|The New Year began on a
sad note for Tottenham with the news in the programme for
the Watford home game on Monday 2nd January that reserve
team defender Peter Southey had died following a long
battle against illness. Southey had made his only first
team appearance for the club, whilst still an apprentice,
in the Division One game against Brighton at White Hart
Lane in September 1979. Promoted from the reserves and
making his debut for Spurs against Watford on a very wet
and windy afternoon was Allan Cockram, who later said,
"I really wanted to play in that game because of
team mate Peter Southey passing away. I knew there would
be a minute's silence in his memory before the game and I
wanted to be out there in honour of him. I was playing
for Peter as much as myself." The silence was well
observed by both sets of supporters. On such occasions,
the result of a mere football match becomes somewhat
insignificant. For the record, Spurs lost 3-2 that
afternoon, having struggled to cope with the playing
conditions and Watford's long-ball game.
The first Saturday of the New Year was FA Cup Third Round day, with Spurs travelling to Craven Cottage to take on Malcolm Macdonald's Second Division Fulham. Having started the match with an unfamiliar looking back four, which included Mark Bowen and Gary O'Reilly, both making rare first team appearances, our defence then lost Graham Roberts with half an hour to go as he took over in goal from the injured Ray Clemence. Our England international goalkeeper had suffered a shoulder injury early on but had battled on well into the second half before being unable to continue. A fine performance between the sticks by Roberts helped keep Spurs in the competition as the game ended 0-0. In those days replays were usually scheduled for the week following the first game, not 10-11 days after as is the norm nowadays, so four days later Fulham travelled to White Hart Lane. Despite his heroics between the sticks in the first game, Roberts was no doubt pleased to be back in his usual defensive role. Tony Parks took over in goal, making his first appearance of the season and he kept a clean sheet as we won 2-0, Roberts again making himself unpopular with Fulham by scoring. Steve Archibald got the other goal as Spurs ended a run of seven games without a victory.
Roberts was again on the score-sheet three days later, together with Mark Falco, as we returned to league action with a 2-0 home win over Ipswich Town at The Lane. Hopes of a third successive victory were dashed the following week at struggling Everton, where Spurs succumbed to a late Adrian Heath goal. The crowd at Goodison Park for this meeting of two of the "Big Five" was only 18,003. The result meant that Everton had done the double over Spurs and left us in twelfth position in the Division One table.
The draw for the Fourth Round of the FA Cup gave Tottenham a tough home draw against Norwich City. The Canaries stood two places above Spurs in the Division One table and we were unable to break down the visitors defence. A tight game ended in a goalless draw. The replay took place the following Wednesday and for Spurs fans it was a case of déjà vu as we slipped to our second 2-1 defeat at Carrow Road in less than two months, Mark Falco notching our solitary goal. Tottenham recovered from the Cup knock-out with an excellent 2-2 draw at second placed Nottingham Forest three days later, which was the start of a four-match unbeaten run in the League.
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