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Result: Spurs 2-1 Leicester

Posted on 24 September 2001  - 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).

Goals from Sergei Rebrov and Ciaran Toner secured a second win of the season for the reserves against Leicester at Stevenage Borough's Broadhall Way ground.

Colin Calderwood reverted to a 3-5-2 formation after the opening two games of the season were played in traditional 4-4-2 pattern. Alton Thelwell, Anthony Gardner and Ben Thatcher formed a protective wall in front of Kasey Keller, making his first start for the reserves in a competitive game.

Ciaran Toner and Matthew Etherington lined-up as right and left wing-backs respectively, while the midfield berths were occupied by, from right to left, Oyvind Leonhardsen, John Piercy and Tim Sherwood. Steven Ferguson was preferred to Yannnick Kamanan to partner Sergei Rebrov in attack.

Tim Flowers was the most recognisable face in the Leicester side, along with Garry Parker and Trevor Benjamin for star spotters in the healthy crowd of 488.

The opening ten minutes were pretty even as a contest and little in the way of chances was created. Spurs began making in-roads after this period with the trickery of Etherington and the pace of Ferguson causing problems for the visiting defence. A shot from Piercy, narrowly over, was the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock in the first quarter of an hour.

Rebrov broke the deadlock of a tight contest on 34 minutes. An Etherington corner swung in from the left and all eyes were on the tall Gardner in anticipation of a connection. Thankfully this included some Leicester defenders and Rebrov ghosted in unmarked to plant a firm header beyond Flowers.

The goal appeared to galvanise Spurs and Leonhardsen and Sherwood carried the threat. Tim floated in a perfect cross offering Ferguson a free header at goal, but the young Scot took his eye off the ball and he failed to connect. Flowers prevented his team going further behind before the break with a brave block from a Ferguson effort.

Colin made two changes after the half-time interval, Johnnie Jackson replacing Sherwood and Gavin Kelly taking over in goal from Keller. Three minutes after the interval the advantage was doubled. Toner drifted forward from his right sided position and found himself in space. The Northern Ireland under-21 captain looked up, took aim and lashed a powerful right foot effort into the top left hand corner of Flowers' goal.

On 56 minutes, Kelly endured one of those moments that goalkeepers dread. He confidently accepted a back pass from Gardner, but lost control of the ball as he was preparing to pass the ball to the right. Matthew Piper was well positioned to take advantage of Kelly's misfortune and he duly rounded Gavin and rolled the ball into an empty net.

Rebrov spurned the opportunity to restore the two-goal advantage when he broke clean through, but dwelt on the ball too long and was challenged by Delaney.

Spurs continued to dictate proceedings, while the impressive Gardner marshalled the back line to prevent any threat at the other end. With just over ten minutes remaining Leonhardsen could have put the scoreline beyond reasonable doubt when played through by Rebrov, but Leo's powerful drive was directed too close to Flowers who managed to block his effort.

Rebrov was later denied a strong looking penalty claim when Etherington swung over an inviting cross which Sergei brought down an attempted to round his marker, who appeared to take his legs away - the referee blew his whistle and opted to award Leicester a free-kick.

Spurs were now peppering Leicester with efforts on goal but, for the most part, the finishing or final balls would not fall kindly. A third nearly came when Rebrov whipped in a wicked free-kick which hit the inside of Flowers' post and rolled across the line. A scoreline of 2-1 does not really do justice to the performance and, if anything, slightly flatters the east midlanders.

Team: Keller (Kelly 45), Toner, Etherington, Gardner, Thelwell, Thatcher, Sherwood (Jackson 45), Leonhardsen, Ferguson (Kamanan 75), Rebrov. Subs: O'Donoghue, Consorti.

By Richard Hubbard at Broadhall Way