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On This Day In History - 1995 Another Legendary Game At The Dell
Thursday, 2nd Apr 2020 09:50

After the famous victory against Newcastle a week or so earlier had pulled them out of the bottom three, Saints took on Spurs in their next game looking to build on that and pull clear of the relegation zone.

Tottenham Hotspur arrived at the Dell on April 2nd 1995 on a sunny Sunday with a lunchtime kick off meaning that those of us who played Sunday morning football had to get our games played and head on over to the Dell to arrive virtually dead on kick off time.

Spurs had visited a month earlier in an FA Cup replay when Saints had thrown away a 2-0 lead at half time and collapsed in extra time to lose 6-2 with Ronnie Rosenthal scoring a hat trick.

Most attending the League encounter mused that they would hopefully not see another 8 goal thriller, after all with recent league form before the last game against Newcastle the chances of Saints winning it were low.

But there had been a pulsating finish to the Newcastle game with 3 goals in the final minutes and this game would not disappoint either.

Results on the Saturday had dragged Saints back into the bottom three, but even a draw would lift us two places in the table and a win up over Everton to 17th.

The scoring started with Neil Heaney's glancing header from a Le Tissier corner opening the scoring on 13 minutes, but the lead would last only 4 minutes before Teddy Sherringham equalised and then on 34 minutes, up popped that man Rosenthal again, before the FA Cup encounter a little over four weeks earlier he had only scored 1 goal all season, that in an FA Cup tie against non league Altrincham, but here he was with his fourth in as many weeks against Saints.

This has always seemed to be a trait of watching Saints, you read that an opposition player hasn't scored in 7 years you might as well put your money on him when he plays us.

But Matt Le Tissier was on one of those days where he was undoubtedly one of the best players in the country, why did he play so few games for his country ? some say because he had snubbed the two England managers for most of the 1990's, Terry Venables when he pulled out of signing for Spurs and Glenn Hoddle at Chelsea.

On the stroke of half time Le God smashed the ball past Ian Walker from a tight angle and the scores were level at the break, the crowd were anticipating a great second half they would not be disapointed.

With 57 minutes gone Saints were back in the lead when a deft touch from Le Tissier sent the crowd wild again, but again the lead would not last long, just a minute as Sherringham got his 2nd of the afternoon.

It was game on with one of those legendary Dell atmospheres and this time it was Spurs who would not be able to keep a lead long as Jim Magilton thumped home a shot from the edge of the area to restore the Saints lead.

So with just an hour gone there had been seven goals, at this stage no one would have put money on there not being a repeat of the eight goal thriller of a month earlier, the only question seemed to be if it would be Saints or Spurs getting the upper hand in the final stages, the game had swung two and fro so far so surely it would again.

Certainly Spurs blustered but with the crowd firmly behind them Saints were in no mood to give anything away and with Ken Monkou & Richard Hall standing strong in the centre of defence the last 30 minutes although not short of action at both ends saw no further score.

A roar that could be heard in the Docks greeted the final whistle, we had three vital points and suddenly the season looked a lot rosier, we had ended a dismal league run that had only seen two wins in 6 months and now we had achieved the same total in the space of 11 days, the confidence was restored and a great end to the season would see us finish 10th with only a last minute equaliser on the final day by already relegated Leicester denying us 9th, some things never change.

Photo: Action Images

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