Spurs Odyssey Banner

24 years of archives at Spurs Odyssey

Main Page
News and views from Paul Smith, and links to the interactive features of the Spurs Odyssey Site. [more..]
Articles, reports, views, opinions, comments and other features all related to Spurs. [more..]

Match Reports
Preview Spurs v Torquay Utd, 13.09.01

Here is Brian Judson's preview of the game

We have never played Torquay United in the Football League or the Premiership at any time.

Our previous Cup results against them are as follows :


64-65  3   A  D  3-3  Greaves 2 Norman
       3R  H  W  5-1  Greaves 3 Gilzean


71-72  3   A  W  4-1  Chivers 2 Pearce
                      Peters (p)
87-88  2/1 A  L  0-1
       2/2 H  W  3-0  Claesen 2 Cole own goal

As will be seen, we have only played three Cup ties with Torquay United. They are a side who have spent the majority of their Football League career in the bottom half of the lowest Division of the Football League (Division 3 [South] from 1927-1958 and with the exception of seasons 1960-61 to 1961-62 and 1966-67 to 1971-72 they spent all of their time in Division 4. With the revamping of the Football League after the Premier League was set up at the start of season 1992-93, Torquay were founder-members of the reformed Division 3.

Torquay were very unlucky in season 1956-57. They finished runners-up to Ipswich Town in Division 3 (South) on goal-average. Only one team was promoted so Ipswich went up to Division Two for the first time. Torquay have never been closer to making the breakthrough to the top two divisions than they were that season. Just to put things into perspective, Ipswich Town were Champions of the Football League at the end of season 1961-62.

Over the last few years, Torquay have been flirting with the prospect of relegation to the Conference. Indeed they finished bottom of the Football League in 1995-96 but were not relegated because the Football League ruled that Stevenage Borough's ground did not meet the requirements of the Football League's standards. They have also been fortunate to survive on one or two other occasions. Last season they finished 21st in Division 3.

I remember very well the occasion we first played Torquay United at White Hart Lane. We had been drawn against them in the Third Round of the FA Cup in season 1964-65. This was a transitional season as we were rebuilding the side after the retirement of Danny Blanchflower, the premature death of John White and the departures of other members of the Double team, notably Bobby Smith. We had travelled to Plainmoor for the tie and we were extremely fortunate to survive the 90 minutes. Bill Nicholson was enraged by our display that day and was incandescent with rage in the press, declaring Spurs to have been as lazy as he'd ever seen them. His words had their effect as Spurs romped to a 5-1 victory. Jimmy Greaves scored a hat-trick that night and Robertson and Gilzean completed the rout.

In 1971-72, Spurs were drawn away to Torquay in the Football League Cup. Bill Nicholson had not forgotten the events of the last occasion we had visited Plainmoor and reminded the team they were not to be taken lightly. Chivers scored twice, Peters from the spot and Jimmy Pearce popped up to claim a goal.

The last occasion we played Torquay United was in early 1987-88. This was during David Pleat's final days as our manager before he had to resign his appointment in the glare of some adverse publicity from the tabloid newspapers. We were awful at Torquay and deservedly lost 1-0. But because the tie was spread over two legs, we were able to retrieve the deficit and progress to the next round by winning 3-0 at Tottenham. Nico Claesen scored twice and a Torquay defender conceded an own goal.

Tottenham have traditionally struggled against lesser clubs in cup tie football. Such ties are banana skins because the lesser clubs tend to play out of their skins whilst the major clubs tend to go through the motions, thinking they are going to beat them simply by turning up to play. When a big club plays on the ground of a lesser club, the massive interest in a tie generates a great deal of interest and the locals tend to get behind the team. It can take a while before a team who are unfamiliar with the ground can settle down and they often find they have conceded a goal and have to chase the game before they have done so.

However, now that we have won our first game of the season, hopefully we won't allow Torquay to impose themselves on us on Thursday night. I expect the attendance will be the usual low one as the game will be televised. I won't be able to see this match as I don't subscribe to ITV Sport but hopefully I'll be able to read some good match reports of the game on Friday morning.


Cheers, Brian

Top of page | Back to Fixtures and Results

Last season's match
Read the full report of the corresponding fixture from last season here
Last Five corresponding Matches
Read Declan Mulcahy's exclusive summary of the last five corresponding fixtures
Fixtures, appearances, current league table, form guide, reserves fixtures, and Spurs Honours. [more..]
Find match reports, appearances, goalscorers and features from previous seasons. [more..]
Pick of the Week
Every week we select a Spurs related site from the whole world wide web and highlight it in this section. [more..]
View a comprehensive list of links to other Spurs related sites. (With a few extras) [more..]
About this site
Site Owner
Paul Smith

Search Now:
In Association with Amazon.co.uk

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Full details van be found via the Spurs Odyssey Privacy Policy