Carlos Vinicius hit a first-half hat-trick as Tottenham crushed non-league Marine 5-0, but did see their crossbar rattled in the early stages in a memorable FA Cup moment.
With the scores level after 19 minutes, apprentice plumber Neil Kengni launched an audacious effort from 35 yards out that dipped late, surprising goalkeeper Joe Hart, but agonisingly coming back off the bar.
Soon afterwards, Vinicius quickly scored two goals from close range before a classy side-footed half-volley which he teed himself up for, sealed his treble. Lucas Moura also netted a free kick before the break.
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The only goal of the second half was another milestone moment as 16-year-old debutant Alfie Devine became Spurs' youngest ever player aged 16 years and 163 days, marking his debut by turning in from the left and firing inside the near post.
Keeping the score to five will have been satisfying to Marine boss Neil Young as the eighth-tier side, currently not playing league football due to Covid restrictions, would have feared a much heavier drubbing midway through the game.
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It is very unlikely to have changed the course of the game, the chasm in the quality too much for this, but when Neil Kengni raced forward and, finding no players in support, shot for goal it felt like time stopped for a moment. Unlike the smooth arrowing shots you get from the ubiquitous perfect surfaces most seen at all levels, here the ball seemed to sit up magically for him to hit high in the air and then dip dangerously towards goal.
Joe Hart has been uncertain in his performances in Europe for Spurs and again was here as he pulled his hand away before his head swivelled 180 degrees in fear to see the ball smack against the face of the crossbar; gleefully he then tapped the rebound over the bar.
It would not have gone down with Ronnie Radford’s goal as it did not result in his side’s winner (nor did Radford’s, fact fans, it was the equaliser and Ricky George’s was the winner for Hereford against Newcastle), but it would have merited a place in the montages of great non-league moments in the competition.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Dele Alli (Tottenham)
A great confidence booster for the one-time Tottenham first-team talisman. He was the chief creator for Carlos Vinicius’ first two goals with a low diagonal ball to the back post and then a perfect curling pass into the path of Matt Doherty whose effort was blocked into the path of the Brazilian.
Seeing him stride around the field skipping around challenges and playing perfect passes made one wistful over how he did this for club and country at the top level not too long ago. He looked unhappy when his match was prematurely ended just after the hour mark. Hopefully he gets the chance to showcase his talents elsewhere soon.
Marine: Passant 5, Solomon-Davies 5, Hughes 5, Miley 5, Joyce 6, Barrigan 5, Raven 5, Hmami 6, Kengni 6, Devine 5, Cummins 5. Subs: Howard 5, Doyle 5, Wignall 5, Strickland 5, Shaw 5.
Tottenham: Hart 5, Doherty 7, Alderweireld 7, Rodon 7, Davies 7, Sissoko 6, White 7, Gedson 6, Alli 8, Lucas 7, Vinicius 8. Subs: Devine 7, Tanganga 6, Clarke 6, Bale 6, Reguilon 6.
Tottenham celebrate v Marine
Image credit: Getty Images
19’ MARINE HIT THE BAR! Kengni smashes an effort from fully 35 yards and Joe Hart thought it was going over the top but it dipped and hit the face of the bar after which the Spurs keeper tipped it over.
24’ GOAL! Marine 0-1 Spurs (Carlos Vinicius). Dele Alli danced into the penalty area and then passed to the back post where Vinicius recovered from an initial miscontrol, before moving the ball past the prone Marine keeper and blasting home.
30’ GOAL! Marine 0-2 Spurs (Carlos Vinicius). A second for Vinicius. And another tap in. A great pass from Alli found Doherty whose effort was well saved by Passant but it came to Vinicius again on his own in the six yard box and he notched his second.
32’ GOAL! Marine 0-3 Spurs (Lucas Moura). A free kick from a central area and Moura curled it at great speed over the end of the wall and into the corner.
37’ GOAL! Marine 0-4 Spurs (Carlos Vinicius, hat-trick). HAT-TRICK FOR VINICIUS! This one was classy. He had too much time in the box after winning the ball in a tackle but then flicked it up for himself and on the half-volley side-footed the ball into the top corner.
60’ GOAL! Marine 0-5 Spurs (Alfie Devine). 16-year-old Alfie Devine gets his first goal for Spurs on his debut. He turns inside his man and then fired low inside the near post past Passant.
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