Sandy Tait [Photo: Logan Holmes]

Tottenham On This Day: Victory Secures Spurs First FA Cup Semi-Final


Tottenham on this Day

Tottenham defeated Southern League rivals, Reading, in an FA Cup replay to secure their place in the semi-final of the competition for the first time.

28th March, 1901

Tottenham Hotspur 3 Reading 0 FA Cup 3rd Round Replay

Scorers: Brown (2), Copeland

Team: Clawley; Erentz, Tait; Morris, Hughes, Jones (Captain); Smith, Cameron, Brown, Copeland, Kirwan

The only two non-League clubs left in the Cup had contested a close game in the first match. Spurs were fortunate to survive as they should have conceded a penalty in the closing minutes. The Spurs goalkeeper, Clawley, saw a speculative shot drop over his head and it seemed destined for the net until full back, Sandy Tate, rushed back and punched the ball clear. The only people in the ground who didn’t think it was a penalty were the referee and the linesman. Spurs survived but the incident was talked about for years.

So to the replay, Spurs were in dominant form and actually scored five times, although two were ruled out. Centre forward, Sandy Brown scored twice, bringing his total for the competition to eight and maintained his record of scoring in every round. The third goal was scored by David Copeland.

In the semi-final non-League Tottenham were drawn against West Bromwich Albion, founder members of the Football League who had been in the FA Cup Final five times, winning the trophy twice in 1888 and 1892. They were runners-up in 1886, 1887 and 1895 – such was the task facing Spurs.

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Tags: 28th March 1901 Fa Cup Non-league Team Soccer Tottenham Hotspur