To complete our look at Tottenham’s success in this competition, this time we go right back to 1971 and the first of our four triumphs. When Tottenham met Aston Villa in the League Cup final that year Villa were a Third Division side. Spurs knew however that previously both QPR and Swindon from that division had overcome top flight sides (West Bromwich and Arsenal) in the Final. Like many finals it failed to thrill and eventually turned on one moment of absolute class to settle the game right near the end. Tottenham winning the trophy for the first time in their fourth season in the competition.
Tottenham started their road to Wembley at home to Swansea in the Second Round and we won the game 3-0. Goals from Steve Perryman, Martin Peters and Roger Morgan that night saw us through.
The next round saw us at home again this time to Sheffield United and a 2-1 win. This time it was Martin Chivers and Jimmy Pearce on the score sheet. The fourth round and West Bromwich Albion came to the Lane as we won by five goals to nil. Martin Peters hit a hat trick and Alan Gilzean scored the other two.
The fifth round saw us yet again at home and this time it was Coventry who fell 4-1. Martin Chivers (left with Bill Nicholson) was the hat trick hero that night and the other goal was added by Gilzean.
The semi finals and we traveled to Bristol City for the first leg and our first game away from White Hart Lane in the competition ended in a 1-1 draw. Gilzean scored in the third game in a row for our goal.
The return at home just two days before Christmas was a tough encounter which saw us go to extra time before we won 2-0. Chivers and Pearce again being the heroes.
We then waited till 27th February for our meeting with Aston Villa at Wembley. Tottenham started brightly and were on top and looked likely to score, but were unable to do so. Gilzean and Peters both failed to take good chances to put us ahead. Midway through that half Villa started to think they had weathered the storm and showed a little more ambition. Our fullbacks who had been acting almost like wingers were slowly forced back as Villa finally started to attack.
Early in the second half Villa had a shot tipped over by Jennings. Villa started to look the slightly more likely to grab the lead and nearly did so when Jennings was fouled going for a high ball. The defence stopped waiting for the foul and it was Steve Perryman who had to save Spurs on the line.
In what was a nervy but very quickly forgettable game Tottenham pushed forward and Mullery found Chivers who laid the ball to Gilzean. The Villa defence had been solid throughout and Gilzean pushed the ball wide again on the left to Neighbour. His shot was palmed away by the goalie but fell it into the path of Chivers who scored. The game wore on and a few minutes later and Mullery again found Chivers. He then produced one of the few memorable moments of the match and showed why he was a top class international. As he brought the ball down he eased around one player made room for himself in a crowded box and a low drive gave us a 2-0 lead and the trophy.
Above - Jennings and Kinnear in the tunnel.
Our team that day under Bill Ncholson was Pat Jennings, Joe Kinnear, Cyril Knowles, Alan Mullery as captain would receive the trophy from HRH Princess Alexandra, Peter Collins, Phil Beal, Alan Gilzean, Steve Perryman, Martin Chivers, Martin Peters and Jimmy Neighbour with Jimmy Pearce on the bench.
In that season we also finished third in the table and reach the sixth round of the FA Cup. Incidentally that season Jimmy Neighbour was the only player to make his league debut for the club. Another point worth noting; we have mentioned before that a number of clubs were slow to embrace the League Cup. By the time of this season’s competition started only Everton failed to enter and the following year it had become compulsory to participate.
t- Keith 16024542
f- peter shearman (old non de plume)
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The story of Tottenham’s other League Cup winning seasons can be found at -
1973 - Hotspur Towers 40 - The League Cup 1973
1999 - Hotspur Towers - The League Cup 1999
2008 - Hotspur Towers 29,
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