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The Double Years

November 1960

The Double Series was written by the eminent Brian Judson

The month began with Spurs playing a midweek game against Cardiff City, which had been postponed because of international selections. Spurs began shakily against Cardiff and slipped behind in the 20th minute to a goal by Donnelly. He came down the middle unmarked to slip the ball beyond the advancing Brown. It took Spurs until ten minutes before half-time to equalise. In the 35th minute, Medwin took a throw-in on the left, Mackay's centre found Dyson, who nodded the ball home. Just before half-time, Allen dashed down the wing, eluding three defenders, passed to Medwin, who crashed the ball home.

In the second half, Spurs won a controversial penalty. The referee decided that Steve Gammon had handled a cross from Terry Dyson. The furious Cardiff defenders disputed that. But eventually the referee quietened them down and the unperturbed Danny Blanchflower slammed the ball into the net. With five minutes to go, Donnelly flung himself at Tapscott's centre to reduce the arrears. Spurs held out as Cardiff poured forward in search of an equaliser until the final whistle echoed.(Final score - Cardiff 2 Spurs 3 - Attendance:- 47,605)

On the Saturday, Spurs were again at home, this time to Fulham. Cliff Jones, who had been playing in an inter-League match against Italy three nights before, had been injured in that game but was risked against Fulham. He was not quite as effective as he normally was but he played a full part in the match. He scored twice through great headers. His first goal was Spurs' second. Jimmy Langley tried to cut out a low centre from Dyson but Cliff courageously flung himself at the ball to force the ball home. His second goal fifteen minutes from time put Spurs 3-1 ahead at a time when Fulham were threatening to get back into the game.

Les Allen scored two of the goals and White added another. The reporter covering the game blamed 'keeper Tony Macedo for at least two of the Spurs goals, citing his poor clearances. Veteran Roy Bentley and Johnny Haynes were the stars of a Fulham side that also featured a certain Jimmy Hill.(Final score - Spurs 5 Fulham 1 - Attendance:- 56,270)

Spurs cause was helped by the unexpected loss of a point for challengers Sheffield Wednesday, who were held to a goalless draw at Old Trafford by lowly Manchester United. This left the Owls seven points behind Spurs but with a game in hand.

Everton drew 1-1 at home to West Bromwich Albion. This left the Toffees a point behind the Owls. Wolves beat Nottingham Forest at Molineux 5-3, a game that left the visitors nailed to the bottom of the table four points behind Bolton, in 21st place, who had won 3-1 at home to Manchester City. Fifth were Burnley, who lost 2-0 to Aston Villa, who were now 6th.

Blackpool thrashed Cardiff City, 6-1, to drag the Welsh side down into the relegation zone. Newcastle lost 4-2 at Chelsea as they, too, dropped to the fringe of the relegation battle. But the biggest score of the day was the 6-0 thrashing of Arsenal by West Ham at Upton Park.

The long unbeaten run finally came to an end at Hillsborough when Sheffield Wednesday beat Spurs 2-1. It was a titanic end to end game that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Reserve 'keeper Roy McLaren made the save of his life to deny Les Allen just before half-time. The ball was cleared upfield, Craig whipped the ball on and Griffin fired the ball past Bill Brown to put the Owls ahead. Two minutes later, Spurs were level after the referee overruled his linesman and awarded a free-kick to Spurs instead of a goal-kick to the Owls. Mackay took a quick free-kick and Norman outjumped everyone else to head the equaliser.

For a while in the second half, Spurs looked likely to win. But in the 67th minute, the Owls snatched the winner. Don Megson, father of Gary, ran down the left wing. Megson centred the ball and Ellis headed the ball over Norman, then fired the ball against someone's legs. Fantham crashed the rebound home. Spurs had still not won at Hillsborough since winning a Second Division game 3-0 on Thursday 16th September 1937, when Johnny Morrison, Jackie Gibbons and Fred Sargent had scored.

What few knew is that after the game the Spurs players sung all the way home in the coach. Their release from defending their long unbeaten run was very apparent.(Final score - Sheffield Wednesday 2 Spurs 1 - Attendance:- 53,988)

Sheffield Wednesday's victory reduced the gap to five points. Everton surprisingly dropped a point at Ninian Park to lowly Cardiff City in a 1-1 draw. Burnley beat Wolves in a humdinger at Turf Moor when the champions beat Wolves 5-3. The bunch of clubs chasing Tottenham saw Burnley in fourth place with 22 points and the possible challengers stretching down to 10th place where Blackburn had 18 points.

At the bottom of the table, the relegation clash between Nottingham Forest and Bolton Wanderers ended all square at 2-2. Blackpool's 3-4 defeat at Newcastle dumped the Seasiders back in 21st place. Manchester United were 19th following their 3-1 defeat by Birmingham City.

On the Monday night, Spurs took a break from the League and played a friendly against Tbilisi Dynamo. Spurs easily won this match, 5-2. Medwin put Spurs ahead in the 15th minute. Meshki equalised. Mackay restored Spurs' lead just before the break. Dyson increased their lead just after the break. Five minutes later, Medwin made it 4-1. Dyson added the fifth before Barkaya reduced the arrears five minutes from time.(Final score - Spurs 5 Dynamo Tibilisi 5-2 - Attendance:- 38,649)

Spurs returned to the League the following Saturday when they were at home to Birmingham City. Les Allen, who did not score, was the king-pin of the match. He made three of the six goals. Spurs were 3-0 ahead after 14 minutes. Bobby Smith and Cliff Jones swapped passes before White blasted the first goal after only two minutes. Shortly afterwards, Allen darted past three defenders to present Terry Dyson with an easy chance to score in the 8th minute. Six minutes later, Allen and Smith swapped passes before Jones made it 3-0. The fourth was a header from Jones, followed by a penalty from Smith after Allen had been brought down. Three minutes from time, Jones touched home the sixth.(Final score - Spurs 6 Birmingham 0 - Attendance:- 46,010)

This victory ensured Spurs lead was again seven points as Sheffield Wednesday surprisingly lost 2-1 at Filbert Street. The Owls dropped to 3rd place as Everton thrashed Newcastle United 5-0. Burnley were in 4th place, having beat Bolton Wanderers, 5-3, at Burnden Park. Wolves were 5th, having beaten Preston 3-0.

At the bottom of the table, Nottingham Forest reduced the distance between them and the rest of the division to 2 points by surprisingly winning 4-2 against West Ham at Upton Park. Bolton were 21st. Blackpool drew 1-1 with Arsenal to climb to 20th place and Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion more or less swapped places after Manchester United had beaten the Throstles 3-0 at Old Trafford.

The final game of the month was at the Hawthorns where Spurs beat West Bromwich Albion, 3-1. Spurs were never allowed to settle by a bustling Throstles side. Spurs finally snatched the lead after 21 minutes when Jones back-heeled a pass to Smith, who looked uncomfortably offside, for the rotund Smith to hammer home. The home team's protests were waved away by the referee. Spurs then went further ahead when a four man move left Allen to make his way past a baffled Throstles defence and Allen lobbed the ball to Smith, who headed home. Allen himself scored the third goal when a move that started in Spurs own six yard area ended when Dyson slipped the ball to Allen, to prod the ball home. Howe, later to make his name as a coach at Arsenal under Bertie Mee, reduced the arrears just before half-time. The Midlanders worked hard throughout the second half to try to get back on terms but could not breach the Tottenham defence. There was no disguising the relief that Spurs felt when the final whistle sounded.(Final score - West Brom 1 Spurs 3 - Attendance:- 39,017)

Spurs now had an incredible lead of nine points as Everton crashed 3-2 at Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday crashed 2-1 at home to Aston Villa. Wolves won 3-1 at Fulham to climb to 4th place but Burnley's 2-2 draw with West Ham at Turf Moor saw them slip to 5th place.

Nottingham Forest finally caught the rest of the division by beat Chelsea at the City Ground, 2-1. Bolton's match at Preston and Manchester City's home game to Blackpool were postponed.

The championship looked over and November was scarcely out!

Pos              Pl   W  D  L   For-Ag   Pts
  1 Spurs        19  17  1  1   63-21    35
  2 Everton      19  11  4  4   46-29    26
  3 Sheff Wed    18  11  4  3   30-16    26
  4 Wolves       19  11  4  4   46-35    26
  5 Burnley      19  12  1  6   53-33    25
  6 A. Villa     19  11  2  6   41-38    24
  7 Arsenal      19   9  2  8   30-30    20
  8 Fulham       19   9  2  8   40-46    20
  9 Blackburn    19   8  3  8   37-40    19
 10 West Ham     19   8  3  8   44-41    19
 11 Leicester    19   8  3  8   37-35    19
 12 Chelsea      18   8  2  8   47-43    18
 13 Manc City    17   7  4  6   36-35    18
 14 Newcastle    19   7  1 11   43-54    15
 15 Cardiff      18   5  5  9   25-37    15
 16 B'mingham    19   6  2 11   27-40    14
 17 Man United   18   5  3 10   30-38    13
 18 Preston      18   5  3 10   21-36    13
 19 West Brom    18   5  2 12   28-35    12
 20 Blackpool    18   4  3 11   31-41    11
 21 Bolton       18   4  3 11   25-37    11
 22 Nottm Forest 19   4  3 12   27-45    11

Cheers, Brian

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