JANUARY 1989: CITY 1 (Mitchell 43) TOTTENHAM 0

AS SPURS head towards their first appearance in a Champions League final, let’s turn the clock back to a time when they were sent tumbling at Valley Parade.

While not a patch on the Mauricio Pochettino team bound for Madrid, the side that Terry Venables brought to West Yorkshire in the FA Cup third round 30 years ago was still one to be reckoned with.

The likes of Paul Stewart, Paul Walsh and Chris Waddle – later to earn his cult following among Bantams fans for that wonder goal against Everton – ensured that Tottenham packed plenty of firepower.

But City were riding high from claiming another top-flight scalp just three weeks before when they had stunned Everton and Stuart McCall to reach the Littlewoods Cup quarter-finals.

The presence of the Match of the Day cameras added to the feel of something special in front of a near capacity crowd.

Those fans missed out on seeing Paul Gascoigne, who failed a late test on his ankle. But the stage was stolen from the £2m England star by another midfielder.

In the tributes that followed the recent death of Mick Kennedy, Terry Dolan talked about the clever footballer that was often overlooked for the hardman image.

There was no clearer evidence of that than the quick-thinking act that would ultimately prove the difference in a pulsating cup tie.

Dolan had warned his players about the speed of Tottenham’s play and decision-making. But it was his own captain who would produce the moment that caught their opponents cold.

As half-time approached, City won a soft free-kick 10 yards outside the Spurs box after Chris Fairclough went into the back of Mark Leonard.

Tottenham sauntered towards their defensive positions and Kennedy saw the opportunity to strike.

With Spurs not switched on to the danger, he rolled a quick free-kick to his right where full back Brian Mitchell hit a first-time drive across keeper Bobby Mimms and inside the far post.

Kennedy had a fine game throughout, marshalling the midfield of Leigh Palin and Ian Banks, and it was fitting that his flash of inspiration should conjure up the decisive moment.

Things had looked ominous for City in the first 20 minutes as Spurs came straight out the traps.

The visitors could have been in front from their first attack when Stewart rode a Dave Evans foul to pick out Gary Mabbutt, whose close-range header was well held by Paul Tomlinson.

But City rode the early storm with Evans, in particular, tackling well in his sweeping role behind centre halves Peter Jackson and Lee Sinnott.

The home side almost punished Spurs on the break after a Waddle shot was charged down, Palin and Banks combining to tee up Greg Abbott for a shot that Mimms kept out.

Spurs regrouped after the break and Walsh headed straight at Tomlinson from a Mitchell Thomas cross.

Thomas then picked up a loose pass from Leonard and swerved Abbott’s attempted obstruction to whip in another dangerous ball. Stewart was waiting unmarked – but flicked it past the post and wide.

Abbott was denied a second City goal for an offside flag against Leonard before Tottenham were given one final chance to save themselves.

There were four minutes left when Sinnott blocked off Spurs sub Paul Moran inside the box.

FIFA referee George Courtney blew for an indirect free-kick, despite claims for a penalty, and the set-piece was worked back to Paul Allen lurking 18 yards out.

His panicky effort flew high over the bar at the Bradford end and clipped the electronic scoreboard which proclaimed City’s success.

Even TV pundit Jimmy Hill was impressed with their victory.

“It wasn’t a fluke,” he told viewers that night. “They played with some style.”

CITY: Tomlinson, Mitchell, Jackson, Evans, Sinnott, Abbott, Palin, Kennedy, Banks, Ormondroyd (Jewell), Leonard.

TOTTENHAM: Mimms, Butters, Fairclough, Fenwick, Thomas (Moran), Mabbutt, Bergsson (Hughton), Allen, Waddle, Walsh, Stewart.

REFEREE: George Courtney