Ashford 2 Spurs 5 – the Lilywhite view
Paul Burgess Testimonial,
TIM O’Shea’s second half equaliser set the Spurs Legends on their way to a 5-2 victory over the Ashford Town All-Stars in Middlesex.
More than 500 fans turned out to see some of their favourite ex-White Hart Lane players back in action in a match organised to celebrate the achievements of Ashford Town’s long-serving goalkeeper Paul Burgess.
The stopper has been wearing the number one jersey for the Ryman Premier side for almost two decades, and is a lifelong Lilywhites fan.
Garry Brooke, who put in a very decent performance, was joined by other ex-Tottenham stars including Tony Galvin, Mark Falco and Steve Smart, while Spurs’ talented football freestyler Billy Wingrove was also in the squad, coming on for Falco as a second half substitute.
In bright sunshine, the game started off at a steady pace, but it was hosts Ashford who took the lead when Ricky Wellard put the ball away after only six minutes.
At the other end, Falco did well to reach a searching ball down the left before squaring to Galvin. The latter got the ball onto his right foot before curling an effort towards goal, which was blocked inside the six-yard box by an Ashford defender.
For Ashford, Stuart Flurry flashed an effort across goal on the quarter-hour mark, before the same player went clear of the defence 10 minutes later. But as he was bearing down on goal, Galvin came across and denied him with a brilliant saving tackle.
Shortly before the break, a delightful flick from Falco played in Trevor Wilkinson, but he was denied by the resolute Tangerines’ defence.
Goalkeeper Burgess was treated to an invite to keep goal for Spurs during the second half, with Tony Wells taking over between the sticks for Ashford.
Shortly after the half-time break, Spurs’ football freestyler Billy Wingrove replaced Falco and injected a burst of pace into the game on the left side of the field.
On 55 minutes, a cross from Spurs substitute Micky Jarrett picked out Garry Brooke on the edge of the box, but his fierce drive was deflected over the bar for a corner.
On the hour mark, some good work on the left by Wingrove saw him cross the ball for Jarrett, but the striker somehow put a free header over the bar from point blank range.
Steve Grenfell produced a low stop from Ashford keeper Wells, before current Croydon Athletic manager and former Spurs man Tim O’Shea stabbed home after a goalmouth scramble to bring the visitors level in the 64th minute.
Two minutes later the game was turned completely on its head as Jarrett crossed for Greg Hall to poke home for 2-1.
Spurs could have been 3-1 up moments later had an Ashford defender not headed onto his own post in an attempt to put the ball behind for a corner.
A 72nd minute goal from Jobe Ambrose did eventually make it 3-1, but the hosts pulled a goal back within a minute when youngster Joe Burgess, who had come on as a substitute just moments beforehand, was put through one-on-one with his dad in the Spurs goal.
Burgess junior attempted to round the keeper from a tight angle, but he ended up in a heap on the floor with his dad. The ball mysteriously broke free from the bundle and the grounded youngster rolled the ball into the net with his right leg!
Tottenham restored their two-goal advantage with 15 minutes left as Jarrett powered home after a cross from the right, leaving the keeper with no chance.
Greg Hall latched onto a Wingrove cross two minutes later, his subsequent thunderous shot hitting the bar and post before bouncing on the goalline and back out into the box.
Cries for a goal to be awarded were dismissed by the referee, but a fifth for Spurs followed shortly before the end when Jake Hall scored from close range.
Spurs Legends squad: Tony Wells, Neil Smith, Tony Galvin, Garry Brooke, Andy Edmonds, Mark Falco, Greg Hall, Jobe Ambrose, Trevor Wilkinson, Tim O’Shea, Billy Wingrove, Steve Smart, Jake Hall, Steve Grenfell, Micky Jarrett.