Matthew Piper scored his first goal for Leicester – and a vital one at that – as the curtain came down at Filbert Street. The young striker grabbed the winner in the club's final match at the ground after 111 years.
It was only Leicester's fifth victory in the Premiership and their relegation fate had been sealed weeks ago. But with the new Walkers Stadium scheduled to be opened for Nationwide League business and players like Piper about, they have cause for optimism. His goal capped a fine performance, and Leicester's fighting spirit had to be applauded.
Manager Micky Adams, however, was not exactly overwhelmed. "I am pleased we've sent the fans home happy," he said. "But we shouldn't get carried away. I said to the players in the dressing room, 'Where were you the first half of the season?' "
Tottenham began brightly and Gus Poyet picked out Stephen Clemence, who had run from deep to the edge of the area. His shot was firmly struck but drifted wide of keeper Ian Walker's left-hand post. Poyet then fired wide from an acute angle after being put under pressure from the defender Jon Ashton.
Spurs' keeper, Kasey Keller, was tested for the first time after 18 minutes when Piper delivered a cross from the right. The American did well to punch away a header from Muzzy Izzet, who is anxious to stay in the top flight and has been a target for Middlesbrough. The Turkey international substantiated rumours at the end when he said: "I've had six fantastic years here and thanks for the memories".
Spurs were having the majority of possession and Darren Anderton and Teddy Sheringham linked up in a good move. Sheringham found Steffen Iversen but the finish was wasteful, his shot going high. Izzet almost made the breakthrough at the other end in the 47th minute when he latched on to a cross-field pass from Paul Dickov, only to shoot over the bar.
Sheringham finally put Spurs ahead in the 53rd minute from the penalty spot. He thumped his effort beyond Walker after Lee Marshall had brought down Clemence with a sliding tackle. It was Sheringham's 13th goal of a season which has been capped with a place in England's World Cup squad.
Spurs were stunned in the 59th minute when Leicester hit back. The defender Chris Perry made a block tackle on Marshall but the ball broke to Dickov, who smashed a shot into the corner. And the Foxes grabbed the winner after 71 minutes when Piper got on the end of Matt Elliott's flick off a throw-in from Alan Rogers to head the ball home.
Spurs' manager, Glenn Hoddle, was livid. "There are no excuses for that performance. It was dreadful," he said. "Things have to change."
Leicester City 2
Dickov 60, Piper 71
Tottenham Hotspur 1
Sheringham pen 54
Half-time: 0-0 Attendance: 21,716Reuse content