26 June 2013|Spurs Comms Team
Darren Anderton and Andy Sinton led the attack as the Spurs Legends staged a stunning comeback, recovering from 4-0 down to salvage a 4-4 draw against a Raffingers Stuart XI at Wanstead Rugby Club on Sunday.
The lads found it tough going on a heavy playing surface usually used for rugby matches, but two goals from Anderton, one from Sinton and another from Micky Southam saw them get the job done in the second half to ensure their unbeaten run in 2013 remains intact.
Spurs struggled to get to grips with the game in the first period, although they did still manage to carve out a couple of chances against a side that included former West Ham United and Everton midfielder Don Hutchison among their number.
Danny Maddix played Sinton in behind the defence after five minutes, but his shot went wide of the target.
The Raffingers Stuart XI took the lead three minutes later when Scott Coombes finished from a tight angle, and there was a let-off for Spurs two minutes later after the hosts had another effort ruled out for off-side.
At the other end, Anderton took a short free-kick and found Mark Falco, who in turn teed up Sinton for a shot, but his effort was charged down. Five minutes later, defender John Lacy got forward and met Paul Miller’s right wing cross, but his header marginally cleared the bar.
The Legends fell further behind on 20 minutes when Tommy Black ran clear and easily slotted the ball into the net, while at the other end, Falco surged through in the box but crashed his shot wide.
Spurs goalkeeper Gareth Howells made an important save at the edge of his area later in the half, while Anderton shot wide for Spurs after being set up by Sinton.
Jonathan Hunt struck a further blow to the visitors when he added the third goal for the Raffingers Stuart XI just before half-time, leaving the Legends with plenty to do in the second period.
The lads’ task was made even more difficult three minutes after the restart when Lloyd Nygate finished well to put the Raffingers Stuart XI into a 4-0 lead, but Spurs struck back within 60 seconds as substitute Micky Southam beat the goalkeeper from an acute angle.
Goalkeeper Howells made a spectacular diving save to ensure the Legends’ opponents couldn’t restore their four-goal advantage, before Spurs pulled another goal back when Sinton swept home following a cross from the right in the 62nd minute.
Three minutes later the comeback was well and truly on as Anderton powered a free kick into the net from the edge of the box after Sinton was brought down by a defender.
And after squandering a couple of further chances, the Legends finally got back on level terms in the 84th minute when Anderton latched onto Southam’s ball in from the right and slid the ball home.
Keeper Howells had to stay alert at the other end, making a decent save to deny the hosts, while Sinton, after firing wide a minute earlier, saw his 89th minute drive hacked off the line by a defender as the Legends went in search of an ultimately elusive winner.
Spurs Legends: Gareth Howells, Paul Miller, Tony Galvin, John Lacy, Stuart Nethercott, Garry Brooke, Clive Wilson, Danny Maddix, Andy Sinton, Darren Anderton, Mark Falco. Subs: Andy Edmonds, Micky Southam, Paul Hawksbee, Warren Gravette.
With thanks to Billy Shaw.
Photographs: Martin Taylor.