Tottenham hit four again to reach FA Cup quarters

LONDON, Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur showed their liking for the FA Cup again on Saturday when they thrashed first division Stockport 4-0 to earn a place in the quarter-finals.

Spurs, who have failed to score in seven of the last nine league games, have now managed eight in two Cup games with young midfielder Simon Davies getting his first two for the club on Saturday.

Leicester City also eased through against second division opposition, beating Bristol City 3-0, but Southampton were held to a goalless home draw by first division Cup specialists Tranmere.

First division promotion-hunting duo Bolton and Blackburn drew 1-1 while second division Wycombe came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to Wimbledon.

West Ham United, conquerors of Manchester United in the fourth round, had another great away win, with Frederic Kanoute’s goal enough to beat fourth-placed Sunderland 1-0 in an early kickoff.

The fifth round is completed on Sunday when Arsenal play Chelsea and Liverpool take on Manchester City.

Tottenham fans have long identified 2001 as the season when they get back to trophy-winning ways because they have so often lifted silverware when the year ends in a one.

Spurs won the FA Cup in 1901, 1921, 1981 and 1991, the league and FA Cup double in 1961 and the League Cup in 1971.

They produced a miraculous burst of three goals in six minutes to come from behind and beat Charlton in the last round but needed no such heroics on Saturday.

Stockport, in the fifth round for the first time in 51 years, were behind after five minutes when Ledley King glanced in a Stephen Clemence cross.

Davies, an early replacement for injured Oyvind Leonhardsen, showed great control to set himself up for the second after half an hour and a Mike Flynn own goal had Spurs 3-0 up by halftime.

Spurs had failed to score in seven out of eight league games before the Charlton victory but looked sharp going forward on Saturday.

Davies, a 21-year-old bought from Peterborough for 700,000 pounds (US$1.02 million) 14 months ago, made it four five minutes after the break when he brilliantly took a Tim Sherwood pass in his stride and lashed the ball in.

“They were absolutely superb today,” said Spurs manager George Graham.

“I thought Ledley King was class and Simon Davies…I’m really pleased for them.”

Stockport manager Andy Kilner thought his team had done themselves proud despite the scoreline.

“They deserved to win but I thought 4-0 was harsh,” he said.

“I’m not pleased with some of the goals and some of the decisions, but good luck to Tottenham.”

Tranmere were dropping to the bottom of the first division while battling to a draw at Southampton and with six premier league scalps in the bag during two years of great cup runs Glenn Hoddle’s team will not relish the return.

Tranmere boss John Aldridge, no stranger to Cup glory, understandably was more concerned about the perilous league position.

“I’d swap all those wins for six or eight points,” said the former Liverpool striker.

“But we enjoy the Cup and we give it a right good go.”

West Ham racked up a second successive excellent away win in the Cup and fully deserved their victory at the Stadium of Light, where Sunderland had lost only once at home in the league this season.

The defence, with 38-year-old Stuart Pearce in inspired form, easily dealt with the threat of Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn.

At the other end the Londoners created a series of chances, Kanoute missing three of them before he latched on to a Frank Lampard through ball 14 minutes from time and slid it past Thomas Sorensen.

“He is a fantastic talent,” manager Harry Redknapp said of the Frenchman.

“All in all I think we deserved it,” he said.

Wycombe trailed 2-0 at home to Wimbledon after goals for Mark Williams and Patrick Agyemang but a triple substitution by manager Lawrie Sanchez turned things round.

Michael Simpson pulled one back and Steve Brown equalised 10 minutes from time and they might have won it in a frantic last 10 minutes.

“You have to try things, change it and the three guys livened the game up a bit,” said Sanchez, scorer of Wimbledon’s goal when they beat Liverpool in the 1988 FA Cup final.