Dave Mackay opens the scoring [Photo: Logan Holmes]

Tottenham On This Day: Double Team Makes Last Stand In Cup Winners Cup

3rd December, 1963

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 0 European Cup Winners’ Cup 2nd Round (1st leg)

Scorers: Mackay, Dyson

Fog enveloped WHL [Photo: Logan Holmes]

Fog enveloped WHL [Photo: Logan Holmes]

The match had been scheduled for the previous Wednesday evening but White Hart Lane was enveloped by fog just before kick-off. One newspaper report described the sudden arrival of the fog which caused the postponement of the match until Tuesday, 3rd December.

‘A fantastic blanket of fog wiped out the European Cup Winners’ Cup match at White Hart Lane. A minute before kick-off the game could have been payed. Visibility was quite good. Sixty incredible seconds later it was hardly possible to see he near touchline from the stand.’

United had defeated Dutch side, Willem II, in the 1st Round while Tottenham as Cup holders, had received a bye to that stage of the competition.

Going into the game Spurs were third in the 1st Division table, having drawn at home to Sheffield Wednesday the previous Saturday to fall a point behind joint-leaders Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers. United were 5th two points behind Spurs after moving up four places with a win at Sheffield United.

United defended in depth throughout the game and only threatened in breakaways. It took over an hour for Spurs to break them down with a goal from Dave Mackay. Spurs had piled on the pressure roared on by a packed White Hart Lane crowd. Cliff Jones started the move with a back-heel to Mackay who rushed in, took aim and smashed a thunderbolt shot.

This looked like being Spurs only reward for all their attacking and pressure as United often had eight or nine men crowding their goal area. Three minutes from time a mistake by United full back, Tony Dunne. He met a long cross from John White and controlled the ball comfortably but then turned to pass back to his goalkeeper. He under-hit his pass which allowed Terry Dyson to nip in crash a shot into the net.

The second goal had given Spurs a slight advantage for the second leg at Old Trafford. This was a last stand by the Double team against age and injury which were catching up on the team. It was never going to be the same for Tottenham’s greatest ever team.

[Photo: Logan Holmes]

[Photo: Logan Holmes]

Tags: 3rd December 1963 Dave Mackay ECWC 2nd Round Soccer Terry Dyson Tottenham Hotspur

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