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!