TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3 NOTTINGHAM FOREST 1
PERENNIAL loanee Ryan Mason believes he has proven his worth to boss Mauricio Pochettino after climbing off the bench and initiating Tottenham’s revival during their Capital One Cup comeback over Championship leaders Nottingham Forest last night.
Trailing to Jorge Grant’s second-half opener, substitute Mason drew Spurs level before Roberto Soldado diverted home an Andros Townsend shot and fellow replacement Harry Kane sealed victory in stoppage time.
Having been farmed out to five different clubs on a temporary basis, Mason hopes his role in laying the foundations for Spurs to set up a fourth round tie at home to Brighton will see him feature more prominently in the first-team picture.
“I’ve always been confident in my ability and I’ve had to wait a lot longer than a lot of other players but I can’t moan, I came on and felt I made a difference,” said Mason.
Forest were inches away from opening the scoring in the 23rd minute when midfielder Ben Osborn crashed a left-footed effort against the crossbar from the edge of the area.
Tottenham were in desperate need of inspiration and Brazil midfielder Paulinho almost obliged, only for his clever flick from a Ben Davies centre to drift narrowly wide of the Forest upright shortly after the break.
Forest sensed the home side’s vulnerability and opened the scoring in the 61st minute when Grant calmly side-footed a low left-wing cross from striker Lars Veldwijk past Michel Vorm.
Spurs levelled in the 72nd minute through Mason, who notched his first goal for the club with a dipping right-footed shot from 25 yards which crept inside Dorus De Vries’ right-hand post.
Winger Townsend smacked the Forest crossbar before providing the ammunition for Soldado to showcase his poaching instincts by guiding the England winger’s shot beyond a stranded De Vries in the 83rd minute.
Spurs secured victory when striker Kane latched onto club record signing Eric Lamela’s disguised pass to race clear of the Forest defence and fire low into the net across De Vries.