Tottenham On This Day
21st December, 1957
Chelsea 2 Tottenham Hotspur 4
Scorers: Medwin, Harmer, Smith (2)
It was in the transition period from Arthur Rowe’s great ‘Push and Run’ team and the even greater ‘Double’ winning team that Bill Nicholson would produce in a few years time. It was a season of inconsistency for Spurs who took until their fifth match to record their first win, having taken only 1 point in the opening four games.It had opened with a home draw against Chelsea with Jimmy Greaves making his League debut for the visitors. They conceded 10 goals in two matches against Portsmouth at the start of the season but in mid-September defeated Birmingham City 7 – 1 at White Hart Lane. It was that kind of season with many high-scoring games which didn’t always go in Spurs favour.
Their recent form had seen them lose 4 – 1 at home to the bottom club, Leicester City a week after winning 4 – 3 at Old Trafford.The week before playing Chelsea, two Bobby Smith goals had seen them win at Blackpool and Smith again scored twice to help them past Chelsea.Terry Medwin and Tommy Harmer were the other scorers.
The match had two heroes – Tommy Harmer for Spurs who was the architect of the success and Chelsea’s goalkeeper, Reg Matthews, who gave an outstanding display of goalkeeping which demanded a recall to the England team.
Commenting after the game, Matthews said,
I never enjoyed a match so much. It was grand, every second.
Spurs were two up inside 15 minutes through Bobby Smith and Terry Medwin. Chelsea then missed two good chances while Medwin missed a ‘sitter’ from 3 yards, according to the press report, it was the ‘Miss of 1957′. With 30 minutes to pay Chelsea scored but Harmer scored Tottenham’s third with 10 minutes remaining, ghosting past six defenders to score the goal of his life. Chelsea responded once again but with a minute to go Smith scored his second to complete the misery of his former club.
Spurs finished the season with five straight wins to finish third, thirteen points behind the champions, Wolves.