Five... firsts against Forest
Fri 10 March 2023, 11:45|Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday represents Nottingham Forest's first visit to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and a first trip to N17 since Ryan Mason and Harry Kane were amongst the goalscorers in a 3-1 win in the League Cup in September, 2014.
It's a fixture with many stories down the years, not least the 1991 FA Cup Final, and here are five firsts against Forest, starting all the way back in 1909...
First league match v Forest
Spurs 2-2 Forest - 25.12.1909
You have to turn back almost 113 years for our first meeting with Nottingham Forest - a festive double-header back in 1909. We were in only our second season in the Football League, having won promotion to the First Division from the Second at the first attempt in 1908/09. Forest had also been relegated as recently as 1906 but bounced back to the top flight straight away. Our first meeting was on Christmas Day, 1909, a 2-2 draw at the Lane with Percy Humphreys scoring both of our goals. We then travelled to Nottingham two days later for another 2-2 draw, this time Robert Steel and Bert Middlemiss on target. We finished 15th, Forest one place above us in 14th.
FA Cup semi-final showdown
Spurs 2-1 Forest - Hillsborough - 29.04.1967
Our first FA Cup meeting against Forest couldn't have been much bigger - with a coveted place in the final at stake. The clash at Hillsborough was seen as a classic by reporters. Indeed, Hugh McIlvenney, one of the all-time greats of the press box, began his report by stating, 'It will take a remarkable Cup Final to submerge the memory of this magnificently stirring preliminary...'. Many of McIlvenney's fellow scribes saw Forest as unlucky on the day, but there was no argument about the goals that took us to a third FA Cup Final in six years. Jimmy Greaves drilled us into the lead from 30 yards on 30 minutes, a strike matched by Frank Saul on 70 minutes, a 25-yard rocket into the top corner. Terry Hennessey replied with five minutes remaining, but we held on to take our place against Chelsea in the first all-London final. Saul hit the target again alongside Jimmy Robertson as we lifted the trophy for the fifth time.
Ossie & Ricky's debut
Forest 1-1 Spurs - 19.08.1978
'Spurs scoop the world' stated the front page headline of the Express on 10 July, 1978, heralding the arrival of Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa at Spurs, less than a month after they'd helped Argentina win the World Cup on home soil. Six weeks later, it was down to business, and what an opening-day fixture - champions Forest at the City Ground. Don't forget, this was also our first game back in the top flight after relegation in 1976/77 was followed by an immediate return via a third-place finish in the Second Division in 1977/78. Ossie and Ricky both started, played the full 90 minutes and Ricky capped his debut with his first goal, slotting home from Ian Moores' cross on 27 minutes to cancel out Martin O'Neil's opener. We finished 11th, Forest went on to win the European Cup. More importantly, it was the start of a love affair between Ossie, Ricky and Spurs, the pair as popular as ever 45 years later...
Double debut for deadly duo
Spurs 2-0 Forest - 16.08.1980
Steve Archibald and Garth Crooks scored a combined 152 goals in 371 appearances in all competitions between 1980-85. They were never more lethal as a partnership than in their first season together, 1980/81, when they scored 47 goals as Keith Burkinshaw continued to build a team that would eventually win back-to-back FA Cups, the UEFA Cup and challenge for the title. Archibald arrived from Aberdeen, Crooks from Stoke City, and they made their debuts together against Forest on the opening day of the 1980/81 season. Glenn Hoddle opened the scoring, slotting home from the penalty spot against Peter Shilton before setting up Crooks for the second, finished superbly, as the striker skipped around Shilton before rolling home. Crooks would later score on the biggest stage as we won the FA Cup against City in a replay in May, 1981.
Ryan Mason's first Spurs goal
Spurs 3-1 Forest - 24.09.2014
Ryan Mason made his debut off the bench in the UEFA Cup against NEC in November, 2008. Almost six years later, he still had just four appearances to his name. However, 'Mase' had impressed new manager Mauricio Pochettino on our summer tour of the USA in 2014 and got his chance off the bench with us trailing 1-0 against Forest in the League Cup on 24 September. It proved his breakthrough moment, as minutes later, the midfielder smashed home from 30 yards to level the tie at the Lane. Roberto Soldado and a certain Harry Kane also scored as we ran out 3-1 winners. Days later, Mason made his full Premier League debut in the north London derby at Arsenal, an indication of the trust 'Poch' had in him. Now on Antonio Conte's coaching staff, Ryan went on to make 37 appearances in 2014/15 - including the League Cup Final - and 70 in total before his switch to Hull City in 2016.