03:00PM, Sunday 28 July 2019
Trailing 3-0 to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in the third round of the FA Cup may not sound like the pre cursor to a historic moment. But for Marlow FC it was, writes Danny Varsalona.
In the 1992/93 season Marlow navigated replays against Sailsbury City and VS. Rugby to reach the third round of the FA Cup where they were handed a marquee tie against Premier League opposition in Tottenham Hotspur. The match produced a six-goal thriller, with Spurs coming out on top 5-1 – but it has lived long in the memory for Blues fans who saw their club play at White Hart Lane.
Former Marlow FC chairman Michael Eagleton remembers the anticipation prior to the match at White Hart Lane, after the tie had to be switched to make sure both sets of fans were able to enjoy the game.
“It was terrific,” said Eagleton
“That was hair raising because we were drawn at home and the thought of Spurs coming to Marlow (was) knockout you know.
“It was good – we were on Match of the Day – 27,000 people showed up, not quite a full house, but nearly.”
Marlow were by no means overawed by the occasion, creating numerous chances throughout the game. But Spurs flexed their muscles as they went 2-0 up with goals from Teddy Sheringham and Nicky Barmby in the first half before Vinny Samways made it three after the interval. But it was not soon before Dave Russell and Lawrie Craker's side had their moment.
Ansil Bushay used his pace, jinking in between two Spurs players on the edge of the box before driving past the challenge.
Heading towards the by-line the forward had the peace of mind to cut the ball back across for the waiting David Lay. Who else?
The captain was on hand to thump the ball home and send the Marlow fans, and players into delirium. They had their goal. Their FA Cup third round goal.
“David Lay’s goal was marvellous,” added Eagleton.
“It was a fantastic goal and he was playing into our end, so the goal was fantastic.”
The match ended 5-1 to the Premier League side, but the day was and still remains a special time for fans, players and staff at Marlow FC. “
“The media attention was terrific,” said Eagleton. “I cut out all the bits – I’ve still got a scrapbook somewhere – we were in all the national papers. It was talked about, had we done something at Spurs, to be the greatest FA shock of all time but nobody expected it, except me.”
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