|Tottenham's pre-season form
continued to impress, almost as much as the arrival of Edgar Davids as a
spectator to watch his new side (everyone hoped).
Spurs had an easy task against a Reading
side who were hit by injury and supply of shirts, which lead to them
having to wear their away kit because of the late arrival of the shirts
and the late announcement of their new sponsor.
Spurs started well, passing the ball
sharply and Hahnemann had to be quick out of his goal to prevent Andy
Reid going through in the opening minutes. At the other end,
American winger Bobby Convey was obviously determined to impress after
failing to get a work permit to join Spurs and his cross in the 3rd
minute almost got to new signing Leroy Lita, but Gardner got there
Five minutes in and Spurs were
ahead. Gardner picked off another attempted through ball and
passed to Defoe in the centre circle. Finding Wayne Routledge out
on the right wing, Kelly's run outside him distracted the defender,
allowing Wayne to bring the ball inside and slip a pass into the stride
of Mido who finished left-footed as Hahnemann came out to meet him in
the box. Being on his good foot, Mido had taken the shot first
time and buried it low into the opposite corner to give Spurs the lead.
Mido was denied a second as Sonko cleared
a Routledge cross with the Egyptian waiting to pounce and then Mendes
struck a cleared corner just wide with a curling shot from 18
yards. Reading's first shot came in th2 25th minute, when Doyle
shot from a half-cleared cross, but it was always going wide. Four
minutes later Sidwell tried his luck from 20 yards, but was wide and the
ex-Gooner tried again after 34 minutes, when Convey touched a free-kick
to him and his shot was straight at Cerny.
Straight away play changed to the other
end, with Routledge leading the way and linking with Defoe to set up
Mido, whose shot was deflected wide. Five minutes later, Reading
came close to equalising, when Convey's corner to the far post found
Sidwell, who hit a volley that bounced back off the post.
Unfortunately, in the process, Cerny also struck the post, with his
head, requiring treatment and after trying to carry on for a couple of
minutes, he had to leave the field to be replaced by Rob Burch.
In the time added on for the injury,
Defoe took a ball that was headed away from an Andy Reid pass and hit a
shot that deflected off a Reading defender before passing Hahnemann on
the way to the net for 2-0.
Rob Burch has not seen much first team
action for a couple of years, but he showed that he is up to the job
when three minutes into the second half Doyle's close-range header from
another Convey cross saw Rob dive up to palm the ball out. The
Reading keeper was also worked when on 51 minutes, Routledge set up his
fellow wing-man Reid to hit a drive from fully 30 yards and it thumped
into the American goalie's body.
As Spurs sat back a little, Reading had
more opportunities to attack and Doyle missed an opening when Little
played him in, but his shot from 12 yards failed to trouble Burch, as it
went wide. Defoe hit a 25-yarder straight at Hahnemann and Mendes
another curler from the same distance that the keeper had to dive to
keep out. Reading thought they were back in it with 25 minutes
left, when Sidwell raced in to head past Burch but the goal was ruled
out for offside. Spurs were happy to knock the ball about and keep
possession and the chances came with Defoe curling one wide, then being
denied by Hahnemann's legs as he came out to block and on 75 minutes,
hitting one powerfully wide, after Ledley King had brought the ball
forward. Mido's through ball to Jermain again saw the Reading
keeper rush out to stop his shot with his legs, before the Spurs
woodwork kept Reading out again. The post stopped Convey's curling
free-kick as Burch dived full-length in the 83rd minute.
Reading finished stronger, but in reality
Spurs had taken their foot off the gas and Lita's acrobatic overhead
kick went just wide with seven minutes left, but Tottenham could still
have scored when Mendes fired over with a minute left and Defoe was
one-on-one with the keeper and hit the target, but Hahnemann got a hand
to it to keep it out.
With the Championship season a week away,
Reading were obviously not going to put in too much effort, but they did
enough to test Spurs and Ziegler looked uncomfortable in his left-back
role in his first game back. Convey looked lively and if he plays
to this standard, he will be a handful in the league supplying Lita, who
looks a good striker. As for Tottenham, it was a comfortable
work-out, with the players passing the ball for pleasure at some stages
and having plenty of shots on goal and with better finishing, it could
have been a much bigger winning margin, but a good day's work and with
Edgar Davids in the side, it could be even better !!
MEHSTG TOP MAN : -