Team: Hucker, Fenwick, Gillard, Waddock, Hazell, Roeder, Currie, Flanagan, Allen (Micklewhite), Stainrod, Gregory
Clive Allen’s goal at Highbury secured our place at Wembley and Tottenham had defeated Leicester City 2-0 at Villa Park so the FA Cup Final was to be an all-London affair. Elsewhere, the campaign to re-take the Falklands was still underway, which provoked an intense media debate as to whether Tottenham’s two Argentine players should play in the final. As it turned out Ossie Ardiles left for Argentina to prepare for the World Cup and apparently Ricardo Villa withdrew himself from the squad. Ken Jones’s match report appeared in the Sunday Mirror the following day:
‘Rangers climbed up from the floor just when it seemed that Glenn Hoddle had won the Cup for Spurs. Free at last from the attentions of young Gary Waddock, with room to move in on the Rangers goal, Hoddle struck in the 109th minute, So despairing were the Second Division club that some of them slumped agonisingly to the floor.
But somewhere in their heavy legs Rangers had one more attack to offer, one more example of the enthusiasm that had brought them all the way to Wembley. Stainrod hurled the ball in from Tottenham’s right, Hazell headed on and Terry Fenwick, arriving on the far post, put the chance high into Ray Clemences’s net. All joy on the touchline, where Rangers manager Terry Venables was on his feet applauding, while others hugged each other excitedly. Rangers had survived when it looked as though they were dead in what had never been more than a moderate Cup Final.
The teams play again in the famous old stadium next Thursday night and it must be hoped that they will be able to offer more than they did in this match. It wasn’t that either team broke any promises, but simply that they weren’t able to play well enough on the day. Cup Finals are not usually the most exciting of contests, most of them failing to fulfil the pre-match promise and publicity.
So it was at Wembley this time, to where Rangers came hoping that they could add their name to the romantic achievements of Second Division clubs who had succeeded before them. Spurs, on the other hand, were looking to take at least one prize from a season that had promised so much until the final wearying weeks, when fixtures caught up with them.
Spurs were bound to be apprehensive, fearing perhaps that their destiny was to win nothing in 1982. But for a long period in the first-half and indeed throughout most of the match, they looked the more superior, the classier team. Had their finishing matched their work in midfield, had they been able to take advantage of Rangers inability to play as a convincing unit, then Spurs might have made sure of it long before the match dragged into another 30 minutes that had a deadening effect on already tired legs.
But for two of the Rangers men, two of the younger ones, the memories will be bright and worth recalling. Peter Hucker had a fine match in goal until the faintest of a deflection deceived him when Hoddle shot Spurs ahead. Waddock, a ginger-haired terrier in the tradition of combative midfield players, also had an outstanding game, worrying Hoddle into long periods of ineffectiveness. With Hoddle being kept at bay, Spurs had to rely on more orthodox methods to try and penetrate the Rangers defence. They were helped by Tony Currie’s deployment, so deep in his own half that Hazard was able to push forward from midfield, an attacker within range of goal whenever Currie could be dispossessed.
Rangers tried to take the game to Spurs from the opening minutes, but once Allen was seen to be limping after a heavy tackle on the edge of the penalty area, that early purpose disappeared from the Second Division team’s play. And there was an ominous moment for Rangers when Crooks swept on to a pass from Hazard to unleash a curling left-footed shot that skimmed the crossbar.
Graham Roberts, who was used in midfield after the Spurs manager Keith Burkinshaw had chosen not to select the Argentine Ricky Villa, gave early notice that his tackles are less effective when delivered away from his familiar station alongside the Tottenham centre-half. That was not the only function of this solid man from Dorset, who was soon seen thrusting forward from midfield to shoot fiercely into Hucker’s hands. Those hands were to be warmed all afternoon.
Much of Spurs’ early hopes rested with Galvin’s pace and he had to be pulled down in full flight on the edge of the area, leaving Hoddle with a chance to employ his skills at a free kick. The shot skipped just wide of the near post – but within a minute Spurs were back again. Archibald centred from the right and Hucker was in trouble until he palmed the ball on to the top of his own net. Hucker did well again, this time responding quickly to make a reflex save from Hazard. Hucker was stopping everything and he made another splendid save, pushing Archibald’s shot away one-handed after Crooks had set up the chance.
The Cup was almost won in romantic style when Hoddle found a way to free his captain, Steve Perryman, who was doubtful until a couple of hours before the match. Perryman is ‘Footballer of the Year’ and he was almost a Cup winning hero, but Hucker went bravely at his feet.
Stainrod got to the ball, hooked it expertly, but the roar died in Rangers throats when Clemence managed to reach the shot. Spurs brought on Brooke for Hazard and he immediately drove in a powerful shot that Hucker fisted acrobatically, over the bar. Then Hoddle managed to steer clear of Waddock in the 109th minute. He exchanged passes with Roberts and shot as he was falling. The ball glanced minutely off Currie’s left leg – and that was too much even for Hucker. So to the final drama, to Fenwick’s goal, to the prospect of yet another match for Spurs this season.’
MOM: Peter Hucker
Unfortunately Clive Allen was injured after only 10 minutes, but he managed to continue until the 52nd minute when he was replaced by Gary Micklewhite. I can still see our dramatic equaliser in my mind’s eye, Simon Stainrod’s throw-in from the left, flicked on by Bobby Hazell and put away superbly by Terry Fenwick. The replay was set for the following Thursday and I can also remember coming out of White City Station and joining a very, very long queue before eventually purchasing a ticket.