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MATCH REPORT: STEVENAGE 1, SPURS 3

Posted on 7 July 2007  - 12:00

Darren Bent marked the occasion of his first game in our colours with a goal as Stevenage were defeated 3-1 at Broadhall Way in our opening pre-season encounter.

Darren Bent marked the occasion of his first game in our colours with a goal as Stevenage were defeated 3-1 at Broadhall Way in our opening pre-season encounter.

The moment the Spurs fans - in what was a big turn out - were waiting for came just a minute after the interval and the finish was crisp - no doubt the first of many. Robbie Keane and Adel Taarabt scored either side of Bent's debut strike.

Martin Jol fielded his strongest available team from the players who returned to training on Monday at the home of the FA Trophy holders.

Keane and Bent formed the spearhead, but the first shot of the game came from a former Spur, midfielder Stuart Lewis, who left the club earlier this year. Keane did come close to putting an early marker down on the game with a clever flicked effort after good work from Phil Ifil down the right flank. The skipper for the day had another go moments later, blasting over the bar after a good combination with Bent.

Keane did open his pre-season account on 17 minutes via the penalty spot. Bent was about to pounce inside the area after Jamie O'Hara set him free only for another ex-Spur Ronnie Henry to barge him out of the way with considerable and illegal force. Keane made no mistake from 12 yards, sending Alan Julian the wrong way.

Adel Taarabt tried his luck from long-range and tested Julian, before he turned provider and allowed Bent to work the keeper. Henry took Keane's legs away just before the half hour mark, giving the striker the opportunity to hone his set piece work from just outside the area. Julian brilliantly tipping his dipping free-kick over the bar.

Five minutes before the break, Julian was brought into action again when Taarabt surged forward and unleashed a piledriver that was heading straight for the top left hand corner until the keeper's outstretched hand caused a diversion.

It proved to be a big save because three minutes later our advantage was wiped out when Ollie Allen - son of Clive - fended off the challenge of Anthony Gardner and dispatched a shot on the turn past Radek Cerny.

The lead was restored just a minute after the re-start when Rocha swept the ball forward into the path of Bent, who accelerated past his marker and cooly struck past Ross Ketteridge, Stevenage's half time change in goal. It was a clear example of the pace and power possessed by our newest striking recruit.

He should have made it two though a couple of minutes later when he seized on Keane's throughball, but dragged his shot wide. Keane then forced Ketteridge into a fine stop after the impressive Charlie Daniels chipped in with an assist from left full-back.

Keane, Murphy and Malbranque all went close before the lead was extended in a fortunate fashion. Taarabt hit in a no more than hopeful shot from over on the left and Ketteridge went down to gather in what should have been a routine foil. However, the ball slipped through his grasp and ended up in the bottom left hand corner of the net.

Stevenage Borough 1st half: Julian, Fuller, Nutter, Lewis, Henry, Gaia, Lawson, Allen, Hakim, Miller, Cole.

2nd half: Ketteridge, Batt (Hadge, 87), Bradshaw, Molesley, Oliver, Eames, Dobson, Sealey, McMahon, Cruise, Arber.

Spurs: Cerny, Ifil (Riley, 87), Daniels (Hughton, 87), Rocha (Mills, 62), Gardner, Murphy (Livermore, 80), Malbranque, O'Hara (Maghoma, 72), Taarabt, Keane, Bent (Barcham, 67). Unused sub: Forecast.