Tottenham On This Day
On this day, 4th February, in 1961 the Tottenham ‘Double’ team lost their first home game of the season to Leicester City.
4th February, 1961
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Leicester City 3 (1st Division)
Scorers: Allen, Blanchflower (pen)
Team: Brown; Baker, Henry; Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay; Jones, White, Smith, Allen, Dyson
The ‘Double’ winning season included many records but this game marked the first home defeat suffered by the team. Spurs had won all but two of their thirteen home League matches but this game proved one too many.
Leicester took the lead after thirty minutes. Les Allen equalised within five minutes but City scored again three minutes later. Immediately after half time, Spurs were level through a Danny Blanchflower penalty but when Leicester regained the lead, Spurs were unable to reply.
The following day’s match report by Denis Compton opened with the following paragraph,
‘Amid tremendous excitement and tension a magnificent Leicester defence thwarted a last desperate onslaught by Spurs in the closing minutes of their match yesterday. In doing so they inflicted upon their formidable rivals their first home defeat of the season.’
Leicester were the better team on the day, playing the better football and being tighter in defence. The visitors snatched the early initiative but it took them half an hour to go ahead through Leek with a great shot from the edge of the area. Cliff Jones created the equaliser for Allen in the 35th minute.
Three minutes later Leicester were ahead, following a header from Leek which hit the bar and fell for inside-left and captain Walsh to tap home. A dramatic start to the second half saw Spurs equalise with a Blanchflower penalty after a foul on Bobby Smith.
Throughout Blanchflower continued to play football but with those around him not performing as well as they normally did, Walsh scored the winner in the 67th minute when Maurice Norman dwelt on the ball when he should have cleared, allowing Walsh to dispossess him and poke the ball past Bill Brown.
Although suffering their second defeat in three games, Spurs were still eight points ahead of Wolves with Sheffield Wednesday third.