Football: Level best of Yorke

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The Independent Online
Aston Villa 1

Yorke 81

Tottenham Hotspur 1

Vega 54

Attendance: 39,339

On the day Aston Villa fans were celebrating a centenary of football at Villa Park, they had Dwight Yorke to thank for saving their blushes and keeping their dreams on track of European football next season. Yorke, Villa's leading scorer, produced his 20th goal of the season to earn his side a late draw and deny Spurs a surprise away win.

Brian Little's side dominated throughout the first half but a defensive blunder just after the break allowed Spurs to take an unlikely 54th-minute lead. Teddy Sheringham's deep cross from the right had looked innocuous enough until Steve Staunton and David Hughes challenged for the same ball with Ramon Vega in close attendance. There was a deflection in the ensuing melee and a delighted Vega claimed his first goal for Spurs since his pounds 3.7 million move in January.

With defeat in sight, the home side showed the attacking strength that has kept them in contention for a Uefa Cup place for the second consecutive season. Nine minutes from time Staunton made amends for his earlier transgression with a powerful shot that Walker could only block and Yorke was on hand to equalise, to the relief of Villa's capacity crowd of 39,339.

After the match Gerry Francis declined to confirm nor deny reports linking Tottenham with their former striker Jurgen Klinsmann. "We've been looking at players but I wouldn't comment about players at any other club," the Spurs boss said. "He is a quality player but we will just have to wait and see what he does during the summer."