Footbal: Teenage Turner's budding artistry

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The Independent Online
Tottenham Hotspur. . . . . .2

Everton. . . . . . . . . . .1

SPURS held their open day yesterday - 'for the kids', Doug Livermore explained. A poignant remark by the Tottenham coach as one of those kids 10 years ago was Des Walker, who made his Sampdoria debut as the mud- spattered, starry-eyed Spurs hopefuls were returning home. Tottenham are determined not to let another teenager of Walker's potential slip through their net: a club famous for its expensive buys is now developing a rich seam of young talent in its back-yard.

From Coates to Gascoigne, Ardiles to Waddle, millions have been spent on bringing entertainers to White Hart Lane. But the errors of the Scholar era and the recession has enforced economies. Livermore and his assistant, Ray Clemence, understand the financial necessity of breeding home-grown starlets (like Arsenal and Chelsea have) and, having worked with juniors, they know the calibre of Tottenham's teenagers. 'There is a lot of young talent here,' Livermore said, thinking of the 18-year-olds Minton, Barmby and Watson who are hoping to follow Walker and Tuttle into the first team.

This trend of in-house versus import was encapsulated by the 55th-minute substitution of the pounds 1.7m Darren Anderton by Andy Turner, at 17 the youngest player in the Premier League who has worked his way up through the Spurs' hierarchy. He dashed where Anderton had dithered and scored an injury-time winner.

His fourth taste of first-team football confirmed what Livermore knew already: 'He immediately hit us in the eye as having tremendous talent.' Turner has a tendency to hug the left touchline, but timed his run to the edge of the box well when Andy Gray's long throw was punched clear by Neville Southall. Under pressure, he drilled an instinctive left- footed volley back past Southall.

Turner lives at home with his parents and lives for the club. His father, Pat, was a promising full- back for Charlton before his career was ended by injury at 20. 'I hope that is not an omen,' Turner said. The omens for holding his place are not good. Clemence said they would keep picking Anderton, a winger who looks like he has left all his coltish verve back at Fratton Park, because 'he proved in pre-season what a great player he is going to be'.

There was no sign of future greatness against Everton, although Anderton's lethargy was matched by his outfield colleagues, all of whom looked candidates for the 'Missing Persons' page in the programme. The visitors should have won by a hatful: Maurice Johnston and Robert Warzycha were denied by the nimble Walker before Beardsley proved just before the break why he should be on his way to Spain. He opened Spurs' offside trap with the precision of a safe-cracker before beating Walker with a well-paced shot. 'Beardsley for England,' the Scouse hordes roared.

Few at White Hart Lane would have argued. Beardsley continued to direct the one-way traffic in the second half, John Ebbrell and Stuart Barlow both demanding smart stops from the excellent Walker.

'We shouted at them to relax,' Livermore said, but it was Everton's defenders who took him at his word, slack play allowing Spurs to steal the points. Ten minutes from time Paul Allen drove a rebound into the roof of the net to turn the game and Everton's unbeaten record ended with Turner's teenage kick.

Goals: Beardsley (42) 0-1; Allen (79) 1-1; Turner (90) 2-1.

Tottenham Hotspur: Walker; Austin, Van Den Hauwe, Gray, Cundy, Tuttle, Anderton (Turner, 55), Durie, Samways, Sheringham, Allen. Substitutes not used: Edinburgh, Thorstvedt (gk).

Everton: Southall; Harper, Hinchcliffe, Ebbrell, Watson, Ablett, Warzycha (Beagrie, 78), Beardsley, Johnston (Barlow, 57), Horne, Ward. Substitute not used: Kearton (gk).

Referee: R Hart (Darlington).

(Photograph omitted)

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