Football: Booth spurs European quest

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Sheffield Wednesday 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1

Sheffield Wednesday took a step closer towards qualification for Europe last night when Andy Booth's goal moved David Pleat's side above Chelsea in the Premiership.

Booth latched on to Benito Carbone's through ball in the 70th minute and coolly rounded Ian Walker before scoring 13th goal of the season.

Allan Nielsen had brought Spurs level three minutes from the break, cancelling out a spectacular 18th-minute strike from Peter Atherton.

Wednesday seized the early initiative and David Hirst, sent clear by Mark Pembridge, ought to have given them a 16th-minute lead, but sliced his shot wide with only Walker to beat.

However, Spurs' reprieve was shortlived as Atherton put Wednesday in front two minutes later. Booth's far-post header found Hirst who teed up Atherton and his 20-yard drive flew into the top-right corner.

The goal sparked Spurs' response and Teddy Sheringham went close twice before Nielsen equalised. Sheringham's volley was pushed round the post by Kevin Pressman and, from the resulting corner, Sheringham headed wide. Spurs' pressure paid off when Nielsen latched on to Sheringham's knock- down and from eight yards steered a low shot wide of Pressman.

At the start of the second half Mark Pembridge pressed Walker into a double save - pushing out the Welshman's far-post header and blocking Pembridge's follow-up shot with his legs.

Sheffield Wednesday: Pressman; Nolan, Briscoe, Nicol, Atherton, Walker, Pembridge, Whittingham (Blinker, 68), Carbone, Hirst (Humphreys 53), Booth. Substitutes not used: Oakes, Collins, Clarke.

Tottenham Hotspur: Walker, Austin, Edinburgh, Scales, Campbell (Calderwood, 80), Nielsen (Carr, 78), Anderton, Fox (Fenn, 78), Sinton, Sheringham, Rosenthal. Substitutes not used: Nethercott, Baardsen.

Referee: A Wilkie (Chester-le-Street).