Football: Turner brightens Spurs landscape

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The Independent Online
Tottenham Hotspur. . .2

Everton. . . . . . . .1

ANDY TURNER, the youngest player in the Premier League, scored in injury time to give Tottenham a thoroughly fortuitous three points at a raucous White Hart Lane yesterday.

Spurs were being played off the park by an energetic Everton until Paul Allen, captain in place of the suspended Neil Ruddock, matched his relatives' antics elsewhere by striking in the 80th minute to cancel out Peter Beardsley's marvellous first-half opener, which had looked to be the first of many for the visitors.

Spurs, dormant for 80 minutes, were woken up by Allen's goal and spent the last 10 minutes camped around Neville Southall's area. Their belated pressure told when the 17-year-old Turner, a Lilleshall graduate, volleyed left- footed into the crowded box, the ball deflecting off Dave Watson past Southall.

'It's another hard-luck story,' Howard Kendall, the Merseysiders' manager, said. 'We should have had the game sewn up in the first half.' So they should. Led by the ever-inventive Beardsley, Everton were all over the hapless hosts. Beardsley's snap-shot in the eighth minute, which flew narrowly over, was the first of many goal attempts. Twenty minutes later Mo Johnston had only Ian Walker to beat, but put his shot just wide of the exposed goal.

Beardsley showed his striking partner how to commit and then humiliate a keeper just before the break. John Ebbrell swept a long ball forward for Beardsley, timing his run from the half-way line perfectly to spring Spurs' shaky offside trap. A shrug of his shoulders confused Walker and the former England forward clipped the ball between the keeper and his right- hand post.

The irrepressible Beardsley nearly doubled the margin four minutes into the second half but his fulsome volley crashed into waves of white shirts. Ebbrell and the lively substitute Stuart Barlow both went close but the tide was slowly turning as Vinny Samways and Andy Gray got a grip of midfield. Ten minutes from time, Samways' long-range shot was stopped in the goalmouth, only for Allen to pounce and ram home the equaliser.

The rest was Spurs at their best, charging forward in numbers in search of the winner. Many of the 26,503 crowd had already left when Gray's throw was headed out by Dave Watson towards Turner. His reaction was instantaneous, a hard volley giving him his first goal for Spurs in only four appearances.

The Spurs supporters were ecstatic, the modest Turner merely 'pleased'. His watching father, Pat, who played for Charlton until injury ended his career at only 20, must have been delighted. 'I'm normally a supplier,' Turner, sipping a lemonade, said. 'All I thought when the goal went in was 'good, it takes us up the table' and which way to turn to celebrate.'

He was almost joined on the pitch by the jubiliant Spurs management, who had spilled out of their dug-out. 'We knew if we could get them to relax we had a chance,' Doug Livermore, their coach, said. They will all be able to relax now that the unsteady start to the season seems to be over.

Tottenham Hotspur: I Walker; D Austin, P Van Den Hauwe, A Gray, J Cundy, D Tuttle, D Anderton (A Turner, 55 min), G Durie, V Samways, T Sheringham, P Allen. Subs not used: J Edinburgh, E Thorstvedt (gk). Coach: D Livermore.

Everton: N Southall; A Harper, A Hinchcliffe, J Ebbrell, D Watson, G Ablett, R Warzycha (P Beagrie, 78 min), P Beardsley, M Johnston (S Barlow, 57 min), B Horne, M Ward. Sub not used: J Kearton (gk). Manager: H Kendall.

Referee: R Hart (Darlington).

Goals: Beardsley (0-1, 42 min); Allen (1-1, 79 min); Turner (2-1, 90 min).

(Photograph omitted)