• mark cunningham

Tottenham Impressive but Drop Two Points

Date: 05/09/1908 at Elland Road

Leeds opening match to Spurs in 1908

After a Fantastic opening match four days ago against Wolves, Tottenham had the start they wanted and now they wanted to make this into that run, but with this being the first away match of the season and most would not come tougher than Leeds City. With a new manager at the helm in Mr F Scott Walford an ex Tottenham Hotspur Amateur goalkeeper, Leeds were looking to open their campaign with a win and with over 20,000 supporters there to watch the match and 17,000 of them being paying customers giving a total gate of £400, showed just how much this match was looked forward to.

The only change to the Tottenham team that beat Wolverhampton Wanderers so comfortably is the absence of Woodward with Billy Minter coming in for him in a straight swap. Leeds Line up for there first game of the season, contained a number of new faces such as Naisby most coming from Walford old teams of Brentford and Brighton and Hove.

Leeds City; Naisby; Watson, White; Macalister, Hamilton, Cubberley; Joynes, Gemmell, Bowman, Rodger, Croot.

Tottenham Hotspur Hewitson; Coquet, Burton; Morris, D. Steel, Darnell; Walton, Minter, Macfarlane, R. Steel, Middlemiss

Referee: Mr Tom Robertson, Glasgow

Daniel Steel as captain took up his duty for the coin toss and was successful in winning it again for the second match on the trot and decided to play with the Breeze behind Tottenham in the first half. Early exchanges of the game were few and far between as both teams evenly matched each other and the ball hardly leaving the centre of the pitch. Bowman never left the centre circle. It was however after a smart move that got the first break away with Joynes getting a good run down the Right flank and as he was about to pull the trigger the ball was robbed from him by the Spurs back.

This attack woke up the Spurs and they made their camp inside the City’s half and Minter and Walton went at City for much of the half with White and Cubberley for City making the most interesting encounters. The City Defence held firm under the relentless Tottenham attack and Naisby showed some smart goalkeeping having to make some good saves from the strong shots that Minter put onto goal.

Middlemiss and City’s Watson soon had a tussle which was won by the City right back. From this attack the ball was sent straight back to the Tottenham penalty area with a big effort made by the Tottenham backs to keep Leeds at bay, Bowman was winding up his foot to score the opening goal but the Spurs defence through body’s in the way to deny him this opportunity and the first corner of the match was conceded.

As the half drew to a close, City gained the upper hand and pushed more and more for the opening goal, only to be meet by an equally tough Spurs defence, Roger and Bowman both trying there hardest but Mr Robertson blow the half time whistle and the teams went in on even terms

Halftime: Leeds City 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0

The Second half opened up with a starting pistol of a pace and Tottenham went at Leeds, The home crowed started to show there nerviness and Frustration at the home team. The Home team responded well to this and Bowman forcing a great save from Hewitson to be denied and Gemmell and Joynes both forcing their way into the Spurs box and forcing saves out of the Tottenham custodian.

The match turned into you attack we attack with Tottenham responding to Leeds upping their game by doing the same, Naisby and the City backs getting some hot treatment from the Tottenham forwards, again Leeds upped their game more and Hewitson responded in kind with some great goalkeeping to deny the Leeds forwards and getting applause from the whole ground for his efforts.

Tottenham’s outside right Walton provided Tottenham with some great crosses into the box but none were matched or placed into the back of the net due to some equally good defending by the Leeds defence. The game to the onlookers was so even that the draw looked the most likely result as both side cancelled out all efforts to score what would look like a winning goal.

This goal did come and thee men were the architect of the goal and it was Leeds who got this goal. Joynes Swung a neat pass to Bowman in the centre of the pitch who moved forward with the ball before passing it over to Rodger, who with a good hard straight shoot place the ball past Hewitson. Tottenham Rallied and gave some good advances and the best shot of the game (short of the Goal of course) came from Billy Minter who rifled a bullet shot that smacked the crossbar and went out of play and the opportunity passed for Tottenham and soon after the whistle went to end the match.

Full time: Leeds City 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

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