SATURDAY 13th FEBRUARY, 1999
FA CUP 5th ROUND
LEEDS UNITED 1 (0) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (0)
Referee:- N. Barrie
Leeds (3-5-2):- Martyn; Wetherall, Radebe, Woodgate; Haaland ( sub Korsten, 89 ), Hopkin, Bowyer, Kewell, Harte; Hasselbaink, Smith
Subs not used:- Robinson (GK); Granville, Halle, Jones
Booked:- Woodgate, Bowyer
Spurs (4-4-2):- Walker; Carr, Young, Campbell, Edinburgh; Anderton ( sub Nielsen, 82), Freund, Sherwood, Ginola ( sub Sinton, 82 ); Iversen, Ferdinand
Subs not used:- Baardsen; Vega; Armstrong
Booked:- Iversen, Ferdinand, Carr, Sherwood
Tim Sherwood capped his full debut with a 53rd minute goal, and Spurs defended stoutly for all but the 73rd minute of the game, when they allowed Ian Harte the freedom to run in from the left flank and equalise from 25 yards. The atmosphere was hot on and off the pitch for much of the game. George Graham was given some special protection, from the abuse, and missiles thrown at him upon arrival at the ground, but he takes his boys back to the lane, with a broad grin on his face, and must fancy his chances of maintaining his twin-pronged attempt at reaching Wembley.
Edinburgh was re-installed at left back, in preparation for Tuesday night's Worthington cup tie, and David Ginola started the game, although he was not at his best today. Nielsen was relegated to the bench, and the likes of Calderwood, and Fox did not even make it that far. Competition is getting tough ! The draw was a fair result, but once again, it was Tottenham who had the clearest of chances, one of which fell to Les Ferdinand as early as the second minute. Following some good approach work by Ginola on the right, the ball reached Ferdinand who had some freedom on the left of the area. His shot was on target, but cleared off the line by Harte. There was a brief melee, when Iversen tried to get a shot in, but Martyn smothered the ball safely.
Spurs managed to keep the Leeds attackers out of the danger zone for most of the game, but the youngster Smith ( no relation ! ) had a shot go just wide from a half cleared ball after 8 minutes. Spurs were looking sharp in the early stages, passing well. After 13 minutes, a beautiful long pass from Sherwood in his own half found Ferdinand on the left flank. The Ginola cross that followed did not reach a fellow player.
After 19 minutes, Kewell hit a low and quite weak free kick, that was comfortably saved by Walker. A counter attack followed, with Iversen crossing from the right into the path of Sherwood, who mis-hit his shot. Iversen was often to be found down the right wing today, and put in a lot of work. He frustrated two or three times, when he got into really attacking and open positions, but his final touch let him, and his side, down. He also had another shot off target from in front of goal.
Around the half hour mark,there was a great deal of pressure from Leeds, with several successive corners. During this period, Young got away with a very strong tackle on Smith, where he had one very high leg striking the strikers groin ! The Iversen miss came after 39 minutes. Edinburgh, having been given the ball by Ginola, beat his man, and put over a good cross, that was flicked on by Ferdinand. Iversen was at the far post, and once again miss-cued in a position where a top striker should be lethal. This was not such a bad miss as the one last week against Coventry however.
After 50 minutes, a Steve Carr long ball reached Ferdinand, who followed a one-two with Sherwood with a sharp shot across goal, that went only inches wide. Ferdinand is looking at his fittest( in my view ) since his arrival at Tottenham. Once his energy, and application is converted, we should see some goals soon! Carr impressed once again, and sent several effective passes down the right wing. The pace of Luke Young was an effective weapon against Hasselbaink, and he got some very important tackles in.
A dangerous Leeds cross was just tipped clear by Walker, and soon after, Spurs scored on the break, although it was a well deserved lead for them. Walker's long ball reached Iversen down the right; he back passed to Anderton, who put in a quick cross. The ball was met by Sherwood's right foot, as he reached out and lobbed it over Martyn with a first touch. Spurs nearly increased their lead, when Ferdinand, on the break, passed to Ginola whose shot went straight to the goalkeeper.
Leeds had one of their best scoring chances with 6 minutes on the clock, when Kewell, and Hasselbaink were involved in a build up from the left. Wetherall was found unmarked on the right of the area, and his shot was pushed round by Walker, who was never at full stretch. The pressure was building though, and Spurs became ever more reliant on bulldog defending from the back four, and notably Sherwood, and Freund just in front of them, hoping to score from a long break to Iversen or Ferdinand. It looked as if the visitors would hold out, but they let their guard down after 73 minutes, when Ian Harte was allowed to drift in from his left wing station, past Anderton, and Sherwood ( who was wrong footed for once ), and he scored with a 25 yard low shot that went through Ferdinand's legs, and into the right bottom corner.
Ginola tried to curl a shot into the top corner from a free kick, and Hasselbaink had a long shot on target, but in the latter stages, Graham shut up shop by taking his flair midfielders off, and inserting Sinton and Nielsen, to ensure a re-match at the lane on February 24th. Whilst there were six bookings, and there was plenty of hard physical contact, it is worthwhile mentioning two occasions, when a different reaction by "injured parties" might have led to punishment:-
One such occasion was when Sherwood, and Hopkin were involved in a midfield tussle, that led to Hopkin blatantly pulling Sherwood down. Sherwood simply got up, and hugged his opponent, and the game went on. The other incident involved Les Ferdinand who knocked down Martyn when following through with a challenge for a 50-50 ball. A Schmeicel would have made a real meal of this, but to his credit, Martyn got up, and got on with the game, and Ferdinand, having already been booked, escaped punishment.
· Brian Judson's preview of this game
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