Historic in the sense that our 7-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers was our biggest away win since our formation in 1882 (we’ve had more significant wins, but at home). It is a game one will never forget.
It was only just before Christmas that I had already made a trip to Liverpool, and that was the Everton game (where we thrashed them 6-2 at their ground). Hopefully, the Liverpool region will be one of our favourite stop-overs, and we’ve still got Liverpool F.C to go, at Anfield. Any predictions? I am predicting that we will win that match away, after all, we do have a good away record. We have already won as many away games in all competitions this season (13 wins from 18 matches) than we managed in the entirety of 2017-18 (13 of 26).
This trip was a round trip of 7 hours (208 miles). Luckily for me, there were no problems, and I made it in the time the Sat Nav said I would (apart from a few roadworks, which meant 50-mile limits on Motorways).
I left my house at 11.30 am, up the A34 to M40, then M6 Toll (cost me £5.40) to M56. From there to Mount Road/ B5151 in Birkenhead. Exit 4 from M53 and then to the ground. I tell you all this because I/ we had so much fun going there and scoring all those goals that we may want to do this on regular occasions (and you may want to come).
Anyway, got to the ground at 3pm, asked some people where best to park (around the ground is for Permit holders). I was told to drive a bit further up, past the traffic lights and you could park on the main road (7 minutes walk to the ground). This is one of the reasons I leave so early, to get a good parking spot.
After parking up, I walked to the stadium and across the road from the ground was a pub. Popped in for a large glass of wine and snacks. Stayed for a while and then went back to my car for an hours kip. Six-fifteen arrived, and I made my way to the stadium. Just as I arrived, the Tottenham supporters coaches arrived, and Martin came out. We went straight in the ground, bought a programme each, got two teas and two pies (not all for me) and then we went to our seats.
I say to our seats, but this was the first ground I’ve been to where you can sit wherever you want (no designated seats). Also lucky for me, nobody was in front so I could sit throughout the match (unusual for an away match). We chatted and gave our predictions (I said, 5-1, as Spurs usually give away a token goal, and Martin said 2-0).
The players came out for a warm-up, we applauded and waited. The clock ticked by, the players went back into the changing rooms, then after a respectable time, usually five minutes before kick-off, they came out to loud applauses, team news is given, players went to their position, and we waited.
Because this was Tranmere Rovers, and that we had an important game on Tuesday we thought that this game wasn’t going to be that significant, and even though I predicted 5-1, they (as in Spurs) might consider one goal enough (as it only takes one goal to go to the next round of the FA Cup).
The whistle went, and for the first forty-five minutes it looked like one-goal was all we were going to get. So, nothing spectacular in the first half. Our goal was scored by Aurier (after 40 minutes). We had been kept out for 40 minutes until Serge Aurier hit a 25-yard shot that deflected off Emmanuel Monthe before swerving into the top corner.
In the break, we were joined by another friend, Colin, who told us he had predicted 3-0. Didn’t look likely seeing what we had witnessed in the first half. Spurs weren’t under threat, but at the same time, they didn’t look like they wanted to get out of first gear.
The second half was a whole different kettle of fish, how wrong could one be when speculating.
Fernando Llorente scored a hat-trick as we scored seven goals. Llorente, making just his second start of the season, scored three in 24 minutes as Spurs recorded their biggest away win in the club’s history (and I was there). First, he turned in Son Heung-min’s cut-back in the 48th minute for our second and then slid a finish under Tranmere goalkeeper Scott Davies from Oliver Skipp’s pass. Just a minute later the Spaniard completed his hat-trick by poking in Lucas Moura’s cross before being replaced by Kane.
Llorente’s first goal was the first of three in nine minutes for us at the start of the second half with Aurier slotting in his second and Son scoring a fine individual goal with a solo run from deep.
Kane added the seventh in the 82nd minute with a calm chip over Davies from inside the penalty area to draw level with Cliff Jones as Spurs’ joint fourth top scorer on 159 goals. After he scored, he went to the away end and slapped palms with our supporters.
Their best chance came shortly after Llorente had given us a two-goal lead, but Harvey Gilmour’s shot was blocked over after a long throw.
The whistle finally went, saving Tranmere any further humiliation. The fans were ecstatic, turning the cold air a little less bitter.
This was our most significant margin of victory in a competitive match since we beat Wigan Athletic 9-1 in the Premier League in November 2009, and our biggest in the FA Cup since we beat Crewe 13-2 in a fourth-round replay in February 1960. I saw the Wigan game, and I was told that I had been taken to the Crewe home game, but I have no memory of it, being as I would have been about 4ish.
So that was that and a great night and great memories of this historical record-breaking game.
As I left, saying my goodbyes, I departed the stadium from a different direction and being a bit disorientated I ended up going in a different direction. Finally, I got my bearings (I asked a Bobby where the main road was) and then got back to my car.
There was a queue getting out (about twenty minutes), but then I got on the main road and back home. The only incident I had was when a campervan tried to change lanes, there is nothing wrong with that, other than I was in the lane he wanted to be in and if it weren’t for me being wide awake at that time of night, he would have collided with me. Didn’t I half give him the horn (that sounds wrong, somehow ☺). I got home at 1.30 am.
I did manage to get up at 9, go to the gym for two hours. After that long Friday day, I am surprised I managed to get up so early and back into the land of the living. When you reach my age, usually it takes a lot longer getting into the land of any living area.
So, that is my tale, another one will be just around the corner (Chelsea).
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