Tottenham - Stevenage 3-1
Spurs had never lost three games in a row under Harry Redknapp and they confirmed it one time more after having won the match against Stevenage tonight. Spurs will face Bolton the 17th of March in the next stage of the FA Cup.
After the 0-0 in the first match of this stage against Stevenage and Tottenham, Harry Redknapp did not want to risk anything and decided to do just few changes. Spurs welcomed Scott Parker back from suspension the english midfielder started from his normal position. Coach Redknapp announced before the match he was going to rotate some elements of his defence and goalkeeper and he confirmed it calling Nelsen and Rose to start the match with Cudicine defending the goal. The english coach did not do any particular change with the attack, proposing Van Der Vaart declared fit just behind Defoe with Adebayor in the bench ready to play. Gareth Bale has returned from the illness that kept him out of the Manchester United game
For the visitors, recent loan signing Jordan Slew could not have been part of the match, having played in Blackburn's 2-1 loss at Newcastle earlier in the competition. Goalkeeper Chris Day has started at White Hart Lane marking a return to the club where he began his career 17 years ago. Manager Gary Smith admitted during the conference before the match that his team was coming to North London to play all his possibilities, believing in a great performance of his players that did so.
After 4’ Stevenage was already 1-0: Nelsen stopped irregularly Byrom inside the area. The referee gave the penalty that the same midfielder scored for the enthusiasm of the away fans. Other bad news for Redknapp came when Dawson fell down injured (suspected ruptured ankle ligaments) and he was substituted by Walker. After that Spurs started to attack constantly, making pressure to the away defenders, and they managed to score the 1-1 at the 26’: Bale did a great 50-yard pass to Defoe that controlled the ball and scored with a left-foot shot from 20 yards for happiness of the people that came to fill White Hart Lane ( sold out tonight for the low prices of the tickets ).That has been the seventh goal in his last 10 starts, and a direct message to Mr Redknapp. The end of the first half has seen another injury for Spurs because Lennon had to leave the pitch due to a muscle problem. The english player was substituted by Adebayor, with Van Der Vaart moving on the right side.
The second half started with the same players that finished the previous one, without substitutions and changes from the two managers. At the 48’ Spurs scored an amazing goal with Defoe: Walker offered the ball to Kaboul that passed it alongside the six-yard box, with Defoe back-heeling into the net. It has been a wonderful finish for the Spurs but linesman had his flag up and the goal was correctly cancelled. At the 50’ massive save from Cudicini: the ball finished to Roberts in the six-yards box with the Italian goakeeper reacting immediately and stopping his shot. The goal was in the air and just few minutes later Bale obtained a penalty constincting Roberts to stop him with a foul: second goal with Adebayor putting the ball on the right of goalkeeper Day. At the 60’ Bale smashed a dipper from 30 yards and the ball finished on the crossbar with Day just looking at it without moving.
After that Stevenage’s players reacted and they had a double chance with Bostwick ( saved by Cudicini ) and Roberts ( crossbar ) but at the 75’ arrived the third goal for Spurs: Defoe received a good pass from Bale in the left-hand channel, moved back to his right and shot with his right foot past Day into the corner of the net.
Now Tottenham will face Bolton home the 17th of March and this is the schedule for the following stage of the FA Cup:
17/03 12:45 Everton - Sunderland
17/03 17.30 Tottenham-Bolton
18/03 14.05 Chelsea-Leicester
18/03 16:00 Liverpool-Stoke