Monday, March 26, 2012

Tottenham v Bolton 1948 FA Cup Match Report

Tottenham and Bolton meet on Tuesday at White Hart Lane in their re-arranged FA Cup 6th Round tie which was abandoned  a week ago on Saturday because of the cardiac arrest suffered by Fabrice Muamba, the Bolton midfield player.  At the time as the medical staff worked with him on the pitch and as he was carried to the ambulance, there were very grave concerns about him but thankfully he has taken remarkable early steps in his recovery and all wish him continued progress in the coming weeks.

Bolton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur  FA Cup 3rd Round 1947 - 48

While writing the previous article for this blog, Spurs FA Cup Record against Bolton, I came across this match report for their 1948 meeting in an old scrapbook which I had bought in an auction at Sportingold.  That season, Spurs who were in the old 2nd Division progressed to the semi-final where they lost out in extra time to Blackpool who had only equalised in the final minutes of normal time.  To reach that stage Spurs had defeated Bolton (a) 2 - 0 (aet), West Bromwich Albion (h) 3 - 1, Leicester City (h) 5 - 2 and Southampton (a) 1 - 0.
Bolton were in the 1st Division and the match was played at their old ground, Burnden Park, where Spurs had won the FA Cup Final in 1901 in a replay against Sheffield United.  In season 1947-48, the football authorities decided to dispense with replays so as to avoid unnecessary absenteeism from work in the early post war years.  As the game was level after ninety minutes, extra time was played.

The following is a transcript of the match report from a newspaper of the time.
10th January, 1948 
Scored When 
On His Knees  
Bolton Wand.  0  Tottenham H.  2 (aet)
Extra time produced the goals and 
most of the thrills at Bolton.  Up
 to the end of the first 90 minutes
 the game was of a rather mediocre
 kind with Spurs definitely revealing
 the greater craft and understanding.
Bolton put in plenty of pressure, 
but made no real impression on a 
strong defence in which Ditchburn 
and Woodward were in masterly form.
When extra time started Spurs 
would have taken the lead on their 
merits but for Brook heading Baily's 
shot away with Hanson yards out of goal.
Almost immediately afterwards, 
however, Atkinson missed his 
tackle and let in Duquemin who 
shot from a splendid goal after running 
30 yards with the ball.
Bolton's strenous efforts to get 
on terms and the constant danger 
from Tottenham breakaways made 
the game end on an exciting note 
and there was a dramatic finale 
when Duquemin went almost on his 
knees to head a second goal almost on time. 
Spurs's only fault was that they 
allowed this match to last too long.  
They were obviously superior to 
Bolton in football art, but with their 
greater speed in attack they should 
have had Bolton's shaky defence 
beaten well inside 90 minutes.
Baily, at inside right, was the 
cleverest forager on the field, and 
both Cox and Stevens were good on 
the wing although the latter faced 
Bolton's best defender in Roberts.

Team: Ditchburn; Tickridge, Buckingham; Nicholson, Woodward, Burgess; Cox, Baily, Duquemin, Bennett, Stevens 

The team contained five of the players who would be part of the successful Tottenham 'Push and Run' side at the turn of the decade - Ted Ditchburn, Bill Nicholson, Ronnie Burgess, Eddie Baily and Len Duquemin. 


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