OPPONENTS Newport County 
COMPETITION FA Cup Fourth Round Replay
DATE Wednesday 7th February 2018
VENUE Wembley
2.  David PIPE
3.  Dan BUTLER
4.  Joss LABADIE
6.  Ben WHITE
7.  Robbie WILLMOTT
8.  Matt DOLAN
9.  Padraig AMOND
10.  Frank NOUBLE
12.  Ben TOZER
13.  Marlon JACKSON
14.  Jazzi BARNUM-BOBB
15.  Shawn McCOULSKEY
17.  Scot BENNETT
18.  Jay FOULSON
19.  Tyler REID
21.  Lewis COLLINS
22.  Emmanuel OSADEBE
24.  Momodou TOURAY
25.  Mark O'BRIEN
28.  Mickey DEMETRIOU
30.  James BITTNER
31.  Josh SHEEHAN
34.  Tom HILLMAN
36.  Owen TAYLOR
39.  Paul HAYES
45.  Aaron COLLINS
PREVIEW Since the Exiles' famous draw at Rodney Parade ten days ago, they have lost twice and have scored one goal, letting in five.  Did they put too much into the FA Cup drawn tie or are they saving it up for the replay ?  On the lush Wembley turf, you can't help but think they may have seen their best chance having been on their own pitch.

But stranger things have happened and with Rochdale awaiting, it is a great reward and an opportunity to go further in the competition.  Again, there are no guarantees, but better than being pitched in with Manchester CIty !!

A lot has happened since the first meeting.  Spurs have spent GBP25 million on Lucas Moura and scored after 11 seconds against Manchester United and with about 11 seconds left against Liverpool.  Unbeaten in those two games, Spurs have scored four with no reply.  Newport ... well, they have lost one of their players Sean Rigg to his dream job as a tattoo artist.  He will probably have a ready made clientele in his former team-mates.

As for the game, Newport might rise to the occasion, playing at the home of football, but as Liverpool found on Sunday, the relentless attitude of the Spurs players can run down the sides who are said to be up to the full pitch press themselves.  Stamina might come into it in the latter stages, but Tottenham will be looking to get the game tied up earlier than that to ensure that they are able to rest some of the players who start the match, with other big games on the horizon.  Expect Alderweireld  and Rose to start to get some playing time under their belts, with other fringe players featuring, such as Foyth, Sissoko, Lamela, Winks and  Walker-Peters.   The side will need to gel quickly, to get a foothold in the match early on and build from there.  The Welsh club will be looking to disrupt Tottenham's system, but with flexibility among the personnel chosen, Poch change switch things mid-match to counter any tactics Flynn employs to try and stifle our attacking.

The m ain aim is to get through without any trauma or injury, with the secondary target to get our game right and get players playing the system in case they are called on in the run-in to the end of the season.  With Swansea hitting eight past Notts County, there is a potential for that to happen here, but I think that Newport will hope for a set-piece to get something from, but with Toby back, it might be less likely to happen, although he can't mark them all.   I think Spurs will go through, but not with a cricket score.

Expect a late night, as VAR is in operation and as we saw last night, even straightforward things had to wait for the word to come down form on high to ensure all was well with the world.  But hopefully, there will be less controversy than at Anfield on Sunday and we can all remember what goes on on the pitch and not off it.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    4         Newport County    0
There are no injuries in the squad, with Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose returning to the ranks, with only Lucas Moura unavailable, because he was not signed in time to play in the first game, so is not eligible for the replay.
Central defender Ben White is injured and will miss the Wembley replay, while Sean Rigg got the needle with football and went off to be a tattooist.

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Tottenham Hotspur  2 (2)                                                                       
FA Cup Fourth Round Replay
Wednesday 7th February 2018
Newport County  0 (0)

Kick off 19:45
Butler (o.g.)  25m 14s
Lamela  33m 09s
Wanyama (foul on Labadie)  8 




Crowd :   38,947 Weather :  Dry, very cold
Referee :  Stuart Attwell (West Yorkshire) Assistant Referees :  Mr. S. Burt; Mr. H. Lennard
Fourth Official :  Kevin Friend VAR & AVAR :  Geoff Scott & Darren Cann
Newport County kicked off and played towards the West Stand end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 7 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Newport County : kit
13  Michel VORM  (c)

24  Serge AURIER
21  Juan FOYTH
  3  Danny ROSE  (37  Kyle WALKER-PETERS  86)

29  Harry WINKS
  Victor WANYAMA       (20  DELE Alli  78)

17  Moussa SISSOKO
11  Erik LAMELA 
  Heung-Min SON  (23 
Christian ERIKSEN  61)

18  Fernando LLORENTE

Unused subs: 
  2  Kieran TRIPPIER

  6  Davinson SANCHEZ
10  Harry KANE

    1  Joe DAY

  2  David PIPE  (17  Shaun McCLOUSKEY  67)
  Ben WHITE  (25  Mark O'BRIEN  77)
28  Mickey DEMETRIOU
  3  Paul BUTLER 

  7  Robbie WILLMOTT
12  Ben TOZER  (  8  Matt DOLAN  59)
  4  Josh LABADIE
17  Scot BENNETT
10  Frank NOUBLE

  9  Padraig AMOND

Unused subs: 
30  James BITTNER
31  Josh SHEEHAN
19  Tyler REID
39  Paul HAYES


Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino Manager :  Mike Flynn
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :   Mr. Tom
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   FBT
Match report

With the FA Cup all about fairytales, this turned out to be a grim one for Newport, as they scored an own goal to give Tottenham the lead, which was doubled ahead of half-time, before they played out the second half trying to add to their total.  Newport failed to test Vorm, suspect according to their 'secret' dossier, but he made a big save in the dying seconds, when Amond was played in with a clear shot in added time.

So, from one banana skin avoided to another in the waiting, as the win gave Spurs an away trip to Spotland to play Rochdale, who put out Millwall surprisingly in their replay the night before.  And the threat that Newport carried in the first game failed to show tonight, as Spurs more or less strolled through.

A much changed team faced the Exiles, who fielded the same side as the original tie, but it was Tottenham who controlled almost from start to finish, with Newport chasing shadows for much of the game.  They tried to put the squeeze on Tottenham early on, but Labadie failed to rattle the Spurs players, although a couple of nasty late challenges went unpunished within the first four minutes; especially one where he studded Winks down his Achilles.  Therefore, it was a little ironic that the first player in the book was Wanyama, who had a short pass to him intercepted by Labadie, who he caught as he stretched to get a touch to it.  It was nothing as bad as the Newport midfielder's challenges and just goes to show how differently referees view the game.  That was eight minutes in, so he had to control his natural urges to gets tuck in for the remainder of his time on the pitch.  By then, Son had come in form the left to smash a shot way over from a tight angle and Juan Foyth had taken a clout on the nose. 

Willmott lined up the free-kick for Wanyama's foul, but only hit the wall and that was one of the few efforts Newport had.  Amond headed over, but was offside and Tozer's long throws were not as effective without a towel boy to help him wipe the ball.  One attempted long throw slipped out of his hands and went straight up in the air and only reached the edge of the box.  Nouble was trying to put himself about, but looked like Frank Bruno playing football, but Tottenham's passing by-passed their players and started to find openings.  Sissoko played a long cross from right to left and Danny Rose ran onto it, hitting it first time on the volley, but only shot into the side-netting.  Aurier's cross was headed into the middle of the goalmouth by Llorente to Lamela, who hoped it would drop onto his overhead kick, but he only succeeded in kicking Tozer up the bum. 

With 25 minutes gone, Tottenham were given the lead, when a good passing move ended with the ball in the net.  Aurier drove towards the penalty area and played the ball to Llorente on the D.  He played it wide right to Sissoko and his driven, low cross looked to find one of those two player sin the box, but Butler missed it with his left, standing foot, diverting the ball behind him and behind the keeper to score an own goal at his near post.  The goal had been coming, as Newport were trapped in their own half and were not compact enough to stop Spurs getting through.  It was bad luck on the County defender, but the goal put a different complexion on the game.  Would Newport give it a go or having seen Swansea City hit Notts County for eight, would they try to restrict the damage.

Stuart Attwell had the benefit of VAR for this match, but didn't heed it's advice.  Rose was bundled over as he raced into the area on the left, but after the ball went out for a throw-in, the delay lasted about a minute before the game restarted with the throw.  Without a view of the incident on the screen and no idea what the VAR and AVAR are saying, it is a frustrating interlude in the action.  Erik Lamela was enjoying himself in his role as main creator and he was all over the pitch, taking on players, playing passes and racing back to slide-tackle Newport players looking to launch an attack.  Son's shot was blocked and the ball came out to the D, where Erik steadied himself and showed good technique in hitting a shot waist high at goal with half an hour on the clock.  The keeper opted to punch the ball as it swerved as it approached him, but it only reached the penalty spot, where Heung-Min picked up the ball, raced away to the right  from two defenders and hit a shot that tried to beat Day at his near post, but he spread himself well and kept it out.

Son hit Llorente's set-up just wide of the post before he was involved in the second goal.  Wanyama sent him away on the left, but he cut inside and slipped a neat little pass through to Lamela, who slid it past the keeper and between two defenders to double Tottenham's lead in the 34th minute.  It looked like Tottenham might go on to rack up  a few goals as Newport seemed to have suffered since the first meeting.

Son  hit the wall, being allowed to take a free-kick in the absence of Kane and Eriksen and then forced Day to get down to a low drive at the keeper's near post.  Newport's response was to get Nouble free on the left and his low pull-back into the box was aimed at Labadie, but Victor stretched and nudged the ball away from him.  Spurs broke away and Sissoko played a ball across the face of goal, but too far ahead of Fernando, before Wanyama had a pop at goal from distance and proved that he couldn't replicate his Anfield effort every time.

It was great to see Cliff Jones at half-time on his 83rd birthday and 60 years since he signed for Spurs.  He looks really spritely and his love for the club shines through.  It was strange to see the likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli warming up during the break, but Poch left the starting eleven the same, with Newport doing the same.  When the visitors broke away, the Spurs defence mopped up the threat, but Spurs were forcing corners, but nothing came from them.  When Eriksen came on for Son, it looked like Tottenham were going for it, making forward moves that caused Newport lots of trouble.  When a forward pass was touched by Lamela to his right where Llorente squared it back to him in the left side of the goal in the box and he shot as he fell, only to be denied by Day's spread body.  Eriksen then played a clever pass to Lamela, who fed Rose on the left and he crossed to the near post, where Christian had continued his run and hit a first time shot that whistled a couple of feet wide.

Newport worked their way up the pitch with a couple of free-kicks, with Labadie the victim, going down so so easily for a hard man, as Nouble was also prone to do.  Vorm was brought into action form the second dead ball situation, punching the ball out.  The aim of the game now was for Spurs to set up Llorente with a goal and Lamela clipped a ball to the right side, where Fernando ran in unmarked and from ten yards out, he headed the ball down, but it went narrowly wide, with the keeper beaten.  There was still a quarter of an hour left, with Spurs bringing on Dele for Wanyama, as there was little that our defence couldn't deal with, so it made sense to go on the attack.  Three minutes later, Eriksen floated a ball from the right to Llorente, moving in on it from the left and from an angle, he hit a left foot volley past Day, but also just wide of the far post.  It looks like it is just not working for him and the idea of getting hi to score was no doubt to boost his confidence, but it might have ended up having the opposite effect. 

With ten minutes left, Christian tried to float one over Day from the right hand side of the box, but the keeper just got his fingertips to it and got it wide.  Spurs went closer a couple of minutes later, having broken up a Newport attack, Eriksen played a through pass down the middle from inside his own half.  It was perfect for Dele, who took it on and as Day came out, lifted it over him, but the ball smacked back off the bar and was cleared.  Dele was presented with another opportunity, when Aurier played it to him on the penalty spot,  He chested the ball down and took a snapshot, which Day got down to to keep out to his right.  As always, Dele was showing his full range of tricks, with an effortless nutmeg with Willmott the unwilling victim.

Erik drove a shot a couple of feet wide after a corner dropped to him, substitute Walker-Peters drove into the box after Eriksen and Lamela had linked up on the edge, only for the shot to rise over the angle of post and bar.  With almost the last kick of the game, Newport had their best moment, when the ball was won 20 yards out, played right to Amond and with only Vorm to beat, he fired the ball with power but straight at the Spurs goalie.  If he had picked his spot with accuracy rather than lashing at it, he might have salvaged something from the match for his club rather than the financial payday they had.

Newport had battled hard, but in the end, they were outplayed and while Liverpool faded against the second half performance by Tottenham, a much reduced effort meant that the League Two side kept going to the end.  There were enough chances (26) to score a hat-ful, but with only six on target, it was a little wasteful by Spurs and they got away with it here.  The big worry for the Fifth Round is the pitch at Spotland, which last night looked like  something out of the 1970s, with sand covering much of it.  But then the first game at Rodney Parade was a sticky, boggy wet pitch and we managed to get through that.  We have to approach it as professionally as this game and try to get through it the first time.

Mission accomplished in getting through, while not the greatest performance, but good enough.

Pete Evans


Mauricio Pochettino took charge of Spurs for the 200th time.

This was the first match Tottenham were involved in that featured VAR (Video Assistant Referee).




Newport County are known as the Exiles, because they prepared for their 1961 Second Round FA Cup tie by going to see the film of the same name which was about native American Indians.  After being kicked out of the FA Cup by non-league Weymouth, the club felt an affinity with the stars of the film, who left the reservation to try a new life beyond its boundaries, with varying success and they adopted the title of the film as the club nickname.


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What you thought
Tom Shepherd What about Juan Foyth's performance ?  so calm, not panicked or rushed, just looked like he was out for a Sunday stroll.

He's going to be a big star for Spurs in the future.

- -.


Other scores in the Fourth round replays :
Birmingham City 1 Huddersfield Town (after extra time; 90 mins 1-1) 4 Tuesday
Rochdale 1 Millwall 0 Tuesday
Swansea City 8 Notts County 1 Tuesday


* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.


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