Sunday, October 15, 2006

Spurs in History - 15th October

15th October, 1963
Arsenal 4 Spurs 4 (1st Division)

Dave Mackay
The match was played on a Tuesday evening because of the previous weekend’s International games. Spurs and Arsenal had both started the season well with Spurs second and Arsenal a point behind in sixth. It was an exciting and ‘storming’ game that entertained for ninety minutes. Spurs were 4-2 ahead at the interval with goals from Jimmy Greaves, Bobby Smith(2) and Dave Mackay.  Greaves had scored after three minutes with Bobby Smith adding a second after twenty minutes.  Ten minutes later Arsenal pulled one back from a penalty. Then followed a frantic final fifteen minutes to half-time as Dave Mackay restored Spurs' two goal advantage, Spurs then had a goal disallowed before Arsenal scored a second but Smith managed to restore Spurs' two goal lead as half-time approached.

However, Arsenal showed never-say-die spirit and battled to the end although they had been assisted by two refereeing decisions in the first half that probably robbed Spurs of the points.  The referee had awarded a harsh penalty when Spurs were two up and then disallowed a goal which would have made the score 4-1 but a minute later Arsenal made it 3-2.  With five minutes remaining Spurs still held the two goal lead acquired by half-time but Arsenal pulled one back and then equalised with only seconds of injury time remaining.

As a newspaper report of the day says, ‘Spurs were robbed!’ Nothing new there!

Team: Brown, Baker, Henry, Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay, Jones, White, Smith, Greaves, Dyson.

15th October, 1967
Spurs 1 Blackpool 3 (1st Division)

For the previous two seasons Spurs had had two International goalkeepers competing for that position. Pat Jennings, the Northern Ireland International, and Bill Brown, the Scottish International and member of the famous 'Double' team, had shared the appearances for two seasons but as Jennings gained more experience, Bill Nicholson had selected him as his first choice goalkeeper at the start of the 1966-67 season.

The decision was then taken to sell Bill Brown to Northampton Town for a nominal fee.  He was sold two days before the game against Blackpool and then Jennings was injured in training.  This meant a debut for the inexperienced reserve goalkeeper, Roy Brown.

Spurs had started the season well and were undefeated in their previous five home games.  They came into this game following three successive wins while Blackpool were languishing near the foot of the table without an away win to their name.  Spurs went into the game without fullback Phil Beal and centre forward Alan Gilzean as well as Jennings.  Cyril Knowles scored Spurs' goal, the only highlight of the day as Blackpool earned an unexpected victory.

Blackpool's season was an unsuccessful struggle against relegation while following this game Spurs went into something of a slump during October and November.  They recovered to finish the season in third place and win the FA Cup but improved results in this period would have brought greater success.

Unfortunately for Roy Brown this was his only senior appearance for Spurs.  He was later transferred to Reading and also played for Notts County.

Team: Brown,R., Clayton, Knowles, Mullery, England, Mackay, Robertson, Greaves, Saul, Venables, Jones.


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