drawing the hornet's sting
(Half time: 0-0)
|FA Premier Reserve League
|Monday 7th October 2002
Venue : Broadhall Way
Kick off : 19.00 p.m.
Weather : Fine, dry
Crowd : - slightly bigger than usual (!)
Referee : - M.A. Harris
Spurs - None
Watford - None
Spurs - None
Watford - None
|Spurs : Hirschfeld,
Carr, Galbraith (S. Kelly 29), Hughes, Henry, Perry (Slabber 65),
Bortolozzo, Poyet, Barnard, Marney, Ricketts.
Unused subs: Burch, Snee, Wettner.
Watford : Baardsen, Herd,
Smith, Hughes (Vernazza 45), Mahon, Ifil, Swonnell, Godfrey, Foley
(Patterson 45), Johnson (Blizzard 63), Matthews.
Unused subs: Lee, Williams.
Spurs - White shirts, navy blue shorts, white socks
Watford - Yellow shirts, black shorts, red socks
"Tribute" match seemed to have come early ... spotted in the
stand at Broadhall Way were Chris Hughton, John Gorman, David Pleat,
Keith Burkinshaw, David Kerslake and Justin Edinburgh with reserve coach
Colin Calderwood in the "technical area". Also, sad to
see former Spur Espen Baardsen grubbing around in Watford's reserve
side. Baardsen, who is a full Norwegian international, has not
played a single first team game for Watford this season and can't even
get a place on the bench. Strange how promising careers can
suddenly go into free-fall.
The match itself was really about the return from injury of Gus Poyet
and Stephen Carr. Both lasted 90 minutes and looked relatively
comfortable. Watford had Richard Johnson and ex-Arse
Stephen Hughes coming back from injury. They also featured a
second ex-Arse in Paulo Vernazza.
The game itself was a snooze. Like the majority of reserve
fixtures there was much huffing and puffing in midfield, played to a
soundtrack of unintelligible "technical" gibberish from the
coaches, but very few goal-scoring chances.
Rohan Ricketts stood out for Spurs.
He seems to have grown in stature and confidence as the season has
progressed. It may be that his recent upgrade to the first team
bench has had a positive effect on confidence levels. Ricketts was
constantly demanding the ball and making smart use of it when it
arrived. His skill level is high ... but there is always the
nagging doubt the other mob did not consider him to be up to scratch ...
The first chance of any description did
not arrive until mid-way through the first half when a Godfrey header
was comfortably held by Hirschfeld. Shortly afterwards, the
customary first half Spurs injury occurred and David Galbraith was
replaced by Stephen Kelly. Spurs registered their first corner on
34 minutes. Diego Bortolozzo's kick was headed over by Gus.
It's odd that, despite the maestro Hoddle being in charge, both reserve
and first team set-pieces have been so poor this season.
Acimovic's corners are pants and the Thatcher free-kick routine is a
mystery to all.
Watford made two substitutions at half time. Vernazza and
Patterson replacing Hughes and Foley.
On the hour Bortolozzo side-footed wide
when he should have done better. Two substitutions followed
immediately with Blizzard replacing Johnson for the Hornets and Jamie
Slabber replacing Chris Perry for Spurs.
Gus squandered two half chances and
Slabber hit the bar as the game began to open up in the last 15 minutes.
Blizzard headed past the post from a Watford free kick. However,
the best moment of the game came in the last minute when Hirschfeld made
a blinding save. Vernazza looked to have scored with a powerful
header, but the Canadian keeper managed to tip the ball over the bar.
It would be nice to think that one day reserve games will be about a fit
group of fringe players pushing hard for a first team place.
Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future, that will not be possible as
the sequence of returning "stars" is set to continue for the
rest of 2002. For as long as that situation remains these games
will yield zero entertainment value and will simply take the form of
glorified fitness tests.
|MEHSTG Top Man: ROHAN RICKETTS
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