winning at rugby

Coventry City Reserves  1       Tottenham Hotspur Reserves  3    (Half-time score : 0-1)
Premier League Reserve League South Venue :  Butlin Road, Rugby Town FC 
Tuesday 25th April 2006 Kick Off :  19.00 p.m.
Crowd :   400 approx. Referee :  ??
Weather :  -  Bright, sunny
Teams : - 
Coventry City :


Jones (West 83)
Obadeyi (Burgess 83)

Osbourne (Robinson 59)


Unused sub: 

Tottenham Hotspur :


Riley (Smith 46)
Bunjevcevic (c)

Lewis (Maghoma 59)
McKenna (Hughton 75)


Unused subs :

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Coventry City Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Coventry City 

Jones 75


Tottenham Hotspur

Jackson 86
Marney 17
Maghoma 90

Cards : -  
Coventry City 



Tottenham Hotspur



Match Report : -  
On a beautiful sunny early summer evening in Warwickshire the reserves finished their Southern Section winning season with a comfortable 3-1 win over Coventry City.  While half the crowd at Rugby Town’s neat little ground were distracted by the Champions League semi-final showing on the big screen in the club bar and the pitch itself was a bit bumpy, the entertainment just about justified the trip. 

Spurs set out in an orthodox 4-4-2 with Kelly and Lee in the centre at the back with Bunjevcevic at left back and young Chris Riley on the right.  In midfield Marney and McKenna who were to control the centre of midfield for most of the night started with Jackson on the left and Stuart Lewis on the opposite flank.  The continuing inclusion of Lee Barnard in the first team squad meant that Andy Barcham and Simon Dawkins led the line, but in truth they were ineffectual for most of the evening as was reflected in all three goals coming from midfield. 

The first half was a timid affair with neither side really creating a lot until Jackson got on the end of a ball over the top to fire past the city keeper into the far corner.  It was a particularly well taken goal as JJ was clearly earmarked to be our main threat by the home side and the two right sided City players converged on him whenever he got on the ball.  The goal seemed to settle Spurs and Dawkins tested the keeper soon after before disaster almost struck.  Stringfellow who was City’s liveliest player got one on one with Burch who appeared to bring him down but the ref awarded a corner and Spurs escaped.  It is these decisions that can turn games but from my vantage point it looked a pretty clear-cut penalty. 

Clive sent Smith on for Riley at half time and Spurs started the second period in control of the game with Marney and McKenna keeping it simple in midfield and both Kelly and Lee cutting out any attacks well.  A neat passing move between the central midfielders found Jackson who picked out Marney's run and he calmly slotted past Tuffey for an excellent second goal.  Jacques Maghoma then replaced Lewis and brought some much needed energy to the right side, despite him being on the pitch for just over 30 minutes he was one of Spurs best players on the night.  At this stage Spurs looked like they would coast to a comfortable victory, but just like the first team nothing is every entirely comfortable watching Spurs.

With 15 minutes left Coventry worked the ball down their left and with both centre backs and Bunjevcevic sucked into the action the ball was slipped to Jones on the edge of the Spurs box who calmly stepped inside a lunging tackle and drilled it past Burch.  To try and shore things up Cian Hughton replaced McKenna, but went to left back with Bunjevcevic moving to sit in the centre of midfield alongside Marney.  For the next ten minutes Spurs were rocking as the local support got behind their team and City pressed hard for an equaliser.  Credit to the back four though they held up well and Maghoma was providing a useful outlet on the right hand side.  With one minute left on the clock Maghoma took a throw in from Smith, powered his way into the box past the City left back Lynch and finished clinically in the far corner to settle the result and keep confidence high for a likely trip to Old Trafford in the play-off.


Enda McGuire

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