Cup Round 2
1st October 2002
left Cardiff last season feeling deflated, it is ironic that we have to
face that City's home-town team at the first hurdle this time.
Promoted to the Second Division last summer and making a good job in
that league so far this season, City are on the way up. Funded by
the former Wimbledon chairman Sam Hamman and with experienced manager
Lennie Lawrence at the helm, they are playing good football and
progressing at a steady rate.
There are some exciting
young players at Ninian Park now. The most notable is Zambian born
Rob Earnshaw, who has been scoring goals and taking the headlines.
He is quick, brave and has a knack for knocking the ball into the onion
bag. Scored against Germany on his Welsh debut and has a
somersault celebration, that we hope we don't see too much of !!
Another is Danny Gabiddon, who has made the Welsh team in defence and he
is a talent that is highly rated in Wales.
Not that they are all
young bucks down Cardiff way. Spencer Prior brings his Premiership
experience with Norwich, Manchester City and Derby to the side and
others who have played in the top flight are Gary Croft (Ipswich Town),
Des Hamilton (Newcastle United), Andy Campbell (Middlesbrough) and
Gareth Whalley (Bradford City).
The defence will consist
of Neil Alexander in goal, who has been difficult to beat this season,
with Prior and Gabiddon in the centre, flanked by ex-Gooner Rhys Weston
and Croft. Scot Willie Boland, Andy Legg, Graham Kavanagh
and Gareth Whalley will form the midfield, while upfront, Earnshaw
will partner Peter Thorne.
Legg has a turn of speed
and an exceedingly long throw, which is used as a potent weapon, while
Kavanagh is the engine room and has been around with Stoke and
Boro. Last season he was top scorer at the club, contributing
greatly form midfield. Boland also has a lot of experience, mainly in
Scotland, while Whalley was on trial with Spurs for a game or so a few
seasons back, but nothing came of it.
With options in attack,
heavy lower league scorer Peter Thorne has been favoured, whereas the
signing from Boro, Andy Campbell is also available to come in or on to
add to the firepower.
The Bluebirds will be
fired up to give a good performance of themselves and I think there will
be goals from both sides.
: - Tottenham 3 Cardiff City 2
For more information on
the opponents and their history, including full result history of
matches between the two teams, click here.
|Tottenham 1 Cardiff City
(Half-time score : 1- 0)
|WORTHINGTON CUP 2nd ROUND
|Tuesday 1st October 2002
|Venue : - White Hart Lane
|Kick Off : - 17.45 p.m.
|Weather : - Dry, humid
|Crowd : - 23,732
|Referee : - S. W. Mathieson
|Teams : - Tottenham :
- Keller; Thatcher, Richards, Bunjevcevic, Taricco (Doherty 66);
Etherington, Acimovic, Freund (Iversen 86), Davies; Sheringham, Keane
Unused subs. : - Hirschfeld, Blondel
Cardiff City : -
Alexander; Weston, Gabbidon, Prior, Croft; Legg (Fortune-West 76),
Whalley, Kavanagh, Boland (Maxwell 86); Campbell, Earnshaw
Unused subs. : - Margetson, Barker, Hamilton
|Colours : - Tottenham
- White shirts, Navy blue shorts, White socks with navy blue
Cardiff City - Yellow
shirts, blue shorts, blue socks with white turnover
|Scorers : - Tottenham - Sheringham
|Cards : - Tottenham - Thatcher
(foul) 43, Richards (foul) 58
Cardiff City - None
|The single goal did not tell the whole
tale of this Worthington Cup tie, but it tells enough to get Tottenham
through to the next round.
The early goal that Tottenham had hoped
for did not come, despite some crisp passing ... sometimes over-done in
trying to score the perfect goal. Keane had a couple of chances to
net his first, but shot wide and headed a close-in effort at the
keeper. Acimovic should really have put Tottenham ahead, when he
was set up by Sheringham's flick on. Left in acres of space he
precisely put the ball past the keeper and precisely hit the woodwork.
Straight away Cardiff broke away.
With Earnshaw causing Tottenham problems with his pace, they let Boland
advance with the ball and his twenty five yard strike rocketed back into
play off the post with Keller beaten.
It was just before the half hour that
Spurs worked the ball out on their right wing to Mauricio Taricco.
He put in a low cross to the near post and Teddy Sheringham, running
ahead of his marker met it on the volley to put it in the net. It
was a well worked goal and showed how to open up the Cardiff
defence. It was hoped that more would come. Davies hit on
straight at the keeper, while he soon after put in a hard, low cross for
Matthew Etherington, but at the speed he was coming in, he couldn't keep
the ball under the bar. Robbie Keane had a go from outside the
box, but his curling effort was too tame to beat Alexander.
The goal flood wasn't to be.
Despite having the bulk of the possession and the visitors getting less
opportunity to go forward in the second half, Spurs failed to take the
chances they created. Sheringham blazed over the bar;
Etherington's volley was blocked by a defender; Keane had two chances -
one he failed to control when put through and another set up by a
Sheringham back-heel, that he hit over the bar. Even the
Anderton-Sheringham corner routine (with Acimovic playing the Anderton
role) failed to come off, as Ted hit the low ball over the bar.
Campbell, who had dropped from
Middlesbrough's team to Cardiff, was trying to prove his worth and drew
two yellow cards for Thatcher and Richards. He had the best chance
in the second half for Cardiff, when he held off Deano and put his shot
wide. Gabiddon had two late efforts. One from a corner, when
he put a towering header over the crossbar and then another when he
tricked his way around Thatcher, but he tried to be too ambitious in
curling a shot well wide of the goal.
It was hardly a riveting game, with
Cardiff giving a good account of themselves. It is not had to see
how they are doing so well in the Second Division, as they are well
organised, pass well and with Earnshaw, they have a striker with
pace. For Tottenham, there was the return of Steffen Freund to be
happy about, but it was a match won without being
overly-impressive. There will need to be further improvement
before the trip to Blackburn on Sunday.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - STEFFEN FREUND
|Cardiff. A name to strike
fear into Spurs fans hearts for a number of reasons.
Of those old enough to remember,
it was an FA Cup defeat in the late 1970s. For those of more
tender years, it was last year's Worthington Cup final. For those
in between, it is the thought of their fans being the cause of trouble
wherever they go. The support that they gave their team within the
ground was noisy and impeccable; much better than a lot of Premiership
sides. Outside it was a different matter. It is a while
since I have seen as many Police as I did tonight and they were pretty
well employed, as their was fighting along the High Road.
But there were more important
things to talk about than that. The return of Steffen Freund, for
example. He showed just what wasn't there against Boro on Saturday
by winning the ball, giving it simply to a team-mate, moving the ball
around to get moves started. It was clear that he was not entirely
match fit, but there was enough there to show that he might be able to
come back and perform a vital role for the team.
It was just as well, because in
the first half, Richards was having a problem with the pace of Rob
Earnshaw. The lovely Zambian was showing that the valuable asset of a
quick pair of legs can cause trouble to any defence, but Tottenham did
get used to his speed and the forward gradually faded from the
game. Keller didn't have a great deal to do, but was beaten by a
30 yard effort from Boland that hit the bar. That apart, there was
little on target from the Welsh side.
As for Spurs, they managed a fair
amount of shots on target, but failed to give the keeper many worrying
moments. Robbie Keane needs a goal and this should have been the
ideal opportunity to open his Spurs account, but perhaps he is saving
that for a more important occasion. There were five clear
opportunities to get off the mark, but he didn't break his duck.
He could have done when put clear through, but a poor touch took the
ball too far away from him and too near the keeper.
Teddy Sheringham made the old
corner routine a part of Milenko Acimovic's repertoire by signalling to
him that he wanted the ball delivered in low. Milo obliged, but
Teddy skied the ball well over. He did set up Keane on the edge of
the area with a neat back-heel, but Robbie hit the keeper.
Cardiff came out looking like
Brazil. In kit form that is, with yellow shirts with green trim,
blue shorts and socks. Unfortunately, that was the closest to the
illusion that they managed. They moved the bal about quite well,
moved off the ball and they have solid team which would do well
lower down the leagues, but they were found out tonight. As usual,
Tottenham failed to press home the advantage they had. Sheringham
made a trademark run to get to a Taz cross at the near post to slide his
volley in. You expected Spurs to go on from there, but the goals
didn't come. Having heard that Sunderland beat Cambridge 7-0,
there is never the risk that this will happen with our team.
Humiliation of other teams is not in their dictionary.
So, Tottenham did enough to get
through to the next round, but Cardiff went back along the M4 with their
heads held high. It's just a shame that the game failed to liven
up the 23,723 crowd ... most of whom stayed at home with their season