After nearly 25 years I had my chance to see Spurs, and my first visit to White Hart Lane. The last time I saw what’s supposed to be my first team was when the League Cup was called the Milk Cup (because it was sponsored by milk, I presume, rather than because of it’s low cocoa solid content) when they played Gillingham back in the early 80’s (I think).
They certainly made hard work of this League One side, who I’ll also be seeing again in a few weeks time when they play Orient in the league. Although Spurs dominated play, as you would expect, the weakened side just couldn’t break through and, as can always happen, the lower league side got the first goal after some scrappy defending.
With fifteen minutes to go Martin Jol put on a couple of players that he really should have had on earlier if this was supposed to be taken seriously, including Aaron Lennon and Dimitar Berbatov. Lennon was impressive with his pace, Berbatov slightly less so although he did demonstrate some good touches.
The electrifying performance was from Jermaine Defoe and I still can’t believe how much he can twist and turn around defenders. Still, even with six or seven shots on goal, Spurs were still 1-0 down until a lucky header went in off the post. It was bad luck for the Port Vale goalkeeper who had an excellent game and must now be in the sights of some bigger clubs.
We were forced to sit through extra time as the drizzle started to drift under the roof cover but two more goals made the victory look more comfortable than it really was.