reading test


Tottenham Hotspur Reserves  0   Reading Reserves  4   (Half-time score : 0-1)

Premier Reserve League South
Venue : -  Broadhall Way
Tuesday 13th February 2007
Kick Off :  7.00 p.m.
Crowd :   550 approx
Referee :  - (-)
Weather :  -  Rainy, cold
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :


Lee (c)

Livermore (Archibald-Henville 68)
Fraser-Allen (Pekhart 46)


Unused subs: 

Reading :


De La Cruz (c)

Oster (Davies 81)

Doyle (Cox 74)
Kitson (Henry 74)

Unused subs: 

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

Scorers : -  
 Tottenham Hotspur



Kitson 35
De La Cruz 64
Oster 75

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur 






Match Report : -  

The watching Martin Jol probably learned more about Reading than the young Spurs players who turned out in this match which saw table-topping Reading maintain their supremacy at the head of the league.

4-0 was perhaps a little harsh on Tottenham, but facing the Reading side which brought some dropped jaws among the Spurs crowd when the side was announced.  Kitson, Doyle, De La Cruz, Seol, Convey and Gunnarsson have all featured in the first XI and will do again.  For Spurs, there were just Cerny, Ifil and Barcham with first team experience and O'Hara and Lee have been squad players this season.

The teams both lined up with 4-4-2 formations and Reading got into the action the quicker, with Gunnarsson pinging a 25-yarder off the top of the bar, but Tottenham hit back when O'Hara stepped over Hallfredsson's pass to allow Jake Livermore to curl a low shot just a foto wide of the post.  Adel Taarabt, who showed good footwork all evening, linked with Jamie O'Hara to put Andy barcham into the area, but a defender just managed to manoeuvre himself inside the striker to shield the ball back to the keeper.  Federici in the Hoops goal had to palm out a cross from Emil Hallfredsson from under the crossbar and at the other end, Cerny was called into action to make a double save from Seol and Kitson.

The Korean winger was causing problems with his direct running and he stepped around two Tottenham tackles to hit a shot on goal, but Leigh Mills managed to block it out for a corner.  A short free-kick in midfield caused Reading a nervy moment, as Phil Ifil played in a fierce waist-high cross, but there was no Spurs man on the end of it after 16 minutes of the match.  Taarabt was producing some extravagant step-overs, but at the end of one run he hit a weak shot straight at the keeper.

Reading started to press forward with more intent and Kitson managed to work a position on the edge of the area, only to be denied by Cerny rush from his line, but a minute or so later, Seol once more rattled the crossbar with a shot that skimmed off the top of the woodwork.  A low cross fizzed off the wet turf in the Spurs six yard box and missed the two Reading players in the zone, but it was only two minutes later that Reading opened the scoring.

35 minutes gone and Convey got past Daniels on the Spurs left and lobbed over Cerny from six yards out as he came in from the wing, but Kitson got a finishing touch as a defender closed in to clear.  The match got bogged down in midfield as the rain came down heavier and it was right on the half-time whistle that the last chance came, with Hallfredsson volleying low at the goalie after a headed clearance went up in the air.

After the break, Tottenham introduced Czech youngster Thomas Pekhart for the ineffective Fraser-Allen on the wing.  This move saw Taarabt drop behind the front two and this gave Spurs more options from midfield, as Hallfredsson ran through the middle, after accepting a pass, took the wrong option in firing a shot wide instead of laying in Taarabt on the right and Pekhart on his left. 

Barcham wasted a good chance after Pekhart and Livermore's back-heels opened up the defence, but on the break, Seol got away down the left wing and played in a low cross that Convey got to first, but skied it over the bar from a couple of yards out in front of goal.  Pekhart had a shot saved from 18 yards after Taarabt had taken a short free-kick and set him up and then the Frenchman forced a low save from the keeper and Ifil followed up to get to the rebound, but fired wide.

Tottenham's clearest opportunity fell to Pekhart as the hour approached.  Barcham got past his full back on the right wing, hitting a low ball towards the six yard box, but Michael Duberry got s touch on it and it ran into the path of Pekhart, whose precise shot went a foot the wrong side of the post from Tottenham's point of view.

Three minutes past the hour mark, Ulisses De La Cruz walked past some luke-warm Spurs tackling and then shimmied past Cerny to stroke the ball home for Reading's second goal of the night.  It seems to deflate the Spurs side a little, as Doyle jinked into the area on the right and his low shot was well kept out by Cerny, but when Gunnarsson followed up to strike the rebound into the back of the net, he had little chance of stopping that effort.

With a quarter of an hour left, the victory for the Royals was sealed.  Convey's low cross saw John Oster glide into the box unmarked to steer the ball past Cerny for 4-0.

Tottenham didn't give up.  A short corner saw Adel work past a defender tight to the goal-line and pull the back for O'Hara, but his effort was charged down by Sodje.  Two long range efforts from Hallfredsson and O'Hara flew too high and the rain soaked team trudged off at the final whistle.

Hallfredsson had returned from his sojourn in Sweden on loan, but looked to be lacking in his decision making, as he often produced the wrong pass or shot.  Fraser-Allen started his first game for the reserves, but looked apprehensive and was well marked out of the game by the experienced Reading defence.  O'Hara was always available to take the ball and showed good skill, but often got crowded out and Taarabt showed good skill, but when his flicks didn't come off, he tended to show his frustration and he was not averse to making a meal out of almost any contact to bring it to the attention of the referee.

Ifil looked withdrawn from the confident youngster who broke into the first team and Barcham struggled against two strapping central defenders.  It was at the back in central defence that Tottenham did well.  Mills looked classy and had time to play, while alongside him captain Charlie Lee put in a captain's performance winning headers with great regularity against the taller and more experienced Kitson.

Clive Allen has a talented bunch of youngsters in the reserves, but must now make something of them.  On this night, they did well, but were no match against a top notch Reading eleven, so it is not hard to see how they are the top of the league.  With winnable matches to come, Spurs could push them for the title, but it will need a degree of cohesion from a side that had not played together before and looked like it.





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