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The search goes on

Posted on 15 September 2008  - 12:00

Juande Ramos' men are still looking for their first victory of the season after a third defeat of the campaign, this time at the hands of Aston Villa.

The search goes on

Juande Ramos' men are still looking for their first victory of the season after a third defeat of the campaign, this time at the hands of Aston Villa.

An early strike from Nigel Reo-Coker was doubled by Ashley Young in the second half, sending the Midlands side home with all three points despite Darren Bent's late consolation.

Transfer window signings Vedran Corluka and Roman Pavlyuchenko were handed their Spurs debuts, but the visitors had by far the better of the first half and they started as they meant to go on.

Good work down the left from Young set up Gabriel Agonlahor for the cross, which fizzed across the face of goal and was touched on towards the back post where Reo-Coker was on-hand to side-foot home after just four minutes.

Beyond this, much praise must go to Heurelho Gomes for keeping the scores at 1-0 until half-time came.

Reo-Coker was again involved on 22 minutes when his cross was met by Gareth Barry at the back post, and although the Brazilian stopper appeared to be wrong-footed with the ball rolling in, he somehow managed to scramble back and claw the ball to safety.

Villa home

Just a moment later, Gomes came to the rescue again. Having punched clear Ashley Young's in-swinging corner, the former PSV man had to track back and make a spectacular save from a goal-bound Agbonlahor header after Nicky Shorey had helped the ball back into the danger zone.

To their credit, Juande Ramos' side had a relatively strong finish to the half, but it wasn't until the 35th minute that Brad Friedel was finally tested by a 30-yard Tom Huddlestone effort.

Aside from this, Pavlyuchenko was looking lively on his Spurs debut, and had a goal-bound effort blocked by the head of Curtis Davies on 21 minutes.

As the second half began, it looked as though we were going to take some of the impetus forward, especially when Aaron Lennon forced Friedel into a wonderful save to deny his 20-yard effort on 49 minutes.

But it wasn't to be, and four minutes later Villa were 2-0 up. England midfielder Young ran at our defence and hit a speculative 25-yard effort straight at Gomes. But unfortunately for the Brazilian, the ball slipped beneath him and into the net in a real horror moment.

Substitutes David Bentley and Giovani Dos Santos, along with Lennon and Bent, all had efforts on goal before the latter finally deflected home Jermaine Jenas' effort four minutes from time.

Villa home

JJ was instrumental at the other end to keep the scores down in the dying seconds, making a brave block to deny Marlon Harewood with the goal gaping.

But despite a late rally, we now go into Thursday's UEFA Cup opener with Wisla Krakow at The Lane desperately needing to kick-start our campaign.

Spurs (4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, Dawson (Giovani, 61), Woodgate, Bale; Lennon, Zokora (Bentley, 45), Huddlestone, Modric (Jenas, 29); Pavlyuchenko, Bent
Subs not used: Cesar, Gilberto, O'Hara, Campbell

Villa (4-4-2): Friedel; L Young, Davies, Laursen, Shorey (Gardner, 87); Reo-Coker, Petrov, Barry, A Young; Agbonlahor (Harewood, 84), Carew (Milner, 62)
Subs not used: Guzan, Knight, Cuellar, Routledge