Match Report - Tottenham reserves v Leicester City reserves - 19 Jan 2004
FA Premier Reserve League South
Rohan Ricketts gave a timely reminder of his ability to secure a deserved 2-1 win for the reserves against Leicester City on Monday night.
The midfielder curled home a beauty in the second half as the lads outplayed an experienced Foxes side at Stevenage Borough.
Ricketts missed out against Leeds and Liverpool having featured 22 times this season since making his Premiership debut against Birmingham on the opening day.
Outstanding in the reserves' 5-0 win against Coventry last week, he's doing all he can to stay in the management's plans with FA Cup weekend looming.
His goal was worthy of winning any match and there was no little quality in Jamie Slabber's equaliser as the lads turned around a 1-0 half-time deficit.
Goalmouth action was sadly lacking in that first half as contrasting styles went head to head - we played the neater, tidier football while Foxes, packed full of six-footers, looked to get the ball forward quickly into dangerous areas.
Set-pieces were always a threat and proved our undoing in the sixth minute.
Lilian Nalis swung in the corner, Matt Elliott powered in a header, Phil Ifil cleared off the line only for Junior Lewis to overhead kick back into the net.
Mark Hughes, who produced another driving display from central midfield, might have equalised minutes later but shot tamely at Dominic Pearmain and that was just about that in terms of chances.
The second half was a different story. Ifil's darting run ended with a shot just wide and Hughes was off target with a header before Slabber's equaliser on 53 minutes.
Hughes was involved again, threading a pass to Lee Barnard who eased Elliott out to allow the ball to run through to his strike partner. Slabber still had plenty to do, fully 40 yards from goal with Frank Sinclair in pursuit, but he held off the defender before slotting confidently past Pearmain.
Foxes best spell followed. Nicky Eyre did well to cling onto Nalis' free-kick before thanking Stephen Kelly and Hughes for mopping up after the same player beat him in another aerial test.
Ricketts' goal-den moment was just around the corner though and the lads held the upper hand after that - Pearmain saving his best to keep out two efforts from the returning Mark Yeates, the midfielder his usual, sparky self after a loan spell at Brighton.
6mins: GOAL. Elliott header from Nalis corner cleared off line by Ifil only for Lewis to overhead ball back into net. 0-1.
10mins: Hughes onto Blondel pass, one-on-one, weak finish.
48mis: Ifil break, skipped around Priet, low shot just wide.
50mins: Hughes missed target with free header from Yeates corner.
53mins: GOAL. Hughes pass, Barnard did enough to ease out Elliott and send clear Slabber, pace to stay clear of chasing Sinclair before cool finish. 1-1.
55mins: Nalis curler almost caught out Eyre, recovered to save and clasp loose ball on line.
60mins: Nalis beat Eyre to Lewis free-kick, Kelly and Hughes back to mop up.
65mins: GOAL. Ifil driven corner all way through to Ricketts who controlled, shifted onto right foot and hit delicious curler into top corner from 20 yards. 2-1.
68mins: Hughes into Yeates, low curler tipped away by Pearmain.
69mins: Yeates blaster parried by Pearmain.
85mins: Yeates free-kick into wall, Kelly follow up, Yeates lashed third attempt wide.
Spurs: Eyre, Ifil, Kelly, Bunjevcevic, McKie, Ricketts, Blondel, Hughes, Yeates, Barnard, Slabber. Subs: Forecast, Daniels, Foster, O'Hara, Malcolm. Booked: McKie, Hughes, Ifil.
Leicester: Pearmain, Lewis, Sinclair, Elliott, Priet, Heath, Gillespie, Nalis, Brooker, Hignett, Deen. Subs: Coyne, Murphy, Williams, Gondal, O’Shea. Booked: Deen.