Tottenham On This Day: Spurs Held By Crewe In FA Cup 4th Round


Crewe 2 Spurs 2 FA Cup [Photo: Logan Holmes]Tottenham on this Day

30th January, 1960

Crewe Alexandra 2 Tottenham Hotspur 2 (FA Cup 4th Round)

Scorers:  Jones, Llewellyn                 Allen, Jones

Team: Brown; Baker, Henry; Blanchflower, Norman, Mackay; White, Harmer, Smith, Allen, Jones

Having had a comfortable 4-goal win at 3rd Division Newport County in the previous round, the FA Cup 4th Round draw provided Tottenham with what appeared, on paper, to be another relatively straight forward task at 4th Division, Crewe Alexandra. It didn’t turn out that way and proved to be an extremely difficult match for Spurs. The result was no ‘fluke’ and Spurs were relieved to get the replay at White Hart Lane. They could thank goalkeeper Bill Brown who made an excellent save to ensure they achieved the rather fortunate draw.

The following day’s match report opened with the following paragraph

‘Spurs so nearly met their Waterloo at Crewe. With 90 per cent of the crowd at the compact Gresty Road ground neatly decked out in red and white and – in railway parlance – merrily letting off steam, the little fourth division club were carried along on a wave of torrid cup fever to heroically hold the star-spangled spurs to a draw.’

Spurs went ahead in the 8th minute after a Cliff Jones moved the ball down-field to John White. His cross was headed in by Les Allen. the report suggests that the goal could have been Spurs downfall. ‘They became casual in their approach and unnecessarily “flashy”.

Crewe showed plenty of spirit and battled back to equalise seven minutes later when a drive by their winger Jones (Mervyn) went in off the bar. Level at half-time, Spurs were no better after the interval but took the lead with 13 minutes to play when Allen fed Jones whose low shit put Spurs ahead.

It took Crewe only two minutes to retaliate and their centre forward Bert Llewellyn crashed home the equaliser. There followed a tense final ten minutes as Crewe, roared on by their ecstatic following, tried to score the winner but were denied when Brown, at full-stretch, saved another effort from Jones, the Crewe one.

Spurs goals were scored by Les Allen and Cliff Jones. The team which were to finish third in the First Division that season were made to struggle and the team contained ten of the players who were to write their names in history in the following season as part of the great ‘Double’ winning side.