brush with fame


Spurs  3   Leicester City  1           (Half time: 0-0)
FA Premier Reserve League South
Monday 11th November 2002
Venue :  White Hart Lane
Kick off : 19.00 p.m.
Weather : Clear, cold
Crowd : -  both tiers of the West Stand were open, but not full
Referee : -  N. Perkin 
Spurs  -  Clemence 2, Iversen
Leicester City - Stevenson
Spurs  -  Ziege (foul) 13, Marney (dissent) 73, Sherwood (foul and abusive language) 90
Leicester City  -  Reeves (foul) 74
Spurs : Hirschfeld; Marney, King, Doherty, S. Kelly; Clemence, Ziege (Ricketts 46), Acimovic, Sherwood; Rebrov, Iversen. 
Unused subs: Burch, Slabber, Bortolozzo.

Leicester City :  Murphy; Lyth, Mortimer, Tozer, Stewart ; Lewis (Williamson 75), Oakes, Jones (McSweeney 46), Reeves; Benjamin, Stevenson. 
Unused subs: Logan, Been, Larvin

Spurs  -  White shirts, navy blue shorts, white socks
Leicester City  -  Blue shirts, blue shorts, blue socks
A win against Leicester was by no means certain until the closing stages of this match, following a sterile first half containing few moments of note.

Tottenham lined up with eight internationals taking part against a ragbag of Leicester names, most of whom have been out of favour since Peter Taylor left and the rest making their way up through the ranks.

Spurs looked slick early on, with Ziege taking a return pass from Rebrov and hitting a shot that fizzed just past the post.  This was quickly followed by an effort from Iversen that was deflected inches wide by a defender.

A foul by Ziege brought an early booking, as this was a big opportunity for the ref to stamp his authority on the game and also to get some big names in his book.  It rattled Spurs, that the official was taking a hard line on such tackles, especially when Leicester players were ripping the shirt off young Kelly's back with no penalty.  Former Leeds man, Matthew Jones ripped in a shot that caught a deflection, as did Stevenson, but Hirschfeld got behind both of them to save.

On 36 minutes a neat move saw Ziege slip Iversen through and his dinked effort over the diving keeper didn't quite have the legs to beat the defender on the line.  It was almost very costly, as the visitors broke away immediately and Doherty's back header didn't reach the Canadian keeper, letting Stevenson in to lob the ball high, but only just wide of the mark.

With half time approaching, Spurs went on the attack with Marney's low cross nearly converted by Iversen and then the same player put another ball in which Ziege touched on for defender Lyth to prod the ball agonisingly wide of his own goal.  It wads the German international who finished the half with a left footed drive that went over the bar.

That was to be his last participation in this match, as Rohan Ricketts replaced him at the break and his passing and movement made a big difference tot he side in the second half.  But that was after City shocked Tottenham by taking the lead almost straight from the kick off.  Oakes put in a cross from the left and Ledley King, at the far post, managed to get the ball against his own woodwork.  Luckily for Leicester, the ball fell in the middle of the goal to Stevenson, who rattled it home.

This geed Spurs up and the bulk of the half was one way traffic towards the visitors goal.  Rebrov was keen to make a name for himself tonight and he tried a 25 yarder that the keeper saved.  In the 54th minute, Acimovic, who stepped up his game in the second half, flighted a ball to put Iversen in, but his shot was stopped by Murphy's leg, before Acimovic had a 20 yard shot saved too.

A rare break by Leicester saw a flying header by their scorer go just over, while one at the other end was again well saved by Murphy, as Rebrov stole onto Milenko's free-kick and made good contact from about six yards out.  From the proceeding corner, Rebrov flicked his header off the top of the bar.  It looked like it wasn't going to be Tottenham's night, especially when Sergei again had a shot saved from outside the area and Ricketts' cross was nodded wide by Iversen.

With 70 minutes up on the clock, Stephen Clemence and Rebrov worked a move down the right hand side.  Rebrov got to the line, turned back inside and spun back towards goal, slipping Clem through to hit home form close range.  It was a delightful piece of skill from Rebrov and a neat move.  

Two minutes later, Hirshfeld broke up a Leicester attack and a quick throw to Acimovic saw him exchange passes with Ricketts and then float a pass over the defender's head for Iversen to steal in behind and shoot home from the left hand side of the box.  It was all happening, as captain Dean Marney was booked for kicking the ball away, but before the ref could move the ball ten yard s forward, Reeves (who formed a laughable partnership with Mortimer in the City side) hit the free-kick that Hirschfeld had to stretch to push away.  As Tottenham broke away, Reeves felled Rebrov and got a yellow card himself.

With a quarter of an hour left, Benjamin made his first threat on goal with a weak downward header that Lars held easily, then, with 79 minutes gone, Ledley King slung in a cross form the left wing at the other end.  Iversen headed the bouncing ball on and Clemence squeezed a shot past the keeper, while under pressure from the full back.  A couple of late efforts from Leicester went close, but never really threatened Tottenham's lead.

The match saw the return to match play of Christian Ziege, who looked strong and was probably taken off as a precuation.  It also saw Tim Sherwood feature in a  Spurs shirt for the first time since pre-season.  Not that he did much apart from his usual pointing and some half hearted efforts to tackle that didn't rally grace the term.  He did make one contribution of note and that was when he entered the referee's notebook in injury time at the end of the game for calling him a piece of female anatomy that we could hear from the other side of the pitch.

Ricketts was very good tonight and impresses more each time I see him.  He does the simple things easily and the difficult things well, but most of all he has mobility and accuracy in his passing.  He rarely gives the ball away.  I am sure he would welcome a crack at his old club on Saturday.

Iversen looked like he does in the first team ... poor first touch, but often getting into the right position, even if there is not always the right finish.  Rebrov obviously was out to shine in the second half, after spending the first half taking a bit of a kicking.    Acimovic was also easily dispossessed in the first half, but in the second 45, he made more use of his skill and also started to use his body to shield the ball better.  The defence all played well and despite having a bit of a ragged first half, Clemence came through and took both of his goals well in the second.

Not as smooth a performance as Chelsea a week ago, but enough for Glenn to chew on as he debates who should fill the shirts at Highbury this Saturday.


Marco van Hip

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