FA Cup Team of the Week: 6 Reasons Stevenage Borough Survived Tottenham Hotspur
Stevenage, despite being the home side, were clear underdogs against a Spurs side that sat 3rd in the Premier League coached by the next potential England manager Harry Redknapp.
It should have been a straight forward result for Redknapp's team of superstars that have impressed so often this season, but they could not break down a resolute Stevenage defence as the League one club gained a shock result.
Stevenage will now travel to White Hart Lane to face Spurs in a replay with the winner hosting Bolton Wanderers in the quarterfinal.
Here we'll look at what helped make Stevenage Borough the FA Cup team of the week.
The result has to come first and whilst 0-0 is hardly an exciting score, it wasn't the most boring game either.
Stevenage wasn't expected to have a chance of getting anything out of this game, and to keep a clean sheet against a Premier League side that has struck 49 times in 25 league games is highly impressive.
47 places in league football separated the two teams before the match. If you take into account Tottenhams form at the moment and that they are on the fringes of challenging for the Premier League title this season, you begin to appreciate the magnitude of the task that Stevenage faced.
No great FA Cup result is made without the contribution of die-hard football fans, and Stevenage's fans are no different.
A huge crowd of 6,332 crammed into Broadhall Way, to watch their team keep out the competitions highest ranked remaining club.
That is true fan commitment, on what was a miserable day weather wise.
Man of the match Lawrie Wilson, who set a superb example for his fellow Stevenage players by being a tireless worker.
The midfielder put in as good a shift as any player on the pitch and represented a never-say-die attitude that encapsulated Stevenage.
It wasn't a pretty performance by the home team, but their defence was resolute.
The Bobbly Pitch
It wasn't quite this bad, but you get the point
A professional footballers' nightmare is a bobbly pitch and that certainly helped Stevenage in their quest to be in the draw for the quarterfinals.
The style suited Stevenage and allowed them to counter the Spurs normally slick flowing style.
Harry Under Pressure?
It became clear that Harry Redknapp wasn't aware of the presence of David Bernstein—the man tasked with finding the next England manager—it may be possible that Redknapp had his thoughts on English football's most poisoned chalice rather than the game itself.
Redknapp is the out and out favorite with the bookies to take the hot seat for Euro 2012.
Judging by the above banner, it appears Spurs fans want him to stay with the London club.
FA Cup Magic
The FA Cup still has magic.
If you don't believe me then cast your eyes over 10 Most Infamous FA Cup Upsets. You'll soon change your mind.
The FA Cup gives the so called minnows the chance to prove their worth and show the world that they can't be steamrollered.
Stevenage proved that if you want something bad enough and you work hard, you can achieve it.
FA Cup magic lives on in anyone who believes in it.
Despite the fantastic result by Stevenage, I can't see them managing a better result at White Hart Lane in the replay, and Tottenham should easily progress into the next round.
The fact that Harry Redknapp is being touted as the next England manager is testament to the job he has done with the Spurs over the past few seasons.
Whilst Tottenham may just struggle to make the final push required to win the Premier League, this season, it still has an outside chance of upsetting the two Manchester clubs and Champions League football is practically assured for next season already.
Tottenham will be home against Birmingham City if they beat Stevenage, and that will be another game Redknapp's men fancy winning easily.
If the draw falls the right way, I'm predicting a Liverpool vs. Spurs final.
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