Saturday, March 18, 2006

18th March - Spurs in History

18th March, 1961
FA Cup Semi-Final Day
Spurs 3 Burnley 0 (Villa Park) Smith (2), Jones

Champions, Burnley against the Champions 'elect' and Spurs came out on top. The games between these sides were always close and contested to the full - as is evident by the 4-4 draw at White Hart Lane earlier in the season when Spurs had been four up after 35 minutes.

Villa Park was not Spurs favourite ground for FA Cup semi-finals, having lost the last three played there in 1948, 1853 and 1956 although in League games against Villa they were undefeated since the war.

Burnley started best but after half an hour Spurs had a slice of good fortune that had been missing on the previous semi-final occasions. A Burnley defender misjudged the ball which fell to Bobby Smith who scored. A fortunate and undeserved lead but Spurs should have had a penalty before half-time when the Burnley full back punched out a Terry Dyson header.

Burnley seemed to have equalised two minutes after the break but the goal was disallowed and then Burnley should have had a penalty when Ron Henry clearly handled the ball on the line. Again the referee waved play on and Spurs immediately scored their second.

Smith's second goal took the sting out of Burnley's game and Cliff Jones made sure with the third.

Spurs were on their way to Wembley for the FIRST time.


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