Myself and my three boys (Jude, Seb and Nath) travelled up from Cornwall and duly arrived at St. Jamesâ€™ Park at around 6.45pm where we met up with their grandad outside the ground. I had a ticket for the â€˜Stagecoachâ€™ area whereas the rest of the clan followed the not so unsubstantial Spurs fans in the away end. They managed to get at the front of the stand to the left of the goal where they were able to have the time of their lives and subsequently be captured on Sky Sports when the action was featured!
I took up my seat at around 7pm. Considering all the recent rain we have had in the South West, the evening was warm and quite â€˜balmyâ€™, so that was a bonus. You could sense the air of excitement around the ground as newly promoted Exeter City were staging this glamourous tie.
At this time of year itâ€™s quite normal for any Spurs fan to dream of greater things and this was no different. As I looked around at the 1st teamers and squad players warming up I had my usual feeling of euphoria and expectation for the long season ahead, even with our current crop of players. There was no sign of our man at the helm ( Harry, Harry give us a twitch) during the start! He can only be â€˜wheelinâ€™ and a-dealinâ€™, me thinks.
The atmosphere was building nicely as both sets of players took to the field. I was so close to the players I could practically be aparty to Keaneâ€™sÂ team-talk! That was a new experience for me. The Spurs playerâ€™s names were announced over the tannoy with the addition of a curious central defender pronounced by the speaker as Dorian ‘Deroot’! Must be our new secret weapon or just another foreign player that passes through our ranks never to experience 1st team footy. At this point in the proceedings, the announcer asked the Spurs fans to move further down the Away end to allow access for late arrivals; no-one budged of course!
The game began and a strong Spurs team, with the two little men leading the line looked lively. There were a lot of players out there playing for their future, none less than David (where did it all go wrong?) Bentley. You could feel his nerves. He was trying too hard to make an impression. Player of the 1st half was Tom Huddlestone. He is an absolute colossus! He surely has a future at Tottenham. Pinpoint passing, always looking for the ball, with time on his hands. He actually makes the beautiful game look easy! A pleasure to watch.
Thereâ€™s a goalmouth scramble at the City end and â€˜Jonny on the spotâ€™ Jamie â€˜Oâ€™ (who could definitely lose a few pounds) doesnâ€™t miss from just inside the box. 0-1. Danny Rose looks a prospect. He produced 1 or 2 cameos which were easy on the eye. We seemed to lack a true cutting edge and consequently thoughts of the transfer window resurface.
The 1st half finished with Spurs on top but with only one goal to show for their dominance. Thatâ€™s a reoccurring theme with us, rarely finishing teams off when we have them on the ropes. With a brand new starting 11, Pav and Bent kicked off the 2nd half. Both could realistically be gone in a few weeks; this transfer merry-go-round is quite crazy and equally enthralling.
There was more bite to Spurs in the 2nd period with Luka Modric exerting his influence on the game. Lennon and his blistering pace were there for all to see. Iâ€™m sure heâ€™s a four-a-day Shredded Wheat man! Chances were coming with more regularity and the inevitable 2nd goal came courtesy of Lennon followed closely by the 3rd on 90 mins by our poacher, Bent.
When the ref finally blew for full time I can honestly say that the evening was a ratings winner in all our opinions. Photos of the boys were taken, autographs gained and a decent PR job achieved by THFC and their hosts Exeter City Football Club. And as they say down in these parts, well done one and all!
By Tony Yeomans
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