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Knight rider halts reserves

Posted on 13 September 2000  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

FA Premier Reserve League

Spurs Reserves 1-2 Chelsea Reserves

Leon Knight ruined the second string's opening night on the big stage.

The lively Chelsea forward crashed home off the underside of the bar with just two minutes left to steal the win in the reserves' first match at White Hart Lane.

Defeat was somewhat harsh on Chris Hughton's men who dominated large periods of possession without really creating the clear-cut chances to go with it - Chelsea's new arrival and ex-Ajax, AC Milan and Barcelona defender Winston Bogarde proving a formidable barrier to overcome.

It took just two minutes to force Chelsea goalkeeper Rhys Evans into action. The excellent Matthew Etherington, pictured right, swung in a deep cross and Evans was at full-stretch to flick the ball off the head of Mark Gower.

Gary Doherty met Etherington's corner only for his header to fly straight at Evans and the visitors' keeper had to be at his best to divert Mark Gower's drive into the side netting.

The deadlock was broken after 13 minutes. Simon Davies charged forward from midfield and let fly from 25 yards. Evans could only parry the shot and Neale Fenn gleefully slotted home the rebound.

The lead only last two minutes though. Nicholls was upended by Davies and from the free-kick, Rati Aleksidze curled a delightful 30-yarder into the top corner with Walker stranded.

Evans saved well again from McEwen but Walker produced the save of the half, somehow clawing the impressive Courtney Pitt's volley off the line. Fenn hit Evans' feet from close range with seven minutes remaining and Davies twice blazed wide just before the break.

The second half was a similar story - plenty of possession, Etherington electric down the left but few chances were created until a late flurry.

Etherington's run and low cross was cleared by Pat Baldwin, Yannick Kamanan flicked John Piercy's centre just wide, Gower's free-kick flew over and Davies again just failed to find his range from outside the area.

In-between all that Walker produced another superb save to deny Nicholls at point-blank before Knight grabbed the win, smashing home Shayne Demetrious' cutback from 12 yards.

Spurs Reserves: Walker, Hillier, Toner, Davies, Doherty, Thelwell, Piercy, Gower, McEwen (Kamanan 75), Fenn, Etherington.

Chelsea Reserves: Evans, Percassi (Thornton 67), Cummings, Broad, Bogarde (Baldwin 67), Demetrious, Slatter (Ross 57), Knight, Nicholls, Aleksidze, Pitt.