Ginola, on the right, passed to Carr, who made it to the byeline and cut the ball back to Leonhardsen, who fired well over. Spurs had 16 shots in the first half, but only 4 were on target.
Taricco had an excellent game today, in my view, and there were times when he and David exchanged roles. Early in the second half, Ginola back-heeled to Mauricio, who made an excellent run, leaving two defenders in his wake, and after a 1-2 with Iversen, he had a Ginola like shot tipped over the bar by Walsh. Walsh was soon saving from Leonhardsen, after a similar build up.
There was some worry for Spurs in defence, as Perry was penalised for dangerous play on the edge of the area, but McCall shot wide after the free kick. Substitute Blake was then allowed some space, but his shot went straight to Walker.
With a hour on the clock, Tim Sherwood put Iversen through, and whilst there was some question about an offside decision, Iversen failed to score anyway. Perry had threatened to score before his goal, as he had a shot cleared off the line from a Ginola corner. Sherwood, having been booked, was lucky to stay on the pitch, as he seemed to deliberately handle the ball in front of the Bradford goal.
Leonhardsen went down in the box, when his shirt was tugged by Wetherall, but the justified penalty appeal was turned down. Iversen headed a corner goalward, but Walsh was on the scene again to thwart the visitors.
Armstrong, and Iversen were providers for Ginola who hit a cracking 25 yard shot just wide. With fifteen minutes left, Spurs scored what looked like being the winning goal. Perry rose to head a Ginola corner back across the goal and into the net, for his first goal for the club.
Spurs then came under some pressure, and Stephen Carr had to clear a Wetherall header off the line following a corner. George Graham put Nielsen on as the pressure mounted, but ironically, the time taken for the substitution may have led to the time for McCall's equaliser, which came in the dying moments. A deep corner was headed back across the area, and McCall was on hand to score from close range. Tim Sherwood perhaps could have done better to prevent the goal, and he rightfully held his head in his hands as the ball went across the line.
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