Relaxed passage for Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur 5 Hereford United 1
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The Independent Online
SIMON O'HAGAN

Tottenham Hotspur 5 Hereford United 1

Hereford United last night produced an FA Cup goal to match Ronnie Radford's legendary winner against Newcastle United 24 years ago. Unfortunately for the Third Division club, they were 5-0 down at the time - brushed aside by a Tottenham Hotspur team for whom Teddy Sheringham scored one of the easier hat-tricks of his career.

With Chris Armstrong heading the other two, Spurs' strike partnership (33 goals between them this season) is fast turning into one of the most effective around, and although Hereford were far from humiliated, there was never any possibility that they could live with Spurs once they had let in two goals in quick succession midway through the first half.

As the late arrival of some of the 3,500 Hereford fans caused the kick- off to be delayed by 10 minutes, it was hard not to feel that their team's only real hope of emulating the heroes of 1972 had disappeared into the Edgar Street mud 11 days previously. They made a steady start, and with 21 minutes gone nearly went ahead when Tony Pounder headed Murray Fishlock's cross narrowly wide. But from then on it was virtually all Spurs.

Their first goal, after 23 minutes, came when Darren Caskey took a throw- in from the left, Ronnie Rosenthal pulled the ball back from the byline, and Sheringham calmly drove it in. Six minutes later it was 2-0, Armstrong hanging back at the far post to head in Caskey's swinging corner, and when, four minutes into the second half, Nicky Cross, the Hereford striker, was carried off with a head injury after a horrible collision with Stuart Nethercott, some of his team-mates' spirit seemed to drain away.

Sheringham followed up a shot by Ruel Fox to score Spurs' third in the 55th minute, and a curling header by Armstrong made it 4-0 in the 58th. Sheringham did most of the work for his third and the team's fifth when, with 10 minutes left, he dispossessed John Brough.

Hereford have not lost the art of scoring spectacular Cup goals: in the final minute a superb dipping shot by the substitute Tim Steele beat Ian Walker from all of 30 yards.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Walker; Austin, Mabbutt, Nethercott, Edinburgh (Wilson, 81); Fox, Campbell, Caskey, Rosenthal (Slade, 85); Armstrong, Sheringham. Substitute not used: Day (gk).

Hereford United (3-5-2): Mackenzie; D Smith, Brough, Lyne; Evans, Pounder (Stoker, 80), Wilkins, Downing, Fishlock; Cross (Steele, 53), White, Downing. Substitute not used: C Smith (gk).

Referee: S W Dunn (Bristol).

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