Football / Premier League: Oldham left struggling

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The Independent Online
Tottenham Hotspur. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Oldham Athletic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

THIS WAS the last nail but one in Oldham's coffin. If they survive to play on in the Premier League next season, they will need to fight with more conviction in their next three games and just hope that Sheffield United seize up much as they themselves did here.

Spurs could afford to concede a first-half lead and still win at a graceful canter. They bided their time and rattled in four in a half- hour rout that was indistinguishable from blood sport. Oldham were like frightened rabbits and they barely moved as Teddy Sheringham, the England Squad's newest recruit, blew them away.

Sheringham celebrated his 300th League game with a brace of penalties, his 25th and 26th goals for Spurs this season but, after a quiet first half, his contribution to a mobile Tottenham attack so replete with options amounted to much more than just pulling the trigger. Both the goals from open play, scored by Darren Anderton and Andy Turner, came about thanks to his well-fashioned crossing.

It took a while for Spurs to start the motor and they still had not got going when, from Neil Adams' corner, Richard Jobson headed into the path of Darren Beckford, who accepted the chance.

However, after a bright move, Spurs won a corner which Neil Pointon duly handballed. With Sheringham's first penalty the tide thus started to turn. From Justin Edinburgh's cross he missed his best aerial chance by clipping the wrong side of the bar, but made amends by taking on Gary Mabbut's well-made pass and crossing accurately for Anderton to nod in the second.

The fight went out of Oldham, and now it was purely a matter of how many Spurs could rack up in the time allotted. Barmby fell over Mike Milligan's challenge, and Royal described the penalty as 'pure Disneyland' - so much so that although Milligan was booked for dissent, contrary to club policy he will not be fined. Meanwhile Sheringham beat Gerrard again, this time the other side, before riding Jobson's tackle and crossing for Turner to settle up.

Tottenham Hotspur: I Walker; D Austin, J Edinburgh, V Samways (A Turner 74 min), G Mabbutt, N Ruddock, S Sedgley, N Barmby, D Anderton, T Sheringham, P Allen Substitutes not used: S Nethercott, K Dearden (gk). Coach: D Livermore.

Oldham Athletic: P Gerrard; G Halle, N Pointon (R Palmer 74 min), N Henry, R Jobson, C Fleming, N Adams, A Ritchie, D Beckford, M Milligan, P Bernard. Substitutes not used: S Redmond, J Keeley (gk). Manager: J Royle.

Referee: K Hackett (Sheffield).

Goals: Beckford (0-1, 24 min); Sheringham (pen, 1-1, 58 min); Anderton (2-1, 62 min); Sheringham (pen, 3-1, 82 min); Turner (4-1, 85 min).