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RESERVE REPORT

Posted on 28 April 2008  - 12:00

Our Reserve side looked odds-on to end the Barclays Reserve League season with an impressive win over a strong Reading side before a late turnaround so nearly left us leaving Aldershot Town empty handed.

Our Reserve side looked odds-on to end the Barclays Reserve League season with an impressive win over a strong Reading side before a late turnaround so nearly left us leaving Aldershot Town empty handed.Goals from Tomas Pekhart and Jake Livermore were the least we deserved for our first-half efforts before the home side came back to steal a point.

In a wide open first half, Reading had the better of the early exchanges and had Spurs firmly on the back foot for the first 15 minutes.

Defender Adam Bygrave was left kicking himself when he failed to control Graeme Murty’s cross six yards out after two minutes, and then James Henry forced a good save out of David Button soon after.

But as the half went on this young Spurs side, with seven Academy players in the starting line-up, started to grow in confidence and display plenty of future promise.

On 18 minutes, the lively Kyle Fraser-Allen crossed from the right and it eventually fell to Jon Obika at the back post who should have done better with his chance.

Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici was tested for the first time on 24 minutes when Pekhart let fly with a stinging shot from 20 yards which was saved at full stretch.

Although Henry threatened again for the hosts on 35 minutes, it was Spurs who opened the scoring through Pekhart four minutes later.

Captain Troy Archibald-Henville burst forward from defence and found Obika in the box, and his neat back-heel was controlled and finished well by the Czech striker.

And rather than sit back, Clive Allen’s side nearly doubled their lead a minute later when Ryan Mason linked up well with Livermore before firing over.

Henry then missed a sitter for Reading on the stroke of half-time to send Spurs into the break with their lead intact, and we made it 2-0 soon into the second period.

Obika broke into the box on the left-hand side before pulling it back to Livermore on the edge of the box who slotted neatly into the corner of the net with a first time shot.

After this we kept possession well and looked like killing the game off until it turned on its head with 12 minutes remaining.

Murty and Jimmy Kebe had previously both gone close with headers before the two combined to put Reading back into the match.

The Scot’s free-kick from the right found the rangy Mali striker at the back post and he headed home to give the game a very different complexion.

This clearly rattled our inexperienced side and they relinquished their lead on 82 minutes when Henry teed up John Oster on the edge of the box for the former Everton and Sunderland man to hammer into the top corner.

And things so nearly went from bad to worse two minutes later when Henry found the back of the net after meeting Julian Kelly’s cross at the near post, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

But there can be no excuse for what followed in stoppage time as substitute Nicholas Bignall somehow headed Henry’s cross wide from point blank range and somehow get Spurs off the hook.

It was to be the last action of the game and our season, and despite an impressive first half display, we were perhaps a little lucky to come away with a point at the end of the day.


Line-ups:
Spurs (4-4-2): Button; Smith (Olsen, 88), Archibald-Henville, Dervite, Hutchins; Fraser-Allen, Livermore, Kasim, Obika (D Hutton, 69); Pekhart, Mason (Mtandari, 81)
Subs not used: Forecast, Townsend, Olsen

Reading (4-4-2): Federici; Murty, De La Cruz, Bygrave, Spence; Kelly, Gunnarsson, Oster, Frewen (Bignall, 60); Kebe, Henry
Sub not used: Andersen, Kamdjo, Downes, Bryant