|Following a 1-1 draw
against Sunderland at Roker Park with Falco on the
score-sheet again, Spurs returned to UEFA Cup action. The
Semi-Final draw had given us Hajduk Split as opponents,
with the first leg in rainy Yugoslavia. Mark Falco gave
Tottenham the lead and a vital away goal following a
penalty awarded for handball after eighteen minutes.
Although Falco's spot-kick was saved, as indeed was his
follow-up, Tony Galvin picked up the loose ball and
crossed it into the crowded goalmouth where a grateful
Falco steered the ball into the back of the net. Two
Hajduk Split goals in the second half gave the home side
a narrow first leg advantage.
For the first time in eight years Spurs were going to have to appoint a new manager, with Keith Burkinshaw announcing his resignation from the job, to take effect from the end of the season.
Spurs played three league matches before the return leg against Hajduk Split. Two successive fixtures at White Hart Lane both ended in 2-1 home victories, goals from Graham Roberts and Mark Falco giving us the points against Luton Town (whose consolation was scored by 17-year old Garry Parker). Roberts was on target again in our victory over Aston Villa, Gary Mabbutt scoring our other goal. On Easter Saturday Arsenal achieved their third victory of the season against us with a 3-2 win at Highbury. Stewart Robson put the home side in front before Charlie Nicholas scored (which he did with annoying regularity against Spurs) to put Arsenal 2-0 up. In between two Steve Archibald strikes (his 17th and 18th league goals of the season), Tony Woodcock scored what proved to be Arsenal's winner.
The second leg of the Hajduk Split tie turned out to be one of the many memorable European nights at White Hart Lane. A crowd of 43,969 saw Mike Hazard put us 1-0 up on the night and level at 2-2 on aggregate with a sweetly-struck free kick after only seven minutes. Mid-celebration, Hazard suddenly ran off the pitch and headed for the dressing rooms. All was later explained, with Hazard having gone off to put a contact lens back in, after it had been dislodged from his eye during the post-goal shenanigans with his team-mates.
The rest of the match was an extremely tense affair. It was vital that Tottenham prevented the Yugoslavs from scoring. Somehow we managed to keep the visitors at bay for the remaining 83 minutes. Hajduk Split were an excellent side and it took an outstanding Spurs performance to safeguard the slim advantage. Hazard's goal proved to be the only one of the night and Spurs went through on the away goals rule, with the aggregate score 2-2, Mark Falco's goal in Yugoslavia proving crucial. The winners of the other Semi - Final were the Belgium side Anderlecht, who beat Notts. Forest. The two-legged Final was to take place on 9 and 23 May, with the first leg in Belgium.
We ended the month by returning to league action with a visit to Queens Park Rangers and a game on the Loftus Road's plastic pitch. An excellent game played on a very warm afternoon in front of a large crowd of nearly 25,000 (including a huge contingent of visiting fans crammed into the School End) ended 2-1 to Rangers. Wayne Fereday and John Gregory netted for the home side, with Steve Archibald reducing the deficit with a goal eighteen minutes from time.
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