MILLWALL

Keith Stevens Testimonial

Saturday 4th August 2001

 

 

Millwall   1   Tottenham  2   Keith Stevens Testimonial  -  Saturday 4th August 2001

Weather : -  Warm, dry, little wind
Crowd : -   16,250
Referee : -  Mr. Paul Taylor
Scorers : -  Millwall  -  Nethercott 64
                    Tottenham  -  Rebrov 17, Ferdinand 48. 

Spurs: Sullivan, Perry, Taricco, King, Bunjevcevic, Clemence, Leonhardsen, Sherwood, Davies, Iversen, Rebrov (Ferdinand 45).
Subs not used : -

Millwall: Warner, Neill, Ryan, Cahill, Stevens (Ifill), Nethercott, Dyche,  Livermore, Sadlier, Reid, Bull (Savarese 55).
Subs Not Used: - Gueret, Odunsi, Bircham, Constantine, Bancarel

A London derby and one which was always going to be a hard fought match.  The missing Spurs forward Teddy Sheringham made it a bit of a shame, as rumours were that he was going to play a half for both sides, but his Achilles injury picked up at Portsmouth must have ruled him out of a place on the pitch.

Things started pretty lively considering that Millwall had played a friendly at Cambridge United after their German tour was cancelled because of the threat of violence.  They were a bit off the pace and this showed in their tackling (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt here), which saw a number of Spurs players felled during the first half.  Rebrov looked lively and when Davies set him up, he got his shot over the bar and then he was beaten to a through ball by Sherwood.  However, it was only about five minutes after this that Spurs crafted a move down the right with Leonhardsen slinging in a long far post cross.  Iversen managed to get his head around it and nod it back towards Sergei, who swivelled and smashed a powerful shot past Warner in the Lions goal.  It was a goal-scorer's goal and Rebrov is looking sharp in these pre-season matches.

Much of the play did not produce goal scoring opportunities, but Iversen took a long shot that went wide and Reid hit a free-kick over for the home side from distance.

At the break, Sergei was taken off and Les brought on to partner Ivo up front.  The move soon paid off, when another shrewd pass by Davies through the defence and into Les' path saw him slip the ball past the on-rushing keeper to double Spurs' lead.  It was a pass that Hoddle would have been proud of, played with the outside of his right foot, so it is not surprising when the Spurs boss says this boy could save the club 10 million.  For all the raving about Joe Cole, I would rather have someone like Davies in the side who produces some end result to his artistry.  Les let a long range effort go at the end of the match and that was as close as Spurs came to scoring again along with two Iversen shots, one which was lobbed over the keeper, but not past Nethercott, who knocked it away from the goal-line.  

In the last half hour, Millwall came back into the match and a long cross from on trial Venezuelan striker Savarese was dropped by Sullivan under pressure from the Millwall forward Sadlier.  The ball dropped, the whistle didn't blow and former Spurs defender Stuart Nethercott was on hand to pop the ball across the line form a couple of yards out.  The player was always angry about Spurs letting him go, so he probably enjoyed the moment.

With the hosts now having the taste for the game, the same player had a header cleared off the line by Nethercott, while both Livermore and Lucas Neill drove shots just wide of the post.  A corner found Tim Cahill's head and he hit the bar, while he and Nethercott both had efforts smuggled off the line by Leo in the last ten minutes.  It was backs to the wall stuff as the Lions tore towards the Spurs goal, but in the end they couldn't break down the defence again.

Spurs looked good in the first half, during which they knocked the ball about confidently, but there was little incisive movement in the last third to hurt the home side.  In the second they settled down after the second goal went in, but let the Lions roar onto them towards the end, a worrying trend if it is to be maintained.  Davies was outstanding and Leo played a full part in the match, a bonus if he can reproduce such performances in the Premiership.  Both Sergei and Les looked effective again and it was a little worrying that there was little aerial dominance in their own box by the spurs defence.  Perhaps that centre half that Glenn is looking for might be vital in the success of the coming season.

MEHSTG TOP MAN : - SIMON DAVIES

Barry Levington

 

DINOSAUR DAYS

 

Back in the dark ages of football, way before the Premier League, there were days when dinosaurs roamed the land and following them were the neanderthals who tagged along for the ride.

After the match at Millwall, some football "fans" from each side decided to recreate the feeling of football pre-1990 with a brick and bottle throwing orgy of violence that has left one Spurs follower in hospital with knife wounds.

Why this had to happen, I don't know, although I had heard on the grapevine that both sets of "fans"  were going to be going for each other.  If they want to do that, then why not go to a place out in the countryside, where they will hurt no-one else or nobody else's property ??

The game had been a hard one with Millwall not wanting to give an inch to their Premier League betters.  Rebrov and Sherwood were the two players who seemed to be singled out for the "Welcome to the New Den" treatment and at times the match threatened to spill over into a pushing contest with players from both sides getting the handbags out.

Luckily, Spurs were in the ascendancy and managed to get a few shots in on goal, one of which by Rebrov earned them the lead.  Both Leonhardsen's cross and Iversen's set-up header were instrumental in the goal, but Davies spread the ball wide to find Leo in space to create the score.  Davies was also the architect of the second goal with a deft outside of the foot pass through the Lions back line to let Les in for his first pre-season goal this year.  Spurs looked sharper than their First Division opponents and passed and moved well, until the middle of the second half, when they let Millwall come at them and the home side took the initiative.

It was a test that the Spurs side managed to weather, but not without some goal-line clearances, Sullivan saves and a header that bounced away off the bar.  As this was a "friendly" match and against a side form one step down the ladder from Spurs, it was a little worrying that Tottenham had to hang on a bit at the end.  The addition of another central defender looks like a must and the purchase of another striker would be a good buy as the competition for places must be upheld should one or more be injured.

Never have I thought about avoiding a place because of trouble at football, but this might be the last time I go to this part of South London.

Brian Coombes

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