Football: Allen's hook stuns Everton

Click to follow
Everton. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Tottenham Hotspur. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

STRANGE things happen when Tottenham take the field these days. On Sunday they scored four times in less than five minutes. Last night they allowed Kenny Sansom only his 13th goal in some 754 club matches, on his Everton home debut to boot, but the eventual outcome was depressingly familiar for the Goodison Park faithful.

A 69th-minute goal by Paul Allen, only his third of the season, condemned Everton to a third successive defeat and sixth home reverse in the Premier League. To compound the disappointment of their manager, Howard Kendall, three of the club's below them at kick-off recorded victories to leave Everton only two places above the relegation zone.

In contrast, Spurs are now in the top half of the table for the first time this season. As their co-manager, Ray Clemence, gleefully pointed out afterwards, they are also above Arsenal. This was their fourth win in five matches, a run of form which augurs well for the FA Cup tie at home to Wimbledon on Sunday.

Neither Spurs' scoring spree against Southampton, nor the prospect of seeing Neville Southall actually complete a match, enticed the Merseyside masses out. Only 16,164 spectators watched a meeting of two of the self-styled 'Big Five', and a drab opening period did little to enliven the eerie practice-match atmosphere.

The game burst into life with a goal for each side in the space of two minutes. Spurs struck first in the 27th minute. Gary Mabbutt was not picked up from Darren Anderton's corner and sent a glancing header past Southall from barely four yards.

As the Everton fans debated the wisdom of selling a tall central defender, Martin Keown, the player who replaced him on the Goodison payroll, equalised. Sansom, a free- transfer signing from Coventry, chested down Billy Kenny's chipped pass 12 yards out and stroked the ball wide of Erik Thorstvedt, evidently to his own as much as Spurs' surprise.

Everton came desperately close to taking the lead in the 55th minute. Gary Ablett's lofted pass from the back left the substitute, Pat Van Den Hauwe, flat-footed and let Tony Cottee advance on goal. From the angle of the six-yard box he placed his shot across Thorstvedt, only for the ball to rebound off the top of the far post.

No sooner had Kendall sent on a third striker, Maurice Johnston, than Spurs regained the lead. A long throw by Van Den Hauwe, a former Everton player, was flicked in to the danger area by Teddy Sheringham. Allen reacted faster than the home defence and, without striking the ball cleanly, hooked in the winner from close range.

Everton: Southall; Harper (Johnston, 62), Sansom, Jackson, Watson, Ablett, Kenny (Radosavljevic, 30), Beardsley, Cottee, Rideout, Horne. Substitute not used: Kearton (gk).

Tottenham Hotspur: Thorstvedt; Austin (Van Den Hauwe, 52), Edinburgh, Samways, Mabbutt, Ruddock, Howells, Gray (Nayim, 67), Anderton, Sheringham, Allen. Substitute not used: Walker (gk).

Referee: K Barratt (Coventry).