England worry as Campbell suffers injury

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The Independent Football

The value of the Worthington Cup remains a contentious issue for Premiership clubs. Tottenham Hotspur, whose successful campaign two seasons ago started here at Griffin Park, might be forgiven for questioning its worth even more this morning after they lost two of their key personnel last night - Sol Campbell, whose shoulder injury will also concern Kevin Keegan, and goalkeeper Neil Sullivan, to a red card, as Brentford caused their London rivals no little discomfort.

The value of the Worthington Cup remains a contentious issue for Premiership clubs. Tottenham Hotspur, whose successful campaign two seasons ago started here at Griffin Park, might be forgiven for questioning its worth even more this morning after they lost two of their key personnel last night - Sol Campbell, whose shoulder injury will also concern Kevin Keegan, and goalkeeper Neil Sullivan, to a red card, as Brentford caused their London rivals no little discomfort.

On the last occasion these teams met in this competition, Brentford, then of the Third Division, led before going down 3-2 in both legs. Tottenham, having overcome such a rude awakening, were sufficiently spurred on to win the trophy.

If Tottenham were looking at this rematch as a good omen, however, the positive vibes were undermined in the first period when Campbell, their captain, walked gingerly out of the action seven minutes before the break clutching his left shoulder after falling in a clash with Brentford forward, Mark McMammon.

If the prognosis is as bad as first feared, then the England defender must be in danger of missing the opening World Cup qualification tie with Germany at Wembley on 7 October.

Tottenham, yet to win away this season, made one of their better starts while Brentford seem unable to sort out their form at home.

But the expected differential in class was apparent in the clearest two goalscoring chances of the opening half.

Oyvind Leonhardsen, playing wide on the right, was invited to cut back inside on to his favoured left foot by Sergei Rebrov's prompt, and his curling shot was palmed aside by Olafur Gottskalksson. Midway through the half, Leonhardsen again found space on his flank but the pass to Matthew Etherington was side-footed wide of goal from eight yards.

Campbell broke forward with one wonderful run before releasing Steffen Iversen, who could not round Gottskalksson, but that was his final contribution for the night.

Rebrov then showed a glimmer of his capabilities but his effort deflected over the crossbar. And in the 61st minute, with their key defender already gone, Spurs lost their goalkeeper.

Robert Quinn's short pass sent Paul Evans scampering clean through midway into the Tottenham half. On the greasy surface, the inevitable approached once Sullivan came racing out of his penalty area. Evans reached the ball first, slipped it past the keeper and then was sent flying into the air as he made contact with the Tottenham No 1.

At the other end Rebrov, with an inventive chip, and Stephen Clemence, with two powerful left-footers, tested Gottskalksson - but not half as much as this game did Tottenham.

Brentford (4-4-2): Gottskalksson; Crowe, Marshall, Ingimarsson, Marsh; Rowlands, Evans, Quinn, Mahon; Scott, McMammon. Substitutes not used: Partridge, Folan, Kennedy, Smith (gk), Javary.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Sullivan; Carr, Perry, Campbell (Vega, 38), Thatcher; Leonhardsen, Freund, Clemence, Etherington (Walker, gk, 61); Rebrov (Ferdinand, 80), Iversen. Substitutes not used: Sherwood, Davies.

Referee: G Barber (Tring).

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