Focus Fives: Home Wins Against Spurs

London Derbies have not been too kind to us in recent times in the Premier League. We’re reminded of this fact by the TV commentators every time we play them. In fact it’s a toss-up whether I’ve heard this snippet more often than the breaking news that Ademola Lookman missed a penalty at West Ham this season – who knew?

We should’ve put this stat to bed at Palace on Sunday but have an immediate chance to get the monkey off our back on Thursday. Although we’ve not had much success against Spurs in the immediate past there are some home wins from not so long back that will long live in the memory bank. Here’s a brief look back at those happy occasions…


Image: Phil Cole /Allsport


Fulham‘s promising start to life back in the second tier under Paul Bracewell was starting to falter when we welcomed cup holders Spurs to the Cottage. In those days the League Cup was taken seriously so it was a star studded visiting line up that took the field, including England regular Sol Campbell at centre half. He may have looked comfortable at International level but on the night couldn’t deal with a certain Geoffrey Horsfield who’d been laying bricks in Yorkshire just a couple of years before. A masterful demonstration of the old fashioned centre forward’s craft by the Horse was too much for Spurs to cope with as Geoff added to goals from Barry Hayles and Wayne Collins to seal a comfortable win. It was the high water mark of Bracewell’s tenure as goals dried up over the next few months and he was sacked before the season was out.


Image: Premier League


We were far from ecstatic that we were lodging at Loftus Road but our two season exile there produced much success. The stand out memory was this early season evening game when high-flying Spurs visited and stole into a two goal lead by half time. We came out with all guns blazing in the second half with an inspired Sean Davis running the show. Junichi Inamoto pulled one back but we still trailed as we approached the final five minutes. There was much rejoicing when Steed Malbranque levelled from the spot but that was nothing compared to what happened in the final seconds of added time. With Spurs by now on the ropes we thrust forward and in our final attack Facundo Sava put Sylvain Legwinski clear. The Frenchman calmly clipped it over Kasey Keller to seal victory and take the lid off the place.


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Chris Coleman was by now in his third season as boss and was doing an excellent job in generally steering us away from imminent danger. However every victory was precious as we were in the midst of another campaign where we couldn’t find a win away. Fortunately we turned the Cottage into something of a fortress that term and while our team was light on star quality it was never short of heart. We’d had the better of a tight game when Michael Dawson was sent off with 20 minutes left but our efforts to get the elusive winner seemed in vain. That was until unsung midfielder Simon Elliott swung in a pinpoint free kick for Carlos Bocanegra to rise highest and head home in the last minute. ‘Doo doo doo ‘was sung with gusto that night!


Image: CHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP via Getty Images


After the Great Escape of the previous season Roy Hodgson was starting to fashion a very tidy and efficient oufit. Spurs arrived on a good run boosted by the recent appointment of Harry Redknapp and a tight and entertaining encounter was developing when Simon Davies pinged a ball in from the left just after the half hour. It looked like Heurelho Gomes would deal with it comfortably but inexplicably he let it squirm from his grasp and the ball apologetically trickled over the line. Andy Johnson doubled our money with a sharp poacher’s finish in the second half and although Fraizer Campbell pulled one back we were good value for a very impressive victory.


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FA CUP 4TH ROUND (30/01/11)

Although it couldn’t be classed a giant killing with both clubs in the Premier League; the size and nature of our victory did cause something of a shock. Unfortunately I wasn’t there to see it in person as my wife had organised a winter excursion to the Canaries at the time. The older among us will remember those nostalgic days when you could actually go on holiday!

Undeterred I found my way to a local bar for the game with my mate and we both had doubts about the strength of the beer being served as Fulham ran riot with four goals in a stunning first half. It was certainly hard to believe your eyes. We may have been aided by the sending off of the hapless Michael Dawson – oh how he must love Craven Cottage – but we played some stunning stuff. That Rolls-Royce of a player Moussa Dembele was centre stage in a game where we were so good we were able to declare at half time.  Unfortunately Dembele impressed too much and Spurs stole him away a year or so later. His departure was the catalyst for our relegation a couple of years after that. It may be that pay back has put us off beating Spurs at home again since.  Tomorrow would be a good time to put a stop to that run.