Spurs  1   Derby County  2           (Half time: 0-2)
FA Premier Reserve League South
Monday 3rd November 2003
Venue :  Broadhall Way
Kick off : 19.00 p.m.
Weather : Clear, chilly
Crowd : -  approx. 400
Referee : -  S. Tomlinson
Spurs  -  Jackson
Derby County -  Tudgay 1, Labarthe Tome 28
Spurs  -  O'Donoghue (foul) 52, Henry (foul) 61
Derby County  -  Zavagno (kicking ball away) 48, Tudgay (kicking ball away) 73
Spurs : Hirschfeld; Galbraith, O'Donoghue, Henry, Ifil; Marney, Toda (O'Hara 46), Hughes (Slabber 73), Jackson (c); Barnard, Yeates. 
Unused subs: Burch, Foster, Barnett.

Derby County :  Camp; J. Turner, Walton (c), Wilson, Zavagno; Palmer, Cassidy, Miller, Sheard; Tudgay, Labarthe Tome (McLeod 62). 
Unused subs: Kuduzovic, Richardson, C. Turner, Kemp

Spurs  -  White shirts, navy blue shorts, white socks
Derby County  -  Blue shirts with white panels, white shorts, blue socks

On a mild night for the time of year, Tottenham turned in a lukewarm performance, gifting Derby both their goals in what turned out to be an enjoyable match despite the result.

Chris Hughton was on the bench, even though Clive Allen had been brought in recently to coach the reserve squad.  In the Directors Box was a collection of old pros, with Ray Harford (a regular at the reserves), Eddie Stein, Colin Calderwood and Mitchell Thomas all observing proceedings for one reason or another.

They saw something in the first minute that made them open their eyes, as Lars Hirschfeld took a back-pass, tried to dribble it around a Derby forward, only to be robbed of the ball on the left side of the box.  As the Canadian keeper tried to regain his position, Tudgay chipped the ball over him and into the net for an opening goal.  

Spurs hit back with Jackson and Barnard both pulling their shits across the face of the goal after good passing moves, with Barnard being set up beautifully by a tricky run by Yeates, but the striker delayed his effort and the keeper blocked the shot.

In the 23rd minute, Spurs got the closest they had come to scoring, when a ball in from the left wing flew low across the box to Marney at the far post.  His shot was cleared up and over the bar by the defender on the line.  Marney was involved again straight away, hitting a bouncing volley from the corner, but the keeper gathered it comfortably.

Phil Ifil was having a good game, finding enough time to move forward and hit a 25 yard shot that the keeper saved well, but in the 28th minute, from a long clearance forward from the Derby keeper, the visitors scored their second goal.  It was another present as Hirschfeld came for the ball over the top of O'Dongohue and fell to the floor, dropping the ball at the feet of Labarthe Tome, who could hardly believe that all he had to do was plop it into an empty net to put Derby 2-0 ahead.  Both Spurs players needed treatment and luckily, they were not called upon to do much else in the first half.

Lee Barnard rose at a Jackson corner to head goalwards, but his effort was headed off the line and in the last minute of the half, Mark Yeates hit a free-kick over the top.

The side were playing neatly enough, but without threatening the Derby goal, so Hughton replaced the ineffective Toda with the more direct running of Jamie O'Hara.   The switch seemed to work, with a 55th minute smooth run through the Rams midfield by the former Arsenal trainee, which put in Marney to cross for Yeates to head wide.  Both O'Hara and Marney had shots wide of the target in the next five minutes, while Spurs exerted a little bit of pressure.

At the other end, Hirschfeld continued to have a calamitous evening, as he tried to replicate Keller's fumble at Leicester recently, allowing the ball to pass through his body and through his legs, but luckily for him ,Ifil was behind him to boot clear.  He did redeem himself a few minutes after by taking a fierce low cross one handed about six inches off the floor, just as a County forward closed in.

O'Hara was once again producing a 25 yarder that the keeper held, before the 75 minute foul on Ronnie Henry, breaking through outside the Derby box, brought Spurs a free-kick.  Up stepped captain and man of the match, Johnnie Jackson to plant a firm shot over the wall and into the top right hand corner of the keeper's net to get Spurs back into it.  Jacko's constant movement into space, challenging back, running with the bal and good passing showed he cannot be too far off getting a place in a matchday squad ... especially with al the injuries we seem to be getting !!

Tottenham penned Derby back for most of the last 15 minutes of the match, but could make only two more decent opportunities.  Ifil crossed from the right, onto Barnard's head, but it went about two feet wide of the angle, then O'Hara tried another long range rocket, but it thudded into the advertising hoardings at the side of the goal.

The team did not do themselves full justice tonight and are capable of much more.  They were unlucky with two attempts kicked off the line and the two goals they conceded were poor ones, which could have been avoided.  However, they are all learning experiences that should be stored away and not repeated.  

And besides, it is not everyday that they get a chance to play against big names like Paul Miller and David Cassidy !!


Marco van Hip

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