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200 up in the League Cup!

Posted on 18 December 2013  - 10:00

Tonight's tie against West Ham represents our 200th match in the League Cup.

Ledley King lifts the trophy at Wembley, 2008Martin Peters and goalscorer Ralph Coates with the trophy at Wembley, 1973Steve Perryman - most appearancesMartin Chivers - top scorer in League Cup

We've come full circle on our route to 200 as our first match in the competition was against the Hammers in 1966.

Having opted out from competing in the first six years of the tournament, we made our bow with a second round visit to Upton Park on September 14, 1966. Geoff Hurst scored the only goal of the evening in the eighth minute.

We claimed our first victory in the League Cup – following another opt out for European action during 1967-68 – on September 4, 1968.

That came at Villa Park where Martin Chivers scored our opening goal in the 41st minute, latching on to a Gilzean knock down. He added two more after the interval to claim his first hat-trick since joining us from Southampton at the start of the year. Cliff Jones scored our fourth goal to give us a 4-1 victory over the Second Division outfit.

Chivers was on hand to net both of our goals against Aston Villa  - in the old Third Division at the time - in our first League Cup final at Wembley on February 27, 1971. The 11 players used that day – Pearce stood by as an unused substitute – had an average age of 25 years 137 days, the youngest of our four cup-winning sides.

Our second success came two years later as Ralph Coates scored the only goal in the final against Norwich City on March 3, 1973. He had come on as a substitute for the injured John Pratt after 25 minutes. The final back then was played on a Saturday afternoon with a full programme of league fixtures also taking place. Highlights of the final were shown by ITV on the Sunday afternoon.

Martin Chivers was on target twice against Doncaster in December, 1975 to take his tally of League Cup goals for us to 23. Jermain Defoe is his nearest challenger with 14 goals to date. Clive Allen and Teddy Sheringham netted 13 apiece and Martin Peters 12.

Having reached 13 semi-finals – which have always been played home and away – and needed 16 replays, tonight’s game is our 150th tie in the competition.

We set a competition record in 1981-82 by reaching the final without conceding a goal. We won 1-0 home and away to Manchester United in round two and saw off Wrexham (2-0), Fulham and Nottingham Forest (both 1-0) here.

The semi-final at West Bromwich Albion was goal-less with Micky Hazard netting the decisive goal in the second leg here. Our luck ran out at Wembley when we lost 1-3 to Liverpool after extra time, our first ever defeat at the national stadium.

Steve Perryman made the last of his club record 66 League Cup appearances in the fourth round replay at Portsmouth on November 27, 1985. He had scored on his competition debut in a 3-0 home win over Swansea City on September 9, 1970.

Gary Mabbutt got close to his tally with 62 games between 1982 and 1997. Next on the list are Paul Allen and Glenn Hoddle with 44 each.

Season 1986-87 brought our highest scoring League Cup campaign with 25 goals. Clive Allen was on target in each of our nine games, netting a dozen goals in all.

His tally included a nine-minute hat-trick here against West Ham in a fifth round replay on February 2.

Paul Gascoigne is the only Spur to have scored four goals in a League Cup match, doing so in a second round first leg meeting with Hartlepool United on September 26, 1990.

We won seven of our eight matches on the way to lifting the trophy for the third time during 1998-99. Our only drawn game that season was the goal-less first leg of the semi-final here against Wimbledon.

Having negotiated our way past Brentford and Northampton Town in rounds two and three, we faced Liverpool and Manchester United to reach the last four. We struck late against Leicester City through Allan Nielsen in our last appearance beneath the old twin towers at Wembley Stadium on March 21.

We reached the 2007-08 final by the shortest possible route, seeing off Middlesbrough, Blackpool and Manchester City before taking on Arsenal in the semi-final. Another memorable 5-1 scoreline took us through to the Wembley final where Jonathan Woodgate scored the extra time winner against Chelsea on February 24.

The penalty shoot-out win against Hull City in the last round this season was our first successful one in this competition.

A total of 66 different clubs have been met in the competition with Arsenal being our most frequent opponents, having faced our nearest neighbours in 12 matches spread across seven ties.

Look out for the full version of this feature, including more stats and facts, in tonigjht's official match programme...