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Mills savours derby win

Posted on 19 April 2005  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Academy defender Leigh Mills capped a big six days by playing a big part in the 4-3 reserve win over Arsenal at Stevenage on Monday evening.


The period began in disappointment for the promising central defender when our under-18 side exited the FA Youth Cup following a 2-1 defeat in the second leg against Ipswich Town. His team more than picked themselves up from that setback and recorded a fine 3-0 win over Charlton in the Academy League at the weekend.


Leigh and his central defensive partner Charlie Lee were rewarded for their exploits with starting places in Clive Allen's side for the reserve derby but the evening did not get off to the best of starts when he lost his footing on the ball, which led to Arsenal taking the lead on eight minutes.


Crucially, the summer recruit from Swindon Town did not let the slip affect his composure and the gate to our goal then remained firmly locked until the closing stages when Arsenal were desperately trying to reduce a 4-1 deficit.


"I haven't been in for a while and playing reserve team football is always a big step up playing with players from your own team, let alone when you look at the teamsheet and see players like Owusu-Abeyie and Lupoli," reflected Leigh after the game. "It can be a bit daunting.


"It was okay, although I started off a little bit shaky and made a mistake. I recovered alright and the lads got behind me so I did okay, steady.


"It is the worse feeling you have, when you know it is your fault, you have let him in and the ball hits the back of the net - it is not good. You look at the Premiership though, it does happen and it is about how you react and deal with it. If you let it take you over it shows you haven't got character.


"We more than recovered - four goals in reply to make it 4-1. In the attacking department we were on fire, Barney getting another hat-trick and we just battered them. In the end, with the tempo we went at, we had to sit off and they were always going to have a passage of play where they dominated for a bit. They nearly got back in it and we did well to hold them off."


Leigh certainly enjoyed the derby atmosphere with 2,692 in attendance at Broadhall Way and hopes to complete a double on Saturday.


"I'll tell you what, it was unbelievable," he added. "I've never played a home game at Stevenage before and to come here and play against Arsenal was a great occasion. Funnily enough, I have got them again on Saturday with the under-18s.


"I've been involved in a couple of derbies back at Swindon, but this was massive - something else."