Looking Forward

 

LEYTON ORIENT (Away)

FA Cup 3rd Round

Saturday 6th January 2001

With Orient currently in third position in Division Three and Spurs dropping down the Premier League like a stone, this doesn't look as straight forward as you might think.  Especially as Tottenham have been drawn away.

Orient have had a strange couple of seasons.  Losing the promotion play-off final of 1999 to Scunthorpe United after a season around the automatic promotion places, they plummeted to a relegation threatened side who couldn't get things right last term.  This season they have mostly been near the top of the league after a good start.  They have drawn a lot of matches, which has prevented them being right up there with Chesterfield and Brighton.

In goal, they have a player Spurs have faced in Cup competition before - former Brentford keeper Ashley Bayes.  There have been doubts about the safety of his handling and when Spurs knocked seven past him in two legs in 1992.  His subsequent moves to Torquay United and Exeter City were also undistinguished.

The defence boasts a player Tottenham have two players expressed great enthusiasm for.  Left back Matthew Lockwood has a good goalscoring record (many from the penalty spot, but also quite a few from free-kicks) and makes a lot too.  He is a very good crosser of the ball and Spurs will have to watch his runs from deep to cut off this supply line.  The other back man who has caught Mr. Pleat's eye is Simon Downer, a young central defender who made the breakthrough into the first team last season.  Just 19, he is definitely one for the future and Tommy Taylor has already put a price of £1 million plus on his head.  Lining up alongside them is another former Cup opponent - Dean Smith, who was in the Hereford United side Spurs beat in 1996.  In fact, if it hadn't been for his penalty miss in the first tie, Spurs could have gone out on that mud-heap of a pitch.  He is now the O's captain and a tower of strength in the air - if Les plays expect clashes of heads galore !!  Also at the back is Dave McGhee - a determined and tattooed defender who is the original "take no prisoners"  type.  Spurs will need to restrain themselves after some of his tackles.  Recently signed from Scarborough, Chris Tate will also add height to the defence and at set-pieces.

In midfield, Orient are well equipped to battle against anyone.  Billy Beall and Scott Canham have been around for a while with Cambridge and West Ham respectively.  Wim Walschaerts came to East London from Belgium, but has settled into the team and possesses a fierce shot if he gets a chance to let one go.  Most dangerous in terms of creation is probably the Bosnian Ahmet Brkovic, who is a player who can open up defences to make openings for the forwards.  However, some down Leyton way think he is too good for the others in the side, who often fail to read his intentions.  He is the playmaker Spurs will have to be aware of.  South African Andy Harris might also be chosen in the centre of midfield, where he has starred as a man marker and a good tackler.

Steve Watts has had a renaissance lately, with goals coming his way and he works for them too.  A player who doesn't stop running defenders down and will challenge for even lost balls.  Also undertakes male modeling assignments, so will be out to ensure he can earn more for his extra-curricular activities with a goal against a big club.  His strike partner has returned to Brisbane Road after travelling around the country.  Apart from his first club Shrewsbury, he has found Orient most to his liking and it has been his goals that have been important in taking them back up the table.  More of a sniffer of chances, Spurs will have to ensure that there is little loose ball around the six yard box or Griffiths will take advantage.  Unfortunately for the Orient, their other main striker - Iyesden Christie will be out for most of the season.  He has been struggling to find consistency, but had just started to find good form when he suffered a ligament injury.    Also out for our opponents is on-loan Richard Garcia, who Orient secured for the season from West Ham is ruled out after damaging cruciate ligaments.

Another forward player who could feature that Spurs should be aware of  - Scott Houghton.  Recently taken from Southend United on a free transfer, Scott took Orient through to this tie courtesy of his bum, which blocked an extra-time clearance from the Northwich Victoria keeper and directed it into the net.  Scott was never really given much of a chance at White Hart Lane and has moved on since then, but he will be out to show Spurs what he is capable of.

Orient have promotion aspirations, but at this stage they will be giving it their all in this match.  Spurs will need to dig in and have players out there who have the ability to match their opponents.  That is why I go for ...

PREDICTION : -  Leyton Orient 1  Tottenham 1

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

 

 

Leyton Orient  0  Tottenham  1  -  Saturday 6th January 2001
FA Cup 3rd Round

Weather : Cold and breezy.
Referee:
P Jones (Loughborough)
Crowd:
12,336
ScorersLeyton Orient : None
                  Tottenham : - Doherty 90.

Leyton Orient: - Bayes, Joseph, Lockwood, Smith, McGhee, Watts, Harris, Brkovic (Beall 89), Walschaerts, Houghton, Opara (Tate 72).
Subs Not Used: Barrett, Downer, Hatcher.
Tottenham: - Sullivan, Doherty, Perry, Campbell, Clemence, Anderton, Sherwood, King, Leonhardsen, Ferdinand (Korsten 71), Rebrov.
Subs Not Used: Walker, Young, Davies, Thelwell

“God Bless the Queen Mum” as they say in this part of East London. Well God bless Gary Doherty as well for coming up with a last minute winning goal. This match was not however a good old knees up. It was a dour struggle where Tottenham had to dig in and battle. This they did to prove they could win away from home even if it’s Brisbane Road.

Tottenham lined up with the same team that started the previous game, with Doherty again playing on the right side of a back three. He played exceptionally well and looks solid in the tackle, strong in the air and dangerous in the opponent’s box at set pieces.

With a full house this was always going to be a difficult game. Orient battled hard but never really troubled Spurs. There was a strong effort from Lockwood, which he volleyed from a corner, but Sullivan held the ball well. In the first half Spurs had a goal disallowed. Campbell at the far post put the ball in from a rebound but was offside as Ledley King nodded on the original cross. It was King who then hit the post with a header from a cross by Leonhardsen. Clemence was unfortunate to see his scramble for the rebound then scrape the bar. Leonhardsen then fluffed a shot over the bar. Rebrov, trying to repeat his effort against Newcastle, ballooned the ball over.

So half time came with the scores level. We had also been entertained during the first half by some scuffling with Stewards on the terrace behind the goal. It was reminiscent of the seventies (man).

The second half was more of the same. Sullivan did not really have to make a save. Rebrov had an excellent diving header saved by Bayes in the Orient goal. Doherty put through Leo, but it was difficult to decide whether his effort was a shot or a cross. Either way it went wide. Korsten replaced a tiring Ferdinand and Willem hit his usual half-hearted effort, which the keeper collected easily. In the last minute Rebrov rose well to head goalwards and Bayes just tipped the effort round the post. From the resultant Anderton corner Doherty stole in front of his marker and headed into the corner of the goal.

So at last an away win. Spurs are through to the next round of the cup. We all know about the year ending in one but as George Graham said that’s all fairy tales. As we have Dagenham or Charlton in the next round maybe the first time we leave London will be for Cardiff. We can but dream.

MEHSTG TOP MAN : – GARY DOHERTY 

Eric the Viking

 

Gawd Bless 'em

 

Well, nerve tingling doesn't come into it, when Spurs go away from home to a lower division side in the Cup.  Even when there is a "one" in the year, they like to keep us with one foot in the cardiac department of the local hospital.  While they were never really threatened by the Third Division challengers, there was little to show that Spurs' possession would be made to pay.  While we peppered their box, the quality of a lot of the ball in was poor and when there was some decent service, our forwards and midfielders found themselves denied.

That there were no Tottenham goals until the added time at the end of the match can be put down to strong and resolute defending by the home side, poor finishing which didn't hit the target often enough and a combination of keeper and woodwork.  Ashley Bayes produced a typical opposition goalkeeper's performance against Spurs, throwing himself around to deny headers from King and Rebrov and shots from Anderton and Sherwood.  When the ball did manage to evade the goalie, it did not end up in the netting.  And when it did, it still didn't count.  King's header struck a post and the rebound was prodded at full stretch against the bar by Clemence.  One cross from an Anderton free kick missed everyone except Sol coming in at the far post, but his effort bundled in at the second attempt was ruled out for offside.  A goal then would have settled the Spurs fans (and players) nerves, but it proved not to be. 

Probably Orient's best chances came either side of the break.  Lockwood hit a clearance fiercely towards goal and Sully picked it out of the air and grabbed it at the second attempt before Watts could nip it in.  Then former Spur Scott Houghton could have made a dream come true with a goal, when he was picked out on the left of the box, but Doherty made the ground to excellently block his shot after the break.  Spurs were struggling to make headway against the East London side, but Leo had a shot low across the face of goal and Rebrov forced Bayes to an excellent save as the clock ticked down.  However, from the resulting corner, Doherty got his second goal of the week and a very important one for all concerned. 

As for the players, there was little to demonstrate the gap between the two teams and although the pitch was heavily sanded, it was not in an awful state.  Spurs passing, especially when they got near the Orient goal seemed to be especially wayward.  Sherwood lost control a couple of times and was probably lucky not to get sent off for two fouls, while Leo buzzed around without and great effect.  Anderton did work hard and produced some of the better balls into the box, where Rebrov played further up and was happy to shoot on sight, although he too a fair bit of stick from the Orient defenders.  Sol surged forward when he could, Perry was up and down, Sullivan virtually unemployed and Clem did a lot of work up the line.

Not a sparkling way to register a win, but I suppose we should be glad that there is a Fourth round tie to look forward to (depending on the draw of course).  Not pretty, but that could be the way of things and if it means some success away from home, let it be a start before we begin to play the way we want.

Sid E Netting

 

Back to homepage