Swindon Town 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur (January 1994)

Goalscorers: Nick Barmby 30, Jan Aage Fjortoft 38, Adrian Whitbread 80

Teams:

Swindon Town: Nicky Hammond, Brian Kilcline, Luc Nijholt, Shaun Taylor, Adrian Whitbread, Kevin Horlock, Martin Ling (Paul Bodin 62), John Moncur, Nicky Summerbee, Jan Aage Fjortoft, Andy Mutch (Keith Scott 75)

Tottenham Hotspur: Erik Thorstvedt (Ian Walker 23), Dean Austin, Colin Calderwood, Justin Edinburgh, Stuart Nethercott, Steve Sedgley, Darren Caskey, Vinny Samways, Darren Anderton (Sol Campbell 41), Nick Barmby, Paul Mahorn

Referee: Paul Durkin, Attendance: 16,563

Swindon Town were looking for only their third Premier League win of the 1993-1994 season when former Robins boss Ossie Ardiles returned to the County Ground with his Tottenham Hotspur side.

In an effort to plug the defensive deficiencies with 60 goals leaked in 26 matches, beleaguered Swindon boss Jon Gorman brought in the experienced Brian Kilcline who made his first-team debut. Tottenham were only 15th in the table and were in a poor run of form themselves. However, given that Swindon had only beaten Queens Park Rangers and Southampton all season, many anticipated an attack-minded Spurs to dispatch Swindon fairly comfortably.

Kilcline nearly scored on his debut with his header cleared off the line by Dean Austin in the opening exchanges. Swindon started well and Tottenham were forced into a change of goalkeeper after just 23 minutes. A collision with Kilcline forced Erik Thorstvedt off with a knee injury and he was replaced in-goal by Everton transfer target, Ian Walker.

That interruption actually harmed Swindon more as their early momentum stalled and on the half-hour mark, Tottenham took the lead. Darren Caskey’s fairly aimless ball into the penalty area was dropped by home goalkeeper Nicky Hammond. Hammond failed to recover in sufficient time and that left Nick Barmby with the simplest of finishes to give Spurs a fortunate advantage given the balance of play.

Eight minutes later, Swindon were deservedly level. Popular forward Jan Aage Fjortoft scored his first Premier League goal for the club, just days after netting his first goal of any kind for Swindon in the FA Cup loss to Ipswich Town. It was a route one goal too. Hammond’s long goal-kick was nodded on by Andy Mutch. Fjortoft showed some astute control to flick the ball beyond the challenge of Colin Calderwood. He took his chance with aplomb to beat Walker and leave the fans in Wiltshire delighted.

1-1 at half-time, the second half was a cagier affair with neither side able to create many clear-cut opportunities despite extended spells of pressure. Swindon though kept plugging away and got their chance to claim their biggest scalp of their Premier League career with 10 minutes remaining. An indirect free-kick was awarded by referee Paul Durkin. Nicky Summerbee’s effort was blocked but the rebound was prodded in by Adrian Whitbread.

This time, Swindon were able to hold on for what was their best win of the campaign. It was a period that saw a briefest of revivals with the team holding Sheffield Wednesday to a 3-3 draw at Hillsborough and beating Coventry at home 3-1 a fortnight later. However, they were relegated in April and went down with just five wins recorded. Tottenham finished in a low-key 15th.

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