Football: Precision by Sinton

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The Independent Online
Queen's Park Rangers. . .4

Tottenham Hotspur . . . .1

FOUR GOALS in 19 minutes midway through the second half scarcely did justice to the superiority of Queen's Park Rangers' cultured football on a day which Tottenham's youngsters should ring in red on the learning curve of experience. A goal up after 27 minutes, Spurs squandered their advantage with a couple of glaring misses and a defensive display which degenerated as the afternoon wore on.

Yet, for the first 56 minutes, Spurs played with sufficient resolve to indicate that they could at least take a share of the spoils. With the persistent rain turning Loftus Road into a skid pan, it was never going to be a day for the big men, and when the waspish Nicholas Barnby dispossed Darren Peacock to set up Teddy Sheringham's opener, many in the 20,000 crowd must have wondered whether the visitors had come better equipped to deal with the conditions.

The game perhaps turned on an injury to Justin Edinburgh, forcing a readjustment to the Spurs defence, and a characteristically brave performance from Andy Sinton, who resisted the intimate attentions of Steve Sedgley and Pat Van Den Hauwe to run riot in the second half. When Edinburgh was forced to retire with a nasty head wound the Spurs hordes bayed for the young prodigy, Andy Turner. Instead they were presented with Terry Fenwick, once the Rangers captain whose appearance precipitated a less than rapturous reception from both ends of the ground.

Sinton's precisely delivered crosses led to Rangers middle two goals, the first tucked away by Ray Wilkins - with a low header, if you please - and the second by an unattended Gary Penrice. Ian Holloway had volleyed the equaliser in the 56th minute, his first goal for the club, and Penrice completed the scoring with an irresistible strike after Andy Impey had manufactured the sort of dummy which would have fooled most defences. It was certainly too good for Spurs.

Queen's Park Rangers: J Stejskal; D Bardsley, C Wilson, R Wilkins, D Peacock, A McDonald, A Impey, I Holloway, D Bailey, G Penrice, A Sinton. Subs not used: G Thompson, D Maddix, T Roberts (gk). Manager: G Francis.

Tottenham Hotspur:: I Walker, J Edinburgh (T Fenwick, 24 min), P Van den Hauwe, V Samways, J Cundy, N Ruddock, S Sedgley (A Turner, 73 min), N Barmby, D Anderton, T Sheringham, P Allen, Sub not used: K Dearden (gk). Manager: D Livermore.

Referee: J Worrall (Cheshire).

Goals: Barmby (0-1, 27 min); Holloway (1-1, 56 min); Wilkins (2-1, 62 min); Penrice (3-1, 66 min); Penrice (4-1, 75 min).