30th November, 1957
On this day in 1957, Tottenham travelled to Old Trafford and defeated Manchester United in a 7-goal thriller.
United were in third place in the 1st Division while Tottenham were without an away win all season. Spurs were a goal down early on when David Pegg scored after 18 minutes. They then caused a shock by scoring four goals in the next twenty five minutes. Centre-forward, Bobby Smith equalised four minutes later and then put Spurs ahead from a pass by Danny Blanchflower. Jackie Blanchflower, Danny’s brother, scored an own goal to increase Spurs’ advantage and Smith completed his hat-trick before the interval with a header from a cross by left winger, George Robb.
Danny Blanchflower was the inspiration behind Spurs’ first half flowing football against a United team which had 17-year-old, David Gaskell, making his debut in goal.
In the second half United responded and Spurs were forced on the defensive. Pegg pulled a goal back after 63 minutes and Liam Whelan made in 4 – 3 five minutes later following a free-kick. Spurs held on through the final 22 minutes although they were frequently forced into a kick it anywhere state of nervous tension as the United attacks poured forward.
It was only the goalkeeping ability of Ted Ditchburn and the strength of Maurice Norman which saw Spurs through as they alone kept their heads when all around were losing theirs.
Team: Ditchburn; Baker, Hopkins; Blanchflower, Norman, Ryden; Medwin, Brooks, Smith, Harmer, Robb
Tottenham with their 4 – 3 win became the first London club to win at Old Trafford since 1938 and Bobby Smith was the first player to score a hat-trick against United at Old Trafford since 1950. Smith finished the season with 36 League goals to equal the record set by Ted Harper in season 1930-31, although that had been in the 2nd Division. Jimmy Greaves broke the record five years later when he went one better to set a new record of 37 goals.
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