Swindon 1-1 Spurs
Report from the County Ground
16 July 2013|Tottenham Hotspur
Gareth Bale opened his pre-season account at the County Ground, but Swindon hit back with a second half strike to claim of a share of the spoils on Tuesday evening.
Bale was part of the first half team as Andre Villas-Boas made 10 changes at the break, with the exception of Gylfi Sigurdsson, who played for just over an hour.
The team were very quickly into their collective stride, with no signs of any sluggishness lingering from the summer break.
The passing was snappy and incisive on a very warm evening in Wiltshire and it was only a matter of moments before Jermain Defoe was bearing down on goal. From a clever ball from Kyle Naughton, the striking predator homed in but was blocked as he was about to execute his shot, before Gareth Bale got in on the action.
From a precise long diagonal pass from Tom Huddlestone, Kyle Walker charged down the right and provided the supply line for Bale to divert towards goal, but Wes Foderingham in the home goal was alert to divert the danger.
Foderingham was again tested when, from a Huddlestone corner, a towering header from Michael Dawson was helped goalwards by Defoe and the keeper smartly tipped onto his crossbar.
The account for the night was opened by Bale on 15 minutes when a through ball from Sigurdsson was turned on with quick feet by the Welshman, who proceeded to steer into the top corner.
Louis Thompson seized on a loose ball from Kevin Stewart in the 36th minute and darted through on goal with the prospect of an unlikely equaliser, but the outstretched toes of Hugo Lloris were gainfully employed in averting the danger.
Alex Pritchard did have a chance to curl in a leveller just before the break, but shot wide and avoided netting against his parent club.
The second half team featured 10 changes, with just Sigurdsson remaining and coming very close to doubling the advantage after the break with a low curling effort from outside the area.
Danny Rose then burst down the left and delivered a low centre right across the face of goal before Pritchard fired a free-kick just wide of Brad Friedel's left hand upright. Massimo Luongo then stretched Friedel with a shot from distance that the keeper did well to tip over.
Sigurdsson made way for Laste Dombaxe on 62 minutes before Jan Vertonghen nearly extended the lead with a thumping far post volley from an Andros Townsend corner.
The game stalled slightly in terms of clear goalmouth action as the second half progressed, with the final ball lacking from both sides after good spells of possession.
Swindon made the breakthrough on 76 minutes when the ball was played into the path of Andy Williams who, with the help of a deflection, beat Friedel with a powerful drive from the edge of the area.
The quick feet and skills of Tom Carroll nearly saw to it that the lead was restored moments later, but his clever floated shot was just too high. Carroll then played a superb ball to give Dombaxe a shooting chance, but the angle narrowed and it was the side netting that rattled.
Zeki Fryers was a late change in place of Rose as the team sought a winner, but it ended a draw and a good pre-season workout.
Swindon Town: Foderingham (Bedwell, 85), N Thompson, Ward, Hall, Byrne (McEveley, 73); Luongo, Smith (Collins, 61), L Thompson (Francis, 69); Storey (Barthram, 53), Pritchard, Williams.
Spurs - 1st half: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Stewart, Naughton, Huddlestone, Sigurdsson, Bentaleb, Bale, Ceballos, Defoe.
Spurs - 2nd half: Friedel, Smith, Caulker, Vertonghen, Rose (Fryers 86), Parker, Carroll, Sigurdsson (Dombaxe 62), Townsend, Lennon, Obika.
Goals: Swindon - Williams (75). Spurs - Bale (15).
Referee: Mr S Hooper.