"It was Twenty Years ago today!"
article published January, 2018, but first written in 1998 by the late Brian Judson
Monday, January 5th, 1998
Football Association Challenge Cup, Third Round
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (2) 3, FULHAM (0) 1
Tottenham Hotspur: Walker (sub Baardsen, 80); Carr, Vega, Campbell,
Wilson; Calderwood, Brady, Ginola (sub Mahorn, 43), Dominguez, Clemence;
Substitutes *NOT* used : Mabbutt, Hill, Clapham.
Booked : Dominguez.
Goalscorers : Clemence 20, Calderwood 28, Taylor (own goal) 61.
Fulham: Taylor; Lawrence, Neilson, Coleman, Herrera, Smith, Bracewell,
Trollope, Hayward, Peschisolido, Moody.
Substitutes *NOT* used : McAnespie, Walton, Carpenter, Thomas, Blake.
Booked : Neilson, Trollope, Smith.
Goalscorer : Smith 54.
Referee : Mr G Poll (Tring, Hertfordshire).
Attendance : 27,909.
Tottenham negotiated a potential banana skin in the form of Fulham to
safely qualify for the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. The game probably came
too early in the cycle of creating the Harrods version of Fulham Football
Club for them to seriously entertain any hopes of pulling off a shock win
at Tottenham. But Fulham had their moments and, perhaps, with a touch
more steadiness, might have severely embarrassed Tottenham.
The injury situation at Tottenham shows no sign of abating. In fact, the
list seems to grow longer than ever. The seriousness of the situation was
highlighted by the fact that Mabbutt was the only recognised first team
player sitting on the bench.
Tottenham desperately need new players and look to be on the verge of
strengthening their defence. The Evening Standard reported that
Hinchcliffe, the Everton defender, already rejected by Kendall once
before, had signed for Tottenham but this has yet to be formally
confirmed by the club. (Ed (2018):- This did not happen)
Until Ginola went off shortly before half-time, he was the most
influential player on the park. Ginola was the one player who was capable
of slowing the game down and switching the attack to a different flank.
Fulham tried to play their normal passing game but found it increasingly
difficult to do so as they had to switch players to help their over
stretched defence to deal with the bubbly runs being made by Carr and
The first real shot of the night came from Klinsmann. In the 16th minute,
Carr sent Brady scampering down the right wing. As he neared the
bye-line, Brady steadied himself and chipped a centre that Klinsmann
acrobatically met but whose shot was inches too high.
But shortly after that, Tottenham took the lead. Dominguez slipped the
ball to Clemence, who almost lost the ball to Neilson. Neilson, however,
fumbled his clearance and Clemence regained possession of the ball and
slip it past Taylor.
Some ten minutes later, Spurs were 2-0 ahead. Dominguez took a corner.
The ball rebounded off a Fulham defender to Vega, who quickly hooked the
ball back into the packed area. Calderwood reacted first, sticking out a
leg to divert the ball behind Taylor.
Spurs were fortunate to go into half-time with a clean sheet. Spurs
conceded a free-kick on the edge of their penalty area. From the
free-kick, Trollope thumped the ball onto an upright.
After half-time, Spurs seemed to be content to knock the ball around
carelessly and to waste as much time as possible. They now had no one to
stand over the ball and vary the pace as Ginola had done before his early
departure. There were also too many players, particularly Vega, who were
not thinking properly when they distributed the ball.
It came as no surprise to me when Fulham pulled a goal back. For some
time, Spurs had been allowing Lawrence scope to rifle lobs into
Tottenham's area. It was inevitable that one of them would cause maximum
panic in Tottenham's ranks and so it proved. With Tottenham running
around like head-less chickens, a lob from Lawrence was met by Smith's
outstretched leg and Tottenham no longer looked the sure-fire bets to
meet Barnsley in the Fourth Round of the Cup. The Fulham supporters in
the lower echelon's of Tottenham's rebuilt North Stand made the most of
It was soon after that that Walker was injured at the height of a Fulham
attack. Walker needed lengthy treatment before resuming. Memories of Ray
Clemence's injury in 1983 were revived. In those days there were no
substitute goalkeepers and Graham Roberts had played the final half-hour
in Tottenham's goal to preserve a goal-less draw.
Walker played on but was looking increasingly unhappy as he did so. On
more than one occasion, he signalled to the bench that he wanted to come
off. But the bench did not seem to want to perform a substitution and
referee Poll would not stop the game to allow Walker to receive more
But soon after the hour, Tottenham received a stroke of luck that left
Fulham deflated like a balloon that had been spiked. Clemence and
Dominguez swapped passes before Jose rifled in a cross that was headed
down by Brady. Taylor seemed to have gathered the ball safely but then
allowed it to squirm out of his grasp. As he tried to recover the
situation, Taylor only succeeded in pushing the ball over the line.
Fulham were beaten and they knew it. Their only chance was to try to make
the most of Walker's injury but Tottenham's defenders now had the measure
of Peschisolido and never allowed him the scope to create havoc. Their
chance finally disappeared when Walker was allowed to trudge off with ten
minutes left to be replaced by Baardsen. The young lad soon made his
presence known by bawling Vega out for an ill-considered pass back.
The remaining minutes saw Tottenham trying to create a chance for
Klinsmann to score a goal. Typically, Klinsmann looked for players in a
better position than he was, given the fact Fulham quickly had three
players covering him as soon as he received the ball.
This was not a rousing Cup-tie but neither was it a match to cure
insomnia like Everton -v- Newcastle had been on Sunday. Tottenham are
light years away from being a team that can win honours but if they enjoy
similar luck as they experienced with Taylor's goalkeeping howler,
Tottenham may yet surprise everybody. But they must remember that
Middlesbrough progressed to two Wembley Cup Finals last year and forgot
the priority of Premiership survival. Tottenham *MUST NOT* make the same
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