AFC Bournemouth   0   Tottenham Hotspur    3      (Half-time score : 0-1)

Venue : -  Fitness First Stadium
Friday 17th July 2009
Kick Off :  7.45 p.m.
Crowd :   9,074
Referee :  J. Linington (-)
Spurs kicked off and played towards the car park end in the first half.
Weather :  -   Dry, mild evening
Teams : - 
AFC Bournemouth :


Garry (Broadhurst 73)
Igoe (Hutchings 80)

Robinson (Webb 85)
Feeney (Coata 66)
Molesley (Partington 70)
Bradbury (Thelwell 60)

Goulding (Brown 66)
Pitman (Smith 35)

Unused subs: 

Tottenham Hotspur :


Rose (Assou-Ekotto 46)
Dawson (Corluka 46)
Dervite (Lennon 46)
Chimbonda (Hutton 46)

Boateng (Palacios 46  )
Modric (O'Hara 46)
Bentley (Livermore 15)

Keane (c)  (Pavlyuchenko 46)
Bent (Defoe 46  )

Unused subs: 

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
AFC Bournemouth


Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
AFC Bournemouth


Tottenham Hotspur

Keane 27
Defoe 55
Palacios 67

Cards : -  
AFC Bournemouth



Tottenham Hotspur 



Match Report : -  
With the two sides fielded - one in each half - Spurs gave the maximum number of players a chance to shake the stiffness out of their legs and get back to playing, as they eased to a 3-0 win over AFC Bournemouth, that could have been by a greater margin had it not been for the Grecians' keeper.

The sunlight shone across the Fitness First stadium and the car park behind the empty end that Spurs attacked in the first half.  It was a welcome sight after a day and half of rain preceding the game.  That did not prevent the home side turning the sprinklers on before kick off and the kids team who were having a session on the pitch too great joy in running beneath the sprinklers to get showered with cold water !!

A healthy Spurs contingent took up a large part of the stand opposite the tunnel and while the team started in a relaxed tempo, it didn't take some supporters long to berate Darren Bent for ... being Darren Bent.  Luckily Daphne was there to put them on the straight and narrow about who they should be getting behind.

It was Bournemouth who had the first decent chance, with a corner being beaten out from under his bar by Cudicini, only for Jason Pearce to rattle the ball back on target and luckily, Michael Dawson was there to block the ball from going any further.  Sloppy work on the ball by Chimbonda had presented the Bournemouth man with the shooting opportunity.

An early indication that the Cherries were going to bite in the tackle was evident when an agricultural late challenge by Wayne Cummings on David Bentley left him nursing a dead leg and Jake Livermore made an earlier than anticipated entry into the action in the 15th minute.  Having played with a deal of aggression on Wednesday at Exeter, the young midfielder slipped into defence and controlled his defensive play, producing some well-timed tackles.  His introduction also freed Danny Rose from a left back position to take up a more familiar role on the left wing.

The young winger got muscled out of it a bit at Exeter, but here, he threatened the defence with his pace and looked much more attacking and much more effective.  A 11th minute cross found David Bentley at the far post, but he put his header wide and then Darren Bent slid a pass through for Robbie Keane to go into the area, only to be denied a shooting chance by a well-timed tackle by Ryan Garry.  Perhaps Keano should have shot a bit earlier and made the keeper work rather than trying to be too certain of what he wanted to do.

The game went through a period of little exciting happening, as Spurs appeared happy to hold onto the ball and make Bournemouth do the running, but a well created move starting in their own penalty area, saw Spurs move the ball quickly and it ended with Danny Rose shooting high over the cross bar into the car park, where his shot played pinball with the parked cars.

Bournemouth were not threatening that much, with Cudicini only having to deal with a couple of crosses, but he did need to come out when Goulding got in on the right and also when e covered his near post to make sure Pitman's free-kick from the right went into the side-netting instead of it going in the net.

Typically, Tottenham hit back and took the lead with a well-worked goal.  Bent once more slipped Keane through the defence and as they appealed for off-side, he took the ball on into the left side of the box and as former Spurs keeper Shwan Jalal came out to him, the skipper coolly curled it wide of his dive and into the net for the 27th minute opener.

The rest of the half saw Spurs enjoying possession and Tom Huddlestone was not only spraying the ball around the park, but was also getting stuck into the tackles, with the home players being narked by this, only for Tom to explain that if it was good enough for them to put Bentley out of the match, they should expect some back.

There was a weird bit at half-time, when three police officers came and stood in front of the Tottenham section.  They might have been looking for fans who were at Portsmouth last season and have banning orders, but they didn't appear after the break.  More bizarre on the pitch, was a fan's crossbar challenge, where one Bournemouth supporter won tickets to a game because he managed to strike the crossbar from the edge of the box.  The other two competitors barley got the ball off the ground.

At half-time, the numerous changes were once again made, to give the players a further 45 minutes of playing time to get their legs working.  Cudicini and Hud stayed on to complete the match, while Jake Livermore played out the remainder of the match alongside Corluka in the second half. 

It became a bit of a parade for Tottenham, with O'Hara finding space inside the box However, Jamie's low shot was turned aside by Jalal's dive, after Aaron Lennon had done well.  But ten minutes in, Defoe struck a powerful shot across the keeper that ripped into the roof of the net following Livermore digging the ball out to him from the middle of the penalty area following a corner.  2-0 and still plenty of time left, but Tottenham didn't really finish as well as they could.

Defoe blazed one over the bar and later ht the bar with a shot so powerful that Jalal could only stand and watch as it shook the woodwork, but another effort produced a good save by the ex-Spurs goalie, only for Wilson Palacios to run the ball in on the rebound from close range to make it three in the 67th minute.

Tom Huddlestone was looking lean and fit, with energy enough to get forward near the end and produce a curling shot that would have found it's way inside Jalal's right hand post, had he not reached up to tip it wide and it should have been four, when Defoe unselfishly squared the ball to Roman Pavlyuchenko, only for the Russian to take a touch and allow Jalal the opportunity to close him down and for the shot to go way over the bar when well placed to score.  It showed Pav's lack of confidence at the moment and a goal would really have done him good tonight.

The side looked more settled tonight, despite all the changes.  Bournemouth looked like they had the same problem as Exeter, in finding a decent finish to any passing move they put together and for much of the game, they were chasing shadows, with Modric's move to the right in the first half following Bentley's injury seeing him in a more comfortable role.  Rose did well and nobody really did badly, although following his lacklustre show at Exeter, Chimbonda again looked less than focused on occasion. 

One funny moment came in the first half, when Dervite put a long ball through and Jalal raced from his area to kick clear as Keane honed in on the ball.  Unfortunately, it hit his central defender smack in the face and almost put Robbie in on goal !!  A bit of luck like that in the new season will be most welcome.

Another game under their belts, the team move on to Peterborough next week, but will return home for a change after being away for a week.  The game went off well and the three police we saw escorting a drunk fan and his dog away from the ground towards Kings Park was in contrast to the nature of the match.  "I've supported this club for years," he slurred.  "Just wait until I see some Spurs fans," he shouted at the departing officers. 

Before he knew it some Tottenham followers were alongside him. 

"Are you Spurs fans ?" he asked.

Fearing the worst, I heard them replay that they were.

"Was it a good game ?" the threatening Bournemouth fan meekly asked.

I think they could have said that for a friendly, yes it was.





Reaction : -



I wasn't happy that I had to go through Everton to get to Bournemouth !!







Back to homepage