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Preview Tranmere v Spurs, 09.10.01
Worthington Cup 3rd Rd

Brian Judson wrote this preview:-

The following are the statistics for Spurs v Tranmere Rovers.


SEASON  DIV   HOME    AWAY

38-39   2     3-1     2-0

Football Lge  P  W  D  L   F   A  Pts
Home (Div 2)  1  1  0  0   3 - 1   2
Away (Div 2)  1  1  0  0   2 - 0   2
====================================
Total(Div 2)  2  2  0  0   5 - 1   4
====================================

FA CUP

SEASON  RD  VENUE  RESULT

52-53   3    A      1-1   Bennett
        3R   H      9-1   McClennan 3 
                          Hollis 2 
                          Baily 2
                          Duquemin 2

LGE CUP

SEASON  RD  VENUE   RESULT

89-90   4    A      2-2   Gascoigne
                          Higgins (o.g)

        4R   H      4-0   Howells 
                          Stewart
                          Mabbutt
                          Allen

Tranmere Rovers have always been the poor relations of Merseyside. Until recently, Tranmere had spent all their playing lives in the lower echelons of the Football League. They were founder-members of the old Third Division (North) when that was set up prior to the start of the 1921-22 season. Apart from a single season in the old Division 2 during the last peace-time season before WW2 broke out, 1938-39, Tranmere had not enjoyed much fame and fortune until they were drawn at home to Spurs in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup in January 1953. The game was played under a pall of January fog before a record crowd. Spurs found it hard to quell the tigerish Tranmere side and were lucky to escape with a draw, thanks to a goal by Les Bennett. The replay at White Hart Lane was a very different story! Tranmere were outclassed from start to finish. It was largely a reserve team that represented Spurs. For the record the two Spurs teams were:

At Tranmere: Ditchburn; Ramsey, Willis; Nicholson, Clarke, Burgess; Walters, Bennett, Duquemin, Baily, Medley.

At WHL: Ditchburn; Ramsey, Willis; Nicholson, Gibbins, Brittan; McClennan, Duquemin, Hollis, Baily, Medley.

Syd McClennan spent most of his time Tottenham in the reserves but always filled the gap when either 'Sonny' Walters or Len Duquemin were absent. I think Syd played in all of the forward positions at one time or another. Hollis didn't stay long at Tottenham. He'd been bought from Norwich as Spurs were having problems in scoring goals and he made his debut in the replay against Tranmere but he could not oust the ageing Duquemin from the First team (Duquemin did not retire until 1957) and Hollis left for Southend, having made only 3 League and 1 Cup appearance for Spurs. Gibbins was another reserve team player loyal to the club who found his way barred by either Clarke or Burgess. Brittan was yet another reserve who was probably too good for the reserves but not good enough for the First Team. Brittan lingered on into the Nicholson era as a reserve team player.

This was the season when Spurs went all the way to Villa Park for the Semi-Final against Blackpool and Alf Ramsey's sensational error in misjudging a back pass to Ted Ditchburn, which cost Spurs a place in the Final which they would have been favourites to win.

Tranmere Rovers came very close in 1992-93 to winning a place in the Premier League. They finished in 4th place whilst Everton came close to swapping places with them, struggling against relegation. Tranmere, in fact, enjoyed three good seasons in Division 1 before they slid down the table. They were runners-up in the Football League Cup in 1999-2000.

Before Spurs fans start to count their chickens and assume they have only to turn up and preen themselves to book a place in the next round of the League Cup, they should remember what happened to Southampton on 20th February this year! Southampton were winning 3-0 in the first half of their FA Cup 5th Round replay but lost 4-3. And that was when Glenn Hoddle was still Southampton's Manager!

On the other hand, Spurs might feel the League Cup provides them with the chance to sharpen their shooting boots! Spurs should win this in a canter but the tie is a potential banana skin!!!!

Cheers, Brian

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