A six-match unbeaten stretch, including five successive wins, has not persuaded Gerry Francis to forget that only a few weeks ago he was in all sorts of trouble with injuries and comparisons with the days of the departed Jurgen Klinsmann. That was why he agreed to pay Newcastle pounds 4m for Ruel Fox, who watched yesterday and should sign tomorrow.
Whether Fox can have Spurs looking like championship material, time will tell. For the moment they look too dependent on Teddy Sheringham who scored twice yesterday. Wimbledon had conceded nine goals in two games and were battling against falling into the troublesome half of the table. In other words, it was the sort of situation in which they usually thrive. Not yesterday.
After only seven minutes, Kenny Cunningham in the heart of their penalty area seemed to have blocked a shot from the lively Chris Armstrong, but the ball flipped up head-high for Sheringham to loop over Paul Heald's reach. After 32 minutes the striker benefited when Armstrong made a powerful run down the right side and had his low cross half-blocked, again by Cunningham. Sheringham had time to check twice before bemusing Heald. Only then did Wimbledon respond in typical fashion. A long throw by Vinnie Jones was headed by Marcus Gayle on to the crossbar, allowing Robbie Earle to head straight back in.
After 63 minutes Gerry McMahon intervened. He had been given his place in the Spurs team when Jason Dozzell was pulled out of the starting line- up after arriving late, caught in the dense traffic that delayed the kick- off by 15 minutes. McMahon centred and Sheringham's header was met, fractionally before Armstrong, by Gary Elkins, who scored in his own goal.
Wimbledon's manager, Joe Kinnear, questioned whether it was legal for Spurs to withdraw Dozzell to play as substitute. But Francis said that the referee delayed the game when only half of the Spurs team had arrived by 2.30pm. "Jason phoned in from the A12 and the ref agreed that we could play McMahon."Reuse content