For the third time in five seasons in the late 1950s Tottenham were the victims of giant-killers from the 3rd Division in the FA Cup 5th Round, losing to Norwich City in a replay.Tottenham on this Day
18th February, 1959
It had happened before as Spurs failed to overcome a team from the 3rd Division in the 5th Round of the FA Cup. Having needed a very late equaliser at White Hart Lane to take the tie to a replay, Spurs lost to the only goal of the game at Carrow Road.
- In 1955 they had fallen to York City who were in the 3rd Division (North). Spurs lost 1 – 3 at York who went on to reach the semi-final, only to lose in a replay to Newcastle United, the eventual Cup winners.
- In 1957 Bournemouth caused them problems defeating them by a similar score. Bournemouth, in the 3rd Division, were managed by former Spur, Freddie Cox, and they countered everything that Spurs could offer. The south coast club had defeated Wolves in the previous round but lost at home to Manchester United in the next round.
On This Day
Norwich City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0 FA Cup 5th Round Replay
Team: Hollowbread; Baker, Hopkins; Dodge, Norman, Iley; Medwin, Blanchflower, Smith, Clayton, Jones
This time, in 1959, Spurs must have expected to progress to the next Round when they were drawn at home to 3rd Division Norwich who were the season’s giant-killers. Norwich had defeated Manchester United and Cardiff City in the previous rounds but no one expected them to win at Tottenham. They didn’t although they nearly did! Norwich took the lead in the second half but Spurs equalised through Cliff Jones with 40 seconds remaining.
For the replay Bill Nicholson made three changes to the team which could only the first game. Terry Medwin, Danny Blanchflower and Eddie Clayton came in for Johnny Brooks, Tommy Harmer and Dave Dunmore. Spurs started brightly as Bobby Smith came close to putting them ahead but for an outstanding save by the Norwich goalkeeper, Ken Nethercott.A fanatical home crowd urged on Norwich and the home players responded and gradually took control with the Spurs goal having a few narrow escapes. Into the second half the Norwich pressure built up until in the 63rd minute, centre forward Terry Bly scored the only goal for a deserved victory.
Norwich progressed to the semi-final that year where they lost out to Luton Town in a replay.
Asked about the defeat years later for a feature in a Tottenham programme, Cliff Jones said,
At Carrow Road they were the giants, not us. Tell you the truth, I was glad to get home again.
Spurs Too String For Giant-Killers: Read more
Tottenham v Norwich in the Cup: Read more