Memory Lane: Fulham 3-2 Spurs (2002/03)

11th September 2002

Since we were last in the Premier League Tottenham have gone from strength to strength under Mauricio Pochettino. They are now Champions League regulars and it will be considered a major shock if we take any points from the forthcoming encounter. However, in the early years of our 13 season stay, we regularly gave them a run for their money. Therefore although they had done the double on us in our first campaign up we approached this early season fixture at our new home at Loftus Road with some hope we could turn the tables on them. Having said that Glen Hoddle’s side were in 2nd place having gone unbeaten in their first 5 games so it was always going to be a tough proposition.

Things seemed even tougher by the interval as after an even start to proceedings Dean Richards headed the visitors in front after 35 minutes and Teddy Sheringham poached a second on the stroke of half time. The cockerels in the away end were crowing loudly but Fulham started the second half undaunted and set about Spurs with real vigour. Sean Davis was pulling the strings and when Junichi Inamoto lashed home after a Davis shot was blocked in the 68th-minute real hope was restored.

Fulham attacked remorselessly but Spurs seemed to be weathering the storm until Barry Hayles was brought down on the edge of the box in the 84thminute. After some hesitation,​ the penalty was awarded and Steed Malbranque stepped up to slot home and send us level. I would have been over the moon with a point from the position we were in but as the clock ticked into the last of the five minutes of added time we launched one last attack.

Spurs were by now defending desperately and suddenly Sylvain Legwinski wriggled into space in the Spurs box and clipped a shot over the despairing Kasey Keller to seal the most unlikely of victories and damn near take the lid off our temporary base. Over 16 years have elapsed since that night but the memory still makes me tingle.

The Teams

FulhamVan der Sar, Finnan, Knight, Goma, Wome (Collins 81), Davis, Legwinski, Inamoto, Boa Morte (Malbranque 45), Saha (Hayles 21), Sava. 

Subs Not Used: Taylor, Melville.

Tottenham: Keller, Bunjevcevic, Perry (Doherty 80), Richards, Gardner, Thatcher, Acimovic (Ziege 73), Etherington (Iversen 84), Davies, Ferdinand, Sheringham.

Subs Not Used: Hirschfeld, Keane

Attendance: 16,757.

Christian Damiano: “We have fantastic spirit in the squad & we never stopped believing that we could win.”

Glenn Hoddle: “Although we conceded three goals, it could have been five. That’s how poor we were.”

What the fans said: