A young Spurs XI took Harlow Town apart
in Marc Salmons Testimonial at the Ryman League club's new Barrows Farm
ground, with eight goals, which could easily have been double figures.
The hunger displayed by the Spurs players
was a credit to Clive Allen's management, as on a cold night, it would
have been easy to go through the motions for a testimonial game, but
from the off, they showed good technical skill and great movement to
draw a line to differentiate the gulf in class between them and the
Both sides started with a 4-4-2 line-up,
but Tottenham's midfield over-powered Harlow's and pulled them all over
the pitch, as they opened the Essex side up, almost at will. As
early as the fourth minute a good combination of Barcham and Dawkins
produced a low shot from the latter that the keeper saved.
However, just two minutes later Tottenham were ahead. Jamie
O'Hara, whose strong running was a feature of his performance, made a
break through the middle of the Harlow midfield and he fired a shot from
outside the area, which Hassell could not hold and Simon Dawkins reacted
first to dink the ball over a defender's leg and put it into an
As the cold evening shed some moisture on
the turf, it made it difficult for goalkeepers, with Rob Burch, making
his first appearance since breaking his leg at the end of last season,
fielded a low shot from former Spurs youth player Sammy Winston at the
Ten minutes into the match, Charlie
Daniels made it 2-0 with a cracking shot that flew over the keeper's
head from 35 yards, after the ball had been cleared straight to him.
It soon became three, when, two minutes later, Dawkins laid the ball
into the path of Kieran McKenna and his shot was knocked down in front
of goal, only for Andy Barcham to race in to net the rebound.
Harlow then hit back, with Burch having
to make a save low at his post from the man who's night it was, Marc
Salmons. The resulting corner was knocked into the near post and
Leon Lalite brought another save from Burchy in the same place.
But Spurs were soon passing the ball around nicely, with McKenna busy in
midfield creating another opening for Barcham, who dragged his effort
wide. One player who was not played in as much was Alan Dudas, who
played right wing and looked a strong player when he attacked the Harlow
defence. As he is one I was not aware of previously, he may have
been a trialist, who did reasonably well.
Alex Smith dashed across the area to nod
the ball away as Winston honed in on goal, but a flowing move from Dudas
to Dawkins and onto O'Hara on the left of the box saw the midfielder
expertly guide the ball under the diving goalie and into the net at the
opposite post making it 4-0. However, from the kick-off, the home
side performed some neat short passing and got through to the Tottenham
goal, where they won a corner. Winston flicked it on at the near
post and with the ball being juggled at the far post by Salmon, whose
effort was blocked on the goal-line by Leigh Mills and the big Spurs
defender also denied the Harlow captain with a good block as he bore
down on goal.
O'Hara was enjoying himself, as he ran at
players and ghosted past them, while his passing was spot on. A 40
yard pass to Dudas' chest saw the winger chest the ball down before
rasping a shot that grazed the crossbar on the way over. Jamie
then took on the shooting responsibilities himself, with a corner that
was pulled back to him and struck on the volley from 20 yards out, but
it flew over the bar. The midfielder linked up well with Dawkins
and then carried on running to pick up the return on the left wing and
his floated cross/shot went just over the top.
Two minutes before the break a Spurs
attack broke down, with Sammy Winston breaking strongly past Joe Martin
and whipped in a low cross, but Mills was there again to slice a cross
off for a corner. Kenny Davis was at the far post when the ball
came to him from the corner, but he seemed surprised by it's arrival and
it hit him in the chest and was cleared. Tottenham moved the ball
well from O'Hara to Dudas, who broke into the area and had his ankles
tapped, just as he was going to shoot past the keeper, but the linesman
signalled a goal-kick. However, Spurs didn't have to wait long
before the fifth goal hit the net, as approaching the half-time whistle,
O'Hara launched a pinpoint pass over 40 plus yards to Charlie Daniels
and his low cross to the near post saw Simon Dawkins get across the
defender to knock the ball in for 5-0.
The break saw Harlow change their whole
side apart from the front pair and Spurs brought on Forecast for Burch
and Danny Hutchins for Barcham. One of Harlow's changes was
bringing DJ Spoony into the mix. While he may not be an athletic
figure of a man, he did well enough with a good little dribble and some
good passes, but when Spurs had the ball, they played it around him.
The changes affected Tottenham less, with
the passing still as crisp as the winter fog closing in and the movement
as vigorous as that among the crowd who were attempting to stay warm.
The chances still came in waves. O'Hara set up Dawkins to fire
over and a corner came out to Stuart Lewis who hit a powerful drive over
the top before a 55th minute goal from O'Hara made the score 6-0.
Once more he played a 1-2 with Simon Dawkins and as he was about to
score, he was brought down in the area to win a penalty. Jamie got
up to take the kick himself, but hit it straight at Jackson, who beat
out the spot-kick. O'Hara was quick enough to get to the rebound
first and stick it into the net.
O'Hara put Hutchins in, but his shot was
saved, then substitute Kyle Fraser-Allen played a ball back to McKenna,
who got the ball stuck under his feet and then had it whipped away from
him by the Harlow defence. David Hutton, another sub, was brought
down outside the area and from the free-kick, Charlie Daniels beat the
wall with his low shot, but the Town keeper was there to save.
Lewis was finding his range, as he hit a
25 yard curler just over the bar, before Hutchins took the ball through
a couple of tackles and played it to Lewis, who slid a low shot home
with his left foot for 7-0.
More changes made the game a little
disjointed, but Fraser-Allen brought another save ... this time from
Harlow's third keeper of the match and when Alex Smith found Hutton, his
low drive made the keeper dive to stop once more. With a minute
left of the game, Fraser-Allen looked like he was about to score as he
broke in from the right, but was fouled by Moore, giving captain Kieran
McKenna the opportunity to round off the scoring with ease from the
Forecast had little to do, but in the
last minute, a ball into the box was cleared by Troy Archibald-Henville.
His clearance hit a Harlow forward and as the ball dropped to one of the
home subs, the chance to score became too much and the shot was skied
over the bar from just six yards out
As the night got colder, the game ended
with applause from the near 1,000 crowd and Marc Salmon will have had a
night he will never forget. It was one that will live in the
memory of all those who saw it too, as there are surely some Tottenham
stars of the future in this side.