blue moves

Spurs  1   Chelsea  1           (Half time: 1-1)
FA Premier Reserve League South
Monday 9th February 2004
Venue :  Broadhall Way
Kick off : 19.00 p.m.
Weather :  Clear, cold
Crowd : -  approx.  700
Referee : -  ?????
SCORERS
Spurs  -  Barnard  11
Chelsea -  Boussafa  70
CARDS
Spurs  -       Barnard (foul) 59,      Ifil (ungentlemanly conduct) 59
Chelsea  -       Smith (foul) 21
Spurs :  -  Hirschfeld; Ifil, Kelly, Bunjevcevic (Dobson 61), McKie; O'Hara, Hughes, Redknapp (Barcham 65), Daniels; Barnard, Malcolm
Unused subs:  Forecast, Lee, Thyer

Chelsea :   Makabu-Ma-Kalambay; Smith, Pettigrew, Mancienne, Hudell (Tillen 51); Woodards (Simmonds 53), Jeffreys (Brand 76), Rocastle, Oliveira; Boussoufa; Morais
Unused subs:  Hamman; Gallaccio

COLOURS
Spurs  -  White shirts, navy blue shorts, white socks
Chelsea  -  Blue shirts, blue shorts, white socks
A goal in each half drew this entertaining affair, but the second half failed to live up to the lively opening 45 minutes and Spurs were unlucky to lose an equaliser when they should have had the game sewn up already.  The game saw two young sides pitched in against each other and they played with pace and neat passing, but often made elementary mistakes that left the game a little disjointed.

Chelsea's players made neat, short passes which echoed the cosmopolitan nature of their side.  From the huge keeper Yves Makabu-Ma-Kalambay through to Filipe Morais, with his highlighted hair and gold boots, they fitted the nature of the new Chelsea.  Even more so the lack of an established face in the team.  Yes, the first team had only played yesterday, with Rocastle (second cousin of ex-Gooner David) and Oliveira both being on the bench, but the lack of global stars disappointed some of the crowd around me, who had paid their 6 (or 4 for concessions) to see the multi-million pound players on show.

Harry Redknapp was in the audience to view his son's performance ... or was he ??  Knowing this wheeler-dealer, he might be lining up his next transfer window merry-go-round of playing personnel.  He was joined by Pat Jennings, Hand Segers, Chris Hughton, David Pleat, fitness coach Kunle Odetoyinbo, Jimmy Neighbour and club secretary John Alexander in the Director's Box.

Spurs started well with some good movement and passing, with much of it revolving around Redknapp.  In the third minute, Mark Hughes opened up the visiting defence with a pass that evaded Michael Malcolm and found Jamie O'Hara running through the inside right channel.  The midfielder's effort was well stopped by the keeper, who also got behind Malcolm's follow-up shot.  O'Hara was also very involved in the opening goal for Tottenham.

His cross-field pass found young left winger Charlie Daniels, who took it comfortably and struck a shot across the keeper and it bounced back off the post.  O'Hara was bright enough to react to the loose ball and played it in to Michael Malcolm, who laid it back for Lee Barnard to power in his shot from 12 yards as he ran onto it.  It was a well-worked goal and left some of the Chelsea players standing ball-watching.

The reaction to the goal included a booking for Dean Smith, who hit Daniels late.  At the back, Bunjy was winning headers and I made a note of five occasions he did so, including two in one incident.  He played passes out from the back and looked at ease there, but he was allowed the space to play in.  Hughes put in a  lot of effort to work alongside Jamie, but he is more than juts a willing worker.  He has good vision to put team-mates in and he can put the ball exactly where his team-mates want it.

Stephen Kelly had a sound game at the back too, but got caught out in the 29th minute, when Morais took the ball off him, but only succeeded in hitting a weak shot at Hirschfeld.  Two minutes later a threatening position on the edge of the Spurs box saw Jefferys hit a shot as the ball was played square to him, but it squirted off the side of his boot embarrassingly for a throw-in on the far side !!

It was only after half an hour that Mick McGiven roused himself from his seat on the bench to urge his players on.  Shortly after a cross from the left by Boussafa to the far post was hit back across the six yard box on the volley by Morais.  The game switched straight to the other end, with Ifil slipping a neat pass into the right side of the box, but Malcolm was just beaten to it by the Chelsea goalie.  Back to the other end and Boussafa found himself in the clear just inside the box, but his low drive was stopped with one hand on the dive by Hirschfeld, who looked more confident than he had done earlier in the season.  His kicking is still poor, but he looked to command his box more on this outing.

As the half came to a close, Woodards hit a shot well over the top and then Boussafa drove narrowly above the angle to take the whistle with a Tottenham lead at the interval.

The second period was, perhaps expectedly, a tighter affair.  The Chelsea boys put in a lot more effort to close Spurs down and Redknapp faded from the game before leaving the action after 65 minutes.

Two early openings in the half set Charlie Daniels in, but on both occasions, he was baulked by the sizeable bulk of the keeper.  The Blues equaliser came on 69 minutes, when Kelly missed a tackle in the centre circle, leaving Boussafa a run on goal, but he squared his pass to Oliveira, who was knocked over by Marcel McKie chasing back.  A penalty was given and Mbark Boussafa was unsuccessful from the penalty mark, as Hirschfeld guessed right to dive to his right and save.  Unfortunately, the Chelsea player followed up to net the rebound.

Lee Barnard, who lead the line really well all night, picked up a booking for an over the ball tackle, while Phil Ifil let his temper get the better of him in the final minute, when he lobbed the ball at the back of Chelsea sub Brand, after he had been fouled.

A fair result in the circumstances and one that will be built on when the reserves meet their Watford counterparts next week.

MEHSTG Top Man:  LEE BARNARD

Marco van Hip

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