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Posted on 6 November 2008  - 12:00

Darren Bent hit his first hat-trick for the Club and Tom Huddlestone struck one of the goals of the season in a comfortable 4-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb at The Lane.


Darren Bent hit his first hat-trick for the Club and Tom Huddlestone struck one of the goals of the season in a comfortable 4-0 victory over Dinamo Zagreb at The Lane.

The win gave us our first points in this season's UEFA Cup group stage and maintained Harry Redknapp's unbeaten run as Spurs manager.

Boosted by the confidence brought about from taking seven points from our last three Premier League games, the lads looked determined to put defeat against Udinese a fortnight ago well and truly behind them and were comfortable from start to finish against the Croatian champions.

We were on the attack fro early on, with Huddlestone hitting the side-netting with a curling shot from the edge of the box on eight minutes, while a goal-bound Luka Modric volley was accidentally blocked by Michael Dawson on 22 minutes.

At the other end, former Aston Villa striker Bosko Balaban put a free-kick from 25 yards narrowly wide, but we were controlling the game.

Bent finally broke the deadlock when a Modric cross from the left was missed by Huddlestone, but it fell to the striker at the back post who slammed into the roof of the net via a deflection off Igor Biscan.

He soon followed it up with his eighth of the season and second of the night, latching onto Huddlestone's throughball and sliding coolly underneath the goalkeeper.

It gave us a comfortable lead, and Heurelho Gomes made sure that was maintained going into the break with a smart save at his near post from Balaban on 42 minutes.

But there was no indication we were about to settle for the 2-0 scoreline, and we came out for the second half intent on adding to our tally.

It was a two minute spell around the hour mark that put the game beyond doubt and resulted in the game's memorable moment.

First, a stinging David Bentley shot from the edge of the box was parried away by Ivan Kelava and cleared to safety.

From the resulting throw, Modric beat a couple of his former team-mates and hit a shot into the near post which the goalkeeper once again had to deal with.

But there was nothing Kelava could do after that! Bentley's corner was aimed towards Huddlestone standing 30 yards out, who set himself and then caught the ball perfectly on the volley as it arrowed into the bottom corner.

It was a goal celebrated by the entire team, and one to rival Bentley's own wonder strike at the Emirates Stadium just over a week ago!

Huddlestone was pulling the strings from midfield with Bent a constant threat up-front, as he went looking for his hat-trick.

He thought he had it on 67 minutes when he chipped Huddlestone's throughball over the on-rushing keeper, only for it to be ruled out for offside.

But the moment Bent had been waiting did come three minutes later, and Huddlestone was once again the provider for his emphatic finish.

And to cap it all off, there was still time for some history to be made as John Bostock entered the fray as a 79th minute substitute for Bentley to become the Club's youngest ever player in a competitive first team match.

The midfielder, who signed from Crystal Palace in the summer, is aged 16 years, 295 days, and beat the previous record held by Ally Dick since 1982.

And the youngster nearly got himself on the scoresheet with a fantastic 25-yard effort on 84 minutes that whistled just past the post!

Spurs (4-4-1-1): Gomes; Hutton, Dawson, Woodgate (Gunter, 86), King, Bale; Bentley (Bostock, 79), Zokora, Huddlestone, Lennon; Modric (Campbell, 75); Bent
Subs not used: Cesar, Gilberto, Assou-Ekotto, Dervite

Zagreb (4-4-2): Kelava; Lovren, Drpic (Etto, 46), Biscan, Ibanez; Mikic, Vrodljak, Hrgovic, Mandzukic; Balaban (Badelj, 59), Sammir (Morales, 44)
Subs not used: Loncaric, Tomic, Tadic, Carlos