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Report: Boro 1-1 Spurs

Posted on 31 March 2002  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

Honours even and few complaints at the Riverside.

There was an argument that the free-kick that led to Boro's equaliser was somewhat harsh as Alen Boksic seemed happy to collapse under Anthony Gardner's challenge but apart from that the result was just about right.

Boro certainly created more chances but Mark Crossley in the home goal made the telling saves and Gus Poyet saw his header strike the crossbar before the leveller.

The starting line-up threw up a couple of surprises. Three changes from last Sunday's win at Fulham included Kasey Keller back in goal for Neil Sullivan with Canadian trialist Lars Hirschfeld, impressive for the reserves of late, on the bench.

Sergei Rebrov came in for Teddy Sheringham and Matthew Etherington started in place of Christian Ziege. Steve Clemence was back on the bench for the first time since August where he joined Sheringham, Simon Davies and Dean Richards.

The early exchanges were a little subdued as both teams struggled to maintain possession for any length of time.

Benito Carbone was lively but the pick of the chances fell to Gus Poyet, a volley straight at Mark Crossley and Alen Boksic, who attempted to dink over Keller from a tight angle only for the goalkeeper and Anthony Gardner to combine to keep it out.

We took the lead on 31 minutes. Matty Etherington, bright as a button down the left flank, drilled in the cross of the half between Crossley and his defenders, Poyet and Rebrov both failed to make contact at the near post but Iversen found himself free at the far post and made no mistake from six yards.

Boro upped the ante straight away. Within minutes Carbone volleyed inches wide from Boksic's cross and Franck Queuedrue blasted over after Carbone's corner fell at his feet 15 yards out.

Iversen then found himself through on goal from Ben Thatcher's long pass. Crossley raced out and although Iversen beat him to the ball, he was forced wide and Southgate was able to get back and block his shot.

Boro raced out of the traps in the second half but appeals for handball against King were waved away and a couple of dangerous crosses came to nothing.

We then came so close to doubling the lead. Sherwood's pass foundIversen breaking the offside trap, he carried the ball into the box, picked out Etherington whose left-foot volley from eight yards was somehow kept out by Crossley. Anderton viciously swung in the corner met by Poyet at the near post only for his header to crash against the crossbar.

That unlucky break was heightened when the home side levelled after 69 minutes.

Gardner appeared harshly done by when referee Mr Dowd awarded a free-kick after a clash with Boksic, who happily went to ground.

Queudrue didn't care though and curled into the bottom corner from 22 yards.

That lifted the Riverside and substitute David Murphy should have done better with a free header from Carbone's corner.

Sheringham and Davies came on for Rebrov and Anderton and almost combined successfully with five minutes left. Ugo Ehiogu slipped as Davies crossed to leave Sheringham with a yard of space. He found Etherington whose piledriver was too hot to handle for Crossley but rebound attempts were blocked.

With minutes remaining Thatcher whipped in a cross and Sheringham was inches away from what would have been a certain winner.