Spurs shot down by Marshall

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Leicester City 2
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The Independent Online
An 85th-minute goal from Ian Marshall gave the city of Leicester cause to celebrate along with the county of Leicestershire after a great weekend of sport for that part of the Midlands.

After the cricketers had nailed down the County Championship the day before, the footballers arrived in north London encouraged by their performances so far in the Premiership, but in urgent need of goals. Martin O'Neill kept faith with his regular strikers Steve Claridge and 18-year-old Emile Heskey, but Gerry Francis, his opposite number, had no such luxury, deprived once again of Chris Armstrong as well as Teddy Sheringham.

Sol Campbell was pressed into action as a centre-forward alongside young Rory Allen, and a snapshot from Ruel Fox that whistled by Kasey Keller's right hand post, seemed a promising sign for Spurs.

But Leicester, through the industry of Mustafa Izzet and Scott Taylor, began to assert themselves and it was no surprise when they took the lead, Heskey bursting past Stuart Nethercott on the Tottenham right before crossing low and hard for Claridge to score at the far post.

A minute later Izzet went past Colin Calderwood easily and Walker was once again prevailed upon to rescue his side, clutching Izzet's shot two handed above his head.

Heskey continued to cause problems with his pace, but Izzet blotted his copybook by picking up a yellow card for diving in the penalty area as Nethercott went to challenge him. Claridge, who had injured his left ankle in the act of scoring, eventually had to give way to Marshall and the former Ipswich man was only inches away from increasing Leicester's lead after another run by Heskey.

The visitors reached the interval deservedly ahead, and Francis brought on Andy Sinton for Edinburgh at the start of the second half. Spurs began more positively as Darren Anderton and Allan Nielsen both went close, but it was Leicester who had a golden opportunity to go further ahead when Heskey was brought down by Nethercott and referee Wilkie pointed to the spot. Steve Walsh did not look too confident as he addressed the ball and the centre-half's weak shot was saved by Walker low down to his left, although TV replays suggested the ball crossed the line before Walker grabbed it at the second attempt.

Eight minutes later Leicester paid for their profligacy when Campbell and Spencer Prior tangled in the Leicester area. The Spurs player, attempting an overhead kick, ended on his backside and the referee awarded a hotly disputed penalty. Clive Williamson, hit it high and hard to Keller's right and Spurs, fortuitously, were level.

The hosts then enjoyed their best spell, with Fox and Nielsen drawing fine saves from Keller but Leicester were always dangerous on the break. Twelve minutes from time Heskey's precise shot cannoned off a post and Keller pulled off another superb save from Anderton five minutes later before Marshall, unmarked, rose to head Leicester's winner from a corner.

"I've got to admit I thought we deserved to win - if we hadn't I might have committed suicide," O'Neill added in reference to his captain's missed penalty. "Before I committed suicide I would have killed him first."

Goals: Claridge (22) 0-1; Wilson (pen, 63) 1-1; Marshall (85) 1-2.

Tottenham Hotspur (3-2-3-2): Walker; Wilson, Nethercott, Calderwood; Howells, Edinburgh (Sinton h-t); Fox, Nielsen (Rosenthal 85), Anderton; Allen, Campbell. Substitutes not used: Kerslake, Carr, Baadsen (gk).

Leicester City (5-3-2): Keller; Grayson, Prior, Watts, Walsh, Lewis (Parker, 68); Lennon, Izzet, Taylor; Claridge (Marshall 31), Heskey. Substitutes not used: Robins, Lawrence, Poole (gk).

Referee: A Wilkie (Co Durham).

Bookings: Tottenham: Nethercott. Leicester: Izzet.

Attendance: 24,159.

Man of the match: Heskey.