Hayles and Horsfield bury abject Spurs

Worthington Cup: First Division Fulham put out the holders as four-goal Villa see off Southampton's challenge
Click to follow
The Independent Football

The Worthington Cup holders had the trophy wrestled from their grasp last night by a passionate and talented Fulham side at a delighted Craven Cottage.

The Worthington Cup holders had the trophy wrestled from their grasp last night by a passionate and talented Fulham side at a delighted Craven Cottage.

Goals from Barry Hayles, after 10 minutes, Wayne Collins just before half-time and Geoff Horsfield 13 minutes from the end, earned them a comprehensive victory over Premiership Tottenham.

Spurs, who were briefly level through Steffen Iversen, were hesitant in defence and utterly reliant on David Ginola for attacking creation. Unfortunately for them this was one of the Frenchman's off days.

Instead it was Hayles who caught the eye, the striker, a non-League player with Stevenage three years ago, was only playing because Karlheinz Riedle is cup-tied. He scored the first, was involved in the second and set up the third. It was hard to imagine Fulham had won just two of their last 10 matches as they won the right to meet Leicester or Leeds in the quarter-finals.

That could lead to a place in what may, or may not given yesterday's furore, be the last League Cup final to be held in the shadow of the Twin Towers. Fulham fans, though, were more interested last night in the future of Craven Cottage rather than Wembley, and kick-off was greeted with the sight of thousands of them holding up fluorescent yellow cards given away by a group of local residents keen to demonstrate that, contrary to received opinion, many locals want the club to stay in the area.

How many of the bannerwavers actually are locals was open to significant doubt: Fulham may have asked supporters to pass a test on club trivia to get tickets in the home end but there was no geography exam for would-be protesters.

Those who know their Stevenage Road from their Hammersmith End were soon concentrating on the football, or rather the push-and-shove, as the game started in typical derby style. Following a foul by Chris Coleman on, who else, David Ginola, Mauricio Taricco rushed in demanding a yellow card. Steve Hayward pushed him away, the Argentine did his familiar "dying swan" act, and Hayward was booked.

With Fulham unsettled, Chris Perry would have put Spurs ahead but for a flying save from Maik Taylor. Any sense of inferiority was quickly banished, however, as Hayles struck. A cross by Geoff Horsfield found the unmarked Wayne Collins and, though he wasted the chance, slow-witted defending allowed Hayles to follow up and score.

A Ginola shot worried Taylor with its flight but the goalkeeper held on just as he did later from a Iversen volley. These were isolated attacks as Fulham, playing at a very high tempo, carried the match to Spurs, forcing Sol Campbell, Perry, Taricco and Steffen Freund to resort to fouls deep in their own half.

As the first half drew to a close, however, Spurs were offered a route back into the tie as Taylor fluffed his goalkick sending it straight to Iversen who clinically punished the error.

Spurs exulted and, unforgivably, relaxed allowing Hayles and Lee Clark to set up the unmarked Collins to restore the home side's advantage.

Two half-time defensive changes made it clear where Graham felt the blame lay, but they did nothing to change the pattern of the contest. As Fulham continued to press, the charmless Freund was booked for retaliating and Horsfield shot just wide.

As the holders got more into the game, Taylor saved at Chris Armstrong's feet and Ginola had several wide shots, but Graham was soon forced into another change bringing on the diminutive Jose Dominguez.

Hayles had a chance to clinch the match for Fulham with 20 minutes left but shot over. It mattered not as, six minutes later, Ramon Vega mis-directed a clearance straight to Hayles and he quickly took advantage releasing Horsfield. The striker, who was playing non-League and laying bricks just 18 months ago, drew Ian Walker before rolling the ball past him.

Fulham (3-5-2): Taylor; Symons, Melville, Coleman; Uhlenbeek, Collins (Trollope, 79), Hayward, Clark, Brevett; Hayles, Horsfield. Substitutes not used: Morgan, Finnan, Trollope, Peschisolido, Hahnemann (gk).

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Walker; Taricco, Perry (Vega, h-t), Campbell, Edinburgh (Young, h-t); Leonardsen, Sherwood, Freund, Ginola; Armstrong (Dominguez, 66), Iversen. Substitutes not used: Baardsen (gk), Nielsen.

Referee: D Gallagher (Banbury).

Comments