Sunday 21st February 2016
Replays are always a possibility in cup competitions. That’s because it doesn’t matter how much you dominate any fixture, there is another team out there striving to prevent you from winning.
And despite being totally on top from start to finish, yesterday’s visitors fought and defended incredibly well. Throw in some poor finishing, good goalkeeping, the woodwork and some questionable penalty decisions going against us more than once, it was a frustrating afternoon overall.
Did we play any better in similar ties against Burnley, Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Hull in recent seasons? I’m not sure we did. And for that reason alone I think we were one goal from it being a dominant and professional performance.
Back in November 1977 Hull came to North London for a league cup tie where we certainly didn’t struggle in front of goal. John Matthews, Frank Stapleton, Malcolm Macdonald and Chippy Brady all contributed in a thumping 5-1 victory against a side captained by Billy Bremner.
As I write these thoughts finding a date for our replay is proving a tad difficult. In 1977 a date was already in place had it been required. Tickets would have to be purchased a few days later in person from the box office in Avenell Road. And the price? A wallet busting 90 pence each!
It was the first of three seasons on the bounce where we were to prove a fine cup side. Both a final in the FA Cup and a semi in the League version were reached, with both ultimately ending in disappointment on this occasion.
We were favourites to go through yesterday and rightly so. But we didn’t quite do enough on the day. Irritating of course but getting a second bite at the cherry is no total disaster.
Shortly we will know our potential opponents. Hopefully it won’t be Spurs away….
Oh…..hang on a minute…..they’re not in it. 🙂
Probably the best club side on the planet come next. Looking on the bright side, at least they don’t appear to be on a run of good form……
Come on you mighty reds.