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A Month in the Illustrious History of Spurs


(Compiled by Logan Holmes)

March is a defining month of any season. On occasions it is a time when hopes are quashed but on others it is a step towards further glory. This review tries to cover both in equal measure.



Southampton 2 Spurs 6 (aet) F.A.Cup 5th Round Replay. A match remembered for the remarkable comeback and for Ronny Rosenthal’s incredible three goal contribution to the win.  Spurs’ cause looked lost when they were two goals down before half time but an inspired substitution by Gerry Francis saw Rosenthal score twice to take the game into extra time. Just returned from injury Rosenthal scored twice in two minutes, having been on the pitch less than fifteen minutes.  He then completed his hat-trick in extra time and Southampton collapsed with further goals from Teddy Sheringham, Nicky Barmby and Darren Anderton.



Spurs 1 Liverpool 2 This 1st Division game marked the end of an era for Spurs. The team had been having a difficult season and this defeat meant that they had only won once in eight League games, a 2-1 victory at Sheffield Wednesday in their previous match. Chris Waddle scored for Spurs after two minutes but Liverpool won with a last minute goal, denying Spurs a deserved point. This was to be Steve Perryman’s last League appearance.  Following a Cup defeat to Everton two days later, he was dropped and joined Oxford United. Perryman amassed a record 655 appearances and served Spurs loyally from his debut in 1969. As Captain he led the team to the Cup victories of the 1980s and was an inspirational and committed leader and a model professional.



Spurs 1 Norwich City 0 LEAGUE CUP FINAL at Wembley.  Ralph Coates scored the goal which took the League Cup to White Hart Lane for the second time.  He had been substitute on the day but an injury after twenty five minutes to the unlucky John Pratt gave Coates his chance.  Norwich defended stoutly throughout the game but the breakthrough came after 72 minutes.  Spurs then became more dominant in a game that was memorable only to Coates and Spurs fans.

Team: Jennings; Kinnear, Knowles; Pratt (Coates), England, Beal; Gilzean, Perryman, Chivers, Peters, Pearce.



Sunderland 1 Spurs 1 F.A.Cup 6th Round.  This was a game that tested the soon to be ‘Double’ winning team to the limit  Sunderland were in the 2nd Division and the atmosphere at Roker Park was extraordinary.  Cliff Jones gave Spurs the lead after nine minutes with a header from a partially cleared corner. The rest of the half was tranquil but Smith hit the post just before halftime. However, in the second half Sunderland were transformed and forced Spurs to defend.  The 61,236 crowd awoke and roared their team to an equaliser. Weaker teams would have succumbed but Blanchflower galvanized the team which held out for the replay.



Spurs 0 Sunderland 1 F.A.Cup 6th Round  Spurs’ record crowd of 75,038 spectators witnessed the team lose by a single goal in this game.  However, a controversial refereeing decision denied Spurs an opening goal. A Colin Lyman shot beat the goalkeeper but Jack Gibbons following up to make sure the ball went in, handled and although the referee gave the goal, a linesman flagged for handball and the goal was disallowed.



Spurs 0 Real Madrid 1 UEFA Cup Quarter-Final (1st Leg).  In all European competitions, Spurs had maintained an unbeaten home record since their debut in 1961.  Some of the performances had overturned deficits in exhilarating performances but in this game Spurs lost their unbeaten record in bizarre circumstances.  The only goal came in a Real breakaway, Ray Clemence palmed out a cross which struck Steve Perryman on the knee and rebounded into the goal. Spurs battled gamely in the return game but without reward and the scoreless draw was insufficient. Perryman’s European career ended with a dismissal for a professional foul.



Manchester City 2 Spurs 4 F.A.Cup 6th Round A memorable game, not just because Spurs won through to a semi-final tie against Arsenal, but because of the football that Spurs played, the hat-trick scored by Nayim and the fact that the game had to be stopped due to a pitch invasion by the City fans.  City went into the lead but Spurs were ahead at halftime through goals from Nayim and Sedgeley. In the second half Spurs took control with Nayim scoring twice. Turner had a goal disallowed and direct from the free-kick City went the length of the pitch and scored. This was the signal for the City supporters to spill onto the pitch. The game was halted and the players left the pitch for thirteen minutes while the mounted police restored order.



Spurs 5 Sunderland 0 The 6th Round F.A.Cup Replay, attracted 64,797 supporters willing Spurs to victory.  Sunderland had had their day and now it was time for Spurs to show their superiority. Fans had queued for ten hours to get in and they saw Spurs sweep majestically into the semi-final. Spurs were three ahead by half-time with goals from Les Allen, Bobby Smith and Terry Dyson.  After 65 minutes Dyson scored his second and five minutes later Dave Mackay completed the scoring.



Spurs 1 Birmingham City 0 F.A.Cup 6th Round 2nd Replay at Molineaux No longer do we have extra replays to determine who wins through but this tie went to three games before Spurs won with a goal from Sonny Walters. The original match was at St Andrews where Spurs earned a 1-1 draw with a goal from Les Bennett.  In the replay at White Hart Lane Bennett again scored and with Len Duquemin ensured a 2-2 draw after extra time.



‘The day that cemented the rivalry between Spurs and Arsenal.’  Not content with moving in from Woolwich some time earlier, now they managed to connive their way into the 1st Division at the expense of Spurs.  When football had stopped at the out-break of war, Spurs had been in the relegation position in the 1st Division.  However, in preparation for the resumption of football it was decided to increase the size of the League with 22 teams in the 1st Division.  How would this be settled?  Arsenal persuaded their ‘friends’ that they should be one of the promoted clubs as they had been a member of the League for far longer than Spurs, even though they had finished the pre-war season in 5th place. Not surprisingly this has never been forgotten by Spurs fans.



Liverpool 1 Spurs 2 F.A.Cup 6th Round. One of the truly memorable performances of the decade.  Having fought back at Southampton Spurs had a visit to Anfield as their reward but it wasn’t a ground with many happy memories for them. Liverpool took the lead late in the first half but Teddy Sheringham managed to equalize right at the end of the half.  In the second half Spurs played much better and it looked set for a replay but with two minutes remaining, Sheringham put Jurgen Klinsmann through to score the winner. A great result for Spurs but sadly it was not built upon as Spurs produced one of their worst semi-final performances when losing to Everton.   



Spurs 4 Bolton Wanderers 1 Spurs had started the season poorly, losing heavily in many of the early games.  However, from late October their form had improved and inspired by Bobby Smith’s goal scoring they were making progress in the league.  This game showed Smith’s importance to the team as he completed his third hat-trick of the season, giving him seven goals in his last three League games.  The other Spurs goal came from Johnny Brooks.  Spurs would eventually finish 3rd in the League, something that would have seemed impossible given the early season results.



Liverpool 3 Spurs 1(aet) LEAGUE/MILK CUP FINAL at Wembley. Thirteenth, unlucky for some and certainly for Spurs in their centenary year.  Two amazing records finally came to an end in this game – unbeaten in domestic Cup Finals and unbeaten at Wembley.  However, it looked to be going so well with Steve Archibald giving Spurs the lead after 11 minutes.  Liverpool pressed but the Spurs defence was holding firm and then with four minutes Archibald had a chance to secure victory but delayed his shot and the chance was gone.  Within a minute Liverpool had equalised and in extra time they scored twice more against a deflated Spurs team.  However, Spurs were still looking for success in the League, the F.A.Cup and in Europe.

Team: Clemence; Perryman, Hughton; Price, Hazard(Roberts), Miller; Ardiles, Archhibald, Galvin, Hoddle, Crooks.



Spurs 1 Ipswich Town 3 This is the match that cost Spurs the chance of winning the ‘Double’ for a second successive season. If Spurs had won this game by a similar margin they would have been Champions on goal average.  As it was Spurs lost to Alf Ramsey’s team who had just been promoted.  Ipswich won both games against Spurs and the goal scored by Jimmy Greaves was only a consolation when the whole season was taken into consideration.  Spurs had just qualified for the F.A.Cup semi-final and were in the European Cup semi-finals but they were unable to cope with Ipswich’s unorthodox game plan.



Wimbledon 0 Spurs 2 F.A.Cup 6th Round.  Wimbledon were proving difficult to beat and earlier in the season had won at White Hart Lane in the League.  This tie was televised and Spurs were being set up for a Cup shock but the team had come into a good vein of form , although they had lost the semi-final replay in the League Cup to Arsenal at the beginning of the month.  In this game the team applied themselves well, ensuring they coped with Wimbledon’s long ball tactics and goals from Hoddle and Waddle ensured the ‘Diamond Lights’ were still shining for the semi-final tie.




Victory at Anfield Spurs won the 1st Division game in 1912 by 2-1 through goals from Ernie Newman and Thomas Mason, two players who don’t rank highly in Spurs history making only 39 appearances between them and this was the only goal scored by Mason.  However, events over the next 73 years brought greater significance to their feat that day because in that time no Spurs team won at Anfield.  Amazingly, on the exact same date in 1985 Spurs unexpectedly returned to London having won 1-0, thanks to a goal from Garth Crooks.  It was a well deserved victory and at last Spurs supporters didn’t have to listen to tales linking the ‘Titanic’ and their results at Anfield.

Bye Bye Jimmy on this day in 1970 Spurs greatest goalscorer, Jimmy Greaves, was transferred to West Ham United.



Manchester City 1 Spurs 0 F.A.Cup Semi-Final at Villa Park.  Spurs were finding it difficult to progress beyond the semi-final, for the third time since the war, Spurs lost a semi-final tie at Villa Park. Tommy Harmer had played an important part in ensuring Spurs progress to the semi-final but the manager, Jimmy Anderson, decided to drop him from this game feeling his light build would struggle against the stronger City defenders. However, Spurs struggled and went behind and then with time running out, Captain Danny Blanchflower moved centre half Maurice Norman forward as he had successfully done in the previous round. Although Spurs should have had a penalty, they couldn’t equalize and afterwards the manager was furious at Blanchflower’s changes.  As a consequence, he resigned as captain and didn’t hold that position for the next two seasons.



Burnley 0 Spurs 3 F.A.Cup Semi-Final at Villa Park.  At the fourth attempt, Spurs returned successfully from a semi-final tie at Villa Park.  Burnley were the reigning Champions and Spurs were well on the way to claiming their title.  The previous League encounter at White Hart Lane had ended 4-4 after a stirring comeback by Burnley.  In the semi-final Spurs took the lead after half an hour and went further ahead when Smith scored his second in the second half. This deflated Burnley and Cliff Jones added the third before the end.  Spurs were on their way to Wembley for the first time.



Spurs 5 Aston Villa 5 This was a transitional season with little of note.  It had started well enough but following defeat in the Cup at Preston in early March the team was to win only two of their final thirteen League games.  New young players were introduced to try to stem the flow of goals, while, this game apart, goals were had to find.  Initially in this game, things looked bright enough, Spurs were three ahead after fifteen minutes, 4-1 ahead at half-time and 5-1 up after five minutes of the second half.  The scorers were Gilzean, Greaves, Saul, L.Brown and Robertson. Then came the Villa fight back.  They scored three goals in four minutes, equalised with 11 minutes to go and should have won when with three minutes remaining they were clean through, took the ball around Pat Jennings but hesitated and allowed Alan Mullery to recover to clear.    



Spurs 3 1.FC Cologne 0 UEFA Cup 4th round 2nd Leg As winners of the League Cup the previous season, Spurs European adventure in the UEFA Cup continued with a comfortable win, ensuring that there were no slip ups after their 2-1 win in Germany in the 1st Leg.  Spurs increased their aggregate lead with goals from Martin Chivers, Martin Peters and Ralph Coates.  The semi-final tie saw them drawn to play East German opponents, 1.FC Lokomotiv Leipzig.



Leicester City 0 Spurs 1 WORTHINGTON CUP FINAL at Wembley A day filled with European and Cup drama.

In 1953 Spurs lost an F.A.Cup semi-final tie when an Alf Ramsey mistake conceded the winning goal with ten seconds left.  

In 1962 Spurs lost 3-1 to Benfica in the European Cup semi final 1st Leg tie in Lisbon. However to mark the last success experienced by Spurs we note this Cup victory thanks to a last minute goal from Allan Nielsen. In a rather dour game, Spurs only came to life when reduced to ten men when Justin Edinburgh was sent off.  The game seemed to be heading for extra time when Iversen broke on the right to cross and Nielsen was there to head into the net after Keller had pushed the ball out.

Team: Walker; Carr, Vega, Campbell, Edinburgh; Anderton, Freund, Nielsen, Ginola (Sinton); Iversen, Ferdinand.



Spurs 1 Newcastle United 2 Even the ‘Double’ winning team could have their off days. Newcastle, facing relegation, were clinging on in the first half with their goalkeeper having a starring role. At half-time Spurs were only one ahead through a goal from Les Allen.  To make matters worse Danny Blanchflower had missed a penalty and then in the second half Newcastle began to come into the game and scored after an hour.  With little over ten minutes left they took the lead, holding on for an unexpected victory.



Spurs 5 Southampton 1 Following the previous weekend’s victory at Anfield Spurs celebrated at White Hart Lane with a convincing victory over Southampton.  The goals came from Ardiles, Falco, Hoddle, Crooks and Brooke.  At this point Spurs looked set for a challenge for the League title but their home form deserted them and of the next six home League games they won only one, losing the others.  They eventually finished third on 77 points, thirteen points behind Champions, Everton, and missing second place to Liverpool on goal difference.  Throughout the season they lost 11 League games, seven of them at home and the four away defeats were during September and October.



Newcastle United 1 Spurs 3 A 1st Division game which saw Spurs winning with a hat-trick from their prolific goal scoring centre forward, George Hunt.  This was the second of his three hat-tricks in the space of six games and in total he scored five hat-tricks during the season including four in a game against Sheffield United.  He scored 35 League and Cup goals in season 1933-34, as Spurs finished third in the League, to add to 36 the previous year and 26 in the season before that.  He held the aggregate goal scoring record until Bobby Smith surpassed it.  Capped by England on three occasions, he scored 138 goals in 198 appearances.



Preston North End 2 Spurs 1 F.A.Cup Semi-Final at Hillsborough  Refereeing decisions have had a bearing on many of Spurs semi-final appearances and even away back in this game Spurs didn’t have the rub of the green.  Spurs had beaten Preston in the previous year’s semi-final and Jimmy Seed gave them a half time lead in this game. In the second half Preston were revitalized and equalized but then Spurs suffered a refereeing injustice. Spurs should have taken the lead from a Bert Bliss shot but the referee blew his whistle to attend to an injured Preston player.  He claimed that he blew up prior to the ball crossing the line and disallowed the goal. To make things worse, the player wasn’t even injured. Preston then went on to score a winning goal.



Sunderland 0 Spurs 1 Now-a-days with substitutes you never see outfield players taking over in goal when the goalkeeper is injured or gets sent off.  It always added excitement to a game to see the substitute goalkeeper flapping at crosses or making amazing saves.  For this game Spurs regular goalkeepers, Alex Hunter and Bill Jacques, were injured.  Their deputy for the whole game was Tommy Clay, an England international full back.  He kept a clean sheet and Spurs won with a goal from Jimmy Seed.        



Spurs 7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 4 An eleven goal thriller.  The Spurs goals came from Eddie Clayton, Les Allen, Alan Gilzean (2) and Cliff Jones (3).  A number of interesting facts about this game – this was Les Allen’s last goal for Spurs, Keith Weller a young forward made his debut and Jimmy Greaves was playing and surprisingly did not score.  Wolves had scored first but Spurs equalized and at half-time the score was 1-1. With six minutes to go the score was 5-4 and then Jones scored two late goals for his hat-trick. With six matches to play Spurs were fourth in the League but eleven points behind the top three teams.



Spurs 3 Reading 0 The two remaining non-League teams had been drawn to meet each other in the Cup.  The first game at Reading had ended 1-1 but Spurs won the replay with goals from Sandy Brown (2) and David Copeland.  Spurs played well and took the lead after seven minutes through Copeland and Brown scored either side of half-time to make the game safe.  They also had two goals disallowed but the Spurs dream of winning the Cup was still alive as they proceeded to the semi-final.



Spurs 1 Arsenal 0 Spurs had earned a point in a New Year’s Day scoreless draw at Highbury and in this frenetic, bruising return match, Spurs won thanks to a first half goal from Gary Stevens.  Such was the pace of the game that only Hoddle managed to show his skill, inspiring them in a hectic ten minute spell around the goal, midway through the half, that could have brought more goals.  However, in the second half Spurs were less effective and only three outstanding saves by Ray Clemence earned his team the three points. Despite a strong finish to the season Spurs finished tenth and manager Peter Shreeve was replaced by David Pleat.



Spurs 3 Queen’s Park Rangers 0 In these non-League days, Spurs played in three Leagues, the Southern League, the Western League and the London League as well as different Cup competitions. This victory in a London League match ensured that Spurs won that competition finishing four points ahead of West Ham United.  The goals were scored by Hughes (pen), Copeland and Chalmers.  Hughes and Copeland had both been members of the 1901 F.A.Cup winning team.  This was the last season that Spurs played the first team in the London League as from the following season it became a reserve competition.



Spurs 3 Manchester United 1 F.A.Cup Semi-Final at Hillsborough A second successive semi-final victory as Spurs endeavoured to retain the Cup.  Goals from Jimmy Greaves, Terry Medwin and Cliff Jones ensured that Spurs won comfortably and returned to Wembley to meet the team they defeated in the previous year’s semi-final.  Greaves and Jones gave Spurs a two goal half-time lead.  United scored with seven minutes remaining but Medwin ensured Spurs victory, scoring three minutes later.