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Football: Tottenham on course for one of those FA Cup years.

Byline: EUAN McLEAN

TOTTENHAM marched into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup after their 4-0 hammering of Stockport County at White Hart Lane gave themselves more chance of glory in a year that ends in one.

Spurs have previously won the cup in1901, 1921, 1951, 1961, 1971, 1981 and 1991 and the 2001 version is now in their sights after demolishing the struggling First Division side.

Stockport, in the fifth round for the first time in more than half a century, were comprehensively beaten by a Simon Davies brace, a Ledley King strike and Mike Flynn's unfortunate own goal.

It took less than five minutes for Spurs to take the lead from their first real opportunity.

Sergei Rebrov was fouled on the right and Stephen Clemence swung in the resultant free-kick for King to glance a header past Hatters keeper Lee Jones from eight yards.

The early goal inspired the hosts and an 11th minute breakaway from Oyvind Leonhardsen was halted by a ferocious challenge from Flynn.

Spurs then lost Leonhardsen, who limping off just after the quarter hour to be replaced by Davies.

The Premiership team doubled their lead on the half-hour as County's offside trap was sprung.

Rebrov's ball found Les Ferdinand and with the visitors' backline hesitating, the former England striker fed Davies.

The young midfielder nodded the ball out of the reach of the covering Shane Nicholson and provided a neat finish into the far corner.

Spurs' Scotland keeperNeil Sullivan gifted Stockport an opening five minutes later. He attempted a quick throw out, Nicholson intercepted and fed Flynn. The centre-back's centre was headed just inches wide by Jarkko Wiss.

Stockport were dead and buried by the break as Flynn's afternoon took a turn for the worst.

Luke Young dashed down the right flank and crossed low for Ferdinand only for Flynn to bobble the ball past Jones and into the net.

Graham's team made a mockery of their recent scoring drought with a fourth - without doubt the best of the encounter five minutes into the second half.

Tim Sherwood's lofted ball forward was superbly controlled by the marauding Davies, who hardly broke stride before unleashing a drive beyond Jones from the edge of the area for his second goal.

Centre-half Gary Doherty was switched to a forward role alongside Rebrov midway through the half with Ferdinand replaced by Alton Thelwell as Spurs coasted home.

Elsewhere, Graeme Souness' Blackburn were denied their place in the next round after a 1-1 draw at neighbours Bolton.

Rovers were reduced to 10 men after only nine minutes when skipper Garry Flitcroft was ordered off for picking up two yellow cards for challenges on Gareth Farrelly and Kevin Nolan.

Rovers rallied though and made the breakthrough against the odds six minutes before the break.

Bolton defender John O'Kane gave away a free-kick 20 yards out when he bundled over Damien Duff.

David Dunn fired in a shot and saw his effort go in via the underside of the bar with keeper Jurgen Sommer stranded.

Bolton drew level in the 61st minute when Michael Ricketts grabbed his 19th goal of the season.

Henning Berg managed to clear Simon Charlton's shot off the line but former Walsall striker Ricketts, following up, made no mistake.

Leicester cruised through to the next round after easing past Bristol City 3-0 at Filbert Street.

Dean Sturridge gave then the perfect start in 10 minutes and five minutes later they were two up after Matthew Hall's own goal. Muzzy Izzet completed the rout from the spot seven minutes from time.

Second Division Wycombe overturned a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 at home to Wimbledon.

Mark Williams and Patrick Agyemang had fired the Dons ahead but late strikes from Michael Simpson and Steve Brown hauled Wanderers level.

Giant-killers Tranmere and Southampton both failed to score at the Dell.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 18, 2001
Words:639
Previous Article:Football: STU'S STILL PSYCHED UP; Pearce is still in cup hunt at 38.
Next Article:FOOTBALL: Spurs find goal touch in the Cup; TOTTENHAM ................4 STOCKPORT ...................0.


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