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REPORT: WIGAN 1-2 SPURS

Posted on 28 November 2005  - 12:00

Edgar Davids scored his first Spurs goal as the boys recorded victory in our first ever game against Wigan Athletic on Saturday afternoon.

Edgar Davids scored his first Spurs goal as the boys recorded victory in our first ever game against Wigan Athletic on Saturday afternoon.

In what was our third away win the season, Robbie Keane opened the scoring early before a second half rearguard action had to be mounted ahead of Davids' intervention in front of 22,611 on what turned out to be a biting cold afternoon in the North West. There was a late scare when Lee McCulloch struck but the three points were banked this week.

Martin Jol named an unchanged side for our JJB Stadium debut from last week's draw with West Ham, but there were positional changes in midfield. Davids switched to a central berth alongside Michael Carrick, with Jermaine Jenas switching to the right and Teemu Tainio the left.

The tactic being, most likely, that the combative Davids would be more naturally suited to thwarting the energetic enthusiasm of the high-flying newly promoted side.

The afternoon started with a minute's silence in the memory of the great George Best, who passed away on Friday.

Wigan enjoyed something of an early flurry with Jason Roberts nearly making capital out of a poor clearance from Paul Robinson before Graham Kavanagh tried his luck from all of 30 yards and was not too far away.


Paul Jewell's side were rocked back on their heels after seven minutes when a long ball from Tainio was not read by Arjan Dezeeuw and Robbie Keane was as alert as ever to seize on the indecision, round goalkeeper Mike Pollitt and roll the ball into an empty net right in front of the Spurs - literally - masses behind the goal.

Wigan mounted a spiky response, with Roberts again threatening down the right and forcing a corner from which Lee McCulloch almost caused considerable alarm with a powerful header that ended up going just over the bar.

Mido and Keane were looking tricky in attack though and a couple of clever combinations didn't quite come off

They offered significant encouragement for later in the game when the going was likely to get tough at the other end.

There was little work for the goalkeeper at either end as the game simmered nicely towards half-time. Keane demanded a penalty when he appeared to be manhandled by Stephane Henchoz, but referee Mr Riley was not about to hand out a ticket to goal. Ledley King then did well to steer Roberts wide to the left when the burly striker could see the whites of the posts.

Wigan continued to press but the lead was protected into the interval, thanks in no small part to the excellence of skipper King.

The first third of the second half was a scrappy period with possession not retained by either team for any significant length of time. It was a frantic affair that, from our point of view, just needed another goal to take the sting out of it. A bit like last week really...

The wished-for goal so nearly came on 64 minutes when a Carrick free-kick found Tainio to the left of the penalty area and the Finn took a touch before drilling the ball goalwards. It took a crucial touch from Pollitt to paw the ball around the post. From the resulting corner Jenas' downward header was scooped away when the prospect of a goal looked on again.

After a period of sustained Wigan pressure, a breakaway was made to count and Davids was architect and executioner. A long clearance was fielded by Keane, who was somewhat fortunate to find the Dutchman in support, and Davids surged forward - decoy runs were made - before driving low across Pollitt and into the back of the net to make it 2-0 on 77 minutes.

Two minutes from time Wigan gave themselves some late hope when Henri Camara's shot was parried away by Robinson, but only to the feet of McCulloch who had the simple job of tapping into an empty net. Four minutes stoppage time being shown lifted the home crowd but the boys held on for a welcome win.