out of the hunt

Tottenham Hotspur Reserves  2    Leicester City Reserves   1      (Half-time score : 1-0)
Premier League Reserve League South Venue :  Broadhall Way, Stevenage Borough FC 
Monday 7th February 2005 Kick Off :  19.00 p.m.
Crowd :   approx.  300 Referee :  D. Whitestone
Weather :  -  Cold, misty
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :


O'Donoghue (c)


El Hamdaoui

Unused subs:

Leicester City Reserves



Gemmill (c)
Muggleton  (Norvall 82)


Unused subs:

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)
Tottenham Hotspur

Leicester City Reserves 

Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur 

Limbersky  35
El Hamdaoui  82

Leicester City Reserves 

O'Grady 87

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur 


El Hamdaoui (dissent) 63
Limbersky (foul) 76



Leicester City Reserves


Wright (foul) 39
Muggleton (incident off the ball) 66
Canero (throwing ball away) 74
Stearman (foul) 82


Canero (foul - second yellow)  85

Spotted at the game : -  
Hans Segers
Martin Jol
Pat Jennings
Terry Dyson
John Gorman (Wycombe Wanderers)
Mick Harford
Match Report : -  

A bruising encounter with a mainly anonymous Leicester side saw Tottenham win 2-1, but this did not really reflect the balance of play on the night.

A large crowd braved the chilly conditions at Broadhall Way to see Clive Allen's young side take on a Foxes team devoid of many known names.  Scot Gemmill was there, but he was about the only player who might easily be recognised.  The mixture of youngsters and a couple of older players tried in vain to stem the Tottenham attacks and sometimes resorted to foul play to do so, with the referee of this game missing a large portion of the offences committed too.

With international call-ups denuding the Spurs team of quite a few faces, the line-up featured a number of players who have made fleeting appearances.  O'Donoghue, back from his loan at Hornchurch, captained the side in Richards' absence and Kieran McKenna came into midfield to replace the Irish Under-21 midfielder Mark Yeates.

In the first minute, Lee Barnard pulled a pass back to Mounir El Hamdaoui, whose shot was deflected wide of the target by a Leicester foot and from the corner Marcel McKie fired in a shot that had the sting taken out of it by a half block.  This was a signal of intent for the rest of the game, with attack after attack raining in on the young Leicester defence.  Rodrigo Defendi attacked another corner and his shot pole-axed Barnard by hitting him in the midriff !!

Leicester's first attack came from a free-kick which was played into the near post and after a scramble, Eyre flopped on the ball to quell any danger.  Wright was a threat in the air all night and he got to a right wing cross ahead of Eyre, but could only head the ball over the bar.  At the other end, Barney's first time cross from the right was picked off the toe of Mounir, as the new striker moved in.

The game got a bit bogged down in midfield and there were few chances for ten minutes, in which time O'Donoghue and Defendi both had to be treated for head injuries.  When Spurs started to move forward again, El Hamdaoui got in ahead of the keeper to a cross, but his header went over the top on 32 minutes.  Three minutes later, Tottenham took the lead when Phil Ifil played a long ball down the right hand side of the penalty area and it was chased by Lee Barnard.  This pressure caused the defender to leave the ball for the keeper; the keeper to leave the ball for the defender and for David Limbersky to nip in between them to get a toe to the ball, lifting it over the goalie and into the net to put Tottenham 1-0 up.

The first of a few bookings for visiting players arrived in the 38th minute, as Wright was cautioned for unceremoniously whipping Limbersky's lags from under him.  Many challenges that brought paint o Spurs players were missed by the match officials, much to the disgust of Clive Allen, who got involved in a contretemps with the Leicester coach in the second half, with only the boyish fourth official between them.  Four minutes before the break, City nearly equalised, when a corner was pulled back to the edge of the box and a header fell to Stearman, who half-hit a volley, allowing Eyre to stop the ball on the line, whereas a full contact would have scored.  There was still time for Spurs to break into the Leicester box, when a low ball in from the left saw El Hamdaoui try to hit a shot with the outside of his foot, miscue and the ball ran to Ricketts on the right.  His shot was drilled in, but flew across the face of the goal.  He tried to perform many of his party pieces, but failed to make a dramatic impact on the game.

The second half saw Spurs start in the same vein as the first.  Barnard firing in a 25 yard shot and then Hallfredsson, who had a confident game, cut in from the right to hit a left foot shot a foot over the bar.  A neat bit of passing opened up the Leicester defence and Defendi put a ball down the left, where Barnard took his shot early, but he could not get it on target.

With 56 minutes gone, Spurs produced a flowing passing move from left to right, through Ricketts and McKenna, who put in a low ball from the right to El Hamdaoui.  The young forward teed himself up for a shot and it was pulled across the goal.  The new signing was not happy six minutes later, when Stearman studded him down the shin and he continued to moan at the ref, who booked him for his troubles.  Shortly after Leicester were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area and it was taken quickly to free Canero ten yards out.  He hit his shot, that Eyre did extremely well to block and O'Grady got to the rebound and Ifil came to the rescue with a clearance on the goal-line to deny the Foxes and equaliser.  In an incident off the ball, Muggleton knocked over O'Donoghue and got a yellow card.

Barnard was lively all night and proved a handful for the Leicester defence, who were not always scrupulous in their efforts to tame him.  He fired a volley over at the far post on the left and then had a header into the far post side netting on the other side.  Canero was enraged throughout the second half and was booked for throwing the ball away in the 74th minute and Spurs were denied a penalty when Hallfredsson was pulled down in the area and the ref gave a free-kick to Leicester for a handball !!  He also missed a foul on El Hamdaoui, which wound up Limbersky who raced back to foul Weslowski to see yellow.

In amongst all the ugly stuff, Mounir made a chance for Ricketts on the right, but his low shot was blocked by the goalkeeper's legs.  Ricketts then scooped a ball over a defender's head and volleyed a cross into the area, without anyone on the end of it.

The second Spurs goal came on 82 minutes, with El Hamdaoui getting his just desserts.  Ifil played a ball across the pitch from the right wing and Mounir side-stepped Stearman leaving him clear on goal on the left side of the box.  Faced with the keeper, he struck a fierce shot that left the goalie without a chance to save, as the ball rose into the top right hand corner of the net.  Stearman had tried to kick the Spurs striker on his way to goal and got a card to add to the visitors' collection.

Canero had been losing it and when he went down the line and was robbed of the ball, he scythed down McKie and got his second yellow plus a red in the 85th minute.  Two minutes later, El Hamdaoui was twice denied by the keeper with good shots, but when the play switched to the other end, O'Grady got a shot in from the right hand side of the penalty area that snuck home at Eyre's near post to pull an undeserved goal back.  Spurs nearly restored the two goal lead when Ricketts pulled a ball back to the Moroccan, who hit a shot that was saved, when Hallfredsson was better placed behind him to score.

It was a professional performance by Spurs against a tough Leicester side and despite the final score-line, they were well worth more goals on the night, when Barnard and El Hamdaoui lead the line superbly.  A good all-round performance that takes them on to Charlton for their next game when a number of players will be fit again or returned to the team.



Marco van Hip

Back to homepage