Report: Spurs 2-0 Torquay
English League Cup
Glenn Hoddle must have had two recurring nightmares before this potential banana skin of a second round tie in the Worthington Cup.
First was the unthinkable — getting knocked out of a competition where all roads lead to Europe, via Cardiff. The second was another injury.
While the first never really looked like happening - notwithstanding a scare on the half-hour mark — it took only 11 minutes for another addition to the treatment room as Gary Doherty was felled from behind by Eiffon Williams and, looking in some distress, was stretchered off.
As is often the case in these affairs (think Northampton, Brentford in recent seasons) the opening exchanges were frustrating as the visitors attempted to stamp their authority on the game.
They were almost handed a fortuitous lead when Chris Perry’s clearance skidded across goal off David Graham’s backside but there was nothing lucky about David Woozley’s fierce, curling snapshot that clipped the top of the crossbar on the half-hour.
That scare over, play was concentrated in the yellow half of the pitch for the rest of the half.
Sergei Rebrov’s long-range effort was deflected just wide, appeals for a penalty were ignored as Oyvind Leonhardsen went down pursuing Les Ferdinand’s deflected effort and Simon Davies just failed to control Chris Perry’s skidding through ball.
Then the move of the half as Davies flicked a return pass to Ziege, whose inviting first-time cross unfortunately bounced up as it was met by Ferdinand and his sliding effort flew over.
Half-time brought the arrival of Teddy Sheringham for Leonhardsen as Glenn Hoddle pushed on for the win.
The second half started slowly but came to life in the 57<sup>th</sup> minute when Rebrov latched onto a ball over the top and, seeing Kevin Dearden rushing off his line, attempted to lob him. Dearden was perilously close to the edge of his area when he handled but Rebrov was onto the rebound anyway, only for Woozley to hack away his follow up header.
The breakthrough came on the hour. Chris Brandon was penalised mid-way in Torquay’s half, Ziege whipped in another magnificent free-kick and King, with his shirt almost being ripped off, half-volleyed home with style from eight yards.
The second goal wasn’t far behind — and what a peach. Rebrov led Torquay a merry dance down the right, fed a lovely ball inside to Taricco who stood up the perfect cross for Ferdinand to deliver a classic ‘Sir Les’ header at the far post.
Rebrov was coming into his own and beat Dearden all ends up with a curler that hit the foot of the post after 78 minutes.
The visitors flashed a couple of efforts wide in the latter stages but neither goalkeeper was tested again.
Hard work, but job done.