Match Report: Spurs 1 Portsmouth 0 (we just made it!)
The difference between an FA Cup match and a Premier League game are goals (or the importance of more goals). In the Premier League, goals can make a difference (the more you score); in a Cup match, one is enough (unless it is a penalty shootout). And Spurs got the one goal that took them into the next round of the FA Cup (against Preston North End, the first club to win the double… but that was back in the midst of time… when dinosaurs ruled the earth… ok, maybe not that far back).
This trip to the Tottenham stadium saw us leave at 6.30 in the morning (kick-off was at 12.30), which meant that Mel drove his car to Janette’s place (because of road works near his house), and from there, I drove us to Tottenham (that is Janette and myself, along with Mel… obviously including myself ha-ha-ha!). The stadium doors opened at 9.30, and I got us there just before nine.
After that; getting in, then to the reception to get our programmes, then up the escalators to the third floor, greeting staff along the way as if they were long lost friends (which they were), then drinks and food. Eventually, the others arrived (from our group).
The talking points were our win over Palace and our uncertainties about Conte’s team selection (you never know with him).
Then it was time to go to our seats. Janette sat 3 rows behind me (thanks to Tim’s generosity in giving his seat to her because of illness; we wish him well).
During the first half, there were a lot of empty seats, so I suggested to Janette that we sit in an empty row, but she didn’t want to disturb those around her… the second half, we would sit together).
The game saw another poor first half (as usual), but the main talking point was that Harry Kane moved within one of Jimmy Greaves’ Tottenham goalscoring record to earn us an FA Cup win and into the 4th round.
After Royal’s header hit the post, Kane exchanged passes with Ryan Sessegnon before shooting into the far corner from 20 yards. Kane has now scored 265 Tottenham goals, one behind Greaves.
Oliver Skipp fired over a great chance to add a second goal, but Pompey had no reply to Kane’s strike. Kane could equal or break the record if he scored more than once. We now have to wait until the Gooners game.
With Dejan Kulusevski, Richarlison and Lucas Moura among a growing injury list, Conte was forced to start Kane and Son in a strong forward line despite making eight changes overall.
We had scored just one first-half goal in our previous 12 games and never looked like adding to that during a quiet opening 45 minutes, failing to register a single shot on target.
Portsmouth brought with them a sold-out allocation of more than 8,000 fans, created the first half’s best effort as Reeco Hackett-Fairchild’s acrobatic shot on the turn, which was pushed wide by Fraser Forster.
In the second half, I received a phone call from Beverley to ask if Janette and I would like to sit with her, just behind the dugout, which we did.
We stepped things up – as usual – following the restart; just after Royal headed Son’s deep cross onto the post, Kane’s goal ultimately proved decisive.
We are out of the League Cup this season and sit fifth in the Premier League, 11 points behind leaders Arse-Gooners, having played a game more, leaving the FA Cup and Champions League as our realistic hopes of ending our barren spell.
We haven’t reached the FA Cup final since winning the competition in 1991, losing in all eight of our subsequent semi-final appearances. As I said in my previous blog, I’ve only missed two finals in this country (in all competitions); 1901 and 1921. Can you guess why I missed them (boys and girls)? My dad wasn’t born until 1923, so I wasn’t even a sperm in his testicles. My mum was born five years later. I think that is a good enough excuse, don’t you? However, I hope time travel will be invented before I shift off this mortal coil… Until then…
As I said, I went to the 1991 Cup Final and to get there, we had to beat Portsmouth… an omen or just a poor joke? Paul Gascoigne scored twice in a 2-1 win at Fratton Park. And guess who was playing for Portsmouth? Darren Anderton… who later joined us.
Why won’t Conte use Spence more often? He is a great talent and gives his all every time I see him play. Is it because he wasn’t one of Conte’s suggestions to come to the club and therefore has got the hump? I hope not.
And what about Pape Matar Sarr? He joined us over 18 months ago. The then 18-year-old joined us from French side Metz in the summer of 2021 for a reported £14.6m, a significant fee for a teenager coming out of Ligue 1.
In the previous season, Sarr scored impressive domestic numbers, scoring 4 times across 25 competitions and making two senior appearances for Senegal.
The decision was made, Sarr’s development would best facilitate him at the club in the hope of integrating him into the first-team squad.
Though he didn’t start in Wednesday’s demolition of Crystal Palace, Sarr replaced Oliver Skipp in the 66th minute and did a reasonably good job. His performance earned praise amongst fans, with Conte clearly agreeing to award him a starting spot in Saturday’s FA Cup tie. In that game, Sarr stood out.
Playing his first full 90 minutes, Sarr completed a massive 84 passes with 90% accuracy, made a game-high 5 tackles and a further three interceptions without once being dribbled past, and played a good game.
He picked up the Man of the Match award, and Sarr received further praise from Cristian Stellini, Conte’s right-hand Man, labelling him as a “great player with many possibilities”.
Hopefully, Conte will continue to give him a chance.
Anyway… now that we are through, our next FA Cup opponents are Preston North End, at their ground, Deepdale.
Preston North End was a founder member of the Football League in 1888. In the 1888–89 season, the team won the inaugural league championship and the FA Cup without conceding a goal. They were the first team to achieve the “Double” in English football and, as they were unbeaten in all matches, are remembered as “The Invincibles”.
Their most famous players have been Tom Finney and Bill Shankly, both commemorated at Deepdale by stands named after them. Other notable players include Tommy Docherty, Alan Kelly Sr., Graham Alexander and Paul Gallagher.
Until 1961, Preston were members of the First Division but having been relegated after the 1960–61 season, they have not yet returned to the top flight. That season we won the double, emulating their great feat.
In the 1898–99 season, our final year at Northumberland Park, Tottenham switched colours to white shirts and blue shorts, the same colour choice as Preston North End. White and navy blue have remained the club’s basic colours ever since, with the white shirts giving the team the nickname “The Lilywhites”.
And that little history ends this blog. And Janette had a great day… looking forward to her next game.
Our next game will be against the Gooners this Sunday…
My name is Glenn Renshaw.
I am currently a Premium Season Ticket holder (West Stand) in the new stadium. Before that – at White Hart Lane – a season ticket holder in various parts of the ground (mainly in the North stand).
Before becoming a season ticket holder, I stood on the shelf and various other parts of the ground since the 1960s (the season of the double). In 1987 I became one of the first to hold a Spurs Membership card. I was also a life long member of the Spurs supporters club (now defunct).
I go to all home, away and abroad matches.
I was born in 1955, Edgware, London. I currently live in Berkshire.
I also collect all Spurs books, Spurs handbooks, Spurs programmes etc.
Previously, I wrote for Spurs Fanzines: The Spur, Spur of the Moment, My Eyes have seen the Glory and various other Spurs fanzines’. I also wrote for the SpursWeb app & its website.
I currently write and work for spursnetwork.com and its website. I write its Reviews & Match reports and a lot more.
My other interests are; reading, history, social history, Politics, going to the gym, wine, going out for a meal, music (all sorts), writing, theatre, concerts, going on holidays, socialising etc.
I have been writing blogs/ articles since 1989
If you wish to read more of my blog, please click “here”