Preston North End (Away)
League Cup Third Round

Wednesday 23rd September 2009


Preston North End are a bit of a mystery to me, as I know they have been knocking around the play-off places for a few years, but have never been able to make the next step into the Premier League.  They currently sit in fourth position and manager Alan Irvine has rallied his sides with good play and determination to get up among the promotion chasers.

In Andy Lonergan, they have a good shot stopping keeper, but sometimes, his positioning can be suspect, while in front of him, there will be a makeshift defence, as there will be at the other end.  Experienced left back Callum Davidson is missing and Neill Collins, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, is cup-tied.  This will facilitate former Derby central defender Youl Mawene returning in the middle of the back four, alongside Liam Chilvers.  Chris Sedgwick and Eddie Nolan are other options, but with Sean St. Ledger on loan at Middlesbrough, their best defender will be elsewhere on the night.

Midfielder Barry Nicholson's broken leg prevents him from featuring, but with hamstring victim Paul Parry also out, a lot will fall on the shoulders of Ross Wallace, a former Sunderland player and one who is good with free-kicks and has a fine shot from distance.  Former Burnley midfielder Richard Chaplow had an unhappy time at West Bromwich Albion and his return to Lancashire has seen him start regularly this season.  A prompter and spare man off the ball, Chaplow can start moves off from midfield and with Veliche Shulumikoksi alongside him, they make a midfield pairing who have some touch about them.  The Macedonian was released by Ipswich and he was well regarded at Portman Road.  A deft mover of the ball, he has a good eye for a pass.  The power in midfield comes from former Birmingham City man Darren Carter, who was also at WBA and has failed to live up to the hype that surrounded him in his early days at St. Andrews.  He plays like a Joey Barton/Danny Guthrie in his central role, but without the over-exuberance.  Goal-scoring midfielder Billy Jones came from Crewe and his style is similar to Robbie Keane's in and around the area.  He scores and makes goals, so will be a player Tottenham will need to close down.

Neil Mellor was once seen as the new Ian Rush at Liverpool, but he failed to break itnot the Scousers first team on a regular basis, so joined Presto and has become a bit of a mainstay in the forward line.  He has filled out from a Stephen Gerrard build to be strong enough to hold off defenders and hold up the ball and he has been scoring a steady stream of goal.  Alongside him will probably be Jon Parkin, who is also strongly built and might fancy giving our incoming centre half a bit of a test.  Good in the air and a handful to contain, he might prove problematical at set-pieces.  Stephen Elliott is a former Hull City striker, who was nippy in his day, but injuries have dampened his speed and he may have to be satisfied with a place on the bench. Chris Brown arrived at Deepdale from Sunderland via Norwich and is in good form, having scored twice in Preston's 3-2 win over Coventry last Saturday.

Preston are more likely to field something resembling a first team side, while Spurs will use the game to give some fringe players a run-out and will try another new pairing in the middle of defence.  The aim for Tottenham will be to get through (preferably without any more injuries) and Preston will be happy to have the home support behind them.  It will not be an easy ride for Spurs, so they will have to put in the effort to get anything out of the tie, but I think that Spurs will just about edge it ...

PREDICTION : -  Preston North End  1     Tottenham Hotspur   2

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


PRESTON NORTH END :  -  Callum Davidson (hamstring); Barry Nicholson (broken leg); Neill Collins (cup-tied); Paul Parry (hamstring); - (-); 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -   Ledley King (out - hamstring); Nico Kranjcar (out - cup-tied); Jonathan Woodgate (out - groin); Luka Modric (out - broken leg); Sebastien Bassong (out - knee); Roman Pavlyuchenko (out - Achilles); - (-);


League Cup Highlights (BBC 1) - Saturday 23.20 - 00.20 (highlights)
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 :
www.spurs.co.uk   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London - http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2005/10/12/live_commentaries_feature.shtml
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Preston North End   1   Tottenham Hotspur    5      (Half-time score : 0-2)

League Cup Third Round
Venue : -  Deepdale
Wednesday 23rd September 2009
Kick Off :  19.45 p.m.
Crowd :   16,533
Referee :  Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)
Weather :  -  Mild
Teams : - 
Preston North End :

  1  Lonergan

  2  Hart  (  4  Chaplow  51)
  5  Mawene
14  Chilvers
19  Jones

27  Nolan    
  8  Shumulikoski
11  Carter
25  Wallace

26  Parkin (  9  Brown )
29  Elliott (33  Mellor )

Unused subs: 
22  Henderson
38  Protor
36  Smyth
37  McLaughlin

Tottenham Hotspur :

  1  Gomes

  2  Hutton    
20  Dawson  (22  Corluka 80)
  6  Huddlestone
  3  Bale

  8  Jenas (c)
  5  Bentley
12  Palacios
17  dos Santos  (  7  Lennon  16)

15  Crouch
18  Defoe  (10  Keane  70)

Unused subs: 
13  Walker
16  Naughton
30  Dervite
25  Rose

Colours : -  
Preston North End

white shirts, dark blue shorts, white socks

yellow shirts, yellow shorts, yellow socks

Tottenham Hotspur
Scorers : -  
Preston North End

Brown 83

Tottenham Hotspur

Crouch 14
Defoe 37
Crouch 77
Keane  87
Crouch  90+2

Cards : -  
Preston North End

Nolan (foul) 23  


Tottenham Hotspur 

Hutton (foul) 56   


Match Report : -  
While the final score-line was quite comprehensive, it belies the fact that Heurelho Gomes was called upon to make a handful of very good saves to keep Spurs in it and then at 3-1, Preston were pushing to get back into the game with a few minutes left.  However, a Peter Crouch hat-trick gave Tottenham the goal-scorer that Preston lacked and the only couple of worries for Spurs were that Giovani dos Santos got a bad injury after just 15 minutes and that they failed to put the game to bed at 2-0.

Progress to the Fourth Round in a competition that has become a favourite over the last couple of years was not a formality and the re-shaped team lacked the closing down ability that the side had shown in the first four games of the season.  Maybe it was predictable that the home side would come out to make an early impression on the Spurs side, but when Gomes sliced a clearance to a Preston player, who fed striker Jon Parkin and his shot flicked off Dawson to take it wide of the target for a corner behind Gomes as he regained his position, when it could have gone anywhere.

Four minutes into the game, Spurs had their first chance, when Gareth Bale, who had a good game, went down the left wing and whipped in a cross that found Giovani dos Santos at the near post and the Mexican turned to hit the bar with a shot across the keeper with a rasping shot.  His game effectively lasted only about four minutes more, as Wallace hit him late and although he limped on, his substitution in the 16th minute was always on the cards.  It is a shame that Gio didn't get the opportunity to show what he can do over a longer period of time, but it perhaps sums up his luck at Spurs at the moment.

But at the other end, Gomes was alert to turn away Jones' mis-connected header when he ghosted in unmarked to meet Hart's cross.  It was a good dive to get up to the ball as it bounced up off the turf and the keeper was looking good on his return to the team.  But it was Tottenham who went ahead before dos Santos went off, with Bale racing away on the left to find a cross to the far post to pick out Peter Crouch.  The striker finished well with a volley that went in off the upright past Lonergan in the 14th minute.

Maybe the physical approach back-fired on Preston, as Gio was taken off and Aaron Lennon brought on.  So, no respite for their defence there then.  It also spurred on Alan Hutton, who got caught a few times, much to the derision of the home support, who felt he went down too easily.  However, it perhaps flagged up the difference between the Premier League and the Championship, as being a split second out in timing tackles sees speedy players go flying when fouled.  Perhaps that was why Nolan was booked for a foul on the Scottish full back and it wasn't the first one of the game.

With the full backs using the space made by the midfield playing narrow, Bale especially on the left, as he once more gave North End problems with a low ball square to Aaron Lennon, who shanked his shot and it went well off target.  When the play moved to the other end, Parkin struck a shot on goal from 20 yards out and Heurelho dived up to tip the ball over the bar with 25 minutes gone.  Darren Carter had a chance when Parkin set him up in the 33rd minute, but the midfielder hit his shot from outside the box a couple of feet wide and it was quickly followed by a volley by Billy Jones that went wide, but the angle was a tight one for him to score from.

With Preston pushing, Spurs moved the ball quickly to open up the home team's defence and Jenas played the ball to Defoe and the in-form forward moved the ball out of his feet to fire a fierce shot at goal that Lonergan did well to block, but Jermain was there first to head home the rebound to make it 2-0.  He nearly made it three a couple of minutes later, as Bentley's ball into Crouch was controlled and set up in front of Defoe for him to fire wide of the goal. 

It also needed some desperate defending from Preston to keep Tottenham out three minutes before half time, as Hart threw a block to stop Jermaine Jenas' drive that pole-axed him and then Jones got in the way of the effort on the rebound from Dawson, before Mawene stopped Gareth Bale's shot.  It nearly paid off as Jon Parkin headed at goal from Hart's cross from the left and Gomes was called upon to fall on the ball with a save.  The Brazilian was once more in action as added time was being played out, with a tip over to Jones' volley after Tom Huddlestone's defensive header only found Ross Wallace.

Tottenham kicked off the second half, but North End once more tried to gain the early initiative, with Elliott hitting a volley against the sizeable Parkin that took the sting out of it for Gomes to collect.  It was then Lonergan's turn to be active as Hud struck a shot from outside the box from Lennon's pass and the Preston keeper just got enough on it to take it wide.  He was conceding another corner when Lennon cut inside to shoot for goal and the keeper pushed the ball wide in the 58th minute.  Ten minutes later play was at the other end for Gomes to produce a good stop as Wallace tried to curl the ball past him from a free-kick a few yards outside the box.

Harry Redknapp decided to change personnel and Keane replaced Defoe, in a period when Spurs lost their way a bit and failed to play with the passing accuracy that had marked their first half form.  Preston had more of the ball and Spurs were prone to give it away, allowing Wallace to try his luck from long range, forcing Gomes to beat the ball out and it dropped to Stephen Elliott, who could only hit the ball over the top from inside the box.  The same forward was presented with the next chance, when he had a free header, getting away from Huddlestone, to glance the ball over the top, as he didn't get over it.

Jenas played Crouch in over the top and he shot over, before he put the game beyond Preston's reach with a third goal in the 77th minute.  Dawson took possession and played it through Palacios and Lennon, who squared it to the penalty spot, by-passing Robbie Keane, to find Crouch, who side-footed it in for a straight-forward finish.

Preston brought on strikers Mellor and Brown for Parkin and Elliott, as they tried to get something out of the game and it worked, with Mellor having a shot that went across the face of goal and Chris Brown was more alert than the Spurs defenders, to plant it into the net from the edge of the six yard box in the 83rd minute.  It narrowed the gap in the score-line for a short time, as four minutes later, it was 4-1, with Tom picking off a pass, striding forward and slipping a pass down the left hand channel for Keane to take it and smash the ball past Lonergan from close range.

With the game won, there was only one more thing to conclude and that was Crouchie's hat-trick, which came two minutes into added time, with Robbie releasing Aaron Lennon on the left to pull the ball back to the penalty spot, where Crouch back-heeled the ball into the net past a flat-footed defence.  It was a cheeky goal, but one which shows that the striker can score from almost any position and gives Harry Redknapp a selection problem with all three of his fit strikers scoring.

It was a victory not without it's worrying moments, with Preston perhaps a little hard done by with a 1-5 score-line, but as Spurs have found in the last couple of weeks, it is about taking your chances when they occur.  With a good ratio tonight, they showed they are capable of scoring freely, but the chances Preston had might be more attributable to the fact that the players were not regulars and were not that used to playing together.

Pleasing that Dawson and Gomes came through their returns, although Gomes stopped taking goal-kicks towards the end and may still be feeling his injury.  With Burnley on Saturday, this was perhaps a good dress rehearsal for that game, as the two sides try and play football and have powerful players that Tottenham will have to match to ensure the right outcome.  I don't suppose that it will be 5-1 on Saturday, but it is a challenge for Spurs to make sure they come out of it with three points.

the heathrow spur



Other scores this round :
Arsenal 2 West Bromwich Albion 0 Tuesday
Nottingham Forest 0 Blackburn Rovers 1 Tuesday
Bolton Wanderers (after extra time) 3 West Ham United 1 Tuesday
Barnsley 3 Burnley 2 Tuesday
Leeds United 0 Liverpool 1 Tuesday
Carlisle United 1 Portsmouth 3 Tuesday
Stoke City 4 Blackpool 3 Tuesday
Sunderland 2 Birmingham City 0 Tuesday
Peterborough United 2 Newcastle United 0 Tuesday
Scunthorpe United (after extra time) 2 Port Vale 0 Tuesday
Aston Villa 1 Cardiff City 0 Wednesday
Chelsea 1 QPR 0 Wednesday
Hull City 0 Everton 4 Wednesday
Manchester City  (after extra time) - Fulham - Wednesday
Manchester United 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Wednesday

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