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Report: Spurs 3-2 Bolton

Posted on 4 December 2001  - 12:00

English Barclays Premiership

A Teddy Sheringham header five minutes from time reaped full points for Spurs and lifted the club to fifth place in the Premiership.

Teddy's goal capped a remarkable second half in which a double change, made at the break, altered the course of the game. Down by a single goal at half-time - scored by Michael Ricketts - Les Ferdinand and Goran Bunjevcevic joined the party and almost immediately had the Lane rocking.

Les made the header that led to Gus Poyet scoring the equaliser, while Bunje supplied the pass gave Les the shooting chance from which he scored a minute later. Rod Wallace gave the visitors parity, before Teddy stepped up to steal the show.

Poyet returned to the starting line-up at the expence of Oyvind Leonhardsen, who returned to the bench, while Dean Richards reclaimed his place after being cup tied in the week with Goran Bunjevcevic joining Leo as substitute.

Also on the bench was Les Ferdinand, who missed the victory over Fulham with an ankle injury. Sergei Rebrov kept his place after an impressive scoring performance at Craven Cottage.

After some early jostling that created little in the way of clear-cut chances, the man in form, Michael Ricketts stuck a decisive blow to the Spurs rearguard. He was found on the edge of the area in a central position, looked up, took a couple of touches and buried the ball low past Sullivan left hand to open the scoring.

Three minutes later Spurs had a chance to level when Poyet was bundled down on the edge of the area. Ziege struck a wickedly curling free-kick to Jussi Jaaskelainen's left hand post, but the highly rated keeper somehow got across to finger the powerful effort around the post.

From the resulting corner, Poyet failed to get a clean connection to the ball in a goalmouth scramble.

Despite the early setback, the Lane remained an upbeat arena and the fans stayed firmly behind the team in their quest for a leveller.

Poyet was the principal threat in the opening quarter and on 25 minutes he was fed down the left of the area by Sheringham and his low drive was palmed away by Jaaskelainen down to his right.

Prior to that passage of action the game did suffer a bit of a lull with Bolton ably manning the barricades. Sullivan then had to be alert to prevent a flicked header by Whitlow from a deep free-kick causing more problems than neccessary.

Poyet and Bergsson then had a little tussle after the current Spur was felled by the ex-Spur and then from a rehersed free-kick, the final effort from Poyet was bravely blocked.

Spurs were now gathering a head of steam and were pinning the visitors back into their own half. Kevin Nolan was booked for a hack on Steffen Freund as the referee was forced to keep an ever more watchful eye on proceedings.

Spurs were nearly in trouble however on 33 minutes when a neat reverse ball from Nolan found Rod Wallace in the area. The former Leeds and Rangers man spun and shot, but Sully was equal to his low effort.

Ledley King was next into the action when a Ziege crossfield ball found him in space to the right of the Bolton area. Ledley took aim and fired, but dragged his shot slightly and it drifted wide.

Spurs were offering some precise and purposeful football, but Bolton were getting men behind the ball very quickly and the feeling nagged that any opening would come via a deflection or miskick rather than inspired creation.

Ricardo Gardner burst down the Bolton left flank five minutes before the break and it took a vital block from Freund to prevent the ball reaching the unmarked Ricketts in the area.

The prolific striker then added a booking to his goal after kicking out at Ziege.

Glenn elected to leave his seat in the directors' box early to direct operations for himself on the touchline, no doubt composing a few half-time tactical tweaks with John Gorman and Chris Hughton.

It turned out to be a fairly major tactical tweak, certainly in terms of personel. Bunjevcevic replaced Chris Perry and Les Ferdinand entered the fray in place of Freund.

The changes worked wonders almost straight away, Anderton floated over a deep cross from the right of midfield. Ferdinand met the ball and his header decived the goalkeeper and dropped onto the post. The ball then hit the unlucky Mike Whitlow, was not cleared and Poyet smashed home the equaliser.

The Lane was buzzing and the decibel level increased ten-fold only a minute later. Rebrov fed Bunjevcevic on the egde of the box, Bunje layed off a cushioned ball that set Ferdinand free and Les made no mistake, burying the ball past Jaaskelainen to hand Spurs a stunning lead.

An inspired substitution it certainly appeared to be. Spurs were a galvanised outfit and Bolton appeared to be in shock over the fact that their good first half work was so quickly undone in the opening minutes of the second period.

Bolton shock subsided within ten minutes. On 56 minutes Wallace sped down the visitor's right and cut in at pace before unleashing a low cross shot that squirmed past Sullivan and into the net to make it 2-2 and game on.

Spurs contined to press and were met with stubborn resistance, a teasing Ziege cross, however, caused mayhem in the Bolton defensive ranked but was finally hoofed clear. Rebrov then found a shooting position, but was ajudged to have been offside.

The little Ukrainian then weaved and jinked on the edge of the area before finding Poyet who shot wide. Bolton then made a change of their own with Dean Holdsworth replacing Ricketts on 73 minutes.

The crowd on 32,971 were urging Spurs forward towards then win and loudly decrying any decision that went the wrong way.

A combination of Ferdinand, Rebrov and then Poyet failed to prise an opening in the Bolton rearguard as an elusive third goal was chased in a concentrated spell of pressure in the visitors' penalty area. Minutes later Gareth Farrelly took a pot shot at goal, but Sully was right behind the effort.

Holdsworth then found himself in the clear and was bearing down on goal with only Sully to beat before a superb block tackle from Richards saved the day.

Five minutes from time it was skipper Teddy who rose to secure three points for Spurs, an inswinging Anderton set piece found the head of Teddy, who re-directed the ball with his head past the despairing lunge of Jaaskelainen.