Rochdale 2-2 Spurs - report from Crown Oil Arena
Sun 18 February 2018, 17:59|Tottenham Hotspur
An unlikely stoppage-time equaliser from substitute Steve Davies saw League One Rochdale snatch a Wembley replay in our FA Cup fifth round tie on Sunday afternoon.
We'd been made to work hard all afternoon by the hosts at the Crown Oil Arena and fell behind on the stroke of half-time when Ian Henderson fired past Michel Vorm.
Minds started to wander back to our fourth round struggles at Newport County when we fell behind against a lower-ranked side on their own patch and were reliant on a late equaliser to force a replay.
Thankfully we didn't have to wait as long as we did at Rodney Parade as new signing Lucas Moura capped an excellent performance on his full debut to level just before the hour-mark.
Dale were clearly starting to tire and it was very much one-way traffic as the second half wore on and, when Dele Alli was upended by Harrison McGahey in the box late on, up stepped substitute Harry Kane to fire us ahead from the spot on the ground at which he made his Football League debut as a 17-year-old on loan at Leyton Orient in January, 2011.
There only looked to be one winner as we kept pushing on but when Rochdale attacked down the left and a cross came in, it flicked off the top of Toby Alderweireld's head and fell to Davies on the far side, who took a quick touch before drilling into the bottom corner in the third of four added minutes.
The replay, the winners of which will be away to either Sheffield Wednesday or Swansea City in the quarter-finals, is provisionally scheduled for Wednesday 28 February, kick-off 8pm, but is subject to change for live television coverage.
As a further consequence of the result, next Monday's Premier League trip to Crystal Palace now reverts to Sunday 25 February, kick-off 12pm, live on Sky Sports.
There was a full debut for Lucas, our new signing from Paris Saint-Germain, as Mauricio Pochettino made 11 changes to the team that drew with Juventus in the Champions League in midweek.
Save: Lillis denies Son, Llorente Wide - 26mins
Both sides were looking to get the ball down and play, making for an entertaining opening to the contest with Lucas looking especially lively in possession. Henderon fired straight at Vorm in a good chance for Dale, Heung-Min Son's goalbound shot was blocked by McGahey before a big chance for us on 26 minutes was spurned. Son went through on the left side of the box and attempted to place a shot beyond Josh Lillis but was denied by a low save from the keeper, the South Korean international couldn't find a shooting chance on the rebound and the ball was worked to Fernando Llorente, who twisted and turned under pressure before firing wide.
Chance: Henderson skies it for Rochdale - 32mins
Right-back Kieran Trippier, who used to live close to Rochdale's ground, was defending crosses into the box very well but a chance came from his side just after the half-hour mark. Callum Camps lifted the ball into the box and Henderson took the shot on early as it dropped over his right shoulder, but ballooned it off target from the angle with just Vorm to beat.
Goal: Rochdale 1-0 Spurs - Ian Henderson - 45mins
Lucas was denied by a fine challenge from Camps after a clever exchange with Son in the box but seconds later - on the stroke of half-time - we fell behind. We were opened right up as Stephen Humphrys worked the ball out to Andrew Cannon and he played it through for Henderson to hammer past Vorm.
Goal: Rochdale 1-1 Spurs - Lucas Moura - 59mins
The equaliser came from a slick move started and ended by Lucas. He played the ball infield from the left to Moussa Sissoko and made a run to receive a well-timed return pass from the France international, firing past Lillis from just inside the box.
Goal: Rochdale 1-2 Spurs - Harry Kane (penalty) - 88mins
More and more chances were coming our way in the closing half-an-hour. Victor Wanyama missed a good chance at the back post, steering over when Trippier's corner was flicked on, Juan Foyth's header forced Lillis into a save but the flag had gone up with Erik Lamela's corner deemed to have looped out of play and Dele's great back-heel was met by Lamela, only for defender Jimmy McNulty to make a great block and Kane couldn't capitalise on the loose ball. The breakthrough came two minutes from the end of normal time, though, as Lamela's deflected shot went through to Dele, who was fouled in the box by McGahey and up stepped Kane to plant home the penalty.
Goal: Rochdale 2-2 Spurs - Steve Davies - 90+3mins
But there was to be more late drama. A cross came in from the left, took a touch off Alderweireld's head and landed perfectly for Davies to take a touch and drill inside the back post on his left foot, sending the home crowd wild.
Mauricio Pochettino said
"It's good news that we are going to play a replay at Wembley. It was a difficult game, just like it was at Newport (in the fourth round). This type of game is so difficult and we have to be careful how we assess the performance. It's the magic of the competition. We gave our best and tried to win but I repeat, it's not easy to compete in these circumstances. We're still alive in the competition and that's most important."
Lucas Moura said
"I'm so happy, my first game (start), my first goal - of course I wanted the win. It was a very hard game. Rochdale were strong and made it difficult but we tried and now we need to prepare for the second game (replay) at Wembley. I'm sure we can play a big game and we can win."
Rochdale (3-5-2): Lillis, McGahey, McNulty (Inman 89), Delaney, Rafferty (Rathbone 80), Cannon, Camps, Kitching, Done, Henderson (c), Humphrys (Davies 75). Substitutes (not used): Moore, Ntlhe, Thompson, Adshead.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Vorm (c), Trippier, Foyth, Alderweireld, Rose, Wanyama, Winks (Lamela 62), Sissoko, Lucas (Dele 71), Son, Llorente (Kane 76). Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Walker-Peters, Sanchez, Dier.
Goals: Rochdale - Henderson 45, Davies 90+3; Spurs - Lucas 59, Kane 88 (pen).
Yellow cards: Rochdale - Rafferty 73, Rathbone 85, McGahey 88; Spurs - Alderweireld 64.
Referee: Robert Madley.
Our next fixture has shifted has a result of the outcome against Rochdale - we now go to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday 25 February, kick-off 12pm, as opposed to Monday 26 February in the evening.