Tottenham Hotspur Away FA Cup 4th Round Replay Lost 3 – 2
And so to Tottenham for what could prove to be our last ever F.A. Cup replay – certainly if the manager gets his way. Ralph went with his usual ploy for this competition with Gunn in goal and Lewis on the bench, but there was no place in the squad for Djenepo due to illness – hopefully not the same disease that has removed Valery from contention for so long. There wasn’t a lot of pre-match confidence for this one, which was a surprise as spirits had been high after the draw at St. Mary’s. The team had no such problems and began brightly before going behind on 12 minutes when Ndombele’s shot bound for the advertising boards found the net thanks to a big deflection off Stephens‘ attempt to block. Back came Southampton with Ings crashing a close range shot against the bar before Lloris could only parry a Redmond shot for Long to slot home the loose ball. Then with the interval on the horizon came a really unfortunate moment when Ward-Prowse managed to damage his knee in a most innocent play and was stretchered off, looking ready for a long lay-off; on came Vestergaard with Stephens now moving to right back. Boufal was the only one of our players not performing up to expectations and he was taken off after missing a very presentable second half chance, but it was Tottenham’s inclusion of the half-fit Alli after 61 minutes that was to be the decisive move. Before a fatal last 15 minutes, though, Saints went ahead with what could be our best goal of the season: Redmond found Ings after a mazy run out of defence and although Danny still had a lot to do to get rid of Tanganga, he netted with some aplomb. With the clock showing 72 minutes, 1-2 should have been a winning position against opponents who hitherto over the two games had looked most dangerous when playing on the break, but the lead was only to last six minutes as Moura exchanged passes with Alli and went on to deliver a decisive finish of his own. That left extra time looming, but Alli then found a great pass to Son Heung-Min that left Gunn as the last line of defence and that last line could do no more than concede a penalty, although in slow-mo it’s hard to see how. VAR disagreed, Heung-Min scored, of course, and that was the end of our 2019/20 trophy hunt. Unlucky Saints, but you often make your own luck and conceding three goals was our downfall.
LSSC Man of the Match: Jack Stephens, despite the own goal and maybe getting caught out by Son’s late game run. He was playing well at centre back and (mostly) performed well when drafted into a wider role.