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+The Monday Verdict

Posted on 4 April 2005  - 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).

It was like a short trip down memory lane for your correspondent at St Andrews on Saturday. It was and still is a delight to spend a minute or two with our former midfielder Stephen Clemence and the Academy product was the bearer of good news.

It wasn't that he announced he wasn't playing due to a heavy chest knock against Aston Villa last time out, but the fact he reported dad Ray is doing well following his operation due to prostate cancer and our former keeper was at the game. We all wish him well for continued good progress in his recovery.

Darren Anderton adorned the front page of the matchday programme but, as is often the case with the cover boy, he did not feature on the day. Jamie Clapham was the only Spurs old boy to start the game for Steve Bruce's side.

There was another little blast from the past in the media area, one Andy Turner is now a floor manager for the broadcasters TWI and was doing his stuff on the touchline during the game.

Andy left the Lane in 1996 and spent a little bit of time at a host of clubs after making 22 senior appearances in our colours. Now based in the midlands and not yet turned 30, the former trainee is now a gym manager and - when not doing his TWI bit - turns out for Bromsgrove.

On to the game and you got the feeling that it was a could have and probably should have in terms of registering a three-point haul. However, you could understand Martin Jol taking the draw on the chin given that Birmingham could have won it at final knockings when Clinton Morrison's meeting of a Damien Johnson cross flashed just past the post with Paul Robinson stranded.

Watching away games nowadays though is not like the teeth pulling-like experience is has sometimes been in the not too distant past. The boys more than punch their weight and often dominate games. Domination, however, has yet to be converted into regular reward on our travels.

This was another of those occasions when you departed the stadium thinking of what might have been. Decent goalscoring opportunities were weighted in our favour and, territorially, we held sway.

You suspected three points could well have been heading for our account on 59 minutes when a Stephen Kelly dash reaped dividends with a fine finish into Maik Taylor's bottom right hand corner of the goal. Taylor would later play a decisive part in the outcome of the game.

Birmingham did come into the game more after falling behind, but you feel there will be a few regrets that Darren Carter was able to bundle his way through the centre of our penalty area to snatch a leveller seven minutes later.

Martin's attacking alternatives were reduced due to Noe Pamarot, Reto Ziegler and Noureddine Naybet being unable to continue. He was bold when it came to replacing Naybet, adding Mido to the mix, with Michael Brown dropping in a full-back and Kelly moving over to central defence. Unfortunately it meant the Head Coach was unable to unleash his full array of striking options.

Mido so nearly made the difference and forced a superb stop out of Taylor with a superbly directed header, before providing a timely flick to Andy Reid cross and Fredi Kanoute was presented with a sight of goal - prompting Taylor into fine reflex reaction once again.

A point it was in the end, whether it was a point won or two dropped is open to interpretation.