Tottenham won a 7-goal FA Cup thriller against Burnley at White Hart Lane with an Alan Gilzean hat-trick as they came from behind to win in the final minutes.Tottenham On This Day
12th February, 1966
Tottenham Hotspur 4 Burnley 3 FA Cup 4th Round
Scorers: Gilzean (3), Saul Irvine (3)
Team: Jennings; Beal, Knowles; Mullery, Brown, L, Clayton; Robertson, Greaves, Gilzean, Saul, Jones
Spurs had defeated Middlesbrough in the FA Cup 3rd Round at White Hart Lane by four goals to nil to reach the 4th Round where they were to encounter much more difficult opponents in Burnley.
It was an amazing match which saw Spurs come through a very difficult tie. Tottenham were without the injured Dave Mackay who had scored twice in the previous round and they were two down early on and then trailed 2 – 3 in the second half. Spurs survived thanks to a great performance from Alan Gilzean who scored a brilliant hat-trick and a goal from Frank Saul who had also scored twice against Middlesbrough.
Northern Ireland international centre forward, Willie Irvine, scored a hat-trick for Burnley but went away on the losing side. He scored the opener with only 50 seconds played and then doubled Burnley’s advantage in the 4th minute. Gilzean pulled one back with a header from a cross by Cliff Jones after 35 minutes. The Welsh winger had played on for over an hour with a shoulder injury. Five minutes into the second half Gilzean equalised with another header from a corner taken by Jimmy Greaves.
Burnley were stung back into life and regained the lead eight minutes later as Irvine completed his hat-trick. It looked as if Burnley were going to record a memorable win until with 20 minutes remaining Gilzean turned provider with a great pass for Jones to set up Frank Saul to bring the game level. Burnley hearts were finally broken with two minutes remaining when Gilzean scored his third, hooking the ball into a crowd of players, he was there again when it was headed out by a defender, for him to rifle home the winner.
This was only the third game back for Jimmy Greaves who had been absent with illness from the end of October.
Commenting after the game, manager Bill Nicholson said,
Phew! That was close. I never thought we’d do it.
Following the victory Tottenham were immediately installed as favourites to win the FA Cup by some bookmakers but Spurs’ progress in the Cup was halted at Preston in the next Round, going down by two goals to one.