Football: Cascarino does level best

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The Independent Online
Chelsea. . . . . . . . . . .1

Tottenham Hotspur. . . . . .1

WHEN the hurly-burly was finally done at Stamford Bridge yesterday, there was precious little to remember. A physical struggle often typical of London derbies, Dave Beasant tempted to repeat his early season shenanigans, and the nagging question: why did the referee award Tottenham that penalty?

It turned out that the spot kick was for a handball by Erland Johnsen; the result was a temporary lead for Spurs courtesy of Teddy Sheringham.

Chelsea could find no pattern and rarely breached a seriously depleted Tottenham side. Spurs' resilience was particularly down to the excellent debut of the centre- back Stuart Nethercott who stuck well to Tony Cascarino, pulled off a crucial goal-saving tackle on John Spencer and later rattled a header against the Chelsea crossbar.

When the Chelsea captain, Andy Townsend, awoke from a first half of relative repose, he set up the equaliser, running at Spurs, exchanging passes with Spencer and laying off for Cascarino to score.

From then on, the sides were evenly matched, Sheringham and Spencer going close at alternate ends. Not even the joker from Beasant's pack of tricks could concede the winner - in a late rush of misplaced confidence, he tried to dribble round Sheringham in his own area, finally opted for a hefty clearance only to see his kick come back off Sheringham's boot and narrowly miss his goal.

Chelsea: D Beasant; S Clarke, F Sinclair, A Townsend, E Johnsen, M Donaghy, G Stuart (D Barnard, 68 min), J Spencer, T Cascarino, E Newton, D Wise. Subs not used: G Hall, K Hitchcock (gk). Manager: D Webb.

Tottenham Hotspur: E Thorstvedt; D Austin, J Edinburgh, A Gray, S Nethercott, N Ruddock, K Watson (G Bergsson, 68 min), Nayim, D Anderton, T Sheringham, A Turner (D Hill, 72 min). Sub not used: K Dearden (gk). Coach: D Livermore.

Referee: R Dilkes (Mossley).

Goals: Sheringham pen (0-1, 32 min); Cascarino (1-1, 50 min).