In Tottenham’s first season at White Hart Lane they had celebrated by winning the clubs first major honour, the Southern League. The press had dubbed them the Flower of the South and at last thought they had a team to match the dominance of the northern sides. Few however would have expected John Cameron’s Tottenham to go even better that following season while each step brought records and controversy.
Cameron’s side only contained four men who had played at Northumberland Park two years earlier and none had been at the club more than four years. Cameron made one change to his side that season bringing in Sandy Brown (1) to replace Tom Pratt who had returned north to join Preston, claiming he was homesick however contemporary reports suggest he was not satisfied with the terms offered by Spurs. As for the Flower of the South, the player born nearest to Tottenham was Tom Morris from Lincolnshire, the team containing five Scots, two Welshmen and one Irish.
The new season had not started well for Spurs and they were looking unlikely to retain their title. Then in January the draw for the FA Cup meant in the first round Spurs would entertain Preston North End, the side that had put them out in the same round the previous season in Lancashire. The games were scheduled for the 26th but on the 22nd Queen Victoria passed away and the FA delayed the start of the completion. The various leagues did not follow suit and on that day Spurs beat Bristol Rovers in a Southern League game at White Hart Lane.
The rearranged match was played on 9th February (2). Tottenham had welcomed back David Copeland just before the game, his absence since the start of the season had been one of the reasons we had struggled for form which had improved in recent weeks.
The pitch was cleared of snow before the game but was still slippery however a good game followed ‘play was very fast and exciting, both teams catching the infection.’
Left - Keeper - George Clawley
Preston started well and in front of more than fifteen thousand, led by ex-Spur Pratt, they took the lead just before the half hour when Clawley was unsighted by a long range effort following a corner, having earlier hit the crossbar. Some reports suggest North End then sat back on their lead whilst other reports suggest Spurs pushed them back. Spurs missed a number of chances before with ten minutes left Brown headed home, ‘to the great delight of the excited crowd.’ The gate receipts are reported as £849, the third best of the 16 ties.
Interesting puzzle, one report I read stated Spurs wore blue and white strips to avoid a colour clash (3). whilst another claims that the four thousand traveling fans were surprised when Spurs appeared in White followed closely by North End in a ‘Garibaldi strip.’
left - Ted Hughes, on the morning of the Bury game he was named in the Welsh national squad.
The press said both teams paused for photographs but till now I’ve not traced either. On the Monday the draw for the second round meant the victors would entertain the Cup holders Bury in the next round.
The replay on the Thursday afternoon saw Tottenham well supported in a six thousand gate. Spurs made two changes to their lineup, Hughes coming in for McNaught and our captain Jack Jones returned for Stormont. This side would remain unchanged for the rest of the competition.
A Cameron goal and two from Brown put Spurs three up at the break. In the second half Brown completed his hat trick whilst Preston scored twice, the second from Pratt in a game the press said ‘Tottenham showed wonderfully good form.’
The home tie against Bury in the Second Round ten days later produced a new ground record attendance of 20,250. Before the game we were told ‘The Hotspur now have a pretty considerable experience of cup-tie fighting and they played such a great game at Preston even the ‘Shakers’ must view their journey south with considerable trepidation.’ Spurs started hesitantly then Bury went a goal up in the second minute following ‘ a combined rush by the Bury forwards’, and they looked the better side for a while. Then Spurs leveled on the half hour when Tom Smith centered and Brown scored, ‘a fine shot.’ After the break Spurs seemed more confident and Brown headed his second (another Smith cross) to win the tie.
The fans rejoiced as Tottenham had reached the quarter finals for only the second time in their history, (4).
It also meant that Spurs had become the first non–league side to knock the Cup holders out since the Football league had been formed.
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Top - Action from the Bury game.
Notes – 1- Sandy Brown is profiled @
2 - Not the 8th as some accounts state.
3 – Two years earlier Spurs had been so impressed with PNE they had adopted their white shirts.
4 – http://www.indiaspurs.com/blog/hotspur-towers-the-first-great-cup-run
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