Football: Newton provides the quality

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Tottenham Hotspur. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Chelsea. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

JUST over an hour into one of those frantic derbies where passing the ball becomes largely synonymous with passing the buck, Tottenham's young full-back Dean Austin had a second or two for reflection as he prepared to take a free-kick deep in his own half.

'Quality Deano] Come on, son]' roared Tottenham's coach Ray Clemence before the ball passed through a milling throng of white and blue shirts and disappeared over the far touchline. It was more than an isolated instance of misunderstanding; there was precious little quality throughout for the 30,540 crowd to appreciate as a home side lacking three of their key men in Allen, Durie and Howells strove ineffectually against a team who were that marginally older and considerably wiser.

Chelsea are now joint second - Saturday's win was their eighth in 10 matches - and if their overall performance was unremarkable, they provided the afternoon's one moment of sustained coherence with the move that put them 2-0 up five minutes from time: Dennis Wise picked up a ball that had been transferred smoothly out of defence by the impressive David Lee and cut through the Tottenham defences with a long ball out to the right wing, from where Graham Stuart transferred it swiftly inside for Eddie Newton to claim his second goal within 10 minutes.

Newton, knock-kneed and pigeon-toed, does not resemble a predator, but he has a goalscoring habit which was refined by a period on loan to Cardiff City last season. With Mick Harford suspended, and Robert Fleck departing injured on the hour, Newton was called upon to advance from midfield. 'That changed the game for us,' Ian Porterfield, Chelsea's manager, said. 'But I don't know if Eddie will be up front for us next week. He's a versatile player - we put him at left-back against Arsenal - but we see him primarily as a midfield player.'

Porterfield was similarly down to earth about Chelsea's possibilities of maintaining or improving their present League position - 'There's a long way to go yet' - but as the fans in blue made their noisy way back down Tottenham High Road, he had a look of quiet glee about him. 'The great, great plus for us is that so many of our young players are beginning to blossom,' he said.

Tottenham's youngsters are that little bit younger than Chelsea's Stuart and Le Saux - Barmby, Watson and Campbell, who scored a tenacious goal two minutes from time after coming on as a 69th- minute substitute, are all 18. All look capable of coming through to bring Spurs further rewards in the post Gazza and Gary era.

Goals: Newton (76) 0-1; Newton (85) 0-2; Campbell (88) 1-2.

Tottenham Hotspur: Thorstvedt; Austin, Edinburgh, Samways, Mabbutt, Ruddock, Cundy, Barmby (Campbell, 69), Nayim, Sheringham, Watson (Anderton, 69). Substitute not used: Dearden (gk).

Chelsea: Hitchcock; Hall, Sinclair, Townsend, Lee, Donaghy, Stuart, Fleck (Burley, 60), Le Saux, Newton, Wise. Substitutes not used: Johnsen, Colgan (gk).

Referee: L R Dilkes (Lancashire).

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