Southend United (Home)
League Cup Quarter-Final

Wednesday 20th December 2006

The games are coming thick and fast now and this League Cup quarter final will give us the opportunity to test ourselves against a team at the bottom of the Championship.  I am not being flippant here, as they took the scalp of Manchester United in the last round with a tough performance, not to mention some good football.

Steve Tilson's side got to where they are by playing some nest football and although they have found the going tough in the Championship, they still try and play the right way.

With star man Freddy Eastwood knocking in the goals up front alongside former Portsmouth and Manchester City striker Lee Bradbury, it will need a night's sttentive devoiton from the SPurs centre-backs to keep them out.

There are other players to watch too.  Namely the former Spurs duo of Kevin Maher and Mark Gower, who sill be out to prove a thing or two and Luke Gutteridge, the former Cambridge United winger, who has done well with the Shrimpers.

With the experience Spencer Prior in the defence alongside Efe Sodje, they have a decent defence with Aaron Flavhavan behind them, who is a solid keeper.

Tilson is one of the up and coming young manager sin the League and will look forward to pitting his wits with Martin Jol, so he will have done his preparation well.  However, Spurs will probably play a side with a few non-first team regulars, but this will not make a difference to the end result, with Tottenham going through to a semi-final place where they will meet Wycombe Wanderers over two legs ...

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  2    Southend United  0

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Didier Zokora (suspended 3 of 3); Teemu Tainio (illness); Robbie Keane (knee); Jermaine Jenas (ankle)



For coverage in all parts of the world, check here and here

Radio :  
BBC LONDON 94.9FM (London area only), Digital Radio (London area only) &  Sky Channel 0152
 (live coverage)
BBC Radio Five Live (live coverage)  606/939 MW

If available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard in these countries on these stations ...
Australia (Melbourne) SEN  -  116 AM  Live Transmissions: TWI, Saturday. 12.45 & 1500 matches
Australia (Sydney)  Radio 2  -  1611AM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 12.45 Match
Singapore Media Corp Radio  -  93.8 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
South Africa  SABC (Radio 2000)  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
Uganda  Radio 1 (English) 90.0 FM, Radio 2 (Lugandan) 87.9 FM  Live Transmission: TWI, Saturday, 15.00 Match
North America (USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean)  Sirius Satellite Radio  Live transmission: Saturday - 12.45, 15.00 (TWI) & 17.15 (BBC) Sunday - 14.00 & 16.05 (BBC) Mon, Tue, Wed - Various times (BBC)

Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
Radio Five Live -

BBC London - click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Tottenham Hotspur   1    Southend United   0      (Half-time score : 0-0)
After extra time :  0-0 at 90 mins.

League Cup Quarter Final
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Wednesday 20th December 2006
Kick Off :  8.00 p.m.
Crowd :   35,811
Referee :  Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
Weather :  -   Dry, but very, very cold
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

Robinson (c)


Tainio (Davids 56)
Murphy (Berbatov 76)


Unused subs: 
YP Lee

Southend United :


Prior (Clarke 24)

McCormack (Francis 118)
Campbell-Ryce (Hooper 114)


Unused subs: 

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

  Southend United
Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Defoe 115

Southend United


Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

Stalteri (foul) 118 


Southend United

McCormack (dissent) 30
Hammell (foul) 69  


Match Report : -  
With Christmas coming, everyone had better things to do than see Spurs struggle to beat Southend United, taking extra time to do it.  The fact that it was so cold, made it all the harder to bear, even though it means a place in the League Cup semi-final.

The success was muted as everyone made their way home with planes, trains and automobiles all having trouble moving around the country.  Southend had rarely threatened but two headers almost won the tie for the Shrimpers.  Fifteen minutes from the end, Sodje rose to meet a corner and headed the ball back across goal, where it missed both the in-rushing Freddy Eastwood and the far post.  Then in extra time, Bradbury had a header knocked away from in front of goal when danger threatened.

For Spurs, there were few plusses, but Defoe's goal was well-taken, even though a little off-side on further examination of TV footage.  Berbatov showed a touch of class when he was introduced and the defence did well to shackle the supposed danger man Eastwood.  In truth, I thought he disappointed after all the hype about him.  He had a couple of shots and looks both strong and mobile, but his direct threat was not too dangerous for Spurs.

Tottenham had started fairly well, with Huddlestone's free-kick headed into the goalmouth by Davenport, who was in for King, but the ball was hacked away from goal and then the central defender was back in his own box getting an important touch on the ball as Gower's cross came in and was taken away from Eastwood.  Having hit the post against Middlesbrough from a free-kick, Benoit Assou-Ekotto now seems the taker of choice for dead ball situations on the right hand corner of the area.  This time, he got the ball over the wall, but there was not enough pace on it to beat Flahavan at his near post.

The Southend keeper was to have an inspired night, keeping Tottenham at bay, but the next effort from Malbranque was straight at him, after Stalteri and Tainio had linked well on the right to set him up.  Then it was the Spurs goalie's turn to be tested, when former Spur Mark Gower went un-tackled on the left, cut inside and struck a low shot that bounced in front of Robinson, but was well gatheredin. 

Halfway through the first half, Mido met Defoe's cross and it was taken on the volley, producing a shot that rattled the crossbar and a few minutes later, there was almost a collector's item, when Danny Murphy ghosted in to head Stalteri's cross inches wide.  The chances kept coming and kept being missed, as has been the story of this season.  Defoe got a lot of power in his header from 15 yards out, by staining his neck muscles to meet Assou-Ekkoto's cross, but Flahavan showed good footwork to push off and tip the England striker's effort wide.

Just before the break, Paul Stalteri made a vital block in front of goal when Eastwood's effort on goal was charged down and Campbell-Ryce drove in a shot that the Canadian diverted wide of the goal.  Following the corner, Gower tried his luck from long range and sent a shot curling away from the goal.

The half-time interval saw no changes for Spurs and Malbranque brought Flahavan into early second half action with a shot that lacked sufficient power to beat the alert keeper.  Six minutes into the half, Davenport won a defensive header and as it went beyond Sodje, Defoe was darting onto it and lifted it over the keeper, but a bit too high and it ended up lobbing over the bar.  Hud was being urged to "shoooooooot" at every opportunity by the crowd and a 30 yard drive smacked into the crowd rather than the back of the net as the hour approached.  Some minutes later, he forced Flahavan into a low save with a shot after making himself a ayrd outside the box to shoot.

Then came Sodje's header, which was the closest the visitors had come, whiel Tottenham still pressed forward, creating the chance at the death that might have won the tie, if nto for the agility of the Shrimpers keeper.  While seemingly short, he does very well to balls heading into the top corner and when Mido glanced a header from Huddlestone's free-kick, Flahavan shifted his feet and took off to palm it over the crossbar to take the game into extra time.  At this point, the fans were almost frozen to their seats as the temperature dropped both off and on the pitch.

Southend seemed to lose hope at this stage of the evening.  Rather than thinking they could win it in the last half hour, they shrunk back and failed to test the Spurs defence as much.  An early drive dragged across the front of the Tottenham goal from 25 yards out by captain Maher, who was also returning to his footballing roots, was about as close as it came for the visitors in the first period of extra time.

Tottenham really did not push forward with any conviction and they failed to make Flahavan work very hard in the first fifteen minutes, with only a weak Berbatov shot straight at him to deal with.  It was into the second half when it looked more likely that Sours would come out on top.  The passing was hardly incisive, but more precise and they started to get openings.  The Southend keeper had to get to Dawson's looping header to stop it dropping in and Mido fired a shot in on goal that caught a defender and went just wide

The Egyptian had been taking a fair bit of stick from sections of the crowd, as Berbatov's introduction for Murphy saw Spurs load the front line with three players and Mido was one who got pushed wide on the left most of the time.  He was in space with the ball on one occasion and put his cross way beyond the white shirts in the box and out of play when he had time to size up a measured ball in.  However, with just five minutes left, Berbatov slipped a lovely pass inside the full back to Mido, who played a low ball across the six yard box to supply Jermain a goal on a plate, as he slid in to get his studs to the ball and direct it over the line to give Tottenham the lead.

At the time, it looked a good enough goal, but discussion afterwards centred around whether it was offside.  While not normally being one to defend officials, I think this was a tough one to call, as it looked on first hand viewing that Defoe had been behind the ball, but on TV, it looked as though he had gone a little early to get ahead of his marker.

Having the lead, freed Spurs up a bit and although United did have a header knocked off the line, Berbatov had a header and a shot that should have added to the lead.

So, a win that came at length, but one which puts Spurs two games from Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.  Once more, it was not a convincing performance, but one that was enough to get the result in the end.  At the final whistle, we prised ourselves out of our seats and the pleasure of movement meant that the blood flow started to permeate the extremities of our chilled bodies.  Let's hope Spurs don't freeze when they meet their semi-final opponents.





Other scores this round :
Charlton Athletic 0 Wycombe Wanderers 1 Tuesday
Liverpool  -  pitch fogbound P Arsenal P Wednesday
Newcastle United 0 Chelsea 1 Tuesday





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