Lucas Moura and Harry Kane help Tottenham rally and sink Morecambe

The reaction of Harry Winks said it all. The Tottenham midfielder had bent a free-kick from wide on the left towards the far post, more in the hope that a teammate could touch it home, only for it to drift over the Morecambe goalkeeper, Trevor Carson, and fly in.

Winks looked to the heavens in relief and was barely able to muster a smile. It was the 74th minute and he and Spurs knew they would be spared an FA Cup upset at the hands of the League One strugglers Morecambe. The victors’ reward is a home tie against Brighton.

It was not a day for celebrations because, until Antonio Conte had called for the cavalry and introduced Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Oliver Skipp as 69th-minute substitutes, it had been a grind. Worse, the fringe players to whom the Spurs manager had turned at the outset were laboured, particularly during a dismal first-half performance as Morecambe deservedly led through their captain, Anthony O’Connor, who was excellent.

Conte could be disappointed with the understudies, particularly Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli and Bryan Gil – all of whom he took off in that first set of changes – and only then did his team break Morecambe’s resistance. Ndombele bore the brunt of the home crowd’s frustration when he sauntered off at low speed, having had a day when nothing went his way.

Alli worked Carson with a clever flick from a corner on 55 minutes but, that apart, he could get little going and it has already been widely reported that Spurs would be open to moving him on this month. Whither the one-time Spurs golden boy?

Morecambe ran on fumes in the closing stages and only the hardest of hearts would have felt no sympathy for Ryan McLaughlin, who was guilty of a terrible lapse that allowed Lucas away to make the score 2-1. The Morecambe defender dwelt in possession on halfway and, once Lucas had robbed him, there was an inevitability about the run and finish. A distraught McLaughlin was barely able to chase back. Like everybody in red, he had nothing left to give.

Kane put a gloss on the scoreline at the end, taking a pass from Giovani Lo Celso, spinning and guiding expertly into the far corner, and Morecambe had to be content with having done themselves and the club proud.

Their commitment and organisation were a feature of the tie, O’Connor setting the tone when he went through Gil in the eighth minute; the centre-back was fortunate to escape a yellow card.

Related posts

Leave a Comment