Looking Forward


SCBC (Away)

Premier League

Wednesday 1st January 2003

A good home record was preserved by our opponents in the last match and another will be guarded in our trip to the New Dell.  The first match of our New year double header will be for League points and with SCBC storming the Premiership, it will be a toughie.

Spurs come into this game as underdogs and with Saints well above them in the table, the big club will be seeking all three points.  As for Spurs, it will be tough coming up against the likes of Williams, Marsden and Dodd.  It is not every day that players of this quality are found in the Premiership.

In the shiny new ground that fans are so confused with that they refuse to sit in the shiny new seats, there is a wonderful atmosphere, produced by all sorts of strategically placed speakers.  The fans are also very noisy, especially before they go a goal down.

Ginger whinger Strachan has assembled a team out of airfix and glue ... sorry, the talent that has been made available to him plus the signing of Antii Niemi, the finnished goalkeeper of Hearts.  He has been impressive in the gloves since taking over from sheep-worrier Paul Jones, who looks like leaving the New Dell as he cannot find his way back into the team (the signposts are not particularly very good at the new ground).  A solid back line of Williams, Telfer, M. Svennson and Lundekvam provide a formidable barrier for any team to get around.  Especially Williams, who has a girth that would challenge that of Gazza in his prime.  The Swede M. Svensson should not be confused with the midfielder A. Svensson.

Other defenders who are now employed in midfield, just to get a game in the big club's side are Bridge and Delap.  Both have played international football and still turn out for SCBC.  Chris Marsden doesn't have that option, but he could be the answer to England's left out problem.  Matt Oakley is a cool dude and can often look like he is playing with sunglasses on, although you will need them when the floodlights glint off Marsden's head.  There is a Gallic flavour to their midfield too, which doesn't mix too well with the swede.  Fabrice Fernandes (or make a Ferdinand, as his name literally translates) can make something from nothing, as he showed when a nothing free-kick ended as a goal against Leeds United.

Up front Andrei Kanchelskis can often be seen running up the wing, usually away form the Russian Mafia, while Kevin Davies is desperate to get away from the New Dell, even going to Millwall on loan, but who can blame him.  He was a good player before he joined SCBC.  Jo Tessem plays occasionally up front or as a rangy midfielder.  It is mainly up front that Strachan plays him as no one has discovered his range in midfield.  That just leaves Brett Ormerod from the Accrington Stanley milk advert and James Beattie to front the side.  Beattie has the look of a surf bum and I understand he is getting treatment for it from the club doctor.  Both are very dangerous, so it is best to stay away from them.

With both clubs scoring freely these days and having both been on a good run, Spurs will do well to come back to London with a point in a cracking game against a side of the calibre of SCBC as the score finishes ...

PREDICTION : -  SCBC   0   Tottenham  0

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.



SCBC  1    Tottenham   0  (Half-time score : 0-0)
Wednesday 1st January 2003
Venue : -  The New Dell
Kick Off : -  15.00 p.m.
Weather : -  Wet, breezy
Referee : -  M. Halsey (Lancs.)
Crowd : -  31,890
Teams : -  
SCBC : - Niemi; Bridge, M Svensson, Lundekvam,  Delap; Telfer, Oakley, Marsden, Fernandes (Davies 90); Beattie, Ormerod (Tessem 45) 
Unused subs. : -  Jones, Williams, A Svensson

Tottenham : -  Keller; Perry, Richards, King; Carr, Bunjevcevic (Poyet 68), Iversen (Acimovic 87), Freund, Taricco (Anderton 68); Keane, Sheringham 
Unused subs. : -  Sullivan, Thatcher

Colours : -  
SCBC  -  Red and white striped shirts, black shorts, white socks

Tottenham -  Navy blue and black shirts, white shorts, navy socks with black turnovers

Scorers : -  
SCBC  -  Beattie 82

Tottenham -  None

Cards : -  
SCBC  -  None

Tottenham -  None 

The first match of this double against the South Coast Big Club opened with a Spurs header and ended with a header down to ninth in the table.

Sheringham's glancing header from Stephen Carr's first minute free-kick sped across the face of the goal, with nobody on hand to turn it in and therein lay the tale of this match.  Despite having the better of the play and even most of the decent chances, the finishing that had won us quite a few points against the run of play today deserted us and the result went the other way.

I suppose it was a case of the luck evening itself out, as we had been fortunate to beat such a big club at White Hart Lane earlier in the season.  Perhaps it will mean that we start Saturday's FA Cup tie with luck up for grabs.

The first half was traditional New Year's Day fare, with neither team having recovered from the festive excesses.  Keller had to dive in the mud to stop Telfer's drive and Delap's shot, while Niemi had to stop Sheringham in his tracks.  and that was it for the first 45 minutes.  Robbie Keane had the best chance for Spurs, when he got onto a poor back pass from Fernandes, but couldn't get it over the Saints keeper.

The rain that had lashed England causing two Premiership postponements in the process returned and both teams had to change their shirts and shorts, such was the mess they got into doing nothing in particular in the first half.  As in the start of the match, the first minute of the second half saw Spurs go close.  Keano got on the end of a Sheringham pass and was denied by Niemi's legs.  He also managed to create himself some space when running at the So'ton defence, but only managed to drag his shot wide.  In between Ledley King had risen to nod a Carr corner over the angle of post and crossbar.

Although Tottenham bossed the second half, SCBC were finding opportunities to break forward, but Spurs kept them at a distance.  Delap and Bridge both fired in efforts at Keller, but on the hour, Beattie unleashed a drive that dipped just over the Tottenham bar.  When Spurs did get into the final third, they were putting pressure on the home goal.  Bunjy put in a fine cross for Iversen to head down.  If it was intended as an effort on goal, Niemi saved it, but it would have been better directed towards the waiting Sheringham, who was lurking in the six yard box for the knock down.  The Finnish goalie also saved well, charging out to block with his legs again, from a 12 yard shot from Teddy.

Beattie wasted a good opportunity when heading a cross directly at Keller, then Tessem put a header cross over from about 10 yards out, when he really should have done better.  It was a let off for Spurs, but not for long.  Striker Beattie got a long ball under control, took Richards on the inside and managed to poke the ball low past Kasey.

Anderton, Poyet and then two minutes from time, Acimovic were thrown into the team to try and create the chance that would have helped Spurs realise some of their approach play, but apart from a tame shot at the death by the Slovenian, there was little to show for their endeavour.

Maybe the result will prompt Glenn to step up his search for a fellow striker to play up with Keane.  If Morientes was brought in before Saturday, that would be highly acceptable.  But the team need to translate their possession into goals, whoever plays.  Agreed, Niemi was far and away their outstanding player and we made enough chances to win, but they need converting.  Just like they did at Newcastle, it is no good playing really well and making lots of opportunities to score, if nobody is prepared to stick them away.

Maybe Spurs were keeping their finishing for Saturday ?  The three points here could have come in handy, but then a passage to Round Four of the FA Cup could be nice too.


Barry Levington




I hope that losing when we have dominated matches is not something I have to get used to.  Give me the option of being under the cosh to a big club like Southampton and then nicking a last minute penalty every time.  Here Spurs dominated play and were hit with a sucker punch by the man of the moment in their team, while the other man of the match at the other end of the pitch managed to keep the ball out on numerous occasions.

Keane and Sheringham both missed golden chances to put Spurs ahead before Beattie took Fernandes' pass on past Richards and then moved the ball past Keller.  His goal would not have mattered if Tottenham had got even half their opportunities past the Southampton keeper.  Niemi played like a man possessed ... possessed with great hands, feet, legs ... well, any part of his body that would keep the ball out of his goal !!  

Tottenham did struggle at times to play their passing game.  Not because of the opposition, but the pitch, which was sodden from all the rain.  That and some wasteful crossing once more, but even that wasn't as profligate as the efforts on target ... or off.  Keane should rally have punished the poor back-pass Fernandes struck towards Niemi and then when he made a chance for himself in the second half, he didn't even register a shot on target.

Luckily for Spurs, So'ton missed most of the chances they created.  Many were long range efforts that failed to trouble Keller, but when they did hit the mark, Kasey stopped them.  That was until seven minutes from time, when against the run of play, the home side recorded another win to maintain their unbeaten record.

Most of the team did OK.  Keane worked hard to get the ball despite not finishing the opportunities that came his way and the same could be said for Sheringham.  Taricco had a good game and Stephen Carr looked like he was up for it today.

The side will need to be more vigilant on Saturday, as there will be no coming back if they leave Beattie alone for long.  Hopefully, Davies will be recovered from the knee injury that ruled him out here, but what we would ideally need is a deadly predator before Saturday to get on the end of all the chances that are made.  Don't suppose Rebrov will be called into the squad though ?

Micky Thin



Other scores this weekend :


3 Chelsea 2 Wednesday
Aston Villa 2 Bolton Wanderers 0 Wednesday
Blackburn Rovers 1 Middlesbrough 0 Wednesday
Charlton Athletic P West Ham United P Wednesday
Everton 2 Manchester City 2 Wednesday
Fulham P WBA P Wednesday
Leeds United 2 Birmingham City 0 Wednesday
Manchester United 2 Sunderland 1 Wednesday
Newcastle United 1 Liverpool 0 Wednesday


League Table
  P W D L F A Pts
1 Arsenal 22 14 4 4 45 24 46
2 Manchester United 22 12 5 5 35 22 41
3 Chelsea 22 10 8 4 36 20 38
4 Newcastle United 21 12 2 7 35 29 38
5 Everton 22 10 6 6 25 24 36
6 SCBC 22 9 8 5 25 20 35
7 Liverpool 22 9 7 6 30 22 34
8 Blackburn Rovers 22 8 8 6 29 25 32
9 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 22 9 5 8 30 31 32
10 Manchester City 22 9 4 9 30 31 31
11 Middlesbrough 22 8 5 9 25 21 29
12 Leeds United 22 9 3 10 30 27 29
13 Charlton Athletic 21 8 5 8 24 25 29
14 Aston Villa 22 8 4 10 21 23 28
15 Birmingham City 22 6 7 9 19 27 25
16 Fulham 21 5 5 10 23 27 23
17 Bolton Wanderers 21 4 7 10 23 37 19
18 Sunderland 22 4 6 12 15 32 18
19 WBA 21 4 4 13 16 32 16
20 West Ham United 21 3 7 11 21 38 16


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