TOTTENHAM 2 CITY 2
18th October 1975
City Watson, Bell
Spurs Jones(25 & 28)
Ref K Baker
Spurs Jennings, McAllister, Knowles, Pratt, Young, Osgood, Conn, Perryman, Chivers, Jones, Neighbour – Sub McNab.
City traveled down to London for the game against Spurs unbeaten for four matches, but the club was the centre of attention in the soccer world for another reason. Manager Tony Book had just decided to place the mercurial Rodney Marsh on the transfer list – “for the good of Manchester City:”
Opinion was split amongst the fans, but new skipper Mike Doyle had made it clear where he stood. He was backing the manager all the way.
Spurs were in the First Division basement and looking to climb clear of possible relegation trouble. It looked as though their plans to do so were going to be fruitful as they went into a two-goal lead
during the first half. The man they had to thank was later-Blue Chris Jones, who opened the account after 25 minutes. It was a goal constructed in a cheeky yet attractive fashion, Alfie Conn backheeling the ball into Jones’ path.
Three minutes later it was the Jones boy again. This time Jimmy Neighbour was the architect with a gallop down the wing and an accurate centre which Jones headed home.
But this was a Blues side which never admitted defeat, even with the handicaps they were playing under that day. Peter Barnes had an extremely high temperature, Colin Bell was on the verge of `flu, and Dave Watson was in as a makeshift centre forward as Joe Royle was injured.
It was the big centre half turned goal-poacher who pulled one back. He rounded Spurs defender Willie Young with ease, then fired at the far angle. `Keeper Pat Jennings was poised at the near post but still managed to hurl himself across towards Dave’s effort. However, the Jennings finger-tips couldn’t put enough brake on the ball.
On 72 minutes the City fightback brought another deserved goal, this time from King Colin. Barnes flighted the ball from deep out on the wing and an unchallenged Bell nodded it in off a post.
ADAPTED FROM AN ARTICLE IN THE CITY PROGRAMME 21ST OCTOBER 1995
MIKE DOYLE TALKS ABOUT THE PROBLEMS SURROUNDING THE TOTTENHAM GAME
YOU couldn’t help but notice the feeling at Tottenham last Saturday. The City players knew they had something to prove, and they put their whole hearts into proving it… that this City team will never revolve for its results or inspiration around one player, one personality; that this City team will not remain the away-match walk-overs that everyone has been dubbing us.
We knew when we went out at White Hart Lane that we had the first of many tasks we face over the coming months to prove manager Tony Book correct in his decision to transfer-list Rodney Marsh. We’re all aware that it is a decision which has split large sections of supporters, but for the sake of the club there has got to be solidarity and backing for the boss and not a future of bickerings and bleatings which can only do untold harm.
I made plenty of headlines last week-end with comments attributed to me about the decision to sell Rodney. In cold print they didn’t look so kind, and I believe that many of the opinions were taken out of context. It gave the wrong impression that a great deal of friction has existed in the dressing room, especially between Rodney and myself. That is not so.
…I will never be able to understand why a player of Rodney’s enormous gifts should do the things he did. Or rather, not do the things he should have done.
…There was a lot of difference at Tottenham, and we can be proud of that result in the circumstances. We were two goals down in the early stages, winger Peter Barnes should really have been home in bed because he was running such a high temperature, Asa Hartford was still struggling with his shoulder injury, Colin Bell was on the brink of an outbreak of ‘flu and Dave Watson was playing in the centre forward position at a critical time for him-after all, he is wanting to secure his England position at centre half with next week’s match against Czechoslovakia in view.
Add all these difficulties together and I maintain that our come-back to 2-2 was as good as coming away from there with a victory. Courage and character, plus sustained effort, got us through.
I was privileged to lead City as the new captain in this first serious test of our resilience. I did nothing out of the ordinary, I was not carried away with the acceptance of authority. To be given the job was a pleasant surprise-after 13 years service with the Blues, it’s an honour to end up as their skipper.