feather bedding

Tottenham Hotspur Reserves  0    Norwich City   0      (Half-time score : 0-0)
Premier League Reserve League South Venue :  Broadhall Way, Stevenage Borough FC 
Monday 30th August 2005 Kick Off :  19.00 p.m.
Crowd :   1,000 approx. Referee :  Mr. D. McDermid
Weather :  -  Dry, warm
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :



Jackson (c)

O'Hara  (McKenna 63)


Unused subs:

Norwich City :


Drury (c)

Howlett (Friske 79)

El-Ouargui (Martin 33)

Unused subs:

Colours : -  
Tottenham Hotspur Shirts : White with navy blue arms and side panel
Shorts : Navy blue with white sides
Socks : White with navy blue turn-over

Norwich City

Shirts : Yellow with green arms and trim
Shorts : Green
Socks : Green
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur 


Norwich City


Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur 



Norwich City



Spotted at the game : -  

Martin Jol
Hans Segers
Chris Hughton
Keith Burkinshaw (Watford Assistant Manager)

Match Report : -  

A game that saw unbeaten Spurs facing pointless Norwich City failed to go to form as the Canaries feathered their defensive bed to keep Spurs at bay and leave with a clean sheet and a point.

Having lost both their previous games, Norwich exhibited a defensive organisation that yelled "They shall not pass."  Rapidly getting eight or nine players back behind the ball, City made it hard for Tottenham to break them down.  Conversely, they were unable to get into the Spurs half that often and therefore, the threats to the Tottenham goal were limited.

Spurs opened up brightly, passing the ball well, with much of the play eventually revolving around the skills of Sean Davis.  Coming back from injury, this was his first game back and he played the whole 90 minutes, looking strong and hungry.  While some have spoken about him leaving the Lane, his injury plagued time here has not allowed the Tottenham fans to see his best and at his best he can be a commanding midfielder.  While Daniel Levy collects young English midfielders like most of us collect Nectar points, Davis could be a useful member of the squad to cover the player similar to him in that area of the team.

Jamie O'Hara has also impressed since coming to Spurs and moving up to the reserves.  He has the odd aberration in giving the ball away in situations where there is no pressure, but he has a cracking shot and fizzed one over the top just four minutes in.  Recent signing from Wigan Athletic Jason Jarrett hit Norwich's first attempt on goal over the bar from a free-kick after Marcel McKie had committed a foul on the edge of the "D" of the Spurs area after five minutes.  O'Hara then hit back in the very next minute taking a neat lay-off from Lee Barnard, playing as a lone striker, then moving into the penalty area to hit a shot that City keeper Joe Lewis saved well.

With international call-ups and injuries causing Clive Allen to shuffle his pack, the side turned out with four at the back, Brown and Davis sitting in front of the back four, then Jackson between Aaron Lennon and O'Hara sitting just behind Lee Barnard.  The system might have been a trial for the first team's upcoming match against Liverpool, as they have a limited number of forwards available.   

With the experience of Davis and Brown in midfield, the ball was moved about well and when Davis played a straight ball into Lennon on the edge of the Norwich box, he laid it off to Michael Brown on the right hand corner of the area.  taking the ball inside, he hit a left foot shot that went just too high.  That was after 19 minutes, but the game then got a bit bogged down with moves breaking down for both sides and the referee interrupting play with his whistle for some dubious off-sides and the next incident of note happened in the 35th minute when Ifil cleared the ball from inside his own six yard box when Norwich got forward to put a low right wing cross in.

The closest Spurs came to a goal was in the 38th minute, as Johnnie Jackson took a short free-kick to Sean Davis and his drive from 22 yards crashed back off the crossbar.  Two flashpoints saw the referee at the centre of controversy just before half-time, when each side had grounds for complaint.  In the 43rd minute, Ifil played the ball into the right hand channel to Lee Barnard and the striker got there ahead of his marker, who crashed into him and sent him to the turf.  The ref waved away claims for a penalty and Clive Allen, allegedly in trouble for comments to the ref at the first team game on Saturday, voiced his displeasure.  Straight away, Norwich also had a shout for a spot-kick.  Marcel McKie, who had an otherwise exemplary game, clattered Martin in the area, leaving him needing treatment and leaving the referee needing ear plugs as the City bench berated the officials.

The interval saw no changes to the sides and it took seven minutes for the first attack on goal, when Norwich worked a neat one-two leaving Cave-Brown in on goal, but he could not get a good contact on the ball to get it past Burch.  Our own Brown was keen to get on the scoresheet, as he took a short corner on the left wing from Jackson three minutes later, cut inside the box and struck a low effort that was heading just inside the post, but Lewis was equal to it.  he had another go from 25 yards out, after being fed by Ifil, but the keeper again denied him with a good palm over the bar.  The resulting corner was played to Jamie O'Hara at the far post, where he lobbed the ball back and it narrowly missed going in at the right hand post.

It was Brown again with a 25 yard effort that brought another save, after a good passing move from back to front, as Spurs upped the tempo of the game and passed crisply and progressively.  However, Tottenham almost got caught when O'Hara gave the ball away mid-pitch and Norwich broke away, but Henderson put in a weak shot wide at the end of it.  On the hour, Daniells played a one-two on the left of the box then curled a shot that was goal-bound, but the keeper pushed it out to Lennon, but the winger drove the rebound over the top.

Spurs replaced O'Hara with Kieran McKenna and he did well in midfield, creating a ball-winning presence.  With twenty minutes remaining, Spurs broke from the back and Davis put Brown in on the edge of the box and Lewis made another good save, blocking the midfielder's drive with his feet.  As the corner bounced around the box, it came out to McKenna, but the Norwich defender Quaye put in a crunching tackle to win the ball.  A couple of late chances saw Barnard and McKenna hit defenders with their shots.

As the game was coming to an end, blonde floppy haired midfielder Robert Eagle hit a shot out of the blue from 30 yards that saw Burch beaten, but the bar came to the rescue and the ball flew out to safety.

In the final analysis, a draw was about the right result at the end.  Although Norwich's main ambition was to stop Tottenham than create themselves, they did that well and Spurs did not have the ability to break them down to score the goals their build-up play deserved.

The way Tottenham set out to play this match produced a lot of attacking, but the lack of support alongside Barnard meant that when he dropped out wide, the crosses that got into the box failed to find a target, as not another white shirt had got into the danger area.  It will need more forward running from the midfield if it is to be tried in the Premier League.  Perhaps the watching Martin Jol and Chris Hughton were observing Lee Barnard as a possible partner for Defoe up front.  After all, reserve matches are there to try out these things !!


Marco van Hip

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