Play an understrength team and you’ll get an understrength performance. On a low key night we
made hard work of getting the better of Shamrock Rovers. They were triers but limited especially
up front and it was a cracking effort by us to somehow manage to fall behind to them. A kind
description of the away team might be ‘organised but unadventurous’.
They scored as a direct result of Livermore needlessly giving away a free kick in a dangerous area,
something he did several times in a performance that typified the displays of many of the Spurs
starting XI in that it contained good moments but was also often sloppy.
A flurry of goals from Pavlyuchenko, Defoe and Giovani was the response to the deflected effort
from the away team, three strikes that in the end meant that victory was comfortable but it
would’ve have been a far more relaxed evening if we’d taken our early chances. We should have
been out of sight by half time.
To Harry this competition is ‘a nuisance’ but tonight it proved useful in that Lennon and Rose were
given a chance to regain a bit of fitness and Carroll and (especially) Townsend were able to show
that they fit in and make a difference. Giovani was useful sometimes, distracted at others. Falque &
Kane looked a little out of their depth during their brief outings. Walker and Charlie played for the
full ninety and Defoe for over an hour the highlight of which was his winning of the ball and then set
up of Giovani for the third goal after a 60 yard run.
The Rovers fans seemed to enjoy themselves as they became the latest in a long line of ‘smaller’
clubs supporters to sing their hearts out for the lads in a WHL cup tie and somehow give the
impression that they think they’re the first ones to do it. The sizeable crowd was boosted by both
the large away following and the fact that this game was included in the season ticket price. Despite
some enjoyable moments the nagging feeling that time might actually have been better spent
elsewhere was hard to shake though and there may be plenty of empty blue seats for the upcoming
visits of PAOK and Ruben Kazan.
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