|TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (0)||PORTSMOUTH 0 (0)|
|Date : – Saturday 7th January 2023||Kick off : – 12.30|
|Competition : – FA Cup Third Round||Venue : – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium|
|Crowd : – 60,161|
|Referee : – Thomas Bramall (Sheffield)||Linesmen : – Mr. Derek Eaton; Mr. Steven Meredith|
|Fourth official : – Carl Boyeson|
|VAR official : – Graham Scott||VAR Assistant : – Darren Cann|
|Weather : – Bright with showery rain|
|Portsmouth kicked off the first half attacking the Park Lane end|
|Playing time : – 90 + 6 minutes
|Kane 49m 55s||None|
|Davies (foul on Koroma) 90||Thompson (foul on Gil) 77|
|20.||Fraser FORSTER||1.||Joshua GRIFFITHS|
|25.||Japhet TANGANGA||2.||Zak SWANSON|
|6.||Davinson SANCHEZ||28.||Michael MORRISON|
|33.||Ben DAVIES||20.||Sean RAGGETT|
|12.||Emerson ROYAL||3.||Denver HUME|
|29.||Pape Matar SARR|
|4.||Oliver SKIPP||8.||Ryan TUNNICLIFFE ( 23. Louis THOMPSON 75 )|
|19.||Ryan SESSEGNON ( 24. Djed SPENCE 77)||16.||Joe MORRELL ( 24. Michael JACOBS 85)|
|18.||Reeco HACKETT-FAIRCHILD ( 27. Josh KOROMA 75)|
|11.||BRYAN Gil ( 45. Alfie DEVINE 90+2)|
|7.||Heung-Min SON||15.||Owen DALE ( 11. Ronan CURTIS 87)|
|9.||Colby BISHOP ( 10. Joe PIGGOTT 85)|
|10.||Harry KANE (c)|
|1.||Hugo LLORIS||21.||Josh OLUWAYEMI|
|2.||Matt DOHERTY||13.||Kieron FREEMAN|
|5.||Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG||36.||Josh DOCKERILL|
|17.||Cristian ROMERO||35.||Adam PAYCE|
= Assist = Goal scored = Own goal scored
|Manager : – Antonio Conte||Interim Manager : – Simon Bassey|
|Kit Supplier : – Nike||Kit Supplier : – Nike|
|Shirt Sponsor : – AIA||Shirt Sponsor : – University of Portsmouth
|Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch||Back of Shirt Sponsor : – Total AV
|Colours : –
||Colours : –|
|Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website|
|In a low-key and uninspiring 1-0 win over Portsmouth, Spurs achieved the aim of progressing in the FA Cup without any major injury scares or worries about being put out by lower league opposition, with the visiting team so poor that at times the match was reduced to a training ground pace as Tottenham didn’t have to try too hard.
The entire population of Portsmouth turned up for their big day, with lots of jolly songs about how useless Tottenham were and how horrible Tottenham is as an area, but at the end of the match they traipsed back to their own horrible area with their team beaten with only one effort on goal and tales of being hard done by with tackles they wanted free-kicks for usually going unmentioned in the rough tough League One. Some of their players embarrassed themselves with their antics during the match in an attempt to try to unsettle Spurs, but the approach we took was right in we just played the game, whereas it appeared that the Pompey players wanted to play the occasion. They could go home saying they weren’t out-classed as they only lost 1-0, but those there realise that the score-line barely told the story of the game.
The first ten minutes were dominated by set-pieces, with corners and free-kicks failing to bring anything like a chance and Tottenham’s tactics of putting high balls into the box looked doomed to failure, as the gigantic Portsmouth defenders were well used to dealing with this fare down in League One. When Skipp tried to make a run to break the two banks of four that Portsmouth set up, his touch was a little heavy as he got on the end of Davies’ through pass and his cross was blocked. It was that sort of run that would break down the defensive set-up that the other team were happy to sit in without offering much going forward. Their only effort on goal came just after 10 minutes when a high ball into the Spurs box was headed down by Bishop and Hackett-Fairchild turned to side-swipe a volley at goal that was on target but Forster pushed out for a corner, diving to his right and going down in stages to get to it. There wasn’t a great deal of power behind the shot, but it bounced just in front of Fraser, who was roundly booed every time he touched the ball because of his time spent with the South Coast Big Club, so he just wanted to make sure that he got the ball wide and safe. The keeper then got a fist to the corner when it was played in to clear it out of the area.
A Spurs corner caused the Portsmouth keeper Griffiths considerably more trouble, as he flapped at it and it dropped to Harry Kane at the far post, but his shot hit a blue-shirted player and the moment was gone, but most of our corners went comfortably into the keepers’ hands. The away section were cheering every clearance and tackle, as they had little else to get excited about apart from their surroundings, which contrast with the age-old Fratton Park, where most of them rarely go. Shopping in the Cascades must have been stress-free today.
Kane hit a free-kick into the wall and got the rebound wide to Sessegnon, whose cross was headed over by Davinson Sanchez and then Pape Matar Sarr hit a shot a couple of yards wide, but at least he was willing to have a go, with our moves trying to play through a crowded defence being blocked. Once again, he looked a tidy passer of the ball and was willing to keep the ball moving, so I can’t see him being allowed to leave permanently, but may be put out on loan to get more game time if Conte thinks he can manage with Hojbjerg, Bissouma and Bentancur. The half came to an end just after Sonny had tried his trademark bending shot into the top corner, but this time he over-powered it and it went wide.
As expected, we started the second half sharply, as he often do. It didn’t produce anything on the Portsmouth goal and it was the visitors who had a chance to cause spurs problems with a free-kick out on the left, but Ogilvie headed it well wide and then wanted to claim a corner. There seemed to be a bit more space for Tottenham, as Portsmouth weren’t as focused on their defending as in the first half, with Sessegnon having to get out of Son’s way to allow him to cross to the far post, where Emerson Royal planted a header back across the keeper and was unlucky to see the ball come off the inside of the post and into the keeper’s hands as it bounced out.
A minute later and Spurs were in the lead. Spurs moved the ball from left to right across the pitch 35 yards out and then back the other way before Kane played the ball to Sessegnon inside the area and Ryan laid the ball back into his run. From the 18 yard line, Harry took a touch to get him past Morrell and curled the ball out of the keeper’s reach to his left. Another goal from the Kane playbook and his ability to find a move to find the net remains undiminished.
Almost straight away, Spurs were on the attack and Tanganga went forward to put Royal down to the dead-ball line. The Brazilian had to stretch to pull the ball back, but found Son, whose touch gave him space in the box, but his shot went over the top, as did a free-kick he took a little while later. Japhet was getting a bit too close to the Portsmouth forwards and conceded two needless free-kicks, allowing the visitors some respite. However, when Kane touched the ball to Bryan Gil in the D, with a little ball forward putting Skipp in front of goal with only the keeper to beat, but he hooked the ball over the top from around the penalty spot.
Sanchez did well to get himself in the way of a shot from Dale, but with 15 minutes left, Portsmouth started to make substitutions, as it appeared that they accepted they wouldn’t get back in the game and were giving players time at a top flight stadium. Thompson was keen to make his mark, which he did on Bryan’s leg, which got him a yellow card. Kane put a shot into the side-netting, Bryan had an effort blocked and Ben Davies was booked for a challenge (combined with Sanchez) on Koroma as he tried to break forward on the edge of the centre circle. The Portsmouth players wanted a red card, but Tanganga was covering and it was a long way from goal although it didn’t stop substitute Piggott, who had been brought on to knock Spurs players over and wind them up, from shoving Sanchez as he walked away. It’ll be something to tell his grandchildren about, much like Morrell’s standing in front of a Spurs free-kick to stop it being taken quickly, which he got away with, as well as trying to kick it away but only succeeding in kicking it at the referee. That’s two yellow card (if not a yellow and a red) offences in the same incident. He probably claimed that he isn’t good enough to avoid hitting it against someone in front of him. Maybe his inclusion in the Wales World Cup squad was indicative of their failure at the tournament.
The free-kick was cleared by Djed Spence who had come on, but didn’t really get a run on the visiting defence, despite the Spurs fans urging him to do so and Alfie Devine got a couple of minutes in added time, but apart from taking a Kane header and running forward to spread the play left, he didn’t have much time to make an impact.
There were times in the last 15 minutes where Spurs were content just to keep possession, with Portsmouth having given up trying to close them down, but by being able to stay in third gear, it preserved their energy for next week’s Premier League match and Harry got a goal to move him to within one of Jimmy Greaves’ Spurs goal-scoring record on the same day as Greavsie got his 265th, 53 years before.
Portsmouth offered little to worry Spurs and the high balls they threw in were well dealt with, so our back line were able to focus on getting forward, but with a packed defence, it was difficult to break them down. With 18 shots and only one on target, it wasn’t a great afternoon’s entertainment, especially as the referee had to warn the Pompey keeper about time-wasting just 16 minutes into the match. To fulfil the old cliché, it was enough for Tottenham to have their name in the hat for the next round.
Hilariously, an online story in the local Hampshire press acclaimed Zak Swanson’s defensive master-class in stopping Heung-Min Son from scoring, but failed to mention the former Gooner’s most embarrassing dive in trying to win a free-kick. I’m not sure which he should be most ashamed of !
|OTHER THIRD ROUND RESULTS|
|Crystal Palace||1||South Coast Big Club||2|
|Forest Green Rovers||P||Birmingham City||P|
|Preston North End||3||Huddersfield Town||1|
|Boreham Wood||1||Accrington Stanley||1|
|Chesterfield||3||West Bromwich Albion||3|
|Fleetwood Town||2||Queens Park Rangers||1|
|Ipswich Town||4||Rotherham United||1|
|Middlesbrough||1||Brighton & Hove Albion||5|
|Brentford||0||West Ham United London||1|
|Grimsby Town||1||Burton Albion||0|
|Luton Town||1||Wigan Athletic||1|
|Sheffield Wednesday||2||Newcash United||1|
|Bristol City||1||Swansea City||1|
|Cardiff City||2||Leeds United||2|
|Hartlepool United||0||Stoke City||3|
|Norwich City||0||Blackburn Rovers||1|
|Oxford United||0||Woolwich Wanderers||3|