Spurs goalkeeper Hooper punches clear as Sunderland go on the attack.

White Hart Lane's Biggest Crowd

Tottenham Hotspur 0 v 1 Sunderland AFC
White Hart Lane, London
FA Cup 6th Round, 5 March 1938
Attendance 75,038

London or at least that part of London that is forever Tottenham will perhaps be discussing a disallowed goal for some time to come. Lyman shot or centred and Gibbon throwing himself headlong after the ball appeared to push it in with his hands Mr Snape ordered a free kick, then consulted a linesman and reaffirmed his decision. The crowds howls had now turned to groans. Little did they know that Mr Snapes decision was based on two infringements, offside and handball. Even if the ball had not been handled it would not have counted.

As things usually go it was Sunderland who eventually took the lead and a lovely goal it was after 80 minutes play. Hastings sent across to Duns who passed to Burbanks and the winger cut the ball back into open space. Carter was running into position as usual and the shot was glorious leaving the crestfallen Hooper to pick the ball out of the net. That ought to have been his task a few mins earlier when Duns was given the best chance of the game. There were 3 real football movements in the game, all from Sunderland and with scoring chances attached to all of three. They took one and moved into the semi-final of the cup for the second successive year.

One has some sympathy for Tottenham. The way they fought at least entitled them to a second chance. Yet there was nothing lucky about Sunderlands victory. A goal produced by such a perfect movement could not possibly be described as luck. Without possessing Sunderlands cool skill the Spurs side were gallant fighters. They hit the ball and were quick into the tackle. Their marking was so prompt and vigorous that it helped to make the tie a keen hard struggle rather than a classic. Ward was a tearaway full back who hit man and ball. Rowe was steady and reliable and Hall always schemed to get his wing going.

Everyman including the goalkeeper went for the ball and yet despite their keenness there was hardly a bad foul in the game. The referee had only to speak to 2 men whose keenness was overruling their better judgement. Sunderland had two who stood out above the rest. Mapson was great with 3 saves, one a single handed catch in mid air and Johnston was brilliant at centre half. Morrison could make little of him and Gibbons came into the centre but Johnston held him just as well. No one knows better than the wearside backs what Johnston meant to the team. Hastings was skilful, Thomson poor in the first half, good in the second.

The Sunderland forwards found the home defence coming in so quickly that they had no time to develop attacks. Furthermore the Spurs inside forwards fell back so frequently that the visiting wing halves could not draw their opposite numbers up field. Yet it was the falling back business which cost Tottenham the game in the 2nd half. They left it to the wingers to do the attacking and Sunderlands defence held out. They have now won the 4 ties to the semi-final by a single goal to love. Furthermore the fateful 13th is over. They have now played that number of cup ties without defeat.

Tottenham Hotspur - Hooper, Ward, Whatley, Buckingham, Rowe, Grice, Sargent, Hall, Morrison, Gibbons, Lyman
Sunderland - Mapson, Gorman, Hall, Thomson, Johnston, Hastings, Duns, Carter, Gurney, Gallacher, Burbanks

The original black and white press photograph that the colourised image above is taken from.

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