Report: Southampton 1-0 Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).
Our reserve side fell to a single goal defeat at Southampton on Monday night as the Saints secured their first win at St Mary's.
Colin Calderwood was denied the services of both Ciaran Toner and Kasey Keller due to international duty as his side absorbed the shiney surroundings of the new St Mary's stadium.
He was boosted by the services, once again, of Sergei Rebrov, Oyvind Leonhardsen, Tim Sherwood, Ben Thatcher and Anthony Gardner.
Southampton play only four reserve games at their home venue over the course of the season - us, Arsenal, Chelsea and West Ham. The local public certainly appear to relish the occasions though and a healthy 8,658 were in attendance.
A freezing wind and the infuriating noise of rattles permiated the early evening air as Spurs were roundly booed by the home crowd when they took to the pitch just ahead of kick-off.
With the backing of the local support, Saints started the match brightly and certainly enjoyed the best of the opening 15 minutes. Matthew Le Tissier providing the main inspiration and he himself attempted an early pot-shot that flashed just over Gavin Kelly's cross bar.
After the opening period spent on the back foot, the boys took charge and were responsible for nearly all the quality goalmouth action. Ferguson and Leonhardsen both went close, while the Scot was beginning to forge a useful partnership with Rebrov.
The Fergie and Sergei show was up and running.
On 18 minutes, however, Sergei was involved in a heavy collision with Dan Petrescu that left both players needing treatment. Sergei shook off his ill-effects first and unleashed a dipping volley that scraped the top of the Southampton cross bar.
Matthew Etherington was providing the threat down the left and it came close to being a productive one when he swung over a low cross that Ferguson just failed to make a decent connection with at the far post.
On 33 minutes, Rebrov again sharpened his shooting boots, blasting in from the right a shot that crashed against Neil Moss's post.
Minutes later it was Sergei and Fergie in tandem again. A Sergei back flick in the direction of Fergie. He went for a 50-50 with Moss, turned and lofted the ball goalwards, but his effort was cleared as it approached goal. From the resulting corner, Gardner headed down and Ferguson mis-kicked his effort from an onside position in front of goal.
Etherington then rapped the inside of the post with a blaster from the left, then straight afterwards Gardner hit the bar from a corner.
Ferguson and Piercy were booked in the first half for playing on after the whistle and a foul respectively.
Saints were first to find their rythm in the second period with Le Tissier increasingly influential. It was Uwe Rosler who spurned the clearest opening, failing to make a connection with Ripley's low driven cross.
Southampton finally made the breakthrough on 63 minutes. Benali crossed low from the left and Le Tissier, aware of what was around his, let the ball roll through his legs and substitute Chris Baird blasted home from the right of the penalty area giving Kelly no chance at all.
Spurs were failing to make an impression in the opening spell of the second half and Ferguson made way for Kamanan in an effort to liven up the forward line.
Spurs increased the tempo as they attempted to claw back the deficit and rallied to some effect with Sherwood going close and Rebrov being denied a good looking penalty claim.
In the final minute Saints were nearly denied a first win at their new arena. An Etherington cross was met by Sherwood at the far post, but Tim headed wide with a free header with the goal at his mercy.
The leveller did not come and Colin's side can consider themselves unfortunate to come away from a close fought contest without points on the board.
Spurs: Kelly, Consorti, Thatcher, Gardner, Thelwell, Sherwood, Piercy, Leonhardsen, Etherington, Ferguson (Kamanan 71), Rebrov. Subs: Kamanan, Burch, Snee, O'Donoghue, Barnard.
Saints: Moss, Dodd, Benali, Gray, Monk, Gibbens, Le Tissier, Draper, Rosler, Petrescu (Baird 46), Ripley. Subs: Bevan, Rodrigues, Wallace, Ela Eyene.
By Richard Hubbard at St Mary's