Anderton and Nethercott help Legends bounce back
26 August 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Stuart Nethercott netted his first goal in more than three years as the Spurs Legends team staged a spirited second half fightback to claim a 5-1 win over the ‘AKO Celebrity XI’ at a wet Bishop’s Stortford FC on Sunday afternoon (August 23).
The ever-present central defender joined the likes of Darren Anderton and Ramon Vega on the scoresheet after half-time as the celebrity side’s defence finally caved in, despite an outstanding display by their goalkeeper – reality TV show singer and former semi-pro stopper Micky Dumoulin.
The team of ex-White Hart Lane favourites had fallen behind only two minutes in and trailed until just after the interval when Anderton found a breakthrough, with Nethercott later getting in on the act with his first goal since a 4-3 win over Norwich City Vets back in July, 2012.
It was a slow start for the men in Lilywhite, however, as Chris Baxter turned into a shooting position and fired low into the corner to give the celebrities an early lead.
Nethercott then saw his header from Anderton’s corner cleared off the line as he made the first of several ventures forward in a bid to find the target, while striker Steve Slade – after straying off-side a couple of times previously – chipped Dumoulin from the left side of the area, only to be denied by a defender in the six-yard box.
Legends goalkeeper Gareth Howells announced his return to the side with a courageous double-save at his near post just after that, while midfielder Kevin Watson had the ball in the net in the 25th minute after lobbing Dumoulin from 40 yards following a quickly-taken free-kick, but the referee controversially ruled that the set piece must be taken again and the celebrities were able to close ranks.
Above: Ramon Vega breaks forward (pics: Martin Taylor).
Anderton coaxed two more fine saves from the keeper as the first half progressed and the rain got heavier, while Dumoulin was there again on the stroke of half-time to deny Vega with his legs after a corner wasn’t properly cleared.
The equaliser eventually arrived three minutes after the restart as Anderton drove low into the corner from the edge of the box and five minutes later the turnaround was complete as the ex-England international picked out Vega in the right channel and he thumped inside the near post.
Keeper Howells kept his side in the lead with two important stops in quick succession before Nethercott – who had seemed like a man possessed in his attempts to hit the target on the day – finally got his reward in the 58th minute. Rising to meet Anderton’s corner, the defender collided with team-mate Micky Jarrett and the ball dropped into the box, but Nethercott reacted quickest and lashed high into the net with his right foot.
Anderton was once again thwarted by Dumoulin soon afterwards but the keeper could do nothing to prevent the Legends from adding to their lead on 73 minutes as Anderton’s cross was nodded back across goal by Slade and substitute Micky Southam arrived in the box to convert from close range.
Guest player, actor Ralf Little then set up Slade to make it 5-1 with 11 minutes left despite the best efforts of a defender in the six-yard box to keep it out, while Anderton tried to grab a sixth goal just afterwards but Dumoulin was there again to make the save.
Spurs Legends: Gareth Howells, Brian Statham, John Lacy, Kevin Watson, Stuart Nethercott, Danny Maddix, Ralf Little, Ramon Vega, Steve Slade, Darren Anderton, Tony Galvin. Substitutes and guest players: Mark Falco, Andy Edmonds, Micky Jarrett, Micky Southam, Aaron Chinery, Tony Davison, Trevor Wilkinson.