44/92 – Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Swansea City at White Hart Lane

After what feels an age I am finally back on the road to Doing the 92 since my trip to MK Dons all the way back on the 31st of January. I have had this game in my calendar since the fixtures were announced back in the Summer as the game takes place just a couple of days before the Swans make the trip to the other part of North London at The Emirates Stadium which was the location of the game I last saw Swansea pick up 3 points & was hopeful that this could be repeated. Prior to this however was a very tricky trip to the home of IMG_8101.JPGTottenham Hotspur to try and put a blocker to Spurs’s title ambitions. Yes, I am one of those hoping for Leicester to win. Sorry.

One thing that I really enjoy about the line of work I am in is that it allows me to travel to different parts of the county and two of the more common places I have the opportunity to travel to is the Capital as well as Birmingham. I am also really able to use this to my advantage as travelling the day before isn’t uncommon so I am normally able to squeeze in a game and this was the case for Tottenham today and Crawley & Arsenal next week. The journey along the M4 from Bristol was a tough one. There were major delays due to a car on fire closing two lanes for a long period of time so this delayed the journey for about an hour but luckily for me, as usual, I left with hours spare so for when these incidents occur it doesn’t put anything at risk. I guess thats what being a Project Manager does to you – setting up contingency for everything! IMG_8105

Once I’d driven to Enfield Town and parked up in a side street I had enough time to grab a quick TGI Fridays before getting the train to the ground. The London Overground was a lot quieter than I thought, this was around 13:00 and with a 14:05 kick off time I would of thought it would of been packed but I was pleasantly surprised.

One thing I will point out to groundhoppers out there who like going to a ground simply for a picture on their travels, don’t bother. Often when visiting a city I will look out for various stadiums to get a picture of for my Instagram account but White Hart Lane (from the outside) has to be the least picturesque ground I’ve ever come across. From the inside It is brilliant, I was really impressed. Even the atmosphere was alright, boringly normal for the Premier League. However this tended to be mainly for a couple of minutes after the two goals they eventually scored. Even the shop experience was rather disappointing and extremely slow however I guess I didn’t help the situation by turning up about an hour before kick off. Nevertheless I had picked up my traditional programme & pin badge which I do for every new ground I do. I have done this since Burnley so have a lot of badges to collect from before which may prove rather difficult but I’ll get there in the end.

As previously mentioned I did really like White Hart Lane as a stadium – it had aspects of a proper football ground even if they had annoying stewards ushering away fans to stay seated at all times *sigh*. I know they are doing their job but I wish they wouldn’t on occasions – especially when there are a large proportion of home fans stood up which coincidentally gets ignored. IMG_8118.JPG

So after arriving at the ground, doing the normal things I have to do as well as doing a small amount of exploring including a quick look around the away concourse which has a rather interesting decor of an inclusion of every single team which Spurs have hosted at White Hart Lane which I thought was great It was time to take my seat. Which as you can see was a really good view – still can’t help but feel sorry to those guys across the other side who would sat behind those bloody poles. I’ve been there, done it and bought the T-Shirt. In addition to these pre-match preparations I also squeezed in a chat with die-hard Swans fan and fellow groundhopper Matt Phillips and the rest of his friends including Emily, a Portsmouth fan who is also a Groundhopper. We’re everywhere!

The atmosphere amongst the majority of the Swans fans were all fairly subdued all Premier League games between Tottenham Hotspur & Swansea City at White Hart Lane have all ended in favour of the home side. I suppose the Swans are consistent to say the least? So surely, with being in a bit of a relegation battle this season it didn’t look good to end any other way but a defeat. For a while though it looked like the away side had a real chance of spoiling the party when they started the game extremely well and had Fabianski in inspired form between the sticks. The trouble was, Tottenham also had Lloris in good form and he was brought into the game with a terrific save to prevent Alberto Paloschi from opening the scoring but he was beaten by the Swansea striker on 19 minutes who scored his first goal since signing for the club in January. This came from good work from a corner, which for the first time ever, a short corner actually worked?! A weak shot took a big deflection and landed straight at the feet of the Italian who smacked the ball into the roof of the net, 1-0. Could the Swans be on for something special?

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A number of people often say that when you score you are at your most vulnerable and this could be said for most of the Swans squad and if it wasn’t for Lucasz Fabianski they could of  conceded 3 or 4 goals in the first 45 minutes but Fabianski was playing extremely well and kept out dangerous efforts on a number of occasions including their danger man Harry Kane and somehow palmed out a free-kick from Danish star Christian Eriksen so this allowed them to go in at the break 1-0 up but I think the majority of the Swansea fans knew what was coming in the second period. Attack after attack, the question was could they maintain their lead? Unfortunately not.

The second half was exactly how I expected to be – Swansea constantly on the back foot and Fabianski stayed strong for the first 25 minutes but couldn’t hold out. After a fairly average corner kick all that hard work had been for nothing as a silly punch by the goalkeeper which fell to the feet of Kyle Walker who took a powerful shot which was deflected in by Nacer Chadli to equalise and just 7 minutes later it was Tottenham who went ahead IMG_8128.JPGfollowing a strong shot from outside the area by the left back Danny Rose which sent the home support into delirium and they were tasting the 3 points that continues to provide fuel in their fight for the Premier League title & also gives them some momentum going into two London derbies against West Ham United and Arsenal. As for the Swans, it makes the next few games extremely important. A huge away trip on Wednesday against Arsenal followed by three 6 pointers against Norwich City, AFC Bournemouth & Aston Villa. Please get some points Swansea!!!

What Were The Statistics?
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Swansea City
Attendance – 35,922
Price of ticket – £22.00***
Programme – £3.00
Car Parking – Free
Miles Travelled – 240 (Journey started in Bristol. Ended in Birmingham)

*** – Swansea City “True to 22” Initiative.

Whats Next?
Crawley Town vs. Newport County – 01/03/2016
Arsenal vs. Swansea City – 02/03/2016
Forest Green Rovers vs. Grimsby Town – 04/03/2016

 

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