Andy Sinton rounded off an epic duel with the opposing goalkeeper to finally complete his hat-trick, as the Spurs Legends claimed a 7-1 win against FC Clacton veterans on Easter Sunday.
Sinton, who had been denied in several one-on-one situations by the home custodian throughout the afternoon, got the better of his adversary with two late strikes to add to his earlier penalty, while Ruel Fox (2), Mark Falco and David Howells were also on the scoresheet.
Spurs entered the game off the back of consecutive 4-0 wins, and it was they who started brightest as Howells stung the palms of the Clacton keeper with a fierce strike following Fox’s early corner, while the gloveman later made an impressive double save to deny Justin Edinburgh and Sinton in quick succession.
Fox broke the deadlock mid-way through the first half when he swept home Sinton’s low ball across the face of goal, while a point-blank header from Falco was somehow palmed away by the keeper five minutes later.
The move for the Legends’ second goal began in their own penalty area as Stuart Nethercott cleared the ball to Anderton, who spotted the run of Falco. Anderton fed the veteran forward, who surged into Clacton territory and unleashed a deft lob which dropped just under the bar and into the net on 35 minutes.
The energetic Falco almost doubled his tally three minutes later, but his volley from Howells’ corner kick went wide.
Sinton’s right-footed strike cannoned off the bar three minutes after the restart, but there was controversy shortly afterwards as the referee disallowed a long-range lob from Darren Anderton. The official was not happy with a quickly-taken free-kick in the right wing position which led to the shot, and he consequently ruled the effort out.
Spurs finally got their third goal on 52 minutes when Sinton confidently scored from the spot, having himself been upended in the area by the keeper as he surged through on goal.
Nine minutes later it was four as Anderton’s shot was saved and the ball found its way out to Fox, who clipped the ball over the keeper and into the net from 18 yards out.
Ten minutes later Clacton pulled a goal back, and the home side came close to grabbing another shortly afterwards, with Spurs goalkeeper Gareth Howells forced to back-pedal to tip a speculative effort over the bar.
Sinton was played in behind the defence at the other end, only to be denied by the keeper, while David Howells was the next to see his shot saved, before Sinton was again denied in a one-on-one situation by the hard-working stopper.
Clacton were beginning to tire, and shortly after an Anderton strike hit the bar, Howells fired home Tottenham’s fifth when he latched onto Clive Wilson’s cross from the left, before Anderton’s unselfish back-heel in the six-yard box allowed Sinton to surge in and sweep home Tottenham’s sixth goal three minutes from time.
Onlookers could have been forgiven for getting a sense of déjà vu when Sinton was again played through with just the keeper to beat in the 90th minute, but after feigning a move to the right, the midfielder slalomed round the other side of the rooted stopper and rolled the ball home to complete his treble.
Spurs Legends: Gareth Howells, Paul Miller, Clive Wilson, John Lacy, Stuart Nethercott, Darren Anderton, Justin Edinburgh, Andy Sinton, Ruel Fox, David Howells, Mark Falco. Subs: Tony Galvin, Garry Brooke, Andy Polston, Andy Edmonds, Micky Southam, Trevor Wilkinson.
With thanks to Billy Shaw...