Spurs shine out

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Hirst 8 Tottenham Hotspur 3 Sheringham 32 65(pen), Walker 60(og) Attendance: 26,565
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The Independent Online
FOR a side supposed to have entered another dark age barely a month ago Spurs are passing through an uncommon amount of sunlight. With a deftness of touch here and a spot of midfield hustling there they comfortably rebuffed Sheffield Wednesday's increasingly frail challenge at Hillsborough yesterday. Two of their goals came from Teddy Sheringham, the third was sent, almost thunderously, into his own net by Des Walker.

It was perhaps significant that the Spurs player, who was once more, predictably, absent from the score sheet was Chris Armstrong. He worked selflessly, had some clear chances, but a precious goal eluded him. He hit a post and towards the close volleyed confidently from close range, but was denied by goalkeeping reflexes. Maybe it was not his day but Armstrong must be beginning to think that this is not his decade. The constant encouragement of the Spurs' fans could not persuade the ball to go in the net for him.

Wednesday were afflicted with a similar propensity to miss when scoring appeared the easier option. David Hirst took his first chance after only five minutes, putting in Ian Nolan's cross from a sharp angle but he was more profligate with other opportunities. The clearest of these came minutes later when he turned the defence with aplomb and then shot wide. His striking partner, Mark Bright, was also in a mood to squander, not least when he mysteriously rejected an opportunity to shoot after Marc Degryse's delightful threaded pass. As this was going on duties at the back were being neglected as Anderton probed and Sheringham preyed.

Spurs equalised 13 minutes before half-time. Sheringham side-footed home after the ball rebounded from a post. Needless to say the shot which struck the woodwork came from Armstrong. Come the second half Spurs created all manner of mischief. A cross from Anderton was bound for Sheringham, whose miscue obviously threw Walker. The defender's attempted clearance deceived his goalkeeper Kevin Pressman.

The goal of the match might have been scored in the 64th minute when Ronny Rosenthal turned beautifully and bore down on goal only for Peter Atherton to prevent his progress. It was a clear penalty and Sheringham took the spot-kick crisply.