Lining up survival

Coke: Heart problems not a concern for Lurliners boss

AS UNSPECTACULAR debut seasons in the Kenna go, Lurliners‘ has been textbook.

Floating around the bottom half of the table since an early charge in autumn, the club have made a dwindling impact.

Goals this week from the unlikely duo Franco di Santo and Steven Fletcher alleviated relegation fears hanging over the outfit for the last few weeks.

Concern was beginning to emerge after long-term injuries to Steven Taylor, Kieron Gibbs and a Fabrice Muamba cardiac arrest, but the Lurliners manager hasn’t been letting pressure get the better of him.

“Relegation? Relegation? There’s not chance I’ll be relegated. My team will definitely stay up. Definitely! If I find anyone talking about relegation at the club I’ll tie them to a tree and put a gun to their head, see how they like pressure. The only thing we’re going out is to town, and we’ll have a great time. A great time! You’ll see. When are the girls getting here? Get on the phone!” said the Lurliners manager while pacing up and down his office, ice tinkling in his Jack and Coke, ordering Bradley Johnson to rack up another line.

Meanwhile, Papiss Demba Cissé is ridiculing his £0.5m January price tag.

“Yarrrr! He be a fine purchase,” said the Spartak Mogadishu manager, preparing his war chest to retain the striker in the summer auction.

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Weekly scores - 3 May 2012
Weekly scores – 3 May 2012
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Spurs 3 – 1 Bolton

Strawberry fields: ginger warrior Bogdan watches another Spurs offensive fizzle out

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…

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Spurs 1 – 1 Bolton (match abandoned)

White Hart Lane (abandoned)
Shortly after this Fabrice Muamba collapsed to the left of the centre circle

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.

The immediate treatment the 23-year-old midfielder received, as well as early access to a defibrillator, should give him the best chances of survival.

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.

Just Put Carles defender Kyle Walker responded with a sumptious hanging header at the back post, delivered from Spartak Mogadishu winger Gareth Bale’s cross.

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.”

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Lurliners (second window)

Lurliners made no transfers in the second window

Manager: Mr Luke Jones (ENG)

Since: 2011

Trophy cabinet: empty

Sympathies: Liverpool

Howard, T EVE £9m
Gibbs, K ARS £6m
Enrique, J LIV £5m
Taylor, S NEW £9m
Collins, J AVL £8m
Young, A MUN £17.5m
Modric, L TOT £13m
Muamba, F BOL £0.5m
Johnson, B NOR £2.5m
Di Santo, F WIG £11m
Fletcher, S WLV £0.5m
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