Football: Hayles and Horsfield bury abject Spurs

Fulham 3 Tottenham Hotspur 1
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The Independent Online
MOHAMED AL FAYED was given the perfect antidote to a day in court last night as his Fulham side deservedly knocked the Worthington Cup holders out of the competition.

Tottenham were outplayed and outrun by a passionate and talented Fulham team whose performance belied a run of two wins in 10 First Division matches. Goals from Barry Hayles, after nine minutes, Wayne Collins just before half-time and Geoff Horsfield 13 minutes from the end, earned them a comprehensive victory over Premiership Tottenham.

Paul Bracewell, the Fulham manager, said: "We were outstanding tonight. What pleased me most is that it was a real team performance and we showed a lot of character. The chairman is delighted."

Several hundred Spurs fans jeered their team off the pitch and George Graham, their manager, was equally angry. He said: "We got what we deserved - nothing. Fulham wanted it more than us, they had more desire, and it hurts to say that.

"It's the first time we have been totally outplayed this season and the worst we have played since I came to the club. They out-fought and out- thought us and we can have no complaints. To lose our grip on our cup with that sort of performance is unacceptable."

Spurs, who were briefly level through Steffen Iversen shortly before the break, were hesitant in defence and utterly reliant on David Ginola for attacking creation. Unfortunately for them the Frenchman, though persevering, had an off day.

Instead it was Hayles who caught the eye - the striker, a non-League player with Stevenage three years ago, was only playing because Karlheinz Riedle is cup-tied. He scored the first, was involved in the second and set up the third as Fulham earned the right to meet Leicester or Leeds in the quarter-finals.

The game started in typical derby fashion. Following a foul by Chris Coleman on who else but Ginola, Mauricio Taricco rushed in demanding a yellow card. Steve Hayward pushed him away, the Argentinian did his familiar "dying swan" act, and Hayward was booked.

With Fulham unsettled, Chris Perry would have put Spurs ahead but for a flying save from Maik Taylor. Any sense of inferiority was quickly banished, however, as Hayles struck. A cross by Horsfield found the unmarked Collins and, though he wasted the chance, slow-witted defending allowed Hayles to strike.

A Ginola shot worried Taylor with its flight but the goalkeeper held on just as he did to a later Iversen volley. These were isolated attacks as Fulham, playing at a high tempo, carried the match to Spurs forcing Sol Campbell, Perry, Taricco and Steffen Freund to resort to fouls deep in their own half.

As the first half drew to a close, Spurs were unexpectedly offered a route back into the tie as Taylor fluffed his goal- kick sending it straight to Iversen who punished the error. Spurs exulted and, unforgivably, relaxed allowing Hayles and Lee Clark to set up Collins to restore the home side's advantage.

Two half-time defensive substitutions made it clear where Graham felt the blame lay, but the changes had no effect. As Fulham continued to press, the charmless Freund was booked for retaliating and Horsfield shot just wide.

As the holders briefly rallied, Taylor saved at Chris Armstrong's feet and Ginola had several wide shots, but Graham was soon forced into another change, bringing on the diminutive Jose Dominguez.

Hayles had a chance to clinch the match with 20 minutes left but shot over. It mattered not as, six minutes later, Ramon Vega's attempted clearance went straight to Hayles and he quickly released Horsfield. The striker, who was laying bricks for a living 18 months ago, drew Ian Walker before rolling the ball past him. The customary local chant of "Horsfield for England" went up. That may seem a long way off but so, at the Cottage five years ago, did nights like this.

Fulham (3-5-2): Taylor; Symons, Melville, Coleman; Uhlenbeek, Collins (Trollope, 79), Hayward, Clark, Brevett; Hayles, Horsfield. Substitutes not used: Morgan, Finnan, Trollope, Peschisolido, Hahnemann (gk).

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Walker; Taricco, Perry (Vega, h-t), Campbell, Edinburgh (Young, h-t); Leonardsen, Sherwood, Freund, Ginola; Armstrong (Dominguez, 66), Iversen. Substitutes not used: Baardsen (gk), Nielsen.

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury).