||A game which started well for Spurs in Nantwich Town’s ground, quickly turned sour, but ended with three points for Tottenham.
It was after just seven minutes that Gilberto made space for himself to crash a curling effort from the edge of the box against the bar, but three minutes later, things looked grim for Spurs when Jake Livermore was shown a red card for allegedly stamping down on Stoke’s Urwin. Despite being reduce in numbers, Tottenham’s passing and movement dominated the game, with Harrison in the Stoke goal making a fingertip save from Mason’s 15th minute free-kick, then Bostock fired in a half-cleared corner on the bounce that just missed the target and three minutes after, the keeper was brought into the action again to palm away Bostock’s 25 yard shot. Within the space of three minutes before the clock reached the 40 minute mark Spurs tested Harrison on two more occasions. Firstly, Bostock put Mason in on goal and his side-foot effort was only kept out by the goalie’s legs and then he was again denying Tottenham with a dive to prevent Simon Dawkins’ header after Parrett had picked him out.After the break, it was Ben Alnwick who was making a save, stopping Urwin capitalising on a long kick by Harrison, who caught a Spurs corner, before launching Stoke onto the attack. As the midfielder broke on goal, Alnwick was quick to smother the danger by diving at his feet. Just after the hour mark, a cross from Dean Parrett dropped for John Bostock to flick up on to his right foot with his left and the resulting volley from six yards out was luckily for Stoke straight at the keeper, who clung onto the ball.
With the clock showing 65 minutes, Spurs finally took the lead, even though they only had ten men. Bostock created a yard of space and crossed for Mason to meet the ball with a powerful header into the net past the helpless Harrison. It could easily have been 2-0 six minutes later, with with Mason putting in a corner that was met at the near post by Ricardo Rocha and the ball hit the crossbar after it came off defender Wedderburn. In the 72nd minute, the ball came back off the Stoke woodwork once more, with Parrett’s pin-point pass allowing Mason to lob the keeper who came off his line and was disappointed to see the ball bounce back off the bar once more.
There was one last chance for Tottenham in the 83rd minute, when the three Academy players – Bostock, Parrett and Mason – all linked to allow Bostock to cross the ball for Nathan Byrne to head wide from six yards out, but the ten men triumphed to keep the heat on Aston Villa at the top of the table.
Stoke City – Harrison, Daio-Jiminez, Wedderburn, Connor, Alexander (Wint 64), Cohen, Urwin, Nicholls, Brunt, Moult, Stockhall.
Subs not used : Parton, Mitchell
Spurs – Ben Alnwick, Adam Smith, Gilberto, Jake Livermore 10, Ricardo Rocha, Steven Caulker, Takura Mtandari (Yaser Kasim 64), Dean Parrett, Simon Dawkins (Nathan Byrne 46), Ryan Mason, John Bostock
Subs not used : Oscar Jansson, Sam Cox, Calum Butcher
Attendance : – ,
||A shock home defeat rocked Spurs, as Stoke City put out a strong side to take the points.
Spurs started brightly and in the second minute, Charlie Daniels played a corner to the far post and Dervite looped a header which Simonsen had to tip over the bar, although he had less to do when McKenna set up Ghaly for a shot, but he failed to get power behind it and the keeper saved easily. Pericard went close with a 15th minute glancing header and Adel Taarabt hit a 25 yard effort but it was straight at the keeper. Kevin Prince Boateng produced a great block to deny Phillips when the ball reached him at the far post from Whelan’s 21st minute corner.
Charlie Daniels made a bit of space to hit a shot from well outside the box that went wide in the 30th minute, then, two minutes from time Taarabt shot weakly at Simonsen and then Stoke attacked, with Wedderburn striking an effort directly at Alnwick. As stoppage time was being played, Stoke took the lead, with Phillips’ cross finding Pugh, who volleyed in at the far post.
Only the woodwork stopped Adel Taarabt equalising in the fifth minute of the second half, as his shot beat the keeper, but not the post. Immediately, the play switched towards the Tottenham goal, with a replica of the move that created Stoke’s goal, but this time Pugh volleyed over the bar.
The respite only lasted for five minutes, as Stoke made it 2-0 with Boateng’s pass being picked off and Pericard fed Tonge, who placed his side-foot past Alnwick. The Spurs keeper kept out a third Stoke goal in the 78th minute, as he beat away Phillips’ shot from Pugh’s cross and four minutes later, he was relieved to see Pericard shoot over from just inside the box, after he had rounded Mtandari. Spurs poured forward in a late attempt to salvage something from the game and Maghoma struck a low shot from 25 yards that Simonsen tipped around the post with six minutes left and then Boateng got his head on the ball to put it into the goalmouth and Fraser-Allen was just unable to get to it.
The last chance for Tottenham came five minutes from time, with Hutchins seizing on Simonsen’s poor kick and played in Fraser-Allen, who got in front of Sonko, but the defender just got a touch on the youngster’s shot to take it wide of the Stoke goal.
Spurs – Ben Alnwick, Takura Mtandari, Gilberto (Daniel Hutchins 46), Kieran McKenna (Yuri Berchiche 58), Dorian Dervite (Jacques Maghoma 46), Ricardo Rocha, Kyle Fraser-Allen, Hossam Ghaly, Adel Taarabt, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Charlie Daniels
Unused subs : Lee Butcher, David Hutton
Stoke City – Simonsen, Wilkinson, Dickinson, Wedderburn (Moult 62), Davies, Sonko, Tonge, Whelan, Phillips, Pericard, Pugh
Unused subs : Harrison, Diao, Nicholls, Unwin
Attendance : – ,