RESERVE REPORT: DERBY 2, SPURS 2
Our reserves recovered from what looked like a hopeless position to gain a much-deserved draw in their league opener at Derby County on Wednesday night.
Our reserves recovered from what looked like a hopeless position to gain a much-deserved draw in their league opener at Derby County on Wednesday night.As the clock ticked onto the 44th minute at Pride Park, Rams striker Jon Macken hit the foot of the post with a chance that would have put the home side 3-0 up.
Within a minute, Tomas Pekhart handed us a lifeline at 2-1 and the second half was a complete contrast to the first as we bossed proceedings, levelled via a spectacular overhead kick from Kevin-Prince Boateng and then saw the same player hit the crossbar with a header.
It was a comeback of the highest order and underlined just why you have to go back to February 2006 for our last away defeat in the Barclays Premier Reserve League, a run now stretching to 12 matches.
Although it would be difficult to say Derby weren't the better side, everything seemed to go against us in that first half.
It started in the sixth minute when Kieran McKenna was clearly tripped, play was waved on and from the following passage of play, Derby won a corner. Lee Holmes lofted in a high cross, Ben Alnwick appeared blocked in his attempts to reach it and Michael Johnson powered his header into the far corner. Not the ideal start.
Anthony Robertson could have made it worse after 15 minutes but managed to hit the crossbar from six yards and our best spell followed as we enjoyed our first periods of possession, Boateng glancing the side-netting with a free-kick.
Jacques Maghoma limped out on the half-hour, replaced by Jon Obika and Alnwick was soon forced to palm away MRichards' stinging drive.
The second goal arrived after 39 minutes and a goal that would have had Clive Allen tearing his hair out as it came from our free-kick near the Derby byline, it was cleared, Paris Simmons beat Andy Barcham and laid the ball to the supporting Robertson who rolled home.
Macken clipped the post as the board went up for two minutes added time but then we struck, Boateng picked out Pekhart in the box and the Czech youngster fired home from 16 yards.
There was still time for another decision to go against us as the impressve Jake Livermore's raid into the box was halted by Marc Edworthy, it looked a penalty all ends up but, again, nothing awarded.
Alnwick saved well again early in the second half but after that, we were in control with Barcham in-particular proving a handful for Derby down the right.
It was no surprise that Boateng, who looked a class act, levelled matters just after the hour with a goal worthy of any stage. Derby failed to clear Obika's corner and with the ball floating head high, Boateng arched his back and connected perfectly with an overhead kick that looped into the top corner.
We were in control now with Boateng everywhere but it was Alnwick in action next with the save of the night to turn around Robertson's volley after 74 minutes.
Barcham was tormenting Derby down the right and it was no surprise that our next chance came via a foul on him. Phil Ifil whipped in a treat of a free-kick and Boateng was there with a glancing header at the near post that skipped up off the surface, beat Price but bounced onto the top of the crossbar.
Alnwick made one more save of note while at the other end, Barcham twice hit the byline only for his crosses to evade everyone and then drag our final chance wide in added time.