It wasn’t as comfortable a win as last year, but the Spurs Legends once again proved too strong for Wapping Warriors Old Boys with a 4-1 win at Barnet FC’s training ground on Sunday.
Having succumbed to an 8-0 thrashing at the hands of the ex-White Hart Lane favourites in October, 2011, the Warriors declared their intention to gain a measure of retribution this time around, but first half goals from Mark Falco and Paul McVeigh set the Legends on their way to a gritty 4-1 win.
The game opened with a midfield battle, and for the most part, it continued in that vein throughout.
The Warriors applied some early pressure without really testing Legends goalkeeper Gareth Howells, while at the other end, a cross-shot from Clive Wilson slipped wide of the far post.
Spurs took the lead on 11 minutes when Justin Edinburgh fizzed a low ball in from the left, with Mark Falco firing into the centre of the net from 12 yards out.
Howells had to tip a long-range effort over the bar at the other end as the Warriors looked to respond, while the custodian later made another fine block at his near post, with defender Stuart Nethercott on hand to hack the rebound away and clear the danger.
The Legends doubled their lead on 34 minutes with a route one goal. Howells’ lofted ball into opposition territory was exquisitely controlled by a deft touch from McVeigh, who ran on and clipped a shot beyond the Warriors goalkeeper and just inside the post.
The Warriors continued to frustrate the visitors, and pulled a goal back a minute before half-time, with Charlie Ashby beating Howells at his near post.
The hosts were gifted a golden chance to level the scores five minutes after the break as Spurs substitute Andy Edmonds was adjudged to have impeded a Warriors forward in the penalty area and the referee pointed to the spot. Howells, though, saved the resulting weak penalty, before the rebound was ballooned over the bar.
The visitors responded three minutes later by restoring their two-goal cushion after a well-worked move that started in the centre circle. Edinburgh found Mark Stimson wide on the left, who crossed for substitute Warren Gravette to head home for 3-1.
Tottenham should have extended their lead further on 56 minutes when a corner kick was taken short to Gravette, who crossed for McVeigh, but the in-form attacker saw the ball late and could only divert his header the wrong side of the back post.
Gravette later headed straight at the goalkeeper following a free kick taken on the right by Paul Miller, while McVeigh controlled the ball well but rifled over the bar in a separate attack on the hour mark.
Spurs completed the scoring on 79 minutes when Gravette sent fellow substitute Micky Jarrett clear, the latter rounding the goalkeeper before slotting home.
Both sides had half-chances in the closing moments, but it was obvious that Spurs had done enough to win the game as their winning streak continued.
Spurs Legends: Gareth Howells, Paul Miller, Tony Galvin, John Lacy, Stuart Nethercott, Mark Stimson, Clive Wilson, Justin Edinburgh, Paul McVeigh, Garry Brooke, Mark Falco. Subs: Warren Gravette, Andy Edmonds, Micky Jarrett, Micky Southam, Trevor Wilkinson.
With thanks to Billy Shaw...