THURSDAY 13 SEPTEMBER, 2001
WORTHINGTON CUP 2ND RD
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 (0) TORQUAY UNITED 0 (0)
Referee:- M. Warren
Spurs (3-5-2/3-4-3):- Keller; Perry, Doherty (sub Bunjevcevic, 12), King; Taricco, Leonhardsen (sub Sheringham, 46), Freund, Davies, Ziege; Rebrov, Ferdinand (Capt)(sub Etherington, 74)
Subs not used:- Sullivan; Thelwell
Booked:- King (Dissent)
NB:- Sheringham Captained the side in the second half.
Torquay (3-5-2):- Dearden; McNeil, Woozley, Douglin; Tully, Brandon (sub Nichols, 86), Rees (Capt), Russell, Hill; Graham (sub Benefield, 77), Williams (sub Roach, 74)
Subs not used:- Northmore (GK); Russell
Booked:- McNeil, Williams (both fouls)
Following the horrors across the Atlantic last Tuesday, it was appropriate that an American, Kasey Keller, making his Spurs debut, was present for the one minute's silence which was immaculately observed, broken only by the rain battering the top of the stands. Only 20,000 souls bothered to turn up for this game, but that is probably more than the meagre ITV Digital audience watching what was unedifying fare for much of the time.
For Torquay, of course, this was their Worthington Cup Final, and their team and fans did this lowly third division side proud, actually dominating the home side on and off the pitch for the first half. Keller started shakily, kicking a clearing pass short to Perry, and the whole defence looked lack-lustre. Keller had one or two scary moments, having to chase a rebounding Perry clearance across the goal, and then having to watch a Woozley shot rattle the cross bar, after a cross from the right.
Spurs, through Ferdinand, were in the box in the opening exchanges, but his effort was blocked and the follow up shot was deflected for a corner. Then came the scares at the other end, as the Spurs midfield failed to serve their strikers. More injury woe came for Tottenham, as Gary Doherty had to be stretchered off after only 11 minutes. Manager Glenn Hoddle feared a broken leg, and Doherty was taken to hospital as a precaution, but it seems that he has turned an ankle. Spurs must hope that Anthony Gardner returns soon, having made a behind the scenes come-back for the reserves this week.
Occasionally, Spurs would provide some flair in building an attack, such as that of Leonhardsen, Freud and Ziege in giving Simon Davies a long range opportunity. Ziege and Leonhardsen were the providers as Taricco hit a tame left foot shot at the goalkeeper - ex Spurs Youth player Kevin Dearden. Another nice build up from the back, featuring Bunjevcevic and Freund led to a Ferdinand powerful shot from the right edge of the area, which Dearden saved comfortably.
On the half-hour, Sergei Rebrov tried a 30 yard shot that curled just wide, and then passed to Ferdinand whose lobbed shot was punched clear by the keeper. having started slowly and nervously, Rebrov gained in confidence, and his typical determination led to a loose ball reaching Ziege, who exchanged with Davies, and whipped a cross in front of Ferdinand who fired over from close range.
Sheringham was introduced at half time, and Spurs switched to a 3-4-3 formation, playing with more effort after a half-time roasting from Hoddle. There were still one or two frights for the Spurs defence as Kevin Hill latched onto a ball from the right, and hit a blistering shot that went over the bar. Keller would not have reached it, if it had been on target.
Sheringham's flicks began to tell, and the lead was finally gained after an hour, when Ledley King got on the end of a Ziege free kick, poking the ball high into the net. Rebrov began to enjoy the attacking formation, and there were some quality exchanges between he and Teddy. One 22 yard shot from Sergei just passed the post, and later in the game he hit a 25 yard beauty that curled and hit the bottom of the goalie's left post.
The game was sealed after 68 minutes, thanks to more good work from Sergei, who fed Taricco, whose high cross was headed home by Ferdinand to score the first goal by a striker for Spurs so far this season. Matthew Etherington got a run, replacing Les, but struggled a little on unfamiliar territory in the middle. The minnows from the "English Riviera" deserved the hearty applause from their own fans, and the home fans, who did not get the routine win they perhaps expected.
· Read about Cyril Knowles here
· Brian Judson's Preview for this game can still be read here
· Check the current team appearances, cards and scorers in all competitions
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