Woe for Wednesday

Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Armstrong 32) Sheffield Wednesday 0 Attend ance: 32,047
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The Independent Online
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY'S disarmingly urbane manager David Pleat denied being worried, but his team's alarming slide towards the relegation zone continued unabated at White Hart Lane yesterday. They produced a lacklustre display on a heavy pitch against a Tottenham side who could only manage a single goal despite a virtual monopoly of territory and possession.

Wednesday started with three centre-backs to counter the pace of Teddy Sheringham and Chris Armstrong. This had a suitably stifling effect, but such was Spurs' dominance on the flanks that Wednesday's wing backs, Ian Nolan and Lee Briscoe, were constantly on the retreat.

Spurs used both wings to equally good effect, with Sol Campbell surging forward from right back where he had moved from midfield to replace the injured Dean Austin. Two crosses from Campbell in quick succession in the first quarter were narrowly missed from being converted by Armstrong and Sheringham respectively.

The goal, in the 32nd minute, was of the more direct variety. Clive Wilson, making his 400th league appearance, played a long ball from left-back into the path of Armstrong, who raced towards the area. After a shimmy and a dummy which confounded all three defenders, he seemed to run out of space but finished delightfully, looping the ball over the advancing Chris Woods.

Spurs continued their assaults down the wings. Ruel Fox tormented Lee Briscoe with jinking runs while Andy Sinton and Clive Wilson linked with equal effect down the left - only the quality of the crosses prevented an addition to Tottenham's lead.

Wednesday had to make changes at half-time and the substitution of Marc Degryse for Chris Waddle provided a flicker of hope and inspiration. Waddle's superb cross from deep in the 50th minute escaped attackers and defenders alike.

But normal service soon from the north Londoners. A slip from Des Walker put Armstrong through again but his shot across the goal was narrowly wide. Sheringham forced a fine short range save from Woods after he latched onto a cross from Sinton. Sinton himself brought Woods into the action with a drive from the left edge of the area.