Ten-man Spurs U-23 eased their relegation worries from Premier League 2 thanks to two superb free-kicks from striker Keenan Bennetts to give the visitors a 2-1 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge tonight.
Centre-back Christian Maghoma was sent off for two first half fouls and it looked like the Blues would romp to victory especially when Joshua Grant gave the home side the lead with a smart header in the second half.
But careless defending by Chelsea allowed Spurs a peak at the Chelsea goal and the cultured left-boot of Bennetts was enough to restore parity and then take the lead.
It was a poor display overall for Joe Edwards side.
Both side started positively without other side posing any questions to the respective goalkeepers.
A 25-yard free-kick by Chelsea’s Charlie Colkett on 14 minutes sailed high into the Shed End as the Blues had effectively the first effort on goal.
An over-officious fourth official Paul Johnson, on 20 minutes ordered Chelsea boss Joe Edwards, who was standing up in his dug out area to change his blue top as it could be confused with the blue of his players.
A suitable darker blue jacked was soon found.
Harvey St Clair tried his hand at a free-kick, this time a little bit closer, on 26 minutes, but the ball went straight into the Spurs wall and was cleared.
Two minutes later and the opposition had their first chance, but Kazaiah Sterling’s angled right-footer just inched wide of Chelsea goalkeeper Marcin Bulka’s crossbar from just outside the home side’s penalty area.
With six minutes of the half left, Spurs were soon reduced to 10-men when, already yellow-carded for a silly foul, centre-back got his marching orders for pulling back striker Daishawn Redan.
There were no changes from either side at half-time.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, the away side started the second half on the front foot. Kennan Bennett’s forced Bulka into his first save of the match, when he got down low, to his left to a snap shot by the Spurs’ winger from just outside the Chelsea penalty area.
Edwards made two early substitutions - Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi replacing Jacob Maddox and Ruben Sammut - both on 54 minutes.
Daishawn Redan’s swift turn and shot was goal-bound, but Japhet Tanganga blocked the effort for a corner.
The Dutch striker was in action two minutes later, on 57 minutes, but just failed to get to a fine James cross as the ball zipped across the six-yard box.
A quick counter-attack saw Chelsea outflank Spurs on the right. When the ball fell to St Clair, he took two touches before slicing his left-footer wide.
Chelsea finally took the lead through the glancing header of Joshua Grant on 65 minutes from an inch-perfect corner.
Spurs soon equalised through the cultured left boot of Keenan Bennett’s. So much wrong with the ball, that failed to jump.
Bennett’s was at it again, in almost identical circumstances on 74 minutes. This time the Chelsea wall did jump but he produced a fine low left-footed drive that beat the despairing dive of Bulka.
Hudson-Odoi flashed a piledriver over the crossbar after excellent set-up play by St Clair with six minutes left on the clock.
Marcin Bulka, Dujon Sterling, Trevor, Chalobah, Joshua, Grant, Juan Castillo, Ruben Sammut, Jacob Maddox, Luke McCormick, Daishawn Redan, Charlie Colkett, Harvey St Clair
Subs: Callum Hudson-Odoi, Jamie Cumming, Reece James, Joseph Colley, Richard Nartey
Spurs: Brandon Austin, Timothy Eyoma, Anthony Georgiou, Oliver Shipp, Christian Maghoma, Japhet Tangganga, Shiloh Tracey, Tasharna Oakley-Boothe, Kazaiah Sterling, Joe Pritchard, Kennan Bennetts
Subs, Jack Roles, Alfie Whireman, Dylan Duncan, Samuel Shahoua, Jayden Brown
Referre: Adrian Quelch