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Spurs v Derby, 27.02.99

SATURDAY 27th FEBRUARY, 1999
FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (0) DERBY COUNTY 1 (0)

Spurs scorer:-
Sherwood, 68

Derby Scorer:-
Burton, 46

Attendance:- 35,392

Referee:- J. Winter

Teams:-
Spurs (4-4-2):- Walker; Taricco, Vega, Campbell, Edinburgh; Anderton, Freund, Sherwood, Ginola; Armstrong ( sub Dominguez, 65), Iversen

Subs not used:- Baardsen; Young; Nielsen, Sinton

Booked:- Edinburgh, Freund

Sent off ( second booking ) Edinburgh

Derby(5-3-2):-Hoult; Eranio ( sub Prior, 40 ), Laursen, Carbonari, Schnoor, Dorigo ( sub Harper, 73); Carsley, Bohinen, Baiano ( sub Hunt, 73); Burton, Wanchope

Subs not used:- Knight (GK); Sturridge

Booked:- Laursen, Wanchope, Burton

Spurs played on cruise control for the first half, and were then caught on the hop as the second half commenced, when Burton scored from Derby's only real chance. Although George Graham had appeared on the bench at an early stage in the first half, it took much too long for Spurs to get going, and although Tim Sherwood struck a superb equaliser, another two points were wasted today.

When these teams last met at the lane in the league near the start of the 97-98 season, Jose Dominguez took Ginola's place, and made an exciting debut.Click here for that report. Although he is transfer listed, he made an impact as soon as he came on for the under-achieving Armstrong, by laying on Sherwood's goal.

Spurs started brightly, although they were missing Ferdinand through injury, and Carr through suspension. Taricco played on the right, and was involved in many of the attractive approach moves with the likes of Ginola, and Anderton. Sherwood was everywhere, and Freund was taking no prisoners again! Anderton had several long range efforts, inspired no doubt by his success against Leeds.

Derby packed their defence, and when Prior replaced the injured Eranio, they had four central defenders on the park. It was clear they came for no more than a draw, and they nearly stole all the points. The first piece of excitement came after three minutes, when Ginola, having been fed by Edinburgh, whipped a powerful cross that defeated all in the penalty area; attackers and defenders alike. Soon after that, he and Iversen shared passes on the right, before Armstrong shot across goal, and very wide of the mark.

Freund and Iversen had efforts, before Derby found their way into the Spurs goalmouth, and Sol Campbell had to block a shot from Bohinen. There were suspicions of handball on the edge of the area, but it looked like ball to hand to me. In the early stages, referee Winter was letting a lot of fouls go, and in fairness was seeking to let the game flow.

Once again, Edinburgh and Ginola combined well on the left. Edinburgh passed to Daveed, whose run led to a pass to Anderton whose shot was on target, but was deflected for a corner. Perhaps the best chance for Spurs in the first half came after 21 minutes, when Iversen led a counter attack, and found Armstrong with a cutting pass on the right. Armstrong ran and shot powerfully, but straight at the keeper.

An innocuous ball into the Spurs half was allowed to run for far too long by Ramon Vega, as although he expected it to go out of play, it tantalisingly stayed in. Vega was then under some pressure, and the half clearance led to the ball reaching Wanchope, who was allowed a shot, which went wide of Walker's right post.

The game was topped for a considerable period after Edinburgh sent Eranio flying. Justin also sent Ginola into a good position, but the play was drawn back, and in fact this may have been the incident that led to Justin's first booking. The Derby man received sporting applause as he was stretchered off. Just before the delayed half time, a long Anderton free kick was punched out by Hoult, and a Freund shot from the resulting melee was blocked. Spurs should have had a clear lead, and one felt that if only they lifted the pace, the goals would come. Although they had the first attacking move, Vega gave away a somewhat needless free kick near the half way line. The defence was caught napping, as Dorigo took the kick, and Wanchope headed down for Burton who was on his own, on the left, and easily able to beat Walker.

From this point it was mostly a case of Spurs desperately trying to find a way through the defensive wall. A Ginola cross after 52 minutes led to panic by the Derby defence as a pass back nearly led to an own goal. If Armstrong had been quicker off the mark in following up, he could have put the ball away. Whether he was licensed to roam or not, David Ginola was still wandering throughout the game, and a build up from him and Anderton led to a dangerous cross from Taricco, that Hoult struggled to catch. On the other flank, Edinburgh once again put Daveed into space. His cross beat the defence and reached Iversen beyond the back post at full stretch, and unable to put the ball away. Ginola had a rare headed chance when he tried to glance home an Anderton corner.

And so Jose Dominguez replaced Armstrong with 25 minutes remaining. Within three minutes he had the ball on the inside right channel. He weaved around two or three defenders, and pierced the defence to find Sherwood on the right edge of the area. Sherwood latched onto the pass with a superb strike across the goal and into the net. The oles rang around the ground as they had when the diminutive Portuguese made his first appearance. Whilst he is a lightweight, he has always been a favourite with the Spurs fans who will surely be hoping that he will remain at the club.

Two minutes later, it was Edinburgh, and not Ginola who was running at the defence, in and outside the right back, and beating the defence, and unfortunately the attack too, with a useful cross. Jim Smith made a double substitution to strengthen his defensive army, but that didn't prevent an Anderton shot being tipped onto the bar by the goalie. This time, Sherwood was following up, but the danger was cleared for Derby.

As Spurs maintained the pressure, the tackles started to fly, and tempers were becoming frayed. Freund got his customary booking, and Edinburgh was sent off in the closing stages for a very late challenge on Harper. I believe that he and Freund will now miss the league game against Aston Villa in two weeks time, and not the Worthington Cup final as they might otherwise fear.

There was so much added time, that the game did not finish until nearly 5 o'clock. The referee was booed off, but the players were applauded. It is worth recording that on several occasions the home fans chanted "There's only one Chrissie Hughton". There are clearly mixed feelings about the forthcoming introduction of Stewart Houston.

Brian Judson's preview

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