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Fulham v Spurs, 01.12.99


Fulham scorers:-
Hayles, 10
Collins, 45
Horsfield, 77

Spurs scorer:-
Iversen, 44

Attendance:- 18,134

Referee:- D. Gallagher

Fulham (3-5-2):- Taylor; Symons, Melville, Coleman; Brevett, Collins ( sub Trollope, 80 ), Hayward, Clark, Uhlenbeek; Horsfield, Hayles

Subs not used:- Hahnemann (GK); Finnan, Morgan, Peschisolido

Booked:- Hayward, Brevett

Spurs (4-4-2):- Walker; Taricco, Perry ( sub Vega, 46 ), Campbell, Edinburgh ( sub Young, 46 ); Leonhardsen, Freund, Sherwood, Ginola; Armstrong ( sub Dominguez, 65 ), Iversen

Subs not used:- Baardsen; Nielsen

Booked:- Freund

Just two and a half years ago, Barry Hayles, and Geoff Horsfield were playing against each other in the Vauxhall Conference league. By different paths, they have arrived at Fulham to play side by side, and tonight they belittled two of England's best centre halves. Perry was substituted at half time, after making schoolboy errors just before the break, and I cannot remember the last time Sol Campbell struggled as much as he did against the power and strength of man of the match Horsfield, who was so ably supported by Hayles, and the rest of the Fulham team. As George Graham said after the game, "Fulham wanted it more. The best team won. We were well and truly beaten. Nobody has dominated us before tonight this season, but that happened tonight" George also mentioned that "We had words in the dressing room, but that will stay behind closed doors".

Truly, this was another lack-lustre performance from Spurs, whose season may hang on their next few games, with the third round cup tie approaching, and possibly league position being the only thing to aim for. Ginola was the only member of the midfield to make any impression, and had many shots, most of which were well wide of the mark. Freund started well, but faded into the tetchy individual that he so often is, and Leonhardsen, and Sherwood were disappointing all night. Graham's other half time substitution was to switch Taricco to the left, and replace Edinburgh with Young, who played right back, bringing some vigour to the side.

Referee Dermot Gallagher's lenient attitude was shown within 5 minutes, when Coleman brought Ginola down with a tackle so late that extra time might have started. Some referees may have even sent him off, but Gallagher didn't even book Coleman, but his team mate Hayward did get carded for an elbow in the brief melee that developed afterwards. In truth, Spurs players, including Campbell, would have dominated any other ref's book, as many tackles from behind went un-punished. Freund eventually gained an entry for over-reaction to a Horsfield foul.

Spurs had the best early chance, when Perry was allowed a free header to a Ginola corner. Goalkeeper Taylor made the first of several important saves, and almost immediately Fulham were ahead after the counter-attack. A Horsfield left-field cross reached Wayne Collins running into the box (not tracked by Freund) who got a half touch to the ball, which Walker fumbled into Hayles' path for an easy goal.

Ginola tried to even the score within minutes, but his 25 yard shot was parried by the goalkeeper. Hayles headed a chance straight to Walker at the opposite end. Perry escaped with a foul on Brevett on the edge of the box, and nothing came of the free kick.

After 22 minutes, Armstrong on the right lobbed a cross to Iversen, which the Norwegian brought down with beautiful skill, turned and volleyed to force another save from Taylor. Spurs made little headway after that chance until just before half-time, which produced a burst of action. Ginola had a speculative shot saved after an exchange with Taricco, and goalkeeper Taylor fluffed his clearance, gifting the ball to Iversen, who succeeded with the one on one chance that was offered.

Fulham were well worth their regained lead, however, when another cross from the left was cleverly dummied by Hayles, for Clarke to pass to the advancing Collins who fired home.

With three minutes into the second half gone, Horsfield picked up a half-hearted Campbell clearance, and shot just wide of Walker, with Collins in an offside position. Armstrong's woeful first touch let him down, when he met a Luke Young cross, but allowed the ball to go too close to the goalkeeper, when a class player would have trapped and shot home. In my view, Armstrong would struggle to make this Fulham side. Remember they had Karl-Heinz Riedle cup-tied, and Peschisolido on the bench.

Chris Coleman was allowed a shooting chance by Freund, but his shot was off target. Dominguez replaced Armstrong, but made little headway tonight. It was Fulham who looked the Premiership side, and so often Horsfield and Hayles put Spurs on the back foot. With 20 minutes left, Horsfield powered his way into the box, with Freund struggling to keep his feet. The ball ran to Hayles, who turned and shot just over the bar. Six minutes later, Horsfield put the game beyond Spurs reach, when he broke through an uncertain defence appealing forlornly for offside, and hit a superb shot home with the outside of his right foot.

Spurs had one more scoring chance, when Iversen tried an overhead kick from a Ginola cross, that was cleared to Freund, whose shot fell on top of the net. Fulham now meet either Leicester or Leeds away from home, whilst last seasons' cup winners have a clearer fixture list. Spurs season hangs in the balance, and it is only December 1st.

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