|Reading 0 Tottenham
2 - Friendly Wednesday 1st
Weather : - Warm, dry, little
Crowd : - 21,874
Referee : - Mr. Armstrong.
Scorers : - Reading - None
Tottenham - Poyet 25, Rebrov 90.
Reading: Whitehead, Whitbread,
Robinson, Viveash (Igoe 67), Parkinson (Gamble 67), Williams, Rougier
(Henderson 78), Harper, Butler (Fashanu 82), Murty (Casper 82), Smith.
Spurs: Sullivan, Carr, Ziege, Doherty, King, Bunjevcevic,
Anderton, Freund, Poyet, Ferdinand, Rebrov.
Unused subs : - G. Kelly, Perry, Davies, Sherwood, Leonhardsen, Iversen.
the sun belting down on the shiny new stadium ,it was fitting that a
bumper crowd turned out to cheer the Biscuitmen on against the mighty
Spurs. With all roads leading to the Madjeski stadium named after
some aspect or the team - Biscuit Way, Shooters Way, Royal Way, Boot
End, etc. - there was a new feel about the ground and when you got
inside, it was a pleasure to be there when it was full.
was plenty for the crowd to shout about too, with thrills and spills and
some hefty challenges for a "friendly". A large
percentage of the crowd were Spurs fans and they played their part in a
pretty good match.
early moves came from Spurs, with Les getting into some good positions,
but failing to finish off the passes to him. One was blocked and
another he appeared to get trapped under his feet as he went to
shoot. Meanwhile, at the other end, new signing Alex Smith was not
causing Spurs trouble down the left, when he tried to trick his way past
Doherty, but ended up just running the ball of the pitch. He
seemed t be the home side's main summer signing and didn't impress
over-much during the time he spent on the pitch. Former Gooner
James Harper had the best early goal-scoring chance, when he ran through
the centre of the Spurs defence and from the edge of the box tried to
take the ball around Sullivan. The keeper made his charge out of
the six yard box at the right time and the Reading midfielder took a
harder touch than he had hoped for and the ball was out for a goal-kick.
were passing the ball around nicely and from up behind the goal, the
pitch looked big and that suited Tottenham. Ziege was spraying the
ball across to Carr and then the midfielders were working the ball
across the box for an opportunity to open up the home defence. It
worked a treat after 25 minutes, when Ferdinand broke through onto an
astute pass from Bunjevcevic. Les looked like he was five years
younger, when he sprinted towards the right hand side of the box, held
the ball up, turned inside and laid the ball square for Gus Poyet to
stroke it inside the near post with the keeper scrambling across.
It was a well-worked goal and one which Tottenham had deserved.
They made quite a few chances in the first half. Ziege managed to
get one off the other side of the pitch for a throw-in, while Anderton
hit a free-kick over, Poyet made the keeper stretch to save and both
Rebrov and Ferdinand were denied by Reading blocks (not like writers
creating chaos with his crosses into the box. From one, the ball
was smuggled away from the line at the near post and his subsequent
cross found Poyet at the far post, who knocked it back in with a
spectacular overhead kick. Unfortunately, it went out of
play. Les was set up at the far stick, but was again denied, this
time by a sharp save by Whitehead. Dazza was also out to impress
and hit a coupe of long range efforts - one on and one off target.
Sully was unoccupied for most of the first half, save for some
back-passes, but he was left stranded when a Royals midfielder
flung himself horizontally at a cross and it went wide.
the break, former Spurs and Reading star Johnny Brooks did the half-time
draw and then this was followed by some of the most bizarre
entertainment, which included trying to guess with the person next to
you whether the number the DJ was going to call out was odd or even
!! Luckily, it was soon time for the second half to kick off.
the first half had been comfortable for Tottenham, the second was a well
worn old pair of slippers. And Sullivan could have easily put his
feet up as apart from a late surge, which ended with a shot way over the
bar, he was rarely called upon. The outfielders were having a
better time of it, as the ferocity of the Reading tackling
subsided. Some hefty tackles from behind had floored Rebrov in
particular and Bunjy was spoken to for some retribution in the second
half, but the most heated exchange involved ... yes, you guessed it ...
Poyet. A Reading player caught him late and Gus gave a mouthful
that brought a big cheer from the Spurs fans.
for chances, Spurs were slightly off target and Whitehead was in top
form, saving acrobatically from Ziege, Carr, Poyet and Anderton, when
unsighted and just managed to get down to the ball before it slipped
beneath his body. Even Bunjy went up for a well worked corner,
which Ziege dropped on his head as he pulled away at the far post, but
the keeper managed to get a hand to it and deflect it onto the post
before it bounced away. Carr and Ziege both shot into the
side-netting when breaking into the box and Poyet headed a Carr first
time cross wide when he had some space around him. Poor old Les,
it wasn't his night. He managed to have a clash of heads, kept
having the ref talking to him for some reason and he even missed a
one-on-one with the keeper as the match drew towards an end.
second goal that Spurs had deserved came in the last minute, when
another passing move across the face of the area found it's way to
Sergei, who picked his spot in the corner of the net to wrap up a win
over our Second Division hosts.
must say that on this showing we are in for some real entertainment this
season. I know it was only Reading, but the passing and movement
is the like that hasn't been seen at Tottenham for many a year.
The side that started, finished and that must indicate that this closely
resembles Hod's first XI, although Sheringham wasn't involved.
They stayed on to get some ninety minutes under their belts rather than
the interminable substitutions that have been made in previous games.
all the things that discount the result and performance here, the
promise is there for the players to produce. The season is coming
nearer, so we'll soon find out how they cope.
TOP MAN : - GUS POYET (kept things moving from midfield to the front)