QUIBBLES about value for money at top-flight English football matches were set aside for 10 days in north London.
For as little as £34 a ticket, the spectator was treated not just to a competitive 40 minutes of football abruptly ended by an ‘I was there’ life-time pub story, but a further match last night of great goalkeeping in the face of wave after wave of Spurs attack.
The first half belonged to ‘magic Magyar’ Adam Bogdan, whose acrobatic feats between the sticks were enough to keep out a dominant, yet leggy, Tottenham onslaught.
Bolton had little of the ball, but remained compact enough. It’s not just the journalist band wagon, without Lennon on the right and Bale hugging the left, Spurs looked out of sorts.
The second half began in much the same fashion. Modric and Bale dominated possession in midfield, but clear chances for Adebayor and van der Vaart were swatted away by the impressive, ginger Hungarian.
It was only after Jermaine Defoe replaced the jaded Scott Parker that pressure turned into goals.
An excellent van der Vaart free kick that hit the crossbar aside, Tottenham’s set pieces were distinctly underwhelming. Ironically, it was from a corner that the Lillywhites went ahead in the 74th minute. Kiwi veteran Ryan Nelsen nodded in his first for his new club.
Having not registered a victory in all competitions since a replay win against Stevenage, the atmosphere at White Hart Lane palpably relaxed when Bale found himself clear to notch the second.
The Spurs faithful were rolling out the Wembley chants when Kevin Davies netted a surprise comeback goal for Bolton in 90th minute.
Their nerves were calmed when Louis Saha bent one around Bogdan in the last minute of stoppage time. By his substitution choices and overall game plan, Owen Coyle gave the impression he’d rather concentrate on staying the Premier League anyway.
Of course, we all clapped before the match to recognise the efforts of the medical staff who attended Fabrice Muamba. Thankfully, the game didn’t turn into a reverential procession it could have done.
Harry Redknapp does need to pull his team’s finger out. They played a lot better when his dog was up at Southwark Crown for tax evasion…
WHITE Hart Lane was plunged into an atmosphere of eerie concern after Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch.
The Lurliners midfielder collapsed in the latter stages of the first half.
A team of medics visibly performed chest compressions for around 10 minutes before Muamba was stretchered off.
He is currently in a stable condition in London Chest Hospital.
Over 20 per cent of people suffering a cardiac arrest outside of hospital in the capital survive, according to the London Ambulance Service.
Up to then the match had all the chip and charge of an FA Cup tie.
Bolton took the lead in opening minutes through unsigned Darren Pratley.
Kenna HQ have called an extraordinary meeting with the FA to decide whether points from this match will count.
The Chairman said: “We wish Fabrice all the best.”
The Vasco De Beauvoir boss was tempted to do his own ‘Poznan’ in the Johnny Haynes stand as Sergio Aguero (12 points) added to his remarkable string of performances.
Fulham players looked incapable of picking up any points in the first hour, as they kept tight and let City stroke the ball around in their half.
However, after that JPC picked up a Zamora goal (7 points) and PSV Mornington celebrated a Danny Murphy strike in the 75th minute (7 points).
Young Boys (Kompany), Thieving Magpies (Lescott), Pikey Scum (Richards), Headless Chickens (Clichy) and the club formally known as The Dan Terry Seduction (Hart) will all be thoroughly annoyed that they failed to pick up six points for a clean sheet.
In what must be a Kenna first, all the players booked (Sidwell and Barry) were unsigned.
A changable Sunday afternoon at Craven Cottage gave two Kenna managers the chance to scout some mid-table talent.
PSV Mornington‘s impeccably turned out Miguel Salgado, who looks like Gerard Depardieu on a daytrip to Bruges, was slow and booked (1 point).
The Judean Peoples’ Front manager needs a quiet word about Damien Duff. The left footer spent the first half on the right delivering poor crosses with his weaker foot, and the next 45 at left back (2 points).
The only significant Kenna display came from Just Put Carles striker Zamora finding the net (7 points).
As in most matches outside the top four, it was unsigned forwards who stole the show.
Former Barcelona youth player Ruben Rochina scored an excellent goal that came off the underside of the bar.
Junior Hoillet was busy and exciting on the wing, and almost scored the winner in injury time but for being knocked out cold by Vasco’s Schwarzer.
However, two Premiership debutants Ruiz and Goodwillie looked shaky.
Despite a lone plea from the the Johnny Haynes stand to ‘Release Bryan!’, Ruiz will do well to look on the bright side of life after failing to make any sort of an impact, falling over a lot and getting subbed off at half time.
David Goodwillie may be Scotland’s player of the year, but, well, that says it all really.
Thank you to the Headless Chickens manager for the tickets.
The Kenna welcomes match reports and photos from managers.